Red Sox

‘Red Sox fans should be ecstatic’: How MLB experts graded first-round pick Kyle Teel

"Really nice draft for them."

Kyle Teel Red Sox draft grade
Kyle Teel playing for Virginia against Duke in June, 2023. AP Photo/John C. Clark

When the Red Sox selected catcher Kyle Teel with the 14th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, it didn’t take long for the positive reviews of the decision to start rolling in.

The pick of Teel went slightly against what had been projected, though considering he was seen as a top-10 talent, it was unsurprising that analysts supported Boston’s choice.

“He is a left-handed hitter with an ideal swing for Fenway Park and good contact skills despite a violent swing, as well as a plus throwing arm,” wrote ESPN’s David Schoenfield. “At the minimum, this looks like a pretty safe pick since Teel projects as a high probability major leaguer.”


Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter gave the pick an “A” in his draft grades. Of Teel, he said the catcher is an “A+ athlete who split his time between catching and the outfield as a freshman, he moves well behind the plate and has a strong throwing arm.”

R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports listed the Red Sox among the teams he thought “nailed their picks,” also giving the selection of Teel an “A” in his review.

“He successfully course-corrected after a brief but tough cameo in last summer’s Cape Cod League, and profiles as a contact-over-power hitter at the game’s highest level,” noted Anderson.

Of Boston’s second-round pick, high school shortstop Nazzan Zanetello, analyst Mike Axisa (also of CBS sports) added that, “I know a few teams had him on their radar in the first round.”

“Really nice draft for them,” Axisa said of the Red Sox through the first two rounds.

Keith Law of The Athletic admitted that Teel sliding to the 14th pick was “a shock.” Still, he explained that it’s ultimately good news for Boston.

“Red Sox fans should be ecstatic,” Law wrote. “He has some areas to work on, needing especially to improve his production against left-handed pitching, but he’s a great athlete for a catcher and it shows up in his running, his movement behind the plate, and even in the bat speed from his quick wrists. He might not have the upside of some of the bats who went before him but I think he could still end up an All-Star at some point, and has a high floor because he can catch.”


The MLB Draft continues on Monday and Tuesday, with teams filling out rosters over a total of 20 rounds.


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