Sox took 'best player' in Ball

Sox took 'best player' in Ball
June 7, 2013, 2:00 pm
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If there's an area of depth in the Red Sox' minor league system, it's probably starting pitching.
At Pawtucket, the Red Sox have two elite prospects obtained from their mega-deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers last August - Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa - to go along with 2010 second-round pick Brandon
Former University of Connecticut standout Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo, a first-round pick out of in 2010, are highly regarded at Portland.
Finally, there's tall lefty Henry Owens at Single A Salem.
But the presence of those half-dozen arms didn't preclude the Sox from taking another pitcher with their first pick -- No. 7 overall -- in Round One of Thursday's draft.
"We're just basically taking the best player," scouting director Amiel Sawdaye said in a conference call Friday after the Red Sox chose high school lefty Trey Ball out of New Castle, Indiana. "I know that's something we say all the time, but it just worked out. The way the board (shook) out, Trey Ball was the best player available."
"We don't target a certain area. When you start to do that, you probably do become a little reckless, giving up a few names at the end of the day who might not be the best player. You have to take the best player on the board."
The Red Sox didn't stop drafting pitching after the first round, choosing Teddy Stankiewicz from Seminole Junior College in Oklahoma with the 45th selection.
"He's a big, physical pitcher," said Sawdaye. "Probably for me, he's got one of the best deliveries in the draft. His arm works really well. He throws three pitches, and he really commands his fastball."
Though just 19 with a year of junior college behind him, Sawdaye said Stankiewicz shows the maturity and development of a pitcher who has pitched at a higher level.
"He attacks the strike zone," Sawdaye said. "His changeup has really improved from last year to this year. We've kind of seen a little bit of the improvements from year to year. His fastball was up to 96 this year and really consistently sitting in the low 90s. He's a guy we really felt comfortable with, we trusted.
"He had really good mound demeanor, and (he's) a guy that was going to go out and throw a lot of strikes and compete at the lower levels right away."