SoxProspects News

July 24, 2020 at 2:00 PM

2009 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2009 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era. Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available.

2008 and this draft, 2009, can be seen as the "boring" part of the history of Red Sox drafts during the SoxProspects.com era. They lack notable misses, but they also lack nearly any hits. They didn't alter the direction of the franchise positively (like 2011) or negatively (like 2013). The 2009 class is headlined now by the second-round pick, Alex Wilson, who went on to have a roughly four-year stretch as a good-to-very good setup man for the Tigers. Otherwise, any value from these players came in trades, and many of those (in addition to deals for Adrian Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey/Ryan Sweeney discussed in earlier entries) were for names you probably forgot once graced the Red Sox roster: Mike Aviles, Matt Thornton, Alex Castellanos. No prospect drafted in 2009 ever ranked higher than ninth on the SoxProspects rankings.

But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of interesting stories to tell. There's a college pitcher who the team learned it liked better as a hitter when following him that summer for the purpose of determining what kind of bonus to offer him. There are relatives of Carlos Beltran and Daniel Bard (and current Red Sox stalwart John Andreoli). There's another draftee named Blaze, even. And to top it off, an undrafted free agent who came in to work as a Lowell backup and wound up making it to the Bigs. And as we'll get to in our second part, it was the close of Jason McLeod's tenure as scouting director.

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

1 (28). Reymond Fuentes, OF, Fernando Callejo HS (P.R.)
Bonus: $1,134,000
While the Red Sox did not pass on Mike Trout like 22 other teams did (with some passing twice), reports are that if Fuentes and Trout were both on the board at pick 28, the Red Sox would have selected Fuentes. The cousin of Carlos Beltran, Fuentes had a huge amount of helium leading up to the draft, and it was no secret that the Red Sox were enamored with his tools. With plus-plus speed, excellent contact skills, and wiry strength, the Red Sox fell in love with his upside. After hitting .270/.328/.377 with 42 steals in Low A as a 19-year-old in 2010, Fuentes was traded along with Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo to San Diego in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez that offseason. He made his major league debut with the Padres in 2013, but he hit only .152 in 33 at-bats. He spent most of the next three years in the minors with some success, but he never hit more than 10 home runs in a season despite playing in some of the most hitter-friendly environments in professional baseball. He got the most run in the majors with Arizona in 2017, hitting .235/.278/.338, and by 2019 he was playing with Long Island in the Atlantic League. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 10
Notable players passed on: James Paxton (37), Tyler Skaggs (40), Garrett Richards (42)



2 (77). Alex Wilson, RHP, Texas A&M
Bonus: $470,700
The most successful player who the Red Sox signed from this draft, Wilson carried more risk than a typical college pitcher. After performing very well in his first two years at Winthrop, Wilson transferred to Texas A&M but underwent Tommy John surgery before his junior season in 2008. The Cubs still drafted him in the 10th round in 2008, but Wilson bet on himself and returned to school. He was a starter for his first eight games of the 2009 season, but transitioned to the bullpen in mostly two- or three-inning stints after that. The Red Sox drafted him with the intent to develop him as a starter, and he remained a starter until early in the 2012 season, when he became a full-time reliever. His stuff played up out of the bullpen, and in 2013 he made his debut in Boston. In 2013 and 2014, he bounced between Pawtucket and Boston, and after the 2014 season he was traded to the Tigers along with Yoenis Cespedes and Gabe Speier for Rick Porcello. Between 2015 and 2018 with Detroit, Wilson racked up 5.4 bWAR, but he fell off significantly with Milwaukee in 2019. He signed back with Detroit before the 2020 season, but he was released in June. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 9
Notable players passed on: DJ LeMahieu (79), Patrick Corbin (80), Kyle Seager (82)

3 (107). David Renfroe, SS, South Panola HS (Miss.)
Bonus: $1,400,000
After drafting Will Middlebrooks in 2007 and Casey Kelly in 2008, the Red Sox drafted another multi-sport high school athlete in 2009 with Renfroe. Renfroe was an excellent shortstop, pitcher, and quarterback in high school, and he had a full scholarship lined up to Ole Miss. The present value of his signing bonus was $1,134,000 (the same as Fuentes' bonus), but it was $1.4M deferred over five years. Renfroe signed too late to play in 2009, and his 2010 debut in Lowell was forgettable. He hit .190/.267/.260 while striking out in 34 percent of his at-bats. His next two years were spent in Greenville, and the next two were in Salem, and his bat never progressed as hoped. After posting a .626 OPS in his second stint in Salem, Renfroe briefly tried to convert to pitching, but he retired in January 2014. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 15

4. Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF, Ball State
Bonus: $191,700
Hazelbaker’s career is an interesting one, with multiple instances of breakout performances quickly followed by some struggles. As a freshman and sophomore at Ball State, he hit a combined .246 with 13 steals while being caught nine times. Something clicked as a junior, when he hit .429/.550/.724 and was named a third-team All-American by Baseball America. After signing, he spent most of the summer in Greenville, but hit just .167 in 45 games. The Red Sox named him the Fall Instructional League Top Player in 2009, and he went back to Greenville in 2010 and performed well, being named a South Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star and the Red Sox Base Runner of the Year after stealing 63 bases in 80 attempts. But his underlying stats showed some signs of what would plague him in the years to come, most notably a 31-percent strikeout rate. Hazelbaker made it all the way to Pawtucket in 2012, but after the 2013 season, the Red Sox traded him to the Dodgers for Alex Castellanos. He ended up with the Cardinals in May 2015, and in 2016 he was a part-time player in the majors, accumulating 200 at-bats in 114 games. He showed good pop, hitting 12 home runs but had a 32-percent strikeout rate and hit only .235. In a small sample size with Arizona in 2017, it looked like he turned a corner, hitting .346/.443/.577, but this was with a 39-percent strikeout rate. He went back down to the minors in 2018 but had arguably the worst year of his career, and by 2019 he was playing independent ball. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 20

5. Seth Schwindenhammer, OF, Limestone (Ill.)
Bonus: $140,000
Equipped with an 80-grade name, Schwindenhammer quickly became a fan favorite, if for no other reason than fans thought his name literally translated to “swing the hammer." Unfortunately, Schwindenhammer could never tap into the above-average raw power that made him an interesting prospect, and he spent four years in short-season ball while never hitting above .213. After going 3-for-41 with Lowell in 2012, he was released and spent one season in the Frontier League before retiring. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 47

6. Branden Kline, RHP, Johnson HS (Md.)
Kline spurning the Red Sox out of high school to attend the University of Virginia hurt for a while, as it looked like he was destined for success in the majors. He had a great three-year career for the Cavaliers, with his best season coming in 2011 when he was a key part of the team that made it to the College World Series semifinals before losing to Jackie Bradley Jr. and South Carolina. The Orioles drafted him in the second round in 2012, and he was in Double-A by 2014. From there, Kline had some bad injury luck, undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2015, but still had discomfort when he tried to come back, so he had to have a follow-up procedure in March 2017. He missed two-and-a-half seasons because of these surgeries, but he persevered and made it to the majors in 2019 with the Orioles, pitching to a 5.93 ERA over 41 innings. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster back in February, but Baltimore added him to the 60-man player pool, so Boston fans may get a chance to see him again this season. 

7. Madison Younginer, RHP, Mauldin HS (S.C.)
Bonus: $975,000
While Kline slipped away, the Red Sox made sure the same didn't happen with Younginer, giving him a hefty signing bonus to pry him away from his commitment to Clemson. The return on investment did not look good initially, as Younginer really struggled in the lower levels of the minors. He was not missing many bats and was very hittable, but he moved to the bullpen and showed some positive signs late in the year with the Drive and in 2014 with Salem. In Portland in 2015, he had the best year of his career, and he earned a late-season promotion to Pawtucket. He was a free agent after that 2015 season and signed with Atlanta, and after another impressive season, he was called up and made his major league debut in August 2016. He was knocked around in seven innings of work and was sent back down to the minors, and he never made it back to the majors. He had two stints with the Dodgers and one with the Giants, but by 2019 he had retired from professional baseball. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 19

8. Shannon Wilkerson, OF, Augusta State
Bonus: $100,000
The NCAA Division II Player of the Year in 2009, Wilkerson had a 1.393 OPS with 24 home runs in 57 games in his last year with Augusta University. In his entire minor league career, he had 25 home runs in 721 games. An excellent defensive outfielder, Wilkerson did make it all the way to Pawtucket in his six seasons in the Boston farm system, but he never had an OPS north of .732 as he struggled with higher velocities. After spending the 2015 season in an independent league, Wilkerson caught on with the Twins for two seasons, playing for their Double-A affiliate in Chattanooga. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 43

9. Kendal Volz, RHP, Baylor
Bonus: $550,000
A starter for most of his college career at Baylor, Volz was converted to a reliever in 2011. He had success as closer for Team USA in 2008, and his stuff played out of the bullpen where his fastball could consistently hit 95. Volz pitched well in his first full-time stint as a reliever in Salem in 2011, and he was traded to the Royals along with Yamaico Navarro for Mike Aviles. He had good results for Kansas City’s Double-A affiliate in 2012, but in July of that year he abruptly retired after suffering a season-ending injury in June. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 30


10. Brandon Jacobs, OF, Parkview HS (Ga.)
Bonus: $750,000
Another two-sport athlete, Jacobs seemed likely to honor his commitment to play running back at Auburn after high school. The Red Sox ponied up to get his excellent power and speed into the system, knowing that he was going to need more development time than other high school players. Boston took a cautious approach with Jacobs, keeping him in Florida for the first half of the 2010 season before giving him a summer assignment to Lowell. The patience looked to pay off in 2011, as Jacobs hit .303/.376/.505 and was named the 2011 Topps South Atlantic League Player of the Year. He looked like he was on his way to being one of the Red Sox next top prospects, but he took a step back in 2012, and his 2013 season was more of the same. At the trade deadline in 2013, the Red Sox traded Jacobs to the White Sox for Matt Thornton. By 2015, he was out of professional baseball and playing in independent leagues, where remained until 2018, having some great seasons along the way. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 8

11. Jason Thompson, SS, Germanton HS (Tenn.)
Bonus: $300,000
Thompson was a second baseman who didn’t hit nearly enough at the lower levels to advance further. He also dealt with some injuries and never played more than 50 games in a season for the Sox. He hit just .230 with six home runs in 94 career minor league games and never advanced past Greenville. He was released just after his 22nd birthday. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 53

12. Michael Thomas, C, Southern A&M 
Bonus: $120,000
Picks 12 and 13 for Boston in 2009 were both used in a July 2010 trade to Texas for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Thomas was a catcher as well, known more for his strong arm but struggled at the plate, hitting six home runs in 150 at-bats in 2009 and 2010 combined in Greenville, but struck out way too much and hit under .200 in both seasons. He was working on a conversion to pitching when he was traded, and was released by Texas shortly after being dealt having never appeared in a game for them. 

13 (408) Chris McGuiness, 1B, The Citadel
Bonus: $100,000
McGuiness was included in the deal for Saltalamacchia after putting up a very nice offensive season with Greenville in the early part of 2010 with a .920 OPS. McGuiness always put up great OBPs with solid power, as he had a ridiculous .520 OBP during his senior year of college due to a 65-walk season that saw him strike out just 22 times. He had some good seasons with Texas, especially in Double-A, when he hit .268 with 23 home runs and an .840 OPS. He did manage to grab 34 plate appearances at the big league level with the Rangers in 2013. He eventually signed with the Phillies on a minor league deal prior to the 2015 season, but he struggled that year for the IronPigs and was released in August. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 29

14 (438) Willie Holmes, OF, Chaffey College (JC)
Holmes was a DH and an outfielder in college, so it’s clear that the bat is what attracted the Red Sox to him. With Boston, he played corner outfield and a little third base, so he was going to have to hit. His success in college did not translate, however. He posted a 1.115 OPS in his final year of college, but hit just .247 with eight home runs in 250 minor league plate appearances. He played with Lowell in 2009 and with the GCL Sox in 2010 before being released in March 2011. He played independent ball in 2011, but struggled and has not played since. 

15 (468) Michael Bugary, LHP, UC-Berkeley
The tall lefty was forced to end his career early after he missed the entire 2010 season due to surgery on his elbow. He ended up with just 22 1/3 career professional innings with Lowell in 2009. Coming out of college, he was sitting just 87-89 MPH with his heater, so it was going to be tough for him to advance higher without serious movement or tremendous secondaries.  He has not pitched professionally since 2009. 

16 (498) Luke Bard, RHP, Charlotte Christian (NC)
Daniel's brother, Bard turned down the Sox to go to the Georgia Tech, where he became a first-rounder for the Twins in 2012. He made his major league debut in 2018 and has logged 60 2/3 career innings out of the Angels bullpen between 2018 and 2019. He is currently on the Angels 60-man roster. Bard is also the cousin of John Andreoli, a non-roster invitee with the Red Sox this spring who is on the team's 60-man player pool. 

17 (528) Kraig Sitton, LHP, Oregon State
A draft-eligible sophomore, Sitton turned the Sox down to play his junior year at Oregon State. He was a reliever for the Beavers and was drafted in the seventh round in 2010 by the Rockies. The lefty also made stops in the Mariners and Giants organizations and accumulated 455 1/3 innings in his minor league career with a 3.36 ERA. He played one year of independent ball in 2018 and has not played since. 

18 (558) Renny Parthemore, RHP, Cedar Cliff HS (Pa.)
Bonus: $150,000
Parthemore did not have the stuff or the injury luck to stick around for very long. He did not pitch in 2009 after being drafted and missed all of 2010 due to injury. He finally threw his first professional pitch in 2011 in the GCL, but his stuff was still similar to what it was coming out of high school. He was released in March 2012. 

19 (588) Tom Ebert, RHP, Florida International
Ebert had an interesting Tommy John surgery in 2007, as it was for a vertical tear of the UCL instead of a horizontal tear and was able to return to pitching in under five months. He put together a couple solid years for Greenville and Salem in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but decided to retire in January of 2012.
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 53 


20 (618) Alex Hassan, RHP, Duke
Bonus: $90,000
Hassan is one of the most fun stories and players the Sox have drafted over the past couple decades. A local kid from Milton, Massachusetts, he was originally drafted out of Duke as a pitcher as a draft-and-follow set to play on the Cape. However, watching him that summer both pitch and play the outfield, the team realized they liked him better in the latter role despite that he had never garnered much attention as a hitter before that point, and never expected to hit. He made a great first impression, hitting .328 with an .847 OPS in his first 34 games in the system with Lowell and Greenville. After really good back-to-back seasons in Salem and Portland in 2010 and 2011, Hassan was up to Pawtucket by 2012. A lack of power and left field-only profile led to his stalling out at the level, and he didn't get the call to Boston until 2014 at 26 years of age. Unfortunately, his major league career lasted just nine plate appearances. After his time with the Sox, Hassan was getting claimed left and right. From November 2014 through May 2015, he was claimed off waivers five times. He spent time playing in the Blue Jays, Rangers, A’s, and Dodgers systems before hanging 'em up in 2016. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 13

21. Randall Fant, LHP, Texas HS (Tex.)
The Red Sox were unable to sign Fant away from his commitment to the University of Arkansas. The lefty was a four-year starter in Fayetteville and went on to be drafted in the 29th round by the Indians in 2012 and the Astros in 2013, signing in the latter instance and reaching the former Sox High A affiliate in Lancaster.

22. Jordan Flasher, RHP, George Mason
A senior pick, the Red Sox took a flier on Flasher despite struggling in his 2009 return from Tommy John Surgery. The righty flashed a fastball that touched 94 before his injury but never regained that velocity as a professional. He was unscored upon in 12 appearances in 2009 between the GCL Sox and Lowell and went on to pitch 66 times over three seasons in the system.
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 58

23. Chris Court, RHP, Stephen F. Austin
Court was a catcher in high school before transitioning to the mound in college. He was released after only one season and now is a pitching instructor.

24. Dan Kemp, SS, Tantasqua (Mass.)
The Massachusetts high school product went on to play at Franklin Pierce. He signed after his senior year with Seattle, getting 51 at-bats for their Appy League affiliate.

25. Austin House, RHP, La Cueva HS (N.M.)
After not signing with the Red Sox, House went on to New Mexico, where a breakout junior season led to him being selected in the 14th round of the 2012 draft by Oakland. He made it all the way up to Triple-A and retired after the 2018 season.

26. Miles Head, 3B/C, Whitewater HS (Ga.)
Signing Bonus: $335,000
Head's bonus was the largest the club had given to a pick after the tenth round. He had a slow start to his career, but broke out big time in 2011 with Greenville, hitting .338/.409/.612 with 15 home runs in 66 games before a mid-season promotion to Salem. He struggled somewhat there, but his prospect stock had risen enough that he was traded in the off-season to Oakland along with Josh Reddick and Raul Alcantara for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney as the Red Sox looked for a new closer. Head looked like he might turn out to be the one who got away in that deal, as he raked in the California League after the trade, slashing .382/.433/.715 with 18 home runs in just 67 games, then held his own as a 21-year-old in Double-A after a midseason promotion with a .272/.338/.404 line. However, repeating the level the next two years, he struggled mightily and never moved on to Triple-A.
SoxProsepcts.com peak rank: 13 

27. Reed Gragnani, SS, Mills E. Godwin HS (Va.)
The Red Sox didn’t sign Gragnani this time around, so he went on to Virginia where he had four productive seasons as their second baseman. He eventually signed with the org after being drafted in 2013, and we'll discuss him more then.

28. Eric Curtis, RHP, Miami-Dade College, Kendall Campus (Fla.)
A catcher in college, the Red Sox tried to convert Curtis to the mound to take advantage of his strong arm. He was very raw on the mound, however, and was released after playing one season in the GCL.

29. Cody Stubbs, 1B, Tuscola HS (N.C.)
Stubbs was highly regarded and chose to attend Tennessee rather than signing with the Red Sox. He only lasted one year there before transferring to a community college and ultimately ending up at North Carolina. He was drafted twice in college and signed after his senior season with Kansas City, who selected him in the eighth round. He played three years in their system, reaching High A in 2015. 

30. Jeremiah Bayer, RHP, Trinity
The New England collegiate product was never really seen as a major leaguer due to his lack of velocity, but was a solid low minor organizational arm for four seasons, generating ground balls with a good sinker. He retired prior to the 2013 season after repeating Salem in 2012.

31. Shaughn Webb, LHP, Palm Beach CC (Fla.)
The junior college left-hander, who confusingly (for us at least) also went by Timmy Webb, was released before ever making an appearance with the Red Sox in May 2010.

32. Michael Clark, LHP, American Heritage (Fla.)
Clark chose to honor his commitment to NC State, where he spent two years before transferring to Kent State, where he spent three years. He was drafted in 2012 by Houston, but didn’t sign, and he made seven appearances for the Rangers Arizona League affiliate after signing as an undrafted free agent. 

33. Blaze Tart, RHP, Pendleton (N.C.)
No, Blaze Jordan was not the first Blaze the Red Sox have ever drafted. Tart went to UNC Wilmington after not signing, spending four years pitching as both a starter and reliever.

34. Jimmy Patterson, LHP, Central Arizona College
After he didn’t sign with Boston, Patterson went to Arizona State, where he showed enough for the Rays to draft him in the 18th round in 2010. He excelled in the bullpen in the low minors of the Tampa system and made it all the way up to Triple-A. He was still playing into 2018 with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association.

35. Matt Milroy, RHP, Marmion (Ill.)
Milroy spent three years at Illinois, breaking out his junior season and getting picked in the 11th round by the Marlins in 2012. He spent five years in the Marlins system, reaching High-A.

36. Mike Yastrzemski, OF, St. John's Prep (Mass.)
The Sox drafted Yaz's grandson, but didn't sign him out of a commitment to Vanderbilt (to little surprise). He didn't sign with the Mariners as a 30th-round pick in 2012, but did sign with the Orioles out of the 14th round in 2013. After rising slowly through the O's system and bouncing between Double-A and Triple-A from 2016-2018, he was traded to the Giants, for whom he had a great rookie year in 2019, hitting 21 home runs in 107 games in his best season as a pro. He led off, playing center field, for the Giants last night.

37. Matt Koch, RHP, Washington HS (Iowa)
Koch went on to Louisville and became a third-round pick of the Mets in 2012. Although he never put up stellar numbers in the minors, he was traded to Arizona along with Miller Diaz for Addison Reed in 2015. He was an up-and-down arm for the Diamondbacks, throwing 125 1/3 MLB innings between 2016 and 2019. He signed with the Yakult Swallows in Japan this offseason. 

38, Zeke Devoss, OF, Astronaut HS (Fla.)
A tough sign, the Red Sox couldn't sign Devoss out of his Miami commitment, and he became a third-round pick of the Cubs as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2011. He hit well in his debut in the Northwest League, but after two years with great on-base percentages, but little power in Low and High A, he was exposed in Double-A, getting demoted after a month and then getting released in July 2014. He caught on quickly with Oakland, but retired at the end of the 2014 season to return to school, get his degree, and become a police officer.

39. Gavin McCourt, OF, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)
Then-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's son, McCourt was likely selected as a favor between owners. He didn't even expect to be drafted, and was going to Stanford to try and make it as a walk-on. It doesn't appear that he did so.

40. James Dykstra, RHP, Rancho Bernardo (Calif.)
Not to be confused with Lenny Dykstra's son, Cutter, James is unrelated to the former Met and Phillie. Dykstra bounced around after not signing, first attending Yavapai College, where he again didn't sign as a 50th-round choice of the Phillies in 2010. He then spent one year at LSU before transferring to D-II Cal State San Marcos, developing into a sixth-round pick of the White Sox in 2013. He topped out in Triple-A in 2017 between Chicago and Texas, and spent most of 2018 and all of 2019 in independent ball.

41. Kyle Rutter, RHP, North Carolina State
Rutter, who sported a low-80s fastball and a low arm slot, pitched 36 1/3 innings for the organization before being cut in August 2010. 

42. Gera Sanchez, RHP, New Mexico JC
Sanchez transferred to the University of New Mexico after being drafted, signing with the Astros after graduating and performing fairly well in A-ball in a season and a half. After a year in indy ball in 2014, he took a year off before heading down south to Mexico, where he has been a mainstay in the Mexican League and Mexican Pacific Winter League over the past four years as a reliever.

43, Luke Maile, C, Covington Catholic (Ky.)
Another tough sign who went to college, Maile was an eighth-round selection of the Rays out of Kentucky in 2012. He didn't need long in the low minors, making his MLB debut in 2015. He served as an up-and-down player for Tampa for two years, then was claimed off waivers by Toronto in April 2017, leading to three seasons as the Jays' backup catcher. He was non-tendered in December 2019 and caught on with the Pirates. After taking a pitch on the finger last week, he underwent season-ending surgery.

44. Derrick Thomas, OF, Roswell HS (Ga.)
Thomas became a starter at Memphis as a freshman, but missed the 2011 season due to injury. He returned in 2012, but that was his last season of baseball.

45, Kyle Arnsberg, C/1B, Arlington Lamar (Tex.)
The son of former MLB pitcher Brad Arnsberg, who pitched for the Yankees, Rangers, and Indians, Kyle went on to play a year at McClennan Community College. After opting not to sign with the Cardinals in 2011, he spent two years at Louisiana Tech, where he struggled. He didn't play pro ball. He has stayed in the game, working in player development for the Yankees, Phillies, and now Reds.

46, John Pivach, RHP, New Orleans
A draft-eligible redshirt sophomore, Pivach had pitched well in his return from Tommy John surgery, but returned to school and didn't play pro ball.

47. Jordan Sallis, 2B, Arkansas-Fort Smith (JC)
Sallis played 36 games in two GCL seasons before being released.

48, Brian Heere, OF, Kansas
Heere returned to Kansas and signed as a 41st-round pick the following year with Cleveland. He played for two years with that franchise, then a year of indy ball.

49. Chris Costantino, 3B, Bishop Hendricken (R.I.)
The local star played for two years at Walters State Community College in Tennessee before signing with the Cardinals in the 43rd round in 2011. He played just three games for the Cards and was released in 2012. He signed with the Braves in December 2013 after playing independent ball, but was released after just five games in 2014.

50. Drew Hedman, 1B, Pomona College
The Division III Hitter of the Year as a senior, Hedman carved out a four-year career with the Red Sox. His path, however, was strange—he jumped right to Salem in 2010, struggling mightily, before spending 2011 back down in Greenville. While he hit better with Salem in 2012 (.247/.364/.426), he hit for a sub-.600 OPS in a limited stretch in Portland, and he was cut in camp the following year. Following in the footsteps of a number of players from this series already who've followed Red Sox front office members to other organizations, Hedman is currently the Major League Run Production Coordinator for the Diamondbacks, now run by former Sox front office members Mike Hazen, Amiel Sawdaye, and Jared Porter.


UDFA. Dan Butler, C, Arizona
We haven't touched on any undrafted free agents yet in this series, but Butler merits mention as one who bucked the odds and made it to the major leagues. His tremendous story has been outlined here by Jon Meoli and in the Providence Journal by Tim Britton. In college at Arizona, Butler underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007 and was never the Wildcats' full-time starter, having to share time behind the plate with a classmate thought to be superior defensively. Playing on the Cape after his junior year, the Red Sox signed him to come in and be a backup on a Lowell team that was thin behind the plate (although fellow future major leaguers Christian Vazquez and Carson Blair were also on the roster by season's end). Butler quickly became one of the most popular players in the system among his peers, and a breakout 2010 season in which he hit .310/.411/.482 between Greenville, Salem, and a two-game stint in Pawtucket put him on the map in the organization. Butler slowly worked his way up to a seven-game cup of coffee in Boston in 2014, and after a one-year stint in Washington after leaving as a free agent in 2015, he returned to Pawtucket, where he spent the next three years save for another short call-up in 2018. He retired that offseason, becoming a bullpen catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 21

Photo credit: Alex Wilson, Brandon Jacobs, Alex Hassan, and Dan Butler by Kelly O'Connor

SoxProspects.com staffers Jim Crowell, Nick Rabasco, Ian Cundall, and Chris Hatfield contributed to this feature.


 
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