Cherington on the draft: 'We're not going to go after need'

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Cherington on the draft: 'We're not going to go after need'

BOSTON -- The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is next week, and prior to Thursday's game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, general manager Ben Cherington met with the media to discuss his strategy for what will be his first draft as Red Sox GM.
But according to him, at least, his team hasn't yet discussed a specific strategy. As of Thursday, they were still just putting the players in order.
One thing is for sure. They aren't going to draft based on need.
"We're not going to go after need," said Cherington on Thursday. "We'll target the best player available at each pick. We're looking for the best full return from this draft class."
When asked if there would ever be a situation in which the Red Sox would make a pick based on need, Cherington said that it's unlikely, but don't rule anything out.
"Generally, we have not done that," said Cherington. "Baseball, as everyone here knows, it's a different beast than some other sports, because there's so much that can happen. So much happens between the time you draft a guy -- even the guys you think are closest to the big leagues, a highly-advanced college player. There's still a transition, there's still a development path that needs to be taken.
"And so much can change, not just from the player, but with our needs," added Cherington. "Our needs could look different six weeks from now, never mind three years from now. So, it's a dangerous game, I think, if you get into drafting for needs. We're just going to focus on trying to find the best possible impact and do as well as we can with each pick."
Cherington recalled the first amateur player he ever saw as an area scout. It was Josh Hamilton.
"I thought, wow, this is pretty easy, that guy looks good," he recalled. "And then the next few games, it was a little harder to pick them out."
Now, without Theo Epstein, Cherington is in charge. But with the familiar and experienced staff he looks around and sees in the Red Sox draft room, he believes the decision-making process will be very similar to how it has been in the past.
"There's a lot of things that feel very similar," said Cherington. "I'm in the room with a bunch of people that I've been in the room with for several years. We're using a lot of the same philosophies and the same standards to set the board up. We're talking about the same things that we care about. Ultimately, we have the same goal."

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.