The Red Sox selected Trey Ball No. 7 overall in the 2013 MLB draft, the last time they picked No. 7 overall. (Gail Oskin/Getty Images)

Red Sox draft: How is best player available determined?

Ryan Hannable
June 08, 2015 - 7:48 am

No matter where a team selects in the first round of the MLB draft, more often than not the organization says it will take the best player available. But, what exactly does that mean, especially when you are selecting from such a wide range of players -- varying from 18-year-old high school pitchers who haven't fully developed to 22-year-old college position players who may have already reached their full potential? With the Red Sox picking No. 7 overall in Monday's MLB draft, how do they determine the best available player? Director of amateur scouting Mike Rikard was asked that question on last Friday's pre-draft conference call. "One of the things we really try and do is be very considerate of all the variables that go into weighing where you stack a positional player, or how you stack up your board," he said. "As you can imagine when you're considering, for example a high school pitcher, the overall synopsis for that type of player is going to be much different for say a college position player. Sometimes you end up getting into conversations where you're making comparisons in what seems to be apples and oranges and that can be different. We try and find the best ways to systematically weigh the risk, weigh the upside, consider the track record of each player, health, make up. So there's a number of things that can go into how you consider each player and ultimately how you stack up your draft board." For the most part the Red Sox have taken a variety of players with their first overall pick in recent drafts -- selecting college pitchers, high school pitchers, college position players and high school position players all in the last 10 years. Here is a list of the Red Sox' top overall picks in the last 10 years: 2005: Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Oregon State 2006: Jason Place, INF, Wren High School (S.C.) 2007: Nick Hagadone, LHP, University of Washington 2008: Casey Kelly, RHP, Sarasota High School (Fla.) 2009: Reymond Fuentes, OF, Fernando Callejo High School (P.R.) 2010: Kolbrin Vitek, INF, Ball State University 2011: Matt Barnes, RHP, University of Connecticut 2012: Deven Marrero, INF, Arizona State 2013: Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle High School (Ind.) 2014: Michael Chavis, INF, Sprayberry High School (Ga.) It is anyone's best guess who the Red Sox will take at No. 7 Monday night, but the organization will have done its background work and factored in everything imaginable before making the selection. For more draft coverage and Red Sox news, visit