Theo Epstein general manager of the Boston Red Sox, contemplates the destruction of his enemies and the lamentations of their women. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
2011 MLB Draft: Boston Red Sox Review
Once again the Red Sox have multiple picks, and once again they make good use of them.
1) Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut: In most drafts you won't find a potential number one starter at 19th overall. Local ties make it all the sweeter. 1.93 ERA, 117/33 K/BB in 121 IP.
1) Blake Swihart, C, New Mexico HS: Won't be cheap to buy away from Texas, but the Sox have deep pockets. Scouts like the bat, has tools to catch but needs polish and experience.
1S) Henry Owens, LHP, California HS: Exceptionally polished for a high school pick. Velocity isn't terrific, but secondary pitches work well and he throws strikes.
1S) Jackie Bradley Jr, OF, South Carolina: Wrist injury and disappointing performance with the new metal bats dropped his stock. At one point he was a Top 15 candidate. Could be a bargain here.
2) Williams Jerez, OF, New York HS: Brooklyn kid originally from Dominican Republic. Outstanding tools, needs polish in all phases of the game, will need time.
3) Jordan Weems, C, Georgia HS: Another raw kid, has tools to be a fine defensive catcher, needs to gain strength and improve hitting. Should be signable. Nice combo with Swihart for future catching needs.
4) Noe Ramirez, RHP, Cal State Fullerton: Average stuff but outstanding command and control, great mound presence. Possible fourth starter or bullpen asset. 1.69 ERA, 103/20 K/BB in 91 IP.
5) Mookie Betts, SS, Tennessee HS: Good speed and throwing arm, raw defensively, mixed reviews on bat, strong reviews on work ethic. Tennessee scholarship shouldn't stand in the way.
6) Miguel Pena, LHP, San Jacinto JC: Mediocre velocity but outstanding pitchability led to big junior college success.
7) Cody Kukuk, LHP, Kansas HS: Pitched for Free State High School in Lawrence, a few blocks from my house. University of Kansas commitment. Projectable, throws 90 MPH currently, good slider, somewhat raw but promising.
8) Senquez Golson, OF, Mississippi HS: 70 or 80 speed, has power potential, not terribly raw but needs experience, won't be cheap to sign away from Mississippi football but his bonus could be spread out.
9) Travis Shaw, 3B, Kent State: Scouts who came to see Andrew Chafin got a good look at Shaw. Power, good arm, fairly polished, son of former major league pitcher Jeff Shaw. Hit .307/.401/.553 with 40 walks and 14 homers.
10) Cody Koback, OF, Wisconsin-Stevens Point: Good tools, excellent performance against small-college competition this year. Sleeper pick.
OTHERS OF INTEREST: RHP Deshorn Lake (12th round, Virginia HS) is from the Virgin Islands but went to school in Newport News to get more exposure. He's quite raw but has 90+ velocity and good athleticism. RHP Dan Gossett (16th round, South Carolina HS) is a high-profile Clemson recruit who could go much earlier in 2014 draft if he goes to college and develops properly. SS Julius Gaines (32nd round, Georgia HS) was a second-round candidate due to a strong glove until a shoulder injury and Florida International commitment knocked his stock down.
SUMMARY: Barnes/Swihart/Owens/Bradley is a fine mixture of upside and polish at the top of the draft. Middle rounds mixed high-upside signability risks with some interesting college products. Overall I am impressed with this class, and the Red Sox have enough money to make it work.