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June 3, 2010 at 6:30 AM

Red Sox Draft Preview: Players Linked to the Sox


In the third installment of our 2010 Draft Preview, we bring you a list of players loosely linked to the Red Sox – either through media reports, as former Boston unsigned draft picks, or by dint of playing in New England. Special thanks to the SoxProspects community for tracking media reports throughout the season, particularly Ian Theodoridis.

I’d like to note that this installment of the preview has been somewhat prophetic over the past two seasons.
In 2009, we listed four potential first-rounders who had been linked to the Sox – Max Stassi, David Renfroe, Everett Williams, and Reymond Fuentes. Fuentes went to Boston in the first round and Renfroe fell to the Sox in the third. We also listed Seth Schwindenhammer as one of a few potential high-round picks, and he ultimately landed with the Sox in the fifth round. Mike Yastrzemski was noted as a local product who could get drafted by the Sox, and indeed the team selected Carl’s grandson in the 36th round. In 2008, we admittedly listed a slew of names in our preview, but we also nailed nine in Casey Kelly (1st), Pete Hissey (4th), Ryan Westmoreland (5th), Ryan Lavarnway (6th), Tim Federowicz (7th), Alex Meyer (20th), Anthony DeSclafani (22nd), Seth Garrison (23rd), and Matt Marquis (29th), all of whom were selected by Boston.

Players Linked to the Sox

This is not necessarily a list of our projections of the players who Boston will select, but instead a list of players that the Sox have been publicly linked to in media reports.

Potential first-rounders

Kolbrin Vitek, 2B/3B, Ball State. Safely projects as an above-average major league bat, while also showing plus potential in the contact department. Average power, above-average speed, and a smart base runner. Likely will play third base as a professional, or potentially center field. In either position, projects to be an above-average defender with a plus arm.

Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU. Considered the second-best overall draft prospect heading into the 2010 season, Ranaudo had a poor showing this season, struggling with arm discomfort, mechanical issues, and command problems. The 6’7” righty still has three major league pitches in a 94 mph fastball, an excellent curveball, and a decent changeup.

Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee State. Power-hitting outfielder with above-average all-around tools, projects well as a major league right fielder. Has drawn comparisons to a right-handed version of Nick Markakis.

Kaleb Cowart, SS/RHP, Cook County HS (GA). Two-way player committed to Florida State. Projects slightly better as a pitcher. Possesses a mid-to-high-90s fastball. However, reports are that he prefers to play every day. Likely will ask for a bonus in the range that Casey Kelly received in 2008.

Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel. 94 mph fastball, average slider. Could add velocity if used as a reliever.

Potential supplemental to fifth-rounders

Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M. 94 mph fastball with a plus changeup and two decent breaking pitches. Big body. Excellent mound presence. Projects to go in the mid-30s.

Ryne Stanek, RHP, Blue Valley HS (Mo.). Mid-90s fastball with decent slider. Gaining a lot of buzz as the draft draws closer.

Robbie Aviles, RHP, Suffern HS (N.Y.). 93 mph fastball with an excellent slider. Best prep pitcher in the northeast.

Ty Linton, OF, Charlotte Christian HS (N.C.). Great combination of power, speed, and athleticism. There are still questions surrounding his plate discipline.

Sean Coyle, 2B, Germantown Academy (Pa.). Diminutive middle-infielder has drawn comparisons to Dustin Pedroia. Attended a workout in Fenway Park earlier this week. If the Sox are willing to match his asking price of over $1 million, he could be a guy that the team plucks in the 3rd-5th round similar to Ryan Westmoreland, Pete Hissey, or David Renfroe.

Potential later picks

Brian Fletcher, LF/2B, Auburn. Hit well in Cape Cod League in 2009. Rounds 5-10.

Blake Dean, 1B, LSU. Power hitter should go in the first ten rounds.

Ryan O'Rourke, LHP, Merrimack College. Mid-90s fastball.

Chris Kirsch, LHP, Marple Newtown HS (Pa.). Projectable mid-80s fastball. Excellent curveball.

Maverick Miles, SS/3B, South Rowan HS (N.C.). Outstanding athlete with a nice bat.

Former Red Sox Draft Picks (Unsigned)

A total of 35 former Red Sox draft picks are eligible for the 2010 draft. A full list of Boston’s unsigned picks from 2003-2009 is available on our
Unsigned Draft Picks page. Before browsing this list, keep two things in mind: (1) under Major League Rule 4, the Red Sox may not select these players again unless the player has consented to the re-selection; and (2) Boston has only re-drafted a player twice since 2003 – Garrison in 2007 and 2008 and PJ Thomas in 2005 and 2006. The Sox have, however, signed two former draftees as undrafted free agents - Zak Farkes in 2005 and Mitch Stachowsky in 2004. With that said, here are Boston’s most highly-regarded former draftees wo are eligible for this year's draft.

Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami (27th round, 2007). Excellent defensive catcher dominated the ACC in several offensive categories. Should go early in the first round, and likely will be gone by the time Boston’s pick rolls around.

Hunter Morris, 3B, Auburn (2nd round, 2007). Lefty bat with raw power potential. Could go in the second round again this year.

Justin Grimm, RHP, Georgia (13th round, 2007). Low-90s fastball, secondary stuff has major league potential. Projects as a supplemental-to-fourth-rounder.

Jordan Cooper, RHP, Wichita State (17th round, 2008). 92 mph fastball. Also uses a nice slider and a developing changeup. Projects to go in the 3rd-to-5th-round range. Cooper is my re-draft prediction this year if he slides past the 5th round.

Nick Tepesch, RHP, Missouri (28th round, 2007). 3rd to 6th round.

Bryan Morgado, LHP, Tennessee (34th round, 2006). 5th to 6th round.

Kraig Sitton, LHP, Oregon State (17th round, 2009). 6th to 10th round.

Justin Parker, LHP, Cosumnes River College (25th round, 2008). 6th to 10th round.

Jake Rogers, 3B, St. Petersburg College (29th round, 2008). 10th to 30th round.

Brandon Miller, C, NW Florida State (33rd round, 2008). 10th to 30th round.

Top New England Products

It’s easy to predict that the Sox will take a player “from their own backyard”, but those types of projections are often viewed as lazy in the eyes of hardcore draftniks. The criticisms are right to a point, in that the Sox only made twelve picks out of New England during the McLeod era, just three of which came before the 20th round (Westmoreland and Lavarnway in 2008, Kyle Fernandes in 2005). However, there is a pattern of Boston occasionally selecting local players in later rounds to fill out the Lowell roster. Taking that into consideration, here are the top ten players out of New England eligible for the 2010 draft, along with the range of rounds each projects to be selected.

Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina (via Fitch HS, Conn.). 1st round.

Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech (via Fitch HS, Conn.). 1st round.

Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Amherst Regional (Mass.). 2nd-5th round.

Mike Olt, 3B, Connecticut. 2nd-5th round.

Pat Dean, LHP, Boston College. 4th-6th round.

Mickey Wiswall, 1B, Boston College. 5th-10th round.

Max Russell, LHP, Florida Southern (via Amity HS, Conn.). 5th-10th round.

Greg Nappo, LHP, Connecticut. 5th-10th round.

Mike Nemeth, 1B, Connecticut. 5th-10th round.

Kevin Moran, RHP, Boston College. 10th-30th round.


Ian Theodoridis and Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com contributed to this report.