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July 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: 2013 Draft Picks

- 2013 fifth-round selection Corey Littrell is on the Red Sox throwing program for new draftees, thus he is only throwing two-inning stints in game action at this point. Though those two innings don’t provide an ideal opportunity to get a complete look at Littrell’s arsenal, they are good for getting a feel for what kind of pitcher he is. Littrell has a nice, athletic pitcher's frame, listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. Even though he is a three-year college player, he has some projection in the frame and room to fill out, especially in his lower-body. He showed good pitchability and did a good job controlling runners, varying his time to the plate with a quick delivery around 1.2 seconds and a slower one that also gave him the option to pick the runner off between 1.5 and 1.6 seconds.

In the brief two-inning stint he showed off an array of pitches including multiple variations on his fastball, a changeup, slider and curveball. Littrell sat at 89-91 mph, topping out at 92 with his fastball. The pitch showed natural sink and he was able to locate the pitch, keeping it in the lower half of the strike zone for most of the outing. He also showed a high-80s cutter that was especially effective when he bore it in on the hands of right-handed batters. Littrell only threw his secondary pitches a few times in the outing, so it was tough to get a read on them. His best secondary offering was his changeup, which also was the one he seemed most comfortable throwing. He threw it with good arm speed in the low-80s, showing feel for the pitch and confidence to throw it for strikes. He also threw one slow, loopy curveball at 71 mph and two sliders, including a tight 84-mph one that broke down and away from the left-handed batter.

- Though his stat line doesn’t reflect it, Carlos Asuaje (pictured) has shown some solid tools during his time with Lowell this year. Asuaje doesn’t have great size and as a result he will never be much of a power hitter. He does, however, have good feel at the plate and plus speed. Asuaje has a short, compact swing and is very direct to the ball. He has good pitch recognition skills and knowledge of the strike zone. Content to take a walk if the pitcher doesn’t give him anything to hit, he doesn't try to do too much at the plate. He has only gap power, but has shown the ability to work to all fields.

 In the field, Asuaje is likely to eventually move fulltime to second base where his skills profile best, but he has shown the ability to play shortstop or third base if need be. With Lowell’s roster full of middle infielders, he has been playing primarily third base where he has shown enough arm to play and soft hands, fluid actions and plenty of range. With the ability to play three infield positions, plus a solid idea of what to do at the plate and the ability to make contact, Asuaje profiles best as a utility player and is someone to watch as an under-the-radar type from the 2013 draft class.

- Kyle Martin (pictured) has great size for a pitcher, but his stuff isn’t overwhelming. He is listed at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds, but his fastball has sat around 90 mph, topping out at 93 mph in the games I’ve seen him. He uses his height to get good downward plane on the pitch, inducing a lot of groundballs and weak contact. He commands the pitch well, but doesn’t get many swing and misses against it. Martin has good feel for his changeup, the best of his secondary pitches, throwing it with the same arm speed as his fastball and showing nice late dive. He also has mixed in two breaking balls, an 11-5 curveball and a slider, but he hasn’t used either extensively enough to get a good read on them.

Photo Credits: Carlos Asuaje and Kyle Martin by Kelly O'Connor

Ian Cundall is a Northeast Scout for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.