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Red Sox will have four of top 40 picks in 2011 draft

02.02.11 at 8:49 pm ET
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Yes, the fact that Felipe Lopez signed a minor league deal with the Rays was a disappointment to the Red Sox. Had the infielder signed a major league deal with another club, it would have netted the Sox a sandwich pick in the 2011 draft, offering a handsome return for the minimal investment (roughly $50,000 in regular season salary, plus a $15,000 buyout of a team option for 2011) it made in him for the last eight games of the 2010 season.

Even so, the Red Sox are in tremendous position for the upcoming draft, which is considered to feature one of the top prospect pools in recent memory, rivaling the quality of the outstanding 2005 draft class that netted the Sox Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Michael Bowden and Craig Hansen.

The order of the 2011 major league draft is now settled. As a result of the comings (Carl Crawford, who cost the Sox their first-round pick, No. 24 overall) and goings (Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre each netted the Sox a pair of compensatory draft picks), the Sox will now have four of the top 40 overall picks in the 2011 draft, two in the first round and two in the sandwich round:

1 – No. 19
1 – No. 26
1(s) – No. 36
1(s) – No. 40

The 2011 draft, then, will mark the first time the Sox have four of the first 40 picks since 1982. (For what it’s worth, that was a disappointing draft class for the Sox, who selected Sam Horn (No. 16 overall), Rob Parkins (18), Jeff Ledbetter (26) and Kevin Romine (29).) And while the Red Sox would have loved to have netted an extra pick from Lopez, the fact that both Martinez and Beltre netted first rounders leaves the team in strong shape for the coming draft, in what could be an opportunity for the Sox to reload some of the organizational depth that they lost when trading for Adrian Gonzalez this year.

Read More: 2011 MLB Draft, adrian gonzalez, felipe lopez, tampa bay rays
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