Major League Baseball’s draft doesn’t draw nearly as much attention as drafts of other sports, but there’s plenty to be excited about for fans. It was, after all, only a couple of years ago that names like Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley (both in 2011), Brian Johnson, Deven Marrero (both in 2012), Sam Travis (2014), and Andrew Benintendi (2015) entered the collective consciousness of Red Sox Nation.
This year’s draft enlisted 1,215 players chosen over 40 rounds and two Competitive Balance rounds. 660 of those selected were pitchers (472 righties, 188 lefties), 246 infielders, 205 outfielders, 99 catchers, and five utility players. Chipola College, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin had the most players selected (11 each).
Drafted players this season came from all but four US states (there were none from Idaho, Maine, North Dakota, or Vermont). Californians represented the majority (192), followed by Florida (135), Texas (123) and Georgia (56). There were 50 draft-eligible foreign players chosen, too.
The No. 1 overall draft pick this year was JSierra Catholic High School shortstop Royce Lewis, selected by the Minnesota Twins. He’s expected to earn a bonus of $6.6 million according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Red Sox Picks
With their first pick (the 24th overall), the Red Sox selected righty pitcher Tanner Houck, 21. Houck was ranked the No. 25 prospect available in this year’s draft by Baseball America, which also named him to the 2017 Preseason All-America First Team.
Houck is from Collinsville, Illinois (one of 55 players chosen in the draft from that state). As a junior at the University of Missouri this past year he was 4-7, 3.33 ERA with 95 strikeouts and a .220 opponent batting average over 14 starts (94.2 IP). He set the Missouri program record for career innings pitched by a three-year player and had the 4th-most strikeouts in school history.
The Blue Jays selected Houck in the 12th round of the 2014 June Draft, but he did not sign.
The Sox’ second round pick (the 63rd overall) was of Coleman Brannen, 18, from Elko, Georgia. The lefty batter was 36-for-82 (.439) with 23 doubles, three triples, and five home runs as a senior for The Westfield School.
Over the course of the three days, Boston drafted 40 players including 18 pitchers (13 righties, five lefties), 10 outfielders, and three catchers. 26 of the Sox’ picks were from college, 13 from high school, and one was home schooled.
Jordan Wren, 22, the son of current Sox Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Frank Wren, was selected by the club in its 10th round (311th overall). The Sox chose Wren in their 36th road (1,078th overall) of the 2016 draft, though he did not sign.
Here’s the full list of Red Sox draft picks: