Tomase: Red Sox position for 2021 MLB Draft becoming more clear

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred
According to a new ESPN report, it's "highly likely" that the Red Sox will earn a Top-5 pick in next year's MLB Draft.
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It suddenly looks like the Red Sox will be picking near the top of next year's draft.

Per a report from ESPN, it is "highly likely" that the draft order will be based on teams' 2020 records, which puts the Red Sox in the driver's seat to pick in the top five for just the fourth time in franchise history.

While there's a clause in the March agreement that allowed commissioner Rob Manfred to re-order the draft, ESPN reports that it was actually a contingency against a canceled season. Because baseball is going to finish its 60-game campaign, the expectation is that it will be enough to set the draft order without incorporating prior records or winning percentages.

What does this mean for the Red Sox? If the season ended today, they'd pick third, behind only the Pirates and Rangers. While Pittsburgh (15-39) is pretty much a lock to choose first overall, only a game separates the Rangers (19-35) and Red Sox (20-34) for No. 2. The Red Sox currently own a tiebreaker with the Diamondbacks based on last year's records. Both clubs are a game and a half ahead of the defending champion Nationals, and two games ahead of the Tigers.

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The Red Sox finish with the Orioles and NL East-leading Braves; the Rangers get the Astros; the Diamondbacks get the Rockies; and Texas and Arizona also face each other.

If the draft ends up being determined by a combination of last year and this one, the Red Sox would likely pick in the 10-15 range.


If they instead land in the top three, they could be looking at some of these top prospects: Vanderbilt right-handers Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter, Georgia high school infielder Brady House, or a college outfielder like Florida's Jud Fabian or UCLA's Matt McLain.

Their previous forays into the top five from 1965-67 yielded right-handers Mike Garman (3rd, 1967) and Ken Brett (4th, 1966), as well as outfielder Billy Conigliaro (5th, 1965).