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Red Sox select Brett Netzer with their third round pick

San Francisco Giants v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

With the 101st overall pick, the Red Sox selected Brett Netzer, a second baseman out of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

After taking a college pitcher with their first selection and a high school bat with their second pick, the Red Sox have zagged again with their third, taking a college bat. Netzer is known for that bat, as the second baseman has flourished at the college level in hitting. He’s hit over .300 in each of his three seasons at UNC-Charlotte, finishing the 2017 season with a .342 batting average and a .934 OPS. While those are certainly good numbers, they are actually a step back from his sophomore campaign when he hit .384 with a 1.016 OPS. He also had success in the Cape Cod League last summer, hitting .283 with a .784 OPS.

In terms of scouting, he looks to be a guy whose future will be determined by his hit tool. The power isn’t all that impressive, although he can certainly hit gap-to-gap. To make up for that, though, Netzer boasts strong bat speed and a good judgement over the strike zone. This past season he walked 29 times while striking out only 27 times, the second consecutive season he was able to draw free passes more often than he was set down on strikes. Right now, he is projected for a potentially above-average hit tool (though some see it as only average) to go with average power.

Defensively, the consensus isn’t as promising, though he doesn’t appear to be a butcher at the keystone position either. According to Baseball America, he is rough around the edges, though he has a strong arm turning double plays and should wind up as an average second baseman. Netzer is also a strong athlete who could be an above-average runner.

This isn’t a home run of a pick, but they rarely are at this point in the draft. Instead, he looks like a solid middle infielder who just recently turned 21 at the beginning of this month. One would likely expect him to start his professional career in Lowell.

Netzer was ranked as the 237th overall draft prospect by Baseball America and the number 197 prospect by MLB Pipeline.