Originally Posted by TheVulture
If you get the first pick, you're not guaranteed a prospect who will make an impact, however, you are guaranteed to get the prospect you want. Plus you would be that much more likely to get the picks you want in the subsequent rounds as well.
In addition, you would have close to 60% (an extra 1.8 million) more in international signing allotment than the #7 pick, and roughly 2.5 times what the Sox received this year. That extra 60% would give the Sox room to sign an extra player for roughly the amount they signed their top international signing for this year, I forget his name, but I believe he was signed for under 1.8 million. Having the top pick would allow the sox to sign three of those guys and have more left over for lower tier international signings. It's a massive discrepancy.
Edit: Upon further review, Zapata was signed for 1.6 mil. At #1 pick, the Sox would be able to sign three of those guys. At #7, the Sox would be able to sign one and a couple second tier, or possibly two top tier.
I'd say between having the #1 overall pick and the ability to sign at least one if not two more top tier international players the difference is substantial.
The Sox and Marlins have identical records at 2nd worst behind Houston, who is 6.5 games worse than either Chicago or Florida. After those 3, it's about a 5-game dropoff to the Royals and Brewers. I think the Sox will likely be drafting in the top 3, but not #1 overall.