With the signing deadline come and gone, we can now take a firmer look at the Red Sox draft. The top two picks, college hitters Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz. Both are currently in Low A; Bretz is struggling, hitting only .174 while striking out in 25% of his at bats, while Vitek is holding his own with a .793 OPS. It is far too early to draw any major conclusions about either player, however.
The big question marks in the Red Sox draft were the following two picks, college starters Brandon Workman and Anthony Ranaudo. As I wrote in my initial write up of the draft,and has been written about in many other places as well, Ranaudo was a highly rated prospect coming into the college season who struggled in his junior year. In order to raise his draft stock, Ranaudo decided to pitch in the Cape Cop league to prove he was healthy. He certainly did. Ranaudo was probably the most dominant starter in the league this summer, throwing 30 innings without allowing a single run, while striking out 31 and walking 8. It took right up until the deadline, but the Red Sox were able to get Ranaudo to sign for a $2.55 million bonus, the largest of their draft class.
Brandon Workman, a starter out of Texas, was also considered a relatively tough sign. Coming into the draft he was expected to go in the bottom half of the first round, but fell about 30 picks to the top of the second round at 57th overall. As with Ranaudo, Workman and the Red Sox were able to work out a deadline deal, with Workman signing for an $800,000 bonus, which is about the slot for a player selected slightly higher.
All told, the Red Sox managed to sign 14 of their top 15 draft picks, only failing to sign high school righty Tyler Barnette. It is always hard to analyze a draft right after it happens, but the talent the Red Sox ended up with in this year's draft seems awfully impressive. They ended up with four picks in Baseball America's top 30 rankings and managed to sign them all. To top it all off, the top 4 are all college players, who can replenish a farm system that is currently a bit depleted at the upper levels.