In the 2005 major league draft, the Red Sox held six of the first 57 picks. The players that Boston chose included Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie.

In 2006, Boston had five of the first 71 picks. Among the Sox choices were Daniel Bard and Justin Masterson.

Now, for the first time since those drafts, the Red Sox have multiple picks in the early rounds.

When the major league draft begins tonight, Boston will have four of the first 57 picks.

“This draft is really going to impact our big league club in 2014 or so,” said Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein.

The current Red Sox roster features eight players who were drafted by Boston: Jon Lester, Buchholz, Jonathan Papelbon, Bard, Manny Delcarmen, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Josh Reddick. Two others are on the disabled list: Ellsbury and Lowrie.

Plus there is catcher Victor Martinez, who was obtained from Cleveland in a trade of three drafted players, including Masterson.

The impact from this year’s draft is, of course, unknown. It appears that there is quality but not a lot of players who stand out.

“It’s not one of those drafts where there are clear elite players in the top half of the first round,” Epstein said. “It’s more (talent) spread out through the middle to the bottom into the sandwich round.

“I’m not saying this is generally a deep draft. It’s more that the talent is fairly level once you get past the first five picks or so.”

Epstein said the one strength of the draft “might be right-handed high school pitching.”

But drafting a high school pitcher can be risky, gambling on a young arm developing and remaining healthy. Recently, Boston has drafted only three high school pitchers in the first or sandwich rounds (picks added after the first round): Casey Kelly in 2008 (now in Portland), Caleb Clay in 2006 (still in Class A after Tommy John surgery in 2007) and Michael Bowden in 2005 (in Triple-A).

Major League Baseball, unlike the NFL, NHL and NBA, does not allow teams to trade draft picks. The number of draft picks a team has depends on the number of free agents it signs or loses in the previous off-season, and if those free agents were offered arbitration.

If a team signs a qualified free agent, it forfeits a first-round pick. A second signing means the loss of a second-round pick.

Boston lost its initial first- and second-round picks this year because it signed John Lackey and Marco Scutaro.

A team gains picks if it loses a free agent — usually a first- or second-round pick, plus an additional pick in the sandwich round.

Boston got Atlanta’s first-round pick (No. 20 overall) and a sandwich pick (No. 36) when the Braves signed Red Sox reliever Billy Wagner.

Boston got another sandwich pick (No. 39) and the Mets’ second-round pick (No. 57) when the Mets signed Boston outfielder Jason Bay.

Among the elite players in the 2010 draft, according to Baseball America, are junior college catcher Bryce Harper, high school pitcher Jameson Taillon, high school shortstop Manny Machado, college third baseman Zack Cox, and college pitchers Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz.

Among the players the Red Sox may be interested in are college pitchers Brandon Workman, Matt Harvey, Alex Wimmers and Anthony Ranaudo; college outfielders Ryan LaMarre and Bryce Brentz; high school pitcher A.J. Cole; and high school pitcher/infielders Kaleb Cowart and Yordy Cabrera. 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]

RED SOX AND THE DRAFT

Summary of the past 10 Boston drafts:

2000

NOTE: Dan Duquette was general manager for the 2000 and 2001 drafts.

First round: Phil Dumatrait, LHP (traded to Reds in Scott Williamson deal)

Second round: Manny Delcarmen, RHP

2001

No first round pick (signed free agent Manny Ramirez)

Second round: Kelly Shoppach, C (traded to Cleveland in Coco Crisp/Josh Bard deal)

Second round*: Matthew Chico, LHP (did not sign; now with Nationals)

Eighth round: Kevin Youkilis, INF

*Extra pick for losing free agent Rheal Cormier

2002

NOTE: Mike Port was general manager for the 2002 draft.

No first round pick (signed Johnny Damon)

Second round: Jon Lester, LHP

2003

NOTE: Theo Epstein has been GM since the 2003 draft.

First round: David Murphy, OF (traded to Texas in Eric Gagne deal)

First round*: Matt Murton, OF (traded to Cubs in multi-team Nomar Garciaparra/Orlando Cabrera deal)

Second round*: Abe Alvarez, LHP (major league debut in 2004; eventually released)

Second round: Mickey Hall, OF (reached Double-A before being traded to Indians)

Fourth round: Jonathan Papelbon, RHP

*Extra picks for losing Cliff Floyd

2004

No first round pick (signed Keith Foulke)

Second round: Dustin Pedroia, INF

2005

No initial first-round pick (signed Edgar Renteria)

First round*: Jacoby Ellsbury, OF; Jed Lowrie, INF

First round**: Craig Hansen, RHP (traded to Pittsburgh in three-team Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay deal); Michael Bowden, RHP (Triple-A)

First round***: Clay Buchholz, RHP

*Extra picks for losing Orlando Cabrera

**Extra picks for losing Derek Lowe

***Extra pick for losing Pedro Martinez

2006

First round: Jason Place, OF (Double-A, inactive roster)

First round*: Daniel Bard, RHP; Kris Johnson, LHP (Triple-A)

First round**: Caleb Clay, RHP (Class A)

Second round: Justin Masterson, RHP (traded to Cleveland in Victor Martinez deal)

*Extra picks for losing Johnny Damon

**Extra pick for losing Bill Mueller

2007

No initial first-round pick (signed Julio Lugo)

First round*: Nick Hagadone, LHP (traded to Cleveland in Victor Martinez deal)

First round**: Ryan Dent, INF (Class A)

Second round: Hunter Morris, INF (did not sign, now junior at Auburn)

*Extra pick for losing Alex Gonzalez

**Extra pick for losing Keith Foulke

2008

First round: Casey Kelly, RHP (Double-A)

First round*: Bryan Price, RHP (traded to Cleveland in Victor Martinez deal)

Second round: Derrick Gibson, INF (Class A)

*Extra pick for losing Eric Gagne

2009

First round: Reymond Fuentes, OF (Class A)

Second round: Alex Wilson, RHP (Class A)

– Kevin Thomas