By MyFM's Jake Archer - The 2017 Major League Baseball Draft continued yesterday with rounds three through ten and the Red Sox made eight more picks. In the third, they took second baseman Brett Netzer out of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In the fourth, they grabbed right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson out of Oregon State. In the fifth they took right-handed pitcher Alex Scherff of Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas.
In the sixth they took right-handed pitcher Zach Schellenger out of Seton Hall University. Outfielder Tyler Esplin was their pick in the seventh round out of IMG Academy. The eighth round saw them take first baseman Zach Sterry out of Oakland University. In the ninth they took Tanner Nishioka, a second baseman out of Pomona-Pitzer College. Last but not least, in the tenth they grabbed Jordan Wren, and outfielder from Georgia Southern. Lets take a look at all of these guys really quick.
Brett Netzer 2B
The Sox nabbed Netzer with the 101st pick of the draft yesterday and in him they got a very good bat. Netzer has hit over .300 in all three of his years at UNC-Charlotte and also has had success playing in the famous Cape Cod League. Netzer has a great judgement of the strike zone, as he walks more than he strikes out, but his power potential isn’t all that impressive. He’s a strong athlete with speed, but his defense could use some work. At this point in the draft, no player is a slam-dunk and it’s more about projections than anything.
Jake Thompson RHP
With the 131st pick in the draft, the Sox took another righty arm from college. Thompson is a little bit older as he is a 22 year old college junior, but he’s ranked in the Top 100 draft prospects by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. After missing all of 2015 with a back injury, Thompson has come back strong. He recorded a 1.52 ERA in 118 1/3 innings of work this past season while striking out 113 and walking only 36. He stands at only 6 foot 2 but he’s strong with his fastball and is improving with both his slider and his changeup.
Some scouts have compared him to David Price, which may make Red Sox fans groan, but if he became that this pick would be a huge win. He also may sign for a lower amount of money due to his age.
Alex Scherff RHP
With the 161st pick in the draft, the Sox got a steal. They were able to snag Scherff who is ranked very high by most with a pick way beyond where he should have been taken. He’s an absolute man among boys in the high school game as he stands at 6 foot 2 and weighs 209 pounds. Scherff features a quality heater and a plus changeup as well as a slider/curveball that he is working on. Two big reasons to like him are that he has great deception with his arm speed rarely changing between pitches and he also has shown the ability to improve and maintain his velocity due to his conditioning work.
At one point this year, Scherff tossed five perfect innings before following that up with five more no-hit innings in his next start. Through 30 batters faced in the run, he struck out 27. Maybe high school stats don’t mean much, but that’s pretty wild.
The only downsides to the righty are that he has a mysterious track record of transferring schools quite a bit during high school and his lack of command at times. He also is committed to Texas A&M and the Red Sox will need to pay him well to get him to turn pro right now.
Zach Schellenger RHP
Schellenger was the fourth righty in the Sox first six picks of the draft. He’s a 6 foot 6, 215 pound reliever who excelled in the Cape Cod league last summer. His velocity dipped a bit for Seton Hall this year though, but he’s got a nasty slider and a changeup that is a work in progress.
Tyler Esplin OF
Esplin is a big lefty with decent speed and good power. He uses the whole field well and can drive the ball the opposite way very well for a high school hitter.
Zach Sterry 1B
Sterry is another lefty power bat for the Sox and he was taken with the 251st overall pick. He led his Oakland University team in almost every offensive statistic before missing the final 11 games of his season with a broken hand.
Tanner Nishioka 2B
A lot of what I hear about Nishioka is about his makeup and the way he approaches the game. It sounds like he’s a well rounded individual who also has great versatility on the diamond.
Jordan Wren OF
Wren is the son of Red Sox senior vice president of player personnel Frank Wren. The Sox also took him last year in the 36th round, but he’ll sign this time since he is done playing college ball.
The Draft will conclude today as the teams will continue with rounds 11-40. I probably won’t be recapping that, because that’s an absurd amount of picks.