May 3, 2007


Anderson making the grade (Gordon Edes, May 4, 2007, Boston Globe)

The depth of the Red Sox draft last June is one of the reasons Baseball America rated it No. 1 in baseball, and the Sox willingness to pay first-round money to a player who wasn't drafted until the 18th round is already paying dividends. The Sox, who spent between $8 million and $9 million to sign players they drafted last season, spent $825,000 on slugging first baseman Lars Anderson, a California high schooler who signed a tender to attend Cal and scared off prospective suitors by letting it be known it would take $1 million to change his mind.

The Sox grabbed him in the 18th round, and Anderson, who led the state in home runs last season with 15, gave the Red Sox a taste of what he could do when he took batting practice when the Sox were in Oakland to play the Athletics last July, facing David Wells, among others. They haven't been disappointed by what they've seen this spring.

Theo Epstein developed a weird problem when the Sox won the World Series a couple years too soon, in 2004. That was way before he'd had a chance to upgrade the talent level in the minors, which was one of his main focuses when he took the job, and made for some impatient fans and owners. But the pipeline is up and running now and -- especially with the Beckett/Lester/Buchholz/Matsuzaka rotation -- they look like they can be a contender for several years, though they're quite possibly a couple years away from fielding their best team and badly need to find a young catcher.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2007 11:49 PM

That looks like a rotation of 3-4-5 starters right there. Not gonna win nuttin with dat.

Anderson hardly looks a success. He'll be 20 before the seasons over and he's stuck in the Sally league, where he's hit only 2 homers.

Meanwhile, one of the linchpins of the suppposed great Sox draft, their first round pick no less, Daniel Bard, Miller's mate at UNC, is having an absolutely disasterous season in High a Cal league. (Teams are hitting .350 off him)

For a laugh, and to see why the Yanks not only smoked the Sox in last years draft, but will also have a younger and better rotation in the bigs by 2009, see what Ian Kennedy is doing at High A Tampa -- hint, he won't be there much longer, he'll be at Trenton.

The contrast btwn Bard and Kennedy says it all about the disaster that is Sawx scouting.

Meanwhile Hanley and Anibal say hello.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 4, 2007 7:05 PM

Bard projects as a reliever, he can set up Papelbon or take over for him. Buchholz and Bowden are the back end of a dominant rotation, with Beckett looking more and more like Clemens redux.

Kennedy is a short slop balling righty, but is close to major league ready, which is why the Yanks drafted him and why he'd do well in a pitcher's league against youngsters. If he meets his max potential he's Bob Tewksbury, which is good enough for a mediocre career, but George will chase him out of NY.

Posted by: oj at May 4, 2007 10:35 PM