Red Sox first pick Marrero honored to be chosen

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Red Sox first pick Marrero honored to be chosen

BOSTON -- The Red Sox selected Arizona State junior Deven Marrero with their first-round pick (24th overall) in the First Year Player Draft, and the shortstop spoke to the media in a conference call on Tuesday, expressing his excitement to be selected by the Red Sox organization.

"This draft was interesting, and fun and exciting," said Marrero. "You had a lot of young players go in different spots. It was a fun draft, and I'm excited to be selected by the Red Sox. It's a great organization, and it's really an honor."

Marrero said the Red Sox have been following him since high school, and he's familiar with the New England area, as he's played in the Cape Cod League the last two years.

"That area up there is unbelievable," he said. "They love their sports, and they have a great reputation for every sport.

"It's a great vibe up there, and they all want to win and they all want championships. And going up there and getting that feel for that down the Cape was awesome. All the people who come to the Cape games and understand that you're part of the future. So, it was pretty cool."

Marrero hopes to make an impact in the organization as quickly as one of his fellow Sun Devils has in Dustin Pedroia.

"He's a unique player, but I'd like to put myself in his category, and hopefully do what he did," said Marrero. "Hopefully everything goes right, and I get a chance to do what he did."

If that's possible, he'll have to get back to what worked for him during his freshman season, win he had a team-leading .397 batting average. That average dipped to .315 his sophomore year, and eventually to .284 his junior year.

He called his junior year "different" because his team entered the season knowing they were banned from the postseason.

"I take away that this game's going to humble you," said Marrero. "This is baseball. Everyone has their year. Everyone has their time.

"I had to play through some injuries, and it was just a learning lesson for me, to keep my head straight and to continue playing and having fun. That's the main part."

He believes his offensive struggles -- if you want to call them that -- are fixable, as long as he continues to hit the ball hard, which he feels he did during his junior season, even though the batting average might not show it.

"My offensive game is, I'm a gap-to-gap guy," said Marrero. "And I felt like this year -- compared to my last two years -- balls just weren't getting through the infield. There were guys standing where my ball was landing. It's just one of those things. All I can control is hitting the ball. And from there on, the ball controls where it lands.

"I was focused. Nothing really different happened with my swing. It was just, I happened to be hitting the ball hard right at people, and that's just the way the game goes."

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.