June 7, 2013 at 2:46 PM
The Red Sox have selected left-hander Corey Littrell out of the University of Kentucky with their fifth-round pick, 143rd overall, of the 2013 MLB Draft.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound pitcher who just wrapped up his junior season for the Wildcats saw a slight dip in performance from a sparkling 2012, which saw him garner All-SEC second-team honors and win a Rawlings Gold Glove as the best defensive college pitcher. He finished 2013 with a 3.72 ERA and 1.31 WHIP while posting a 7.35 K/9 rate. As a sophomore, Littrell had a 2.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 7.94 K/9 rate.
Still, Littrell was ranked No. 130 in Baseball America's Top 500 and No. 97 in Perfect Game USA's Top 250.
Littrell boasts a solid four pitches — fastball, changeup, slider and curve — and is thought of as a quality southpaw despite an inconsistent junior campaign, according to Perfect Game USA. His fastball sat 88-91 mph this spring, while his changeup became is best all-around pitch and slider turned into a true weapon against fellow lefties.
While playing for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League last summer, Littrell was just 1-3 with a 5.11 ERA, but he struck out 52 batters and allowed 34 hits in 39 innings.
The Louisville, Ky., native was considered the top prospect in the state coming out of Trinity High School, and won the Louisville Slugger Kentucky School Player of the Year Award as a senior in 2010.
Should he sign, Littrell will be a third-generation professional ballplayer. His father, Jack, played in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos organizations, while his grandfather, also named Jack, was a major leaguer with the Philadelphia Kansas City Athletics and Chicago Cubs.
Littrell had previously been drafted in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals.
Photo credit: University of Kentucky Athletics.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.