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August 15, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Report: Red Sox sign seventh-round selection Cody Kukuk

According to Alex Gold, a broadcaster at the University of Kansas, the Red Sox have signed seventh round pick Cody Kukuk, a left-handed pitcher out of Lawrence Free State High School in Kansas. The bonus is reported to be $800,000.

At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Kukuk is a big, projectable left-hander who has drawn comparisons to Jon Lester. The strong commitment he had to the University of Kansas caused him to slide to the seventh round after some projected him to be selected as high as the third round prior to the draft.

His fastball sat around 88-91 MPH in high school, with good movement, and has touched 95 according to some reports. In addition to the straight four-seamer, he throws a two-seam version of the fastball, which he described as having a lot of dive to it. He also throws a slider and a changeup. His slider sits in the low 80s and has potential, while the changeup comes in at around 72 MPH and has been projected as a plus pitch with development. He is said to have an even temperament and strong mound presence.

Like most high school arms, his greatest need is repetition to gain consistency with his mechanics, which will allow him to locate his fastball better. He is currently raw, but shows a loose delivery and is extremely athletic, as he was also one of the better hitters in Kansas at the high school level. Among many other state-wide awards he received for both pitching and hitting, he was selected as the baseball Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010 for Kansas for his athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character.