The Boston Red Sox have plenty going on as the calendar turns to July, but one major event that seems to be flying under the radar is the Major League Baseball Draft.
While the majority of fans have their focus on when injured players will be returning from the shelf, who the team can acquire before the August trade deadline or how many games the team can make up in the standings before the All-Star break, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and his staff will have a watchful eye on potential future prospects.
According to Kiley McDaniel’s latest mock draft for ESPN, one player that the Red Sox could potentially target with their No. 24 pick is Drew Gilbert, and outfielder from the University of Tennessee who has earned comparisons to a former Boston rival.
“The Red Sox seem to lean toward hit-first position players with high picks of late, and I think they’ll lean that way at this pick,” McDaniel wrote. “Gilbert seems destined to be an annoying-to-29-teams Brett Gardner type for a long time.”
Gilbert batted .362 with 11 home runs for Tennessee in 2021, leading the Volunteers in both doubles (21) and triples (4) while also serving as a relief pitcher throughout his career. He is the No. 28 rated prospect for MLB.com in the 2022 class.
While he was never a superstar, Gardner spent 14 seasons with the Yankees, winning a Gold Glove and making an All-Star team along the way.
Many MLB Draft experts believe Boston will target an outfielder with its first-round pick, as their position lower in the round typically pairs well with the position. The Red Sox have been linked to outfielders Brock Jones and Jordan Beck throughout the pre-draft process.
The MLB Draft will be held over three days, starting July 17 at 7 p.m. ET.