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Open Thread: Amatuer Draft

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The 2006 Major League Baseball amatuer draft is underway, and the Red Sox have a ton of early picks. The Sox pick 27th and 28th, plus they have two picks in the supplemental first round.

Talk about the whole draft or talk about the Sox, whichever you want. If you are watching -- like me -- then you'll probably have a few things to say.

When the Sox pick, I'll update this with some information.

First round, pick #27:
Outfielder Jason Place
Wren HS, South Carolina
Bats: R, Throws: R
6'3", 205 lbs

MLB.com Comments:
"He has power, speed and arm strength that make him an enticing corner outfield candidate. He's got plus makeup and plays the game hard, a kid who only played baseball in high school."

Place Notes:

  • Courtesy of Fish Stripes:
    Place, who has played five years of varsity ball in high school, closed out the prep season on the sidelines with a serious leg injury. He's committed to the University of South Carolina, but a lot will depend on where he is selected. Place is devoted to baseball, forsaking other high school sports. The work has paid off because he has decent power and can hit for average.

    "He's kind of an enigma guy," one scout said. "He's a right-handed power corner guy, but he's a risky bet for a high school hitter. There are some people who like him, but I'm waffling on him a little. I can see a lot of Kevin Mench in him. He can drive the ball and has a good swing. I can't say anything negative about him and I know there are teams on him in the first round."

First round, pick #28:
Pitcher Daniel Bard
U. North Carolina
Bats: R, Throws: R
6'4", 200 lbs
MLB.com Comments:
"Has one of the best arms in the 2006 draft class, but consistency has eluded him somewhat. Has a plus fastball that can touch 97 MPH and a breaking ball that isn't as effective. Command has been an issue at times, and just when itlooked like he was turning a corner and moving up the charts, he struggled again leaving his status in question."

Bard Notes:

  • The hosts of the draft show said Bard was the biggest slip in the draft so far.
  • Reminds me of Bronson Arroyo: has a high leg kick and sort of whips his arm around like Arroyo does.
  • 2006 stats: 8-2, 85.2 IP, 71 hits, 33 ER, 33 BB, 90 SO, 3.47 ERA.
Supplemental first round, pick #40:
Pitcher Kristofer Johnson
Wichita State University
Bats: L, Throws: L
6'4", 170 lbs
MLB.com Comments:
"He's coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery a year ago, so he hasn't pitched much. Still, his stuff has come back, and he throws a fastball, curve and change, all for strikes."

Johnson Notes:

  • Tommy John surgery? That scares me a little bit. There must be a lot of upside, however, for the Sox to draft him now.
  • His freshman year he was electric; just as good (2004: 71.2 IP, 2.01 ERA, 28 BB, 66 SO) as fellow starters Mike Pelfrey and Tommy Hottovy (current Sox prospect). But since Tommy John has not been the same pitcher (2006: 53.2 IP, 4.86 ERA, 21 BB, 45 SO).
  • My assumption is that if Johnson was never injured, he would have been a high-first round pick.
Supplemental first round, pick #44:
Pitcher Caleb Clay
Cullman High School, Alabama
Bats: R, Throws: R
6'2", 180 lbs
MLB.com Comments:
"He's relatively new to pitching, and his fastball now sits in the low 90s. With a chance to throw a slider, changeup and curve, he still has room to grow."

Clay Notes:

  • Oddly enough, was drafted in the MinorLeagueBall.com mock draft by the Red Sox -- except at pick #83.
  • John Sickels says Clay is a potentially excellent pitcher, but needs time to develop.
Second round, pick #71:
Pitcher Justin Masterson
San Diego State University
Bats: R, Throws: R
6'6", 235 lbs
MLB.com Comments:
"Transferred from Bethel to SD State after dominating in the Cape Cod League last summer. He's been inconsistent as a junior Friday starter, but scouts like his arm and his low 90s sinking fastball and a nasty slider. He could profile as a reliever down the road."

Masterson Notes:

  • 2006 stats: 6-7, 4.81 ERA, 16 GS, 116.0 IP, 124 hits, 62 ER, 26 BB, 108 SO, .268 OBA
Third round, pick #83:
First baseman Aaron Bates
North Carolina State University
Bats: R, Throws: R
6'4", 232 lbs
MLB.com Comments:
"Taken in the eighth round last year as a draft-eligible sophomore, he hit .425 a year ago then was a Cape League All-Star. Hasn't been as good this year, but was finishing well. He could move back to catcher as a pro."

Bates Notes:

  • Went 4-for-4 with a walk in last game of the season in a loss versus Harvard. He had three runs and three RBI thanks to a home run.
Third round, pick #103
Pitcher Bryce Cox
Rice University
Bats: R, Throws: R
6'4", 200 lbs
MLB.com Comments:
NONE

Cox Notes:

  • N/A