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June 3, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Red Sox Draft Preview: Players Linked to the Sox

The third installment of SoxProspects.com’s Red Sox Draft Preview focuses on players that have been publicly linked to the Sox, local New England products that may be selected early in the draft, and former Sox draftees that Boston may look to draft for a second time. Keep in mind that the fourth and seventh installments of the draft preview will focus on potential day one picks for the Sox, so we’ll only briefly touch on those players here.

Players linked to the Sox

Special thanks to staff members Ian Theodoridis and Adam F., as well as community members Pat Hickey and Chris Paddock for keeping tabs on players publicly linked to the Sox – without their contributions this section would be virtually barren. Look for Ian and Pat to take part in the Draft Preview Podcast, which will be recorded and published tonight. Note that this list simply pulls together a select few prior media reports that reported that the Sox were following these players. By no means is this meant to be anything remotely close to resembling a list of Boston’s top targets in these rounds. However, keep in mind that we maintained a similar list last season and the Sox ended up selecting several of the listed players in different phases of the draft.

Potential First Round Picks
● Max Stassi, C, Yuba City HS (CA) Highly-regarded prep catcher with superb tools
● David Renfroe, RHP, South Panola (MS) 90-92 mph fastball, command of 3 pitches
● Everett Williams, OF, McCallum HS (TX) Potential five tool player
Reymond Fuentes, OF, Fernando Callejo HS (PR) Extremely athletic, top line speed, may not last until Sox second pick

Potential Picks in Rounds 3-10
Robbie Erlin, LHP, Scotts Valley (CA) Smallish lefty with high 80s fastball and strong secondary stuff
Seth Schwindenhammer, OF, Limestone HS (Ill.) Big left-handed bat with high power potential
Scott Firth, RHP, Stevenson (Ill.) High 80s fastball with three secondary pitches, committed to Clemson
● Christian Walker, 3B/C, Kennedy-Kenrick (PA) Big power bat committed to South Carolina

Potential Late Round Picks
Zach Quate, RHP, Appalachian State (NC) Closer with 91 mph fastball
Dietrich Enns, LHP, Lincoln Way East (Ill.) Interesting mid-80s cutter and a nice slider

New England Products

In this year’s draft, only four players from New England are projected to go in the top ten rounds according to
PG Crosschecker:

Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College - Top collegiate catcher is another possible Sox target
Mike Belfiore, RP/1B, Boston College - Primarily scouted as a reliever, could go as early as the second round
Eric Smith, RHP, Rhode Island (from Miflord, CT) Righty with low 90s fastball and nice slider potential should go in the top five rounds
Daniel Mahoney, RHP, Connecticut (from Brighton, MA) Former Yankee draftee could go in rounds five through ten

In addition to those players, here are some other New Englanders to watch:
Mike Yastrzemski, OF/LHP, St. John's Prep (MA) Yaz's grandson, expected to go in middle rounds of the draft (11-25). Strong commit to Vanderbilt.
Derrick Sylvester, RHP, Franklin (NH) Top prep player in New Hampshire, committed to Boston College. Could go in the middle rounds of the draft.
Regan Flaherty, LHP, Deering (ME) Top prep arm in Maine. Committed to Vanderbilt, also projected as a middle-rounder.
Justin Albert, LHP, Vermont – Possible late round selection.
John Tangherlini, RHP, Lincoln (RI) Top Rhode Island high schooler could be a middle rounder
Matt Carasiti, RHP, Berlin (CT) Potential middle rounder out of Connecticut

Former Red Sox Draftees Eligible for 2009 Draft

On occasion, Boston has re-drafted a former pick that failed to sign after originally being selected by the Sox. The most recent example is Salem right-hander Seth Garrison, who failed to sign after being selected in the 25th round of the 2007 draft (likely due to an arm injury that required Tommy John Surgery), but did sign after the Sox selected him in the 23rd round of the 2008 draft. It’s worth noting that pursuant to Major League Rule 4, prior draftees that did not sign in a previous year must grant permission to any club that wishes to draft them again.

Approximately twenty-two former Red Sox draftees are eligible for the 2009 Draft. We say approximately because Major League Baseball has no formal declaration process for the draft, thus several former draftees who are now out of baseball could technically also be considered eligible. For purposes of this preview, the twenty-two figure includes only players active in some form in collegiate baseball. For a comprehensive list of former Sox draftees eligible for the 2009 draft, check out the
2003-2008 Unsigned Draft Picks page (eligible players highlighted in yellow). Here are the most highly-regarded of those players:

Projected to go in Rounds 4-10
Justin Marks, LHP, Louisville (37th round, 2006) Louisville’s career leader in strikeouts and wins
Jake Cowan, RHP, San Jacinto (14th round, 2007) Top 5 JuCo player. 95 MPH fastball with two above average secondary offerings.
Bryan Morgado, LHP, Tennessee (34th round, 2006) Misses a lot of bats with his mid-90s fastball and excellent slider.

Projected to go in Rounds 10-20
Ben Whitmore, LHP, Oregon (44th round, 2008) Lefty gets his fastball up to 93 mph.
Yan Gomes, 3B/C, Barry (39th round, 2008) .405/.480/.775 with 21 home runs in 2009. Primarily considered a 3B/1B in the pros.
Carmine Giardnina, LHP, Tampa (28th round, 2006) Low 90s fastball. Previously considered a high round candidate, he struggled in 2009 and his stock dropped. Still put up good strikeout numbers.