On Day 2 of the 2013 MLB draft, the Red Sox dropped the other shoe on the strategy their second-round selection had hinted at the night before.
The club’s selection of right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz on Thursday night was a slight disappointment to some prospect watchers. Although a consensus top 100 prospect, Stankiewicz was a slight overdraft at No. 45 overall. We at SoxProspects speculated that the Sox might try to sign him for less than the $1,229,600 slot value for that pick in hopes of spending the money saved on a high-ceiling, signability pick elsewhere.
On Friday, it did not take long for the club to make such speculation seem well-founded. With the eighth pick of the third round, No. 81 overall, the Red Sox selected catcher Jonathan Denney out of Yukon High School in Yukon, Okla. Denney, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-handed hitter, was projected as a mid-to-late first-round talent, ranked 25th in the draft class by Baseball America and 23rd by Perfect Game.
Denney’s calling card is his offense, as he possesses good power for a high school hitter, but there are questions about his ability to stay behind the plate. Earlier this spring, he was projected to be drafted as high as the top 10 picks, but fell because of some questions that arose as more scouts saw him play, as well as potential signability issues as an Arkansas commit. Still, he was considered by most to be the top player available entering the day.
Despite the slight fall, Denney still was one of the top catchers in the draft and likely will demand a bonus commensurate with his status. The $1.3 million the Red Sox gave to their fourth-round pick in 2012, high school pitcher Ty Buttrey (who coincidentally also was committed to Arkansas), might be a good starting point for an estimate of Denney’s bonus. At the least, the Red Sox will need to spend much more than the allotted $671,200 slot value for the 81st pick in order to sign Denney, making the Stankiewicz pick look even better in hindsight. Assuming Stankiewicz signs for below slot, Boston could take any money saved there and use it to help go over slot for the 18-year-old Denney.
Overall on the day, the Sox drafted eight players. Five were pitchers, two were outfielders and one was a catcher. Two were high schoolers, while six were drafted out of college. Of those six, the Sox took three college seniors, two with no remaining eligibility, as well as one junior from Division II and another from the NAIA. Like last year, the Sox drafted players in Rounds 7 through 10 that may sign for nominal bonuses, allowing the club to reapportion the slot value of those picks to sign players such as Denney or any potential players in the next 30 rounds who may demand a bonus greater than $100,000.
Going pick-by-pick, here are today’s draftees:
Round 3 (81st overall): C Jonathan Denney, Yukon HS (OK)
In addition to what we've already said about this pick, it's worth noting that Denney was the club’s second pick out of Oklahoma, joining Seminole State JC’s Stankiewicz, which shows the club’s faith in scout Chris Mears. Mears’s past signees include current Houston Astros pitcher Kyle Weiland and current Sox minor leaguers Cody Kukuk and Kyle Stroup.
Round 4 (113th overall): RHP Myles Smith, JR, Lee University
Smith played for one year each at Missouri and Miami Dade College. He transferred to the University of Miami but was declared academically ineligible, leading to his landing at Lee University in Tennessee, one of the top teams in the NAIA. Once a two-way player, he led the Lee staff in innings (84 1/3) and strikeouts (94) this year. He was drafted in the 16th round by the Mets last year but did not sign. Baseball America ranked him 108th in the draft; Perfect Game 105th. Perfect Game notes that his fastball was 93-97 mph this year, which he complements with a great changeup, his best pitch. He throws a slider as well, but John Manuel of BA noted that the improvement of his cutter this spring gave him a better third pitch. Smith is listed at 6-1, 175 pounds and is the highest Sox draft pick who is likely to go to Short-Season A Lowell upon signing, although Stankiewicz has an outside shot of landing there as well.
Round 5 (143rd overall): LHP Corey Littrell, JR, Kentucky
Littrell fits the “crafty lefty” mold, throwing four pitches while lacking top velocity. Both BA and PG noted that his fastball sat about 89-91 this year, also throwing a changeup, slider/cutter and curve. The 6-3, 195-pound 21-year-old’s calling card is his pitchability -- even his Twitter profile espouses the virtues of the “2 seam at the knees with action.” He was ranked 97th in the draft by PG, while BA had him at 130th.
Round 6 (173rd overall): CF Jordon Austin, Forest HS (FL)
Austin, 18, joins Denney as the only high school players drafted by the Red Sox on Day 2, after the club drafted high school left-hander Trey Ball and JuCo freshman Stankiewicz on Day 1. Austin played both baseball and football at Forest, reportedly drawing Division I interest as a cornerback. PG noted his strong arm from the outfield, as well as a short, hard swing with good bat speed. At 5-11, 195 pounds, he has an athletic build. He is committed to Seminole State College, a Florida JuCo, to play baseball.
Round 7 (203rd overall): LHP Mike Adams, SR, University of Tampa
Although Adams, 22, is a senior and has completed his degree at Tampa, he redshirted his freshman year and has a year of eligibility left, so he has a bit more negotiating leverage than the three college seniors that follow here. BA ranked the 6-3, 215-pound left-hander at No. 351 in its top 500. He has very little mileage on his arm, having thrown just 16 innings his first three years at Tampa, and likely represents the kind of player the Sox hope they can mold upon getting him into the system. MLB.com’s scouting report lists Adams’s best pitch as his plus curveball, while he also throws a high-80s fastball and a changeup.
Round 8 (233rd overall): CF Forrestt Allday, SR, Central Arkansas
For one thing, Allday immediately will earn the title of best name in the system when he signs. Allday, a 5-11, 190-pound center fielder, led off for Central Arkansas and led the Southland Conference and was fifth in the NCAA with a .503 on-base percentage, continuing a pattern throughout his college career of showing a knack for getting on base. He was also 15-for-18 in steal attempts. Like Adams and the next two picks, he is 22.
Round 9 (263rd overall): RHP Kyle Martin, SR, Texas A&M
The 6-7, 235-pound Martin has added an inch and 50 pounds since arriving in College Station as a freshman. According to BA, he switched from throwing sidearm the past two years to throwing over-the-top this year, improving his fastball velocity from 85-88 mph to as high as 94 this year. He also throws a changeup and slider. He notably played his high school ball at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, where his coach was former Red Sox reliever Calvin Schiraldi.
Round 10 (293rd overall): RHP Taylor Grover, JR, South Carolina Aiken
Grover was Division II USC Aiken’s closer this year, recording 11 saves in 31 appearances and posting a 0.92 ERA. The 6-3, 195-pound right-hander struck out 37 batters in 29 1/3 innings. A reliever all three years of college, he has thus thrown just 64 1/3 innings in his collegiate career, making him another low-mileage arm.