AP Photo/John Raoux
Tonight at 7:10pm, Chris Sale will throw his first pitch in a game that counts for the Boston Red Sox. Sale was traded to the Red Sox this offseason with the expectation that he will be the ace of the pitching staff for years to come. The Red Sox gave up a big haul to the Chicago White Sox, including top prospects Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada, as well as other minor leaguers Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz. The expectations are high, but not unwarranted.
Early in this season, I’ll do a short player profile for all the new additions on the roster. Since Sale is starting tonight, he’s the perfect place to start.
Name: Christopher “The Condor” Sale
Height/Weight: 6’6″, 180lbs
Born: 3/30/1989 in Lakeland, FL
Drafted: Chicago White Sox in 2010 1st round (was drafted by the Rockies in the 21st round of the 2007 draft, but decided to go to college)
College: Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL
MLB Debut: 8/6/2010 with the White Sox
Sale joins the Red Sox with a career 3.00 ERA, 1,244 Ks and a 74-50 record in 7 big-league seasons, along with 5 consecutive All-Star selections and a top 6 finish in the AL Cy Young voting for 5 consecutive years. Sale has 14 complete games and 2 shutouts on his resume, including 6 complete games and 1 shutout for the White Sox last season. Sale’s K to BB ratio is the best in baseball among active pitchers (4.785) and has the 2nd best active adjusted ERA+ (135), behind only Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
*All biographical information is from www.baseball-reference.com.
Over the past 5 years, the Red Sox have had some great success drafting and developing young talent. Tonight is the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft and rather than attempt to analyze who the Red Sox might pick, let’s take a look at who they have picked over the past 5 years and see where they are now. Since there are 40 rounds, the focus will be narrowed to top part of the draft and any notable lower picks. For those who are already bored, at least take a look at the 2011 draft, it’s something special!
RHP Matt Barnes (UConn)
C Blake Swihart
Compensation Round A
LHP Henry Owens
OF Jackie Bradley Jr.
Rounds 2, 3, and 5 (in order)
OF Williams Jerez
C Jordan Weems
RHP Noe Ramirez
SS Mookie Betts
3B Travis Shaw
Arguably the best draft of all time, by any team. Of the top 8 players selected, 6 have seen time with the Boston Red Sox this season (2 are back in AAA Pawtucket) and the other 2 are progressing with the AA Portland Sea Dogs. To prove the point even further, 5 of the top 12 picks are either everyday offensive players or frequent bullpen arms for the Red Sox in 2016, not including the 2 other pitchers in that group who have contributed at the big league level this year.
For those who are unfamiliar with how rare this draft truly was, take a look at the other drafts after this one for the Red Sox. There are usually 1-3 players who make the big leagues or who are waiting in the wings at AAA in a really good draft. This draft, thus far for the Red Sox, has produced 7 legitimate big league players, including a few picks that are on their way to becoming superstars.