Boston Red Sox 2019 MLB Draft Report Card
Every year at the conclusion of the regular season, Baseball America revisits each teams' most recent draft class. Each class has its no-doubt, high-profile names to keep an eye on, but our annual draft report cards highlight the best tools, best debuts, late-round steals and more. Here are the names you need to know from every organization's 2019 draft.
Best Pure Hitter: Boston had its first round pick pushed back into the second round at No. 43 overall due to luxury tax penalties, but the team was excited to get SS Cameron Cannon (2) in that spot. He didn’t have the best debut, hitting just .200/.284/.324 in the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn leagues, but he has an impressive track record in the Pac-12 with standout plate discipline and solid feel for the barrel.
Best Power Hitter: 1B Dominic D’Alessandro (22) has 70-grade raw power and has no problem hitting with authority to the opposite field. The George Washington product hit 13 homers this spring before joining the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he hit .292/.421/.415 with three home runs and five doubles. OF Steve Scott (10) has plus raw power, while OF Dean Miller (24) has plus raw power that could grow into 70-grade raw power in the future.
Fastest Runner: SS Matthew Lugo (2) has a chance for above-average tools across the board, but he’s clocked 70-grade run times in the past. His speed plays closer to a 60-grade tool for the most part, however, and he’s faster once he gets underway.
Best Defensive Player: Lugo always showed the tools to give himself a shot to play shortstop at a high level with impressive athleticism and gifted hands, but in his pro debut in the GCL and NYPL he impressed with defensive actions and instincts that were more polished than expected.
Best Athlete: Lugo’s standout athleticism gives him high upside in all phases of the game as slick, up-the-middle defender.
Best Fastball: RHP Ryan Zeferjahn (3) has a fastball that gets into the upper 90s with tremendous late life, giving him impressive swing-and-miss qualities on the pitch.
Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Noah Song (4) has made strides with his slider over the years, to the point where it’s now considered a plus offering. The team was also impressed with the effectiveness of LHP Chris Murphy’s (6) changeup.
Best Pro Debut: Song had an impressive debut in the NYPL, posting a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings with 19 strikeouts and five walks, but Murphy’s was just as strong. In 10 starts and 33.1 innings of work in the NYPL, Murphy posted a 1.08 ERA with 34 strikeouts, seven walks and a 0.90 WHIP.
Most Intriguing Background: Song’s background has been detailed for some time now thanks to a Naval commitment that clouded his draft stock in 2018 and 2019, and it will continue to cloud his future. RHP Feleipe Franks (31) signed for just $40,000 late on Day 3, but he played quarterback for Florida this year before a gruesome ankle injury in Week 3 against Kentucky ended his season. Franks started all 13 games at quarterback for the Gators in 2018, throwing for 2,457 yards and 24 touchdowns. He hasn’t played baseball since his junior year of high school.
Closest To The Majors: Song would be considered here if his Naval commitment weren’t a factor, and if he had a more polished third pitch, but he could still move rapidly if Boston wanted to push him as a reliever. However, Murphy has four solid weapons he can use now and showed much better strike-throwing ability in his pro debut than he displayed in college at San Diego. He should be a quick-mover.
Best Late-Round Pick: D’Alessandro had a strong debut and has a carrying tool in his power, though the Red Sox have a number of interesting candidates for this category. 2B Daniel Bakst (28) hit .306/.397/.469 with 15 walks and 19 strikeouts in 27 games in the GCL. The Red Sox are also excited about 2B/3B Alex Erro (17), who has a hit-over-power profile as a switch-hitter, and LHP Brendan Cellucci (12), who has a fastball that can get up to 97 mph.
The One Who Got Away: The Red Sox took a local product in RHP Sebastian Keane (11) with their first pick on Day 2, but they couldn’t sign him out of a Northeastern commitment. OF Jordan Beck (14) was another Day 2 high school product who could raise his profile in college at Tennessee.