by James B. Terry
The Boston Red Sox don’t wind up with a top ten selection in the MLB First Year Player Draft too often, but upon picking seventh overall in 2013 after their disappointing 2012 season, you could already begin calling the selection a bust.
With the pick, Boston took high school pitcher Trey Ball and his career is already off to a rocky start.
The Indiana native appeared in only five games last season while pitching in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League, going 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA.
Ball has spent all of 2014 with the Greenville Drive at the Single A level and his struggles have continued, going 1-9 with a 5.65 ERA though 17 starts. The 20-year old lefty is averaging below five innings per outing as well.
There were three pitchers taken before Ball in the MLB Draft that season. Two of them, Mark Appel (1st overall, Houston) and Jon Gray (3rd overall, Colorado) are already at the AA level while Kohl Stewart (4th overall, Minnesota) currently has a 2.42 ERA through 17 starts in single-A this season.
The next two pitchers taken off the board are both currently a level above Ball as well, as Braden Shipley (15th overall, Arizona) and Chris Anderson (18th overall, LA Dodgers) are both in High-A ball.
Wherever Ball is assigned next season, he’ll have a lot of pressure to show signs of improvement. Entering his third season in the Red Sox system it will be important for him to begin looking like a seventh overall pick.