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June 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Red Sox select Austin Maddox in the third round

Austin Maddox (
With their third-round pick, the Red Sox have selected Austin Maddox, a junior right-handed pitcher from University of Florida. He is rated as the 119th best prospect in the draft by Baseball America.

Maddox is an excellent two-way player that at one point was projected to be a first-rounder based on his power bat. He was a catcher in high school, but was blocked by Mike Zunino, Monday's third pick overall, at Florida, and played mostly at the corner infield spots. It was not until later in college that scouts began focusing on him solely as a pitching prospect. As a junior, he had a 2.24 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 10 walks in 52.1 innings, picking up 12 saves.

His best pitch his currently his 92-94 mph fastball that can touch as high as 96. It is a swing-and-miss pitch for him that has above-average sink and run when kept down in the zone. He throws a slider and changeup as well, which are both a work in progress. The slider can be a bit slurvy, while the changeup is currently just a show-me pitch. The hope is with improved consistency of his mechanics that the offspeed stuff will improve. Overall, his control is very good, but command needs refinement.

At 6'3", 235 lbs., Maddox is a big righty who should be able to handle the rigors of starting. However, if his offspeed stuff does not improve, scouts love his makeup as a future closer. He is described as extremely competitive with excellent mound presence. The Red Sox have been known to select college closers with less wear on their arm in the past so this pick plays into that pattern.

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