Clemens, Pedroia head Red Sox's Draft legends
Pair of AL MVPs picked in first two rounds; Boggs, Papelbon among other stars
For the Red Sox, stocking their shelves through the First-Year Player Draft started with the selection of first-rounder Billy Conigliaro back in 1965. Through the decades, there have been many memorable picks who have helped add to the rich history of the franchise.
In anticipation of the upcoming Draft, which starts on June 5, MLB.com looks back at Boston's history in the Draft, coming up with the club's best all-time selection in each of the first 15 rounds.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Round 1: Roger Clemens, 1983
For many years in the 1970s and early '80s, the Red Sox were known as a hitting-first organization. That changed swiftly after the club drafted "The Rocket" with their first-round pick (19th overall) in 1983.
The fireballer from the University of Texas was in the Major Leagues by May of 1984, and both a Cy Young Award winner and a Most Valuable Player by the pennant-winning season of '86.
In the 13 years Clemens spent in Boston, he threw two 20-strikeout games -- the first two in history -- and helped the Red Sox to four American League East titles. Jim Rice (1971) and Nomar Garciaparra (1994) were two other notable first-rounders the Sox hit big on.
Round 2: Dustin Pedroia, 2004
Aside from winning the World Series, the best thing the Red Sox did in 2004 was draft Pedroia, who would help the club win its next two championships. Many clubs passed on Pedroia due to his lack of size. But the Red Sox saw a highly competitive infielder who had a penchant for barreling up the baseball and took the Arizona State product with the 65th overall pick.
Pedroia got to the Majors for good by August 2006. He was the American League's Rookie of the Year by '07 and an MVP in '08.
Round 3: Mike Greenwell, 1982
Overshadowed during his career by teammates like Wade Boggs, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice and Mo Vaughn, Greenwell was a solid left-handed hitter who finished second in the AL MVP race to Jose Canseco in 1988.
Greenwell, a line-drive hitter, spent his entire career with the Red Sox, batting .303 over 1,269 games.
Round 4: Jonathan Papelbon, 2003
At the time the Red Sox drafted Papelbon out of Mississippi State, they thought he might become one of their next great starting pitchers. But he eventually found his niche in the bullpen, becoming arguably the best closer in Red Sox history.
Papelbon spent seven seasons in Boston, posting a club record of 219 saves and posting a 2.33 ERA. The righty was standing on the mound when the Red Sox completed their World Series sweep of the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
Round 5: Dwight Evans, 1969
When the Red Sox took the Chatsworth high school (Calif.) product, they wound up with a player who would impact the club for nearly two decades on both offense and defense. Affectionately known as Dewey, Evans was a prolific right fielder for the first half of his career. In the second half, he also became one of the best hitters in the American League.
Veteran fans of Fenway still remember the rifle arm Evans had in right field en route to winning eight Gold Glove Awards. Though he played his last game for Boston in 1990, Evans remains affiliated with the Red Sox and is a frequent visitor to Fenway Park. He is second in club history in games, fourth in hits, fifth in homers, third in doubles, fourth in RBIs, third in runs and third in walks.
Round 6: Cecil Cooper, 1968
Though Cooper would play the best baseball of his career for the Milwaukee Brewers, he broke in with the Red Sox and was part of the pennant-winning team of 1975. Cooper played in parts of six seasons for the Red Sox, hitting .283 with 40 homers and 181 RBIs over 406 games.
On Dec. 6, 1976, the Red Sox traded Cooper to the Brewers for Bernie Carbo and George Scott, two players who had previously played on pennant-winning teams in Boston. Perhaps the front office was too sentimental with that move. They would have been better off keeping Cooper, who hit .302 with 241 homers over 11 seasons in Milwaukee.
Round 7: Wade Boggs, 1976
Fortunately for the Red Sox, scouts didn't think Boggs would make much of an impact in professional baseball. That dropped him to the seventh round, and Boggs became one of the best pure hitters of all time.
Boggs won five batting titles in his Hall of Fame career, all of them during his 11-year stint with the Red Sox. Though Boggs would go on to win a World Series with the 1996 Yankees, he played the best ball of his career with the Red Sox. In 1,625 games for Boston, Boggs was a .338 hitter.
Round 8: Kevin Youkilis, 2001
Much like Boggs, Youkilis didn't have the type of athleticism or physique that wowed the scouts. But he had a great batting eye, eventually developing power and emerging into a Gold Glove Award-winning first baseman. Youkilis played on the 2004 and '07 championship teams with Boston and finished third in the MVP race in '08. He provided solid versatility during his time with the Red Sox, proving to be interchangeable between the corner-infield spots.
Round 9: Christian Vazquez, 2008
The Red Sox have never hit it big in the ninth round, but they just might with Vazquez, the best catching prospect in the organization. Vazquez has a cannon arm behind the plate and power at the plate. He could be in Boston's starting lineup by 2015.
Round 10: Brady Anderson, 1985
The left-handed hitter broke camp as Boston's starting center fielder by 1988. But he was traded later that summer to the Orioles for Mike Boddicker. The Red Sox got good short-term value out of the deal, as Boddicker helped the club win division titles in '88 and '90. But the Orioles won that one over the long haul, particularly in 1996, when Anderson clubbed 50 home runs.
Round 11: Ben Oglivie, 1968
Cecil Cooper wasn't the only member of the "Harvey's Wallbangers" Brewers who began his career with the Red Sox. Oglivie was drafted by Boston in '68 and played 166 games over three seasons for Boston. The Red Sox traded him to the Tigers for Dick McAuliffe, who had two inconsequential seasons in Boston. Oglivie started to establish himself during a four-year stint with the Tigers, and then became a valued member of Milwaukee's lineup from 1978-86.
Round 12: Reid Nichols, 1976
The Red Sox have never found an eventual star in the 12th round, but they did get a pretty good backup outfielder in Reid Nichols. The right-handed hitter played 338 games for Boston from 1980-85, hitting .267 while playing solid defense.
Round 13: Carl Pavano, 1994
Pavano's claim to fame in Boston is that he was the right-handed prospect the Red Sox were able to package to the Expos for Pedro Martinez in November 1997. Martinez went on to become arguably the best pitcher in club history.
Round 14: None
The Red Sox have never selected anybody of impact in this round.
Round 15: Ernie Whitt, 1972
The Red Sox already had an eventual Hall of Fame catcher in Carlton Fisk at the time Whitt was one of their prospects. That is why the Red Sox left Whitt unprotected in the 1976 expansion draft, when he was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays. Whitt had 131 homers for the Blue Jays over 1,328 games.