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2011 MLB Draft Grades: Boston Red Sox Start Strong, Falter Late

The first day went pretty much according to plan for the Red Sox. They had a top pick fall into their laps at no. 19, picked up an over-slot catcher with no. 26, and added more high-ceiling talent with their supplementary round picks. All-in-all, a very impressive start.

So perhaps it's because hopes were up that day two seemed so...lackluster.

To be fair to Williams Jerez, the Sox' second round pick, he seems very much the type for the team: incredibly athletic, very high-cieling, albeit raw and unpolished. There was nothing wrong with the Sox choosing him. It was immediately thereafter that things seemed to go off track.

First there was high school catcher Jordan Weems in the third round. Barely considered a top-200 talent by Baseball America, Weems was selected ahead of a number of other impressive names seemingly lacking any particularly strong aspects to his game--almost as if they were drafting insurance in case they didn't manage to lock-up first-round pick Blake Swihart.

Then there Noe Ramirez. A left-handed pitcher who would be a fine pick for, any of a number of low-payroll teams, but not for the Red Sox. As a low-ceiling, high-floor type, he can provide a cheap back-of-the-rotation starter for a team in need of one. But for the Red Sox, it's hard to ever see him contributing as more than a throw-in in a possible trade. Something of a Justin Masterson lite, if you will (ignoring his recent breakout).

The Sox did grab some high-bonus signability picks in the seventh and eighth round with LHP Cody Kukuk and OF Senquez Golson, but by the time these rounds came to pass, most of the more exciting talent had already been snapped up while the Sox went for the solid but uninspiring selections.

Boston is not entirely to blame for this. In the past they've been able to pick up a lot of great players by virtue of having the biggest wallets, but in 2011 other teams seemed more willing to shell out big bucks for big tools, leaving the pickings scarce by the time the Red Sox' picks rolled around. But there's still the feeling that a few opportunities went to waste here.

All that being said, the Sox did have a tremendous day one. The sort that can really bail out an underwhelming follow up performance, and for that, they get a suitably solid, but uninspiring grade.

2011 Draft Grade: B