Join Date: Apr 04 2010
Re: 2012 Prospect Mega Thread
Matt Barnes and Sox 2011 draft re-cap
The Red Sox [team stats] had four names to call in the first 40 selections of last night’s Major League Baseball draft, and the club finished the proceedings feeling good about the two pitchers, the catcher and the outfielder that were picked.
Hard-throwing University of Connecticut right-hander Matt Barnes, a Bethel, Conn., native, was taken with the No,19 pick in the first round, followed at No,6 by high school catcher Blake Swihart (Rio Rancho, N.M.). Then, high up in the supplemental round, the Sox first picked 6-foot-6 high school lefty Henry Owens (Edison, Calif.) at No.36, followed four selections later with the choice of outfielder Jackie Bradley of the University of South Carolina.
“Certainly we feel like some things broke our way and we were able to get four players we feel really good about,” general manager Theo Epstein said. “Two high schools, two college, two pitchers, two hitters — the hitters are up-the-middle guys with strong defensive tools and bats we really like, and both pitchers we feel project as starters in the big leagues. So we’re real happy with how it went.”
Barnes is a hard-throwing, 6-foot-4, 205-pounder who opened the Red Sox’ eyes last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he pitched for Wareham. In his third year for the Huskies, he owns an 11-4 record with a 1.62 ERA, holding opponents to a .177 batting average entering NCAA tournament super regional play. His ERA is the 10th lowest in the nation, and he has thrown three shutouts.
According to MLB.com and Baseball America, Barnes’ velocity picked up this year by about 6 mph, and he throws consistently in the low- to mid-90s — with reports of him topping out at 96 and 98. With scouts believing that his frame could support the addition of another 20 pounds, it is likely that Barnes’ smooth delivery will allow him to be a true power pitcher as he matures and develops. He throws a two-seam and cut fastball, along with a curveball and changeup..
Swihart has a baseball scholarship to the University of Texas, so he could be a tough sign, but the Red Sox have tended to make prudent gambles in such cases in the past. Epstein, who voiced optimism that the college commitment would not be an issue, has been impressed with Swihart’s skills.
“We definitely like him as a catcher, we saw him catch for about a year, we were impressed with the way he caught,” Epstein said. “He’s athletic enough to really succeed back there but also athletic and versatile enough to go play a number of different positions, so we’ll send him out as a catcher with a strong conviction that he can stay back there.”
The Sox had an especially top-heavy draft position this year because they had two Type A free agents sign elsewhere. They received the first-round and supplemental-round picks of the Detroit Tigers (catcher Victor Martinez) at Nos. 19 and 36, and the No.26 and 40 selections from the Texas Rangers (third baseman Adrian Beltre). Because the Red Sox signed left fielder Carl Crawford away from Tampa Bay, the Rays received their picks (No.24 and 41).
Last edited by Station 13; 01-17-2012 at 11:47 AM.