A rundown of the Red Sox’s first day of the 2014 amateur draft:
First Round (26)
The pick: Shortstop Michael Chavis out of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia.
The build: 5-foot-11, 180 pounds. Bats/throws right-handed.
The stats: .580/.663/1.197, 13 home runs, 37 RBIs in 28 games.
The ranking: No. 28 on ESPN Insider Keith Law’s Top 100 draft prospects.
The style: One of seven prospects to attend the draft at the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, Chavis wore a bow tie that garnered the attention of many tuning in.
“I thought it would be a little flashy, kind of classy,” Chavis said. “Thought I’d bring it out.”
The scouting report: At 18 years old, Chavis was considered one of the top high school hitters of the draft. Featuring a balanced tool set that has room to improve in each department, Chavis’ calling card is his power, which projects to be above average at the major league level. Announced as a shortstop, Chavis has the versatility to play a variety of positions, including second base, third base, outfield or catcher. However, scouts expect Chavis to settle at third or a corner outfield spot as his body fills out over the next several years.
In his words: “From what I heard from my agent and everything going on, I was expecting to go somewhere between pick 16 and beyond that, around 32 would be my ending point,” Chavis said. “Watching it go by, whether it was the first pick or anything when I didn’t even expect myself to go, I was nervous from when I woke up this morning. This is a lifelong dream of mine and I couldn’t believe I was just going to here for this.”
Chavis also said that despite his commitment to Clemson University, he’s ready to start his professional career with the Red Sox.
“I’m absolutely thrilled, I couldn’t be more excited. With them winning the World Series last year, obviously they have a great program and they have a great organization and farm system. I can’t wait to become a part of it.”
“He takes BP before his games and would put on a show,” Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye said in a conference call Friday. “His [high school] ballpark sits right up on a main street, a two-way highway kind of, and I think at times Chavis was trying to hit cars. He’d launch the balls over the left field wall.”
Sawdaye said the team plans to initially use Chavis at shortstop.
“He’s very athletic. His feet and hands work really well in the infield. He’s a guy we truly believe has a chance to stay in the infield.”
The recommended bonus: $1,870,500
Compensation Round (33, rewarded for losing outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury in free agency)
The pick: Right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech out of Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, Texas.
The build: 6-foot-4, 190 pounds.
The stats: 3-0, 0.44 ERA, 129 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched.
The ranking: No. 40 on Law’s Top 100.
The scouting report: Among the more difficult early-round picks to project due to his funky pitching mechanics, Kopech has the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter but could find himself better suited for a bullpen role down the line. With a fastball that consistently hits 90-92 but can reach the mid-to-upper 90s and a curveball with strong movement, Kopech has the potential to have two plus pitches at the major league level. Control will be a work in progress as he settles into his lanky frame.
“He’s got an electric arm,” Sawdaye said. “We really like the way he commands his fastball. The delivery, he’s got a little [Los Angeles Angels pitcher] Jered Weaver in it. We’ve been scouting this guy for about two years ... we’re really excited to get him out and watch him develop.”
The commitment: University of Arizona
The recommended bonus: $1,678,000
Second Round (67)
The pick: First baseman Sam Travis out of Indiana University.
The build: 6-foot, 205 pounds. Bats/throws right-handed.
The stats: .347/.415/.576, 12 home runs, 58 RBIs in 59 games.
The ranking: No. 57 on Law’s Top 100.
The scouting report: Despite his stocky frame, Travis was one of the more polished bats in the draft as a result of his strong eye at the plate (93 walks versus 94 strikeouts at college level) and level swing through the zone. Playing alongside the draft’s fourth overall pick, Kyle Schwarber, Travis put together an impressive junior season and has shown progress in each season at Indiana. Taken in the 40th round of the 2011 draft by the Cincinnati Reds, Travis seems to have made a wise decision as he projects to be a safe bet to make the majors at first base.
"When you watch him in BP, from a power perspective, he can spray the ball around the field but his last round he really lets it go,” Sawdaye said. “He’s another guy that’s going to really use the Monster well and also put some balls onto Lansdowne Street.”
Sawdaye added, “There’s a lot of history, the hit tool is very advanced. Excellent recognition skills. He’s a guy that will ambush a first-pitch fastball if he sees it. He’s an aggressive hitter but also has really good plate discipline.”
The recommended bonus: $846,800
Other draft notes:
• Two local Massachusetts products were taken in the first round on Day 1 of the draft. Vanderbilt pitcher and Auburn native Tyler Beede was picked 14th overall by the San Francisco Giants before Middleboro left-hander Sean Newcomb was selected 15th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Springfield Central High School’s Isan Diaz was also selected Thursday as a Competitive Balance Round B pick (70th) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
• Former Red Sox draft pick Daniel Gossett was selected by the Oakland Athletics in Round 2 on Thursday. The Red Sox took Gossett out of high school in the 16th round of the 2011 draft but failed to reach a deal with the right-handed pitcher.
• The last time the Red Sox used their first two picks in a draft to take two high school players was in 2002 (Jon Lester and Scott White).
Looking ahead: The draft will resume Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. as teams get ready to make their picks for Rounds 3-10.