As he gets ready to oversee his first amateur draft, Red Sox scouting director Paul Toboni could be forgiven for experiencing some nervousness. That goes double now for a draft that is unlike any other in the 55-year history of the event.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic which has shut down the game at every level, this year's draft, set for June 10-11, will be cut from 40 rounds to five and will be conducted without the benefit of watching most high school and college players in game settings this spring.
"From the standpoint that we were only able to scout four college weekends and the high school kids, many of whom we didn't see in their spring seasons, it's difficult and there's just probably a lot more uncertainty than there would be in a normal spring,'' acknowledged Toboni, in a Zoom call with reporters. ''Then, in terms of communication with our staff and not being able to meet in person, it's just been different. But our approach, by-and-large, really hasn't changed that much.
"While daunting at the start, it's actually been fine and I think as a group, we've handled it really well.''