In the third round of the 2019 MLB Draft the Red Sox selected Kansas Pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn with the 107th pick.
Zeferjahn is the first pitcher the Red Sox have drafted this year. Zeferjahn is coming off his best season at Kansas, going 5-2 with a 3.97 ERA. Zeferjahn was a 3 year starter for the Jayhawks and improved every season. His freshman year he went 4-4 with a 6.19 ERA, his sophomore year he finished 8-5 with a 4.48 ERA. His most impressive jump though, was his strikeouts. From his freshman to sophomore year he nearly doubled his strikeout total going from 53 to 100. That number continue to rise as in his junior year he would strike out 107 batters, good for second in the BIG 12 for strikeouts.
This isn’t Zeferjahn first time hearing his name called. In 2016 the Tampa Bay Rays drafted Zeferjahn in the 37th round. Zeferjahn came from an all-star high school pitching rotation in 2016 at North Valley East West HS in Kansas. Riley Rent was drafted 4th overall by the Colorado Rockies, Joey Wentz signed for $3.05 million as a supplemental first-rounder with the Atlanta Braves and Cole Duensing went to the Los Angeles Angels in the 6th round. Zeferjahn was projected to go in the first few rounds of the 2016 draft but made his intentions clear to play for the Jayhawks.
The 6 foot 5 right handed starting pitcher was turning heads the second he stepped into Kansas. The Jayhawks head coach Ritch Price who just completed his 17th season had this to say about Zeferjahn being drafted.
“There were no doubts. Of all the guys that we’ve recruited, the two best prospects we’ve recruited since I’ve been here were Jackson Goddard [99th selection in 2018 draft] and Ryan Zeferjahn.” Ryan Zeferjahn holds the honor of being the 5th highest KU player ever drafted.
MLB.com ranked Zeferjahn as the 84th ranked prospect in the draft. Analyst are unsure about his future as a starter due to consistency of his change up and slider, but his fastball should make a contributor in the bullpen down the line. In the minors Zeferjahn will have to improve his consistency and his control. With the 107th pick the Red Sox drafted a high upside pitcher who needs time to continue to develop.