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June 7, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Red Sox select Ball State 2B/3B Kolbrin Vitek

With the 20th pick in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Monday night, the Red Sox selected Kolbrin Vitek of Ball State University. Vitek is a safe bet to be an above-average hitter in the majors, and shows plus contact potential to go with average power. He also flashes above-average speed and has smart baserunning instincts. Defensively, he played mostly second base this season after playing third as a sophomore, and most projections have him landing either at the hot corner or even in center field as a professional, playing either position capably with a strong arm. Reports following a media conference call with Vitek said that he worked out at both second and third for the Sox, and will likely play the latter. He also reportedly has a verbal agreement in place for a contract and signing bonus, and plans to begin his career immediately.

In three seasons at Ball State, Vitek hit .359 with a .440 on-base percentage and .664 slugging percentage. This season, he hit .361/.445/.691 with 17 home runs and 16 stolen bases en route to being named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American. He is also currently on the Golden Spikes Award (top player in the nation) and John Olerud Two-Way Player Award Watch Lists. Vitek was also a weekend starter on the mound for the Cardinals, leading the team with a 3.28 ERA.

Entering the draft, Vitek was rumored to possibly be selected as high as #7 overall. He had long been seen as a possible pick by the Sox after Theo Epstein personally scouted him at the MAC conference tournament in late May. Assuming he will sign, Vitek will join the organization that drafted his college teammate, outfielder
Jeremy Hazelbaker, in the fourth round of last year's draft.