2011 MLB Draft: Boston Red Sox Report

Boston always seems to draft well, having top college talents stunningly fall into their laps later than anyone would expect. Paired with the willingness to flex their financial muscles to get high upside high schoolers to forgo college, it's no surprise that they continually have one of the better minor league systems in the game.

Al Skorupa got some video of top draft pick, Matt Barnes:

 

Matt Barnes (Pitt @ UConn 03-25-11) (via alskor)

Pick Player School Pos B/T Ht Wt DOB Class
19 Barnes, Matt University of Connecticut RHP R/R 6'04" 203 6/17/1990 JR
The University of Connecticut is not a college program that you would expect to produce two first round talents. As a northern school in the Big East, they cannot lure the big time recruits to campus like the southern universities can; instead, Jim Penders has turned his focus towards raw high school athletes who are very far from actualizing their tools. Matt Barnes like George Springer – is one of his biggest success stories. By adding strength to his frame over the course of three years, he has turned a fast arm into one that can produce mid 90s heat. From a high 3/4 arm slot, the pitch has excellent run, giving it the ability to both miss bats and induce weak ground ball contact. Barnes shows plenty of confidence in the pitch, locating it fairly well to both sides of the plate and overpowering hitters often. The power curve ball is his primary off-speed offering; it gives him a second plus pitch, featuring sharp 1-7 break, good depth, and consistent shape. A change up with good late sinking action is also in his arsenal, but it is clearly his third – and least refined – pitch. The combination of athleticism, ideal frame, power pitcher repertoire, and improved command gives Boston a potential steal this late in the first round.
26 Swihart, Blake V Sue Cleveland HS (NM) C S/R 6'01" 175 4/3/1992 HS
A letter reaffirming his commitment to the University of Texas sent out prior to the draft did not scare the Red Sox away from drafting Blake Swihart. Whether out of confidence in their ability to meet his demand, the number of early picks that they owned, or some confluence of both trains of thought, Boston gambled correctly, landing one of the highest upside position players in this prep class. With bat speed from both sides of the plate, Swihart has the potential to hit for both average and power once he fills out his athletic, projectable frame. His best defensive tool is his impressive arm strength, and with some refinement, he could be an above-average defender behind the plate. Similar to the decision the Royals made with Wil Myers, Boston may ultimately opt to move him to another position (likely RF or 3B) if his receiving proves too raw to be worth the risk involved once he enters pro ball.
36 Owens, Henry Edison HS (CA) LHP L/L 6'06" 190 7/21/1992 HS
Projection. I'm tempted to just leave it at that; projection is the quality that is most readily apparent when focusing on Henry Owens. He's tall and lanky with considerable room to add to his frame. Of course, it's not solely projection that drives prospect status, it's the combination of it with his present ability. Owens's fastball can already break 90 MPH from the left side with some life. His primary off-speed pitch is a slow curve ball with significant depth that will need to get a bit firmer in pro ball. He shows some feel for a change up as well. The command and pitchability are also marks in his favor. In another draft, he would have likely cracked the first round; this is a potential steal.
40 Bradley, Jackie University of South Carolina OF L/R 5'10" 180 4/19/1990 JR
Speaking of potential steals, with the 40th selection, Boston opted for their fourth consecutive value pick. Jackie Bradley Jr was seen as a potential top 15 pick entering the spring. His Junior year did not go as well as his Sophomore campaign, however, and the lack of impact tools allowed him to drop into their arms. The tools are solid across the board with his best asset being the quality of his defense in center field. At the plate, he showed a bit of a tendency to sell out for power this year. Toning that down in pro ball should allow him to recapture the magic he displayed during his 2010 run in Omaha. He may not have impact talent, but JBJ is a good bet to turn into an every day regular.
81 Jerez, Williams Grand Street Campus (NY) CF L/L 6'04" 190 5/16/1992 HS
A Dominican who moved to New York a few years ago, Williams Jerez is an intriguing player. Jerez is on the lanky side of things with  room to add strength to his core. Presently, he shows good bat speed that hints towards future power potential. The bat is a bit of question mark though as he has not faced much quality competition. He probably will not be a quick mover. The rest of the tools may be good enough for him to stick in center field. There are also the typical rumblings about whether his birthday is legitimate or not; it's best to leave those questions alone though unless there are tangible reasons to be concerned. 
111 Weems, Jordan Columbus HS (GA) C L/R 6'03" 165 11/7/1992 HS
As I'm sure you can tell, there is room in Jordan Weems's frame to add muscle with a tall, lean frame with thin legs. Currently, he starts with a slightly open stance and a fairly active bat pre-swing. He generates solid bat speed from a smooth left handed swing. Defensively, Weems has quick movements behind the dish, receives fairly well, and a strong arm. His Georgia State commitment was not a huge obstacle for Boston.
142 Ramirez, Noe California State University, Fullerton RHP R/R 6'03" 180 12/22/1989 JR
Noe Ramirez has been the ace for Cal State Fullerton over the last couple years. He's a good college pitcher who has a chance to translate that production to the professional levels. He has an athletic, lean frame and delivers the ball via a 3/4 arm slot. Ramirez's fastball velocity is a average at best but it has excellent run and sink, making it a pitch that should induce plenty of ground ball contact. His best pitch is a change-up that features excellent downward action – the pitch reportedly took a major step forward after discussing it with former Fullerton ace, Ricky Romero. His breaking ball is usable but clearly his third pitch. With solid command, it's not hard to see why he was so effective.
172 Betts, Markus John Overton HS (TN) SS R/R 5'09" 160 10/7/1992 HS
Athleticism is perhaps Mookie Betts's best asset as his tools are merely solid. It's unlikely he will be able to stick at SS in pro ball, making his most likely landing spot at second base. The University of Tennessee was hoping he would land on campus, but Boston gave him $750K to sign. He made his professional debut in the GCL a couple of days ago.
202 Pena, Miguel San Jacinto College North (TX) LHP L/L 6'02" 175 10/24/1990 J2
This is the third time that Miguel Pena has been drafted relatively high in the draft. His fairly low effort delivery produces solid velocity from the left side. The curve ball and change both show promise, and he controls his stuff well, evidenced by his 22/3 K/BB in the GCL. This is another nice upside play.
232 Kukuk, Cody Lawrence Free State HS (KS) LHP L/L 6'04" 200 4/10/1993 HS
The Red Sox continued to make big splashes by inking 7th rounder Kansas commit Cody Kukuk for $800K. The way he finishes his delivery looks to be cut off a bit; it's not very smooth or consistent, but the arm is fast and loose. He has a big, projectable frame and solid present stuff – primarily an average fastball with life, a sharp 11-5 breaking ball, and a decent change-up – that allows a team to dream. 
262 Golson, Senquez Pascagoula HS (MS) CF R/R 5'10" 191 7/7/1993 HS
A football commitment to Ole Miss made Senquez Golson one of the more difficult signs in the draft. The tools are extremely enticing, but the rawness in his game, the mediocrity of his high school competition, and price tag caused him to fall in the draft. Golson is a premier athlete with impressive bat speed that makes above-average power a possibility. It's not hard to see an impact level center fielder emerging if everything works out. Boston could not get him to sign, so he'll play both sports next year. Football may hinder his chances in baseball splitting his focus will not help alleviate the rawness in his game I would have liked to see him go into pro ball immediately.
292 Shaw, Travis Kent State University 3B L/R 6'04" 225 4/16/1990 JR
322 Koback, Cody University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point CF R/R 6'01" 185 4/20/1990 JR
352 Brahney, Kevin California State University, Chico LHP L/L 6'05" 220 8/8/1988 JR
382 Lake, Deshorn Menchville HS (VA) RHP R/R 6'01" 210 10/29/1993 HS
Athletic with a very smooth delivery, Deshorn Lake had hopes of going highly in the 2011 draft. The fastball velocity is above-average (perhaps a bit inconsistent at times), featuring some late arm side run. The slider shows potential with the change further behind. If he shows some refinement this spring+A23, he should step into the weekend rotation for East Carolina.
412 Ott, Matthew Louisiana State University RHP R/R 6'01" 190 4/20/1990 JR
College baseball fans will assuredly know who Matty Ott is. He took the SEC by storm during his Freshman year as closer for LSU. He followed that incredible season with two much less effective ones. His stuff is just average: a high 80s fastball and a solid slider. He will need to find that excellent command he featured early in his career to make noise in pro ball. Ott also took a couple turns in the rotation throughout his LSU career, but he is a bullpen guy all the way.
442 McCarthy, Michael California State University, Bakersfield RHP R/R 6'03" 185 11/18/1987 5S
472 Kapteyn, Braden University of Kentucky RHP R/R 6'04" 225 9/28/1989 JR
Kapteyn epitomizes the Kentucky program over the last few years. There was plenty of promise when he came to school, but he just hasn't lived up to the billing on either side of the ball. He has a solid frame with a live arm and control issues, profiling as a reliever in pro ball. 
502 Gossett, Daniel James F Byrnes HS (SC) RHP R/R 6'02" 165 11/13/1992 HS
532 Forslund, Blake Liberty University RHP R/R 6'04" 215 2/16/1990 JR
Forslund has a power arm but has yet to turn it into above-average production. As a red shirt Sophomore, he would have demanded a healthy bonus to enter pro ball. He could raise his stock significantly with a healthy, productive season. If not, a team will likely take a chance on that arm next year anyway.
562 Jones, Andrew Samford University RHP R/R 6'03" 185 5/1/1989 SR
592 Orvis, Jeffrey Freedom HS (FL) 1B L/R 6'03" 210 11/12/1992 HS
622 Good, Zachary Grayson County College (TX) LHP L/L 6'03" 175 6/8/1992 J1
652 Davidson, Austin Oxnard HS (CA) IF L/R 6'00" 175 1/3/1993 HS
682 Holtmeyer, Joseph University of Nebraska - Omaha RHP R/R 6'03" 225 11/24/1989 JR
712 Brown, Jarrett Salem HS (GA) LHP R/L 6'03" 169 12/15/1992 HS
742 Turocy, Andrew Akron University CF L/L 6'03" 190 12/26/1988 SR
772 Ard, Taylor Washington State University 1B R/R 6'02" 225 1/31/1990 JR
802 Dill, Cody Los Osos HS (CA) RHP R/R 6'01" 165 12/28/1992 HS
832 Massey, Alex Catholic HS (LA) RHP R/R 6'02" 180 2/1/1993 HS
862 Shepard, Brenden Stonehill College RHP R/R 6'00" 190 10/7/1987 SR
892 Spalding, Matthew St. Xavier HS (KY) RHP R/R 5'11" 190 10/22/1992 HS
922 Moore, Nick Brookwood HS (GA) 3B S/R 6'02" 200 12/9/1992 HS
952 Wells, Tyler Lexington Catholic HS (KY) OF R/R 6'05" 180 10/15/1992 HS
982 Gaines, Julius Luella HS (GA) SS R/R 5'10" 165 9/10/1992 HS
One of the biggest surprises in the draft was how far Julius Gaines fell. A Florida International commitment isn't usually a big obstacle for a player of his caliber; that obviously wasn't the case in this instance. Gaines is a quality defender at short, one of the few in the class that projected to stick there. The bat shows potential as well, but a shoulder injury lead to an underwhelming spring. That was likely the key factor in the equation that lead to Florida International a premier talent.
1012 Chester, David University of Pittsburgh 1B R/R 6'05" 270 3/31/1989 SR
1042 Dartnell, Sean Vauxhall HS (AL) LHP R/L 6'02" 200 7/1/1992 HS
1072 Coste, Carlos Academia Bautista HS (PR) C R/R 6'02" 186 5/11/1993 HS
1102 Herrera, Jace Wekiva HS (FL) RHP R/R 6'04" 210 6/16/1993 HS
1132 Youngdahl, Robert Hill-Murray HS (MN) OF L/L 6'02" 185 11/18/1992 HS
1162 Poole, Tyler Hickory HS (NC) RHP R/R 6'06" 205 9/8/1992 HS
1192 Vogt, Corey Keene State College RHP R/R 6'00" 180 8/5/1989 SR
1222 Gross, Jordan Don Bosco Prep HS (NJ) LHP L/L 6'01" 195 6/24/1993 HS
1252 Marquis, Matthew University of Maryland LF R/R 6'00" 200 2/22/1990 JR
1282 O'Dell, Derek Canyon HS (TX) 3B R/R 5'11" 210 4/17/1992 HS
1312 Downes, Brandon South Plainfield HS (NJ) CF R/R 6'02" 175 9/29/1992 HS
1342 Martin, Matthew The Pendleton School (FL) C R/R 6'00" 187 10/14/1992 HS
1372 Gedman, Matt University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2B L/R 6'02" 205 9/26/1988 SR
1402 Williamson, Johnathan Wake Forest University OF R/R 6'04" 240 7/15/1990 SO
1432 Wolff, Samuel College of Southern Nevada SS R/R 6'01" 170 4/14/1991 J2
Wolff was a fairly highly touted incoming Freshman for San Diego, only to transfer to the JuCo Southern Nevada after his 2010 season. He has a big fastball with life and decent off speed stuff. I was surprised to see him drafted as a SS. He will head to the University of New Mexico next year where he could help his stock significantly. 
1462 Sosebee, David White County HS (GA) RHP R/R 6'01" 200 8/25/1993 HS
1492 Schmeltzer, Jadd Cornell University RHP R/R 6'04" 240 12/27/1988 SR
1522 Gorman, John Catholic Memorial HS (MA) RHP R/R 6'02" 220 2/19/1992 HS

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Jeff Reese is a member of Bullpen Banter. He can be reached at JReese@BullpenBanter.com or via twitter. An index of his College Baseball Notes series can be accessed here.

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