A quick update on Boston’s activity in the MLB draft, on this rainy cold Tuesday morning (since when was it February?).
The Red Sox had pick numbers 24, 31 and 37 to play with last night. The first pick is theirs, and the second and third picks both derive from Jonathan Papelbon going to Philadelphia (the second pick is compensation from Philadelphia, and the third pick is compensation for Papelbon leaving Boston).
The Sox made an interesting pick at #24, selecting Arizona State University shortstop Deven Marrero. Marrero, according to the Boston Globe, is one of the best defensive players in the draft. After pulling in 2011 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, 2012 had him a little off offensively. He explains his dip as playing through a sprained ankle. Regardless, the Red Sox seem impressed with his play in the venerable wooden-bat Cape Cod League – he hit .326/.360/.413 for Cotuit.
As the Globe notes, the last Arizona State shortstop the Sox drafted was Dustin Pedroia, and that’s worked out well for them. Marrero projects to stay at shortstop, which could give Jose Iglesias the competition – and maybe the kick in the pants – he’s been sorely missing.
With the #31 pick, the Sox took lefthanded pitcher and first baseman Brian Johnson from the University of Florida. The Globe’s rundown on Johnson also seems promising – in 16 starts for Florida, he went 8-4 with a 3.56 ERA, and struck out 68 while allowing 79 hits over 86 innings. On the other side of the plate, Johnson had a .310/.350/.455 campaign with five home runs and 40 RBIs in 187 at-bats. He played for Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League, and went 2-0 with a 4.30 ERA in three starts.
With the #37 pick, the Sox took Pat Light, a righthanded pitcher out of Monmouth University. Light went 8-3 and posted a 2.40 ERA over 14 starts for Monmouth. He struck out 102 hitters over 101.1 innings, and only walked 16. The Globe points out – and, I mean, it’s true – that Monmouth isn’t exactly in a power conference. Light didn’t face elite competition in college, but he proved himself a little bit on the Cape – he posted a 3.77 ERA in four starts for Chatham last summer. Who knows – maybe he’ll be good.
Today, the second round of the draft gets underway. We’ll keep you updated on any notable picks.
Also today, the Red Sox get home to Fenway to start a series with the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight, Jon Lester (3-4, 4.79 ERA) faces Jason Hammel (6-2, 3.06).