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June 6, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Red Sox select Trey Ball with the seventh overall pick

With the seventh overall pick in the draft, the Red Sox have selected left-handed pitcher Trey Ball from New Castle (Ind.) High School.

This pick comes as a bit of a surprise after the Red Sox were rumored to be interested in Georgia high school outfielder, Austin Meadows, who was still on the board when they picked. Ball is a very highly-regarded player in his own right, finishing ranked ninth on Baseball America's draft rankings, eighth on Keith Law's ESPN draft rankings, and 12th on Perfect Game's draft rankings.

Red Sox do have a history of liking two-way players, and coming into the year many teams preferred the 6-foot-6 Ball as an outfielder rather than as a pitcher. That changed this season as his velocity ticked up to the point that he sat 91-94 from the left side, rather than the upper 80s where he was sitting at the end of his junior season.

Ball's repertoire has taken a bit of an abnormal developmental path, which likely contributed to some teams originally viewing him as an outfielder. His father did not allow him to throw a curveball until his junior season and he was then forced to rely on a changeup instead, a pitch many high school pitchers do not have to use often. Because of this, his changeup is now an above-average pitch with good arm speed and fade, and despite limited reps, he has already shown the ability to spin a curveball.

The fact that he played on both sides of the ball and played in a colder weather environment than the prototypical hot-spots of Florida, Texas and California means that he likely has even more potential than other similarly aged high school pitchers. He also is only listed at 180 pounds, and with that much height it means that he also has the opportunity to add significant weight, and with that potentially some velocity.

The comparison that has been referenced by scouts who believed the Red Sox had interest in Ball was Henry Owens, who currently pitches for the Salem Red Sox and is ranked seventh in the current SoxProspects.com rankings. Having the opportunity to select a high school pitcher with an impressive arsenal and potentially massive upside was something that the Red Sox could not pass up with the seventh overall selection.

Photo credit: baseballfactory.com