The All-Time Red Sox fantasy draft left us with much to talk about.
Sunday night, six NESN analysts — Steve Lyons, Jerry Remy, Tim Wakefield, Tom Caron, Dave O’Brien and Dennis Eckersley — picked from a pool of the greatest Boston Red Sox players to build the best teams they could. Some selections were no-brainers, but others were total head-scratchers.
Here are some takeaways from the event, including superlatives and analysis:
Biggest Winner: Tim Wakefield
Wake absolutely killed it in this draft. He landed arguably the best pitcher in history (Roger Clemens), best player in history (Babe Ruth), and second-best catcher in Red Sox history (Jason Varitek). He also managed to come away with J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and the draft’s best steal, which we’ll get to in a bit.
Best Pick: Babe Ruth, 10th overall
When you’re able to land arguably the greatest player of all time in the second round, you’re doing something right. Sure, Ruth was known more for his pitching during his Red Sox career, but his 1919 season — .322 average, 29 homers and 113 RBIs to go along with a 9-5 record and 2.97 ERA on the mound — alone warrants first-round selection. He should’ve been the second player off the board.
Most Surprising Pick: Bill Mueller, 39th overall
This isn’t a knock against Mueller, who was a very good third baseman with the Red Sox and whose postseason heroics speak for themselves. However, if Tom Caron needed a third baseman at this spot, he should’ve gone with Adrian Beltre, regardless of the fact he only played one season in Boston. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Trot Nixon all would’ve been great choices at this spot, as well. Mueller was a reach with this pick.
Biggest Steal: Jon Lester, 70th overall
The fact that Lester wasn’t taken until the final round blows our minds. He was a legitimate ace with the Red Sox, and is one of the most accomplished postseason performers in team history. There aren’t many pitchers we’d rather have on the mound in a big spot.
Best Late-Round Pick: Adrian Beltre, 65th overall
Similarly, that Beltre, one of the greatest third basemen of all time, was available in the second-to-last round is just plain wrong. He’s one of the best hitters the hot corner ever has seen, and one of the best defensive players at any position in baseball history. Kudos to Rem Dawg for pouncing on this opportunity.
The NESN Red Sox Fantasy Draft Show is presented by Cross Insurance: Your Team, Your Choice. Check out more at nesn.com/soxfantasy.