After working the “diversify your portfolio” draft strategy to the letter on the first day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, taking a college right-handed pitcher, high school catcher, high school left-handed pitcher and college outfielder, the Red Sox drafted in streaks on Day 2. In Rounds 2-8, the Sox took five high school players (four of them position players), one junior college pitcher and one college pitcher. For the next 10 rounds, the Sox switched gears, selecting college players with eight picks (three hitters, five pitchers) and two high school pitchers. Overall, the numbers look pretty balanced for the Sox’s 29 selections on Day 2:
HS hitters: 7
HS pitchers: 7
College hitters: 5
College pitchers: 8
Junior college pitchers: 2
The highest-rated picks of the day were New York high school center fielder Williams Jerez (2nd round), Cal State Fullerton pitcher Noe Ramirez (4th round), Mississippi high school center fielder Senquez Golson (8th round) and Kansas high school pitcher Cody Kukuk (7th round).
Here’s the scoop on the Sox’s top Day 2 draftees, as well as some noteworthy late picks:
2nd Round: Williams Jerez, CF, Grand Street Campus HS (NY)
Jerez generated buzz playing for Hank’s Yanks, a showcase team funded by New York Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner for high schoolers from underprivileged families who would not be able to play on the draft showcase circuit otherwise. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefty comes with some controversy: Jerez emigrated from the Dominican Republic with his father two years ago and has faced questions about his true age and background. Some scouts love his great athleticism and raw tools, but others don’t rate him as highly, wondering if his bat will catch up to good velocity. Has a plus arm and plus speed, and hit .692 with 26 steals in 52 at-bats this spring.
3rd Round: Jordan Weems, C, Columbus HS (GA)
Weems is the son of former Cardinals draft pick Rick Weems and the brother of former Yankees pick and current Reds minor leaguer Chase Weems. Committed to Georgia State, Weems is something of a string bean at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, but he possesses an above-average arm behind the plate and scouts like his swing. Much of his projection rides on his adding size and strength. Weems led Columbus to a repeat state championship by hitting .443 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 39 games.
4th Round: Noe Ramirez, RHP, Cal State-Fullerton
Ramirez, who grew up in a rough East Los Angeles neighborhood, has both started and relieved for the Titans. This year, he went 8-4 with a 1.69 ERA, striking out 103 batters and walking just 20 in 90 2/3 innings. For his career at Fullerton, he went 29-5. Commands his fastball well and works at 88-91 m.p.h., topping out at 92-93. Learned his plus changeup, his best pitch, from Ricky Romero; it sits at 83-84 m.p.h. Also throws a developing slider. Pitched for Team USA last summer, recording five saves in nine appearances. Was viewed as a potential second-round pick as recently as late May.
5th Round: Markus “Mookie” Betts, SS, John Overton HS (TN)
Betts was the first multi-sport athlete picked by the Sox. He was also all-state in basketball and -- get this -- named the state’s best bowler as a junior during high school. He is committed to Tennessee, noteworthy because the Vols just fired head coach Todd Raleigh in May. He played shortstop in high school, but was going to move to second base in college. The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder has plus bat speed and is very athletic.
6th Round: Miguel Pena, LHP, San Jacinto College North (TX)
Pena has been drafted twice before, in the fifth round by the Nationals out of high school and in the 13th round last year by the Padres, from whom he reportedly turned down between $150,000 and $200,000. He went 10-3 this year for San Jacinto with a 1.91 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 24 walks in 85 innings. He throws a low-90s fastball with a sharp mid-70s curve, as well as a slider and changeup, and has outstanding command of his pitches. Pena was reportedly sent home from the Cape Cod League last summer for disciplinary reasons. He is headed to Lubbock Christian if he does not sign.
7th Round: Cody Kukuk, LHP, Lawrence Free State HS (KS)
The big, 6-foot-4 lefty sits about 88-91 and can work into the low-90s with his fastball, and has a 76-78 m.p.h. breaking ball that could be a very good pitch. He does have some work to do on his mechanics, as his release point is inconsistent, but he is the classic high-risk, high-reward type. He is committed to play at Kansas. This spring, he went 7-1 with 103 strikeouts in 53 innings, but walked 43 batters. He spent some time working on a more compact motion during the year.
8th Round: Senquez Golson, CF, Pascagoula HS (MS)
Golson is committed to the University of Mississippi to play both football, at cornerback, and baseball, and could prove to be a very difficult player to sign. Golson possesses great speed (4.0 seconds to first base) and was considered one of the best athletes in the entire draft. He is no project though, as he has great bat speed and raw power potential. He hit .345 this spring for Pascagoula with 3 home runs and 16 stolen bases.
9th Round: Travis Shaw, 3B, Kent State
Shaw was drafted by the Red Sox out of high school in the 32nd round in 2008 and is the son of former major leaguer Jeff Shaw. He hit .330 this spring for the Golden Flashes with 22 doubles, 15 home runs and 60 RBIs, and led the conference in walks. He is rough at third base, and the consensus is that he will have to move to first at some point. However, at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he has legitimate power, hitting .260/.378/.402 with wood in the Cape Cod League in 2010.
10th Round: Cody Koback, CF, Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Another speedy outfielder who has been clocked at 4.0 seconds to first base, Koback hit .424/.401/.553 for UWSP this spring with 16 steals. He also pitched and has good arm strength in the outfield.
11th Round: Kevin Brahney, LHP, Cal St. Chico
Transferred twice during college. Led Wildcats in strikeouts with 74 in 65 1/3 IP.
12th Round: Deshorn Lake, RHP, Menchville HS (VA)
Committed to East Carolina and could be a tough sign. Low-90s fastball, but his other pitches and command need work. Originally from Virgin Islands.
13th Round: Matt Ott, RHP, LSU
Has experience with pressure situations as he was the Tigers’ closer as a freshman when LSU won the national championship
14th Round: Mike McCarthy, RHP, Cal State-Bakersfield
Shut out then-No. 19 Fresno State and two-hit then-No. 13 UCLA this season.
15th Round: Braden Kapteyn, 1B, Kentucky
Two-way star for the Wildcats was drafted as a first baseman.
16th Round: Daniel Gossett, RHP, James F. Byrnes HS (SC)
Committed to Clemson. 5-0, 0.14 ERA, 96 Ks in 49 IP this spring.
17th Round: Blake Forslund, RHP, Liberty
Transferred to Liberty from Virginia. Draft-eligible sophomore as a result. Can get fastball into mid-90s.
18th Round: Andrew Jones, RHP, Samford
Set Samford record with 15 saves this year.
19th Round: Sikes Orvis, 1B, Freedom HS (FL)
Committed to Ole Miss
20th Round: Zach Good, LHP, Grayson County College
Had Tommy John surgery in high school. 90-91 m.p.h. fastball and feel for a curve.
21st Round: Austin Davidson, IF, Oxnard HS (CA)
Committed to Pepperdine.
22nd Round: Joe Holtmeyer, RHP, Nebraska-Omaha
Led Division II in strikeouts with 152 in 2010, but changed his mechanics, causing a drop in velocity and slower curve. Began using a changeup more this year to get his strikeouts. Interesting project if he signs.
23rd Round: Jarrett Brown, LHP, Salem HS (GA)
Committed to Georgia. Great athlete played football and basketball in high school as well.
24th Round: Drew Turocy, CF, Akron
Led Zips in every offensive category in 2011, hitting .347/.409/.563 with 12 doubles, 5 triples and 7 home runs, plus 10 steals.
25th Round: Taylor Ard, 1B, Washington State
Sixth Washington State player to be drafted by the Sox, along with Aaron Sele and Scott Hatteberg.
26th Round: Cody Dill, RHP, Los Osos HS (CA)
Committed to UC Riverside.
27th Round: Alex Massey, RHP, Catholic HS (LA)
Committed to Tulane.
28th Round: Brenden Shepard, RHP, Stonehill
Masconomet grad from Boxford, Mass. played with brother Kyle at Stonehill.
29th Round: Matt Spalding, RHP, St. Xavier HS (KY)
Committed to Western Kentucky. Sits 91-93 m.p.h.
30th Round: Nick Moore, 3B, Brookwood HS (GA)
Committed to Kennesaw State, also received attention from schools for football at defensive back.