SoxProspects: MLB New Englanders

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
1:59
PM ET
In each of the last three years, we've taken a detailed look at New England natives playing in Major League Baseball. We New Englanders undoubtedly enjoy watching our homegrown players succeed -- as long as it’s not in Yankees pinstripes. Here's a list of 32 players from New England high schools or colleges who have appeared in the majors in 2013 (sorted by career Wins Above Replacement).

1. Carlos Pena, 1B, Tampa Bay
Haverhill High School, 1995 (Haverhill, Mass.)
Northeastern University, 1998 (Boston, Mass.)

Pena moved to Massachusetts from the Dominican Republic at the age of 12, and spent the next six years living in Haverhill. The 36-year-old also has a few other New England ties, being a Northeastern University alumnus, having played for the Cape Cod League in 1996 and 1997, and having played for both Boston and Pawtucket in 2006. Pena has 285 career home runs and a .465 career slugging percentage.

2. Erik Bedard, LHP, Houston
Norwalk Community College, 1999 (Norwalk, Conn.)

Bedard spent a short stint with the Red Sox in 2011. Prior to joining the professional ranks in 1999, he was a junior college All-American at Norwalk, leading his team to a junior college national championship. In his major league career, the 34-year-old left-hander is 66-72 with a 3.89 ERA.

3. Chris Iannetta, C, Los Angeles (AL)
Saint Raphael Academy, 2001 (Pawtucket, R.I.)

Now in his eighth major league season, the 30-year-old backstop has 78 career home runs and a .771 career OPS. He’s also a solid defender behind the plate. Iannetta platooned as the starting catcher for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, together with Atlanta catcher Brian McCann. He still lists Providence as his hometown.

4. Chris Capuano, LHP, Los Angeles (NL)
Cathedral High School, 1996 (Springfield, Mass.)

A Springfield native and a noted scholar-athlete, Capuano was the valedictorian of his high school class before heading off to pitch for Duke University. Now in his ninth year in the majors, Capuano has posted a 4-6 record with a 4.50 ERA for the Dodgers in 2013. He was a National League All-Star in 2006, and also pitched for Team USA in the 2001 World Cup.

5. Chris Denorfia, OF, San Diego
Choate Rosemary Hall, 1998 (Wallingford, Conn.)
Wheaton College, 2002 (Norton, Mass.)

Born in Bristol, Conn., Denorfia graduated from Wheaton in 2002. An everyday regular in the outfield for the Padres, Denorfia’s value comes in his versatility, hustle and solid fundamentals. Over his eight-year career with Oakland, Cincinnati and San Diego, Denorfia has posted a career .277/.338/.409 line.

6. Matt Harvey, RHP, New York (NL)
Fitch Senior High School, 2007 (Groton, Conn.)

Harvey was considered one of the top prep prospects in the country in 2007, but chose the University of North Carolina after being selected in the third round by the Angels. Three years later, he was drafted by the Mets with the 7th overall pick of the 2010 draft. He’s been one of the top pitchers in the majors over the past year, earning the starting nod for the National League in the 2013 All-Star Game. Harvey is currently 9-3 with a 2.09 ERA for New York.

7. Ryan Hanigan, C, Cincinnati
Andover High School, 1999 (Andover, Mass.)

Hanigan grew up playing American Legion Baseball for American Legion Post 8 in Andover, and was a three-year varsity starter and an Eastern Massachusetts All-Star at Andover High School. He also played for Lowell in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and for Orleans in the Cape Cod League. A platoon catcher with the Reds for the past seven seasons, his career line is .265/.362/.349.

8. Craig Breslow, LHP, Boston
Trumbull High School, 1998 (Trumbull, Conn.)
Yale University , 2002 (New Haven, Conn.)

Widely considered the most intelligent player in major league baseball, Breslow graduated from Yale with a B.A. in molecular physics and biochemistry. Primarily utilized as a middle reliever throughout his career, Breslow is currently 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA for the Red Sox. He’s been with seven different organizations in his professional career, this being his second stint in the Boston system. He boasts a career 2.93 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.

9. Rajai Davis, OF, Toronto
New London High School, 1999 (New London, Conn.)
University of Connecticut-Avery Point, 2001 (Groton, Conn.)

Davis was a Little League phenom and a multisport athlete growing up in New London. After he spent two years at UConn-Avery Point, the Pirates took a flier on him in the 38th round of the 2001 draft. Including Pittsburgh, the speedy center fielder has been through four organizations, compiling a career .270 /.317/.375 line with 257 stolen bases.

10. John McDonald, IF, Philadelphia
East Lyme High School, 1992 (East Lyme, Conn.)
Providence College, 1996 (Providence, R.I.)

“Johnny Mac” was a member of one of Providence College’s last teams before its baseball program was discontinued in 1999. A valuable utility player, McDonald is capable of playing shortstop, second base, third base and left field. He has a career line of .236/.274/.328 between stops in Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.

11. Brian Wilson, RHP, Los Angeles (NL)
Londonderry High School, 2000 (Londonderry, N.H.)

Wilson came up through the Londonderry High School ranks as a quirky teenager, leaving many of his coaches and teammates unsurprised that he has turned out to be one of the most unique personalities in the major leagues. Baseball-wise, Wilson was on the mound and took home the save when San Francisco won the World Series in 2010, leading to even more fame for the black-bearded closer. A three-time All-Star, Wilson has 171 career saves. He’s rehabbing from April 2012 Tommy John surgery, but is set to return to the mound for the Dodgers as early as this week.

12. Rich Hill, LHP, Cleveland
Milton High School, 1999 (Milton, Mass.)

Like many New Englanders his age, Hill grew up rooting for the likes of Wade Boggs and Mo Vaughn in the '80s and '90s. A fourth-round pick in 2002, he pitched in 78 major league games with the Cubs and Orioles before catching on with Boston in 2010. He pitched impressively for Boston when healthy; unfortunately he spent a significant portion of his tenure with the club on the disabled list. The Boston-born pitcher still has a large family presence in Milton. He has appeared in 47 games for the Indians in 2013.

13. Steve Cishek, RHP, Miami
Falmouth High School, 2004 (Falmouth, Mass.)

Cishek, a fourth-year reliever with the Marlins, has posted a 2.96 ERA and earned 24 saves for the Marlines in 2013. A fifth-round pick in 2007, Cishek made his major league debut on Sept. 27, 2010, appearing in three games with Miami before the end of the 2010 season. He got the call to the major leagues while driving from Jacksonville -- where his minor league season had just ended -- back to his hometown of Falmouth. He made it to Savannah, Ga., but after the call he made a U-turn to head down to Miami to join the Marlins.

14. Sam Fuld, OF, Tampa Bay
Phillips Exeter Academy, 2000 (Exeter, N.H.)

Fuld was born in Durham, N.H., in 1981, the son of a UNH professor and New Hampshire state senator. Diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at the age of 10, he has battled the ailment throughout his career, but nonetheless plays the game with a reckless abandon, making him a perennial fan favorite. Now in his sixth season, the 5-foot-9 Fuld has spent most of his career as a third/fourth outfielder.

15. Jeff Locke, LHP, Pittsburgh
Kennett High School, 2006 (North Conway, N.H.)

Locke is the all-time leader in wins at his high school, where he was also a four-time All-Star and two-time New Hampshire Player of the Year. Drafted by Atlanta in the second round in 2006, he was traded to Pittsburgh in June 2009. Over his major-league career, which has spanned 33 starts and 2 relief appearances over three seasons for the Pirates, he's 10-9 with a 3.35 ERA.

16. A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona
RHAM High School, 2006 (Hebron, Conn.)

Born in Connecticut, Pollock led his high school team to a state championship in 2004. He was a first-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2009, and went on to hit .305 in three seasons in the minors. Pollock made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks on April 18, 2012. He’s spent the 2013 season as a platoon outfielder with Arizona.

17. Tim Collins, LHP, Kansas City
Worcester Technical High School, 2007 (Worcester, Mass.)

Former Toronto general manager (and Massachusetts native) J.P. Ricciardi signed Collins as an undrafted free agent in late July 2007, after Collins’ mid-90s fastball caught Ricciardi’s eye during an American Legion game. As a 5-foot-7 undrafted free agent, Collins’ rise to the majors has been quite improbable. He was traded to Atlanta in a multiplayer deal on July 14, 2010, and then sent to Kansas City on July 31, 2010, in another multiplayer deal. In 192 career games with the Royals, Collins has posted a 3.63 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Raised as a Red Sox fan, Collins made his Fenway Park debut on July 25, 2011.

18. Evan Scribner, RHP, Oakland
Shepaug Valley High School, 2003 (Washington, Conn.)
Central Connecticut State, 2007 (New Britain, Conn.)

Scribner has pitched in 53 major league games with San Diego and Oakland, posting a 4.17 ERA for his career. Like Collins, Scribner got to fulfill one of his childhood dreams when he pitched at Fenway Park for the first time as a pro on June 20, 2011. Presently pitching in Triple-A Sacramento, he’s likely to see more major league time with Oakland at some point this season.

19. Adam Ottavino, RHP, Colorado
Northeastern University, 2006

In his three-year career with the Huskies, Ottavino went 13-13 with a 3.09 ERA, striking out 290 batters in 253.1 innings. He was drafted by St. Louis in the first round in 2006 and was later claimed off waivers by the Rockies. In 92 career major league games, the 6-foot-5 reliever is 5-5 with a 4.53 ERA.

20. Ed Lucas, IF, Miami
Dartmouth College, 2004 (Hanover, N.H.)

Lucas was drafted out of Dartmouth in 2004 by Kansas City. After spending 10 years in the minors, he made his major league debut with Miami on May 29, 2013. He has hit .243 in 56 games.

21. Charlie Furbush, LHP, Seattle
South Portland High School, 2004 (Portland, Maine)

A native Mainer, Furbush also attended St. Joseph’s College of Maine before transferring to college baseball powerhouse Louisiana State in 2007. Following an impressive season with LSU, he was drafted in the fourth round by Detroit. He got his first call to the big leagues on May 21, 2011. Furbush is now working out of the Mariners’ bullpen, posting a 3.30 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 50 games this season.

22. Chris Colabello, OF/1B, Minnesota
Milford High School, 2001 (Milford, Mass.)
Assumption College, 2005 (Worcester, Mass.)

Born in Framingham, Mass., Colabello was never drafted despite having impressive showings in both high school and college. He then spent seven years in the Can-Am League with the Worcester Tornadoes and Nashua Pride before catching on with the Twins organization in February 2012. The 29-year-old made his major league debut with the Twins on May 22, 2013, and is now serving as a utility man for the club.

23. Ryan Reid, RHP, Pittsburgh
Deering High School, 2004 (Portland, Maine)

Reid was a three-time state champion while pitching for Deering. He went on to pitch for James Madison, where he was drafted in the seventh round in 2006. The 28-year-old made his major league debut with Pittsburgh on June 3, 2013, appearing in seven games before being optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

24. Ryan Flaherty, UT, Baltimore
Deering High School, 2005 (Portland, Maine)

Another native Mainer, Flaherty won the state’s Mr. Baseball award and the Gatorade High School Player of the Year award in 2005. After three seasons at Vanderbilt, he was selected by the Cubs in the first round of the 2008 draft. The Orioles then picked Flaherty in the Rule 5 draft from Chicago in December 2011. He made his major league debut on April 7, 2012, and is presently hitting .214 in a reserve utility role for Baltimore.

25. Scott Barnes, LHP, Cleveland
Cathedral High School, 2005 (Springfield, Mass.)

A native of Chicopee, Mass., Barnes posted eye-popping numbers during his senior year at Cathedral, going 9-0 with a 0.13 ERA and 120 strikeouts, while also hitting .588 with six home runs. He played his college ball at St. John’s and was picked up by the Giants in the eighth round in 2008. In July 2009, San Francisco traded Barnes to Cleveland for Ryan Garko. Barnes made his major league debut on May 30, 2012, but has been up-and-down between Triple-A Columbus since that time.

26. Josh Zeid, RHP, Houston
Hamden Hall Country Day School, 2005 (Hamden, Conn.)

Born in New Haven, Conn., Zeid struck out 400 batters over his high school career and was named the state’s Player of the Year in 2005. He went on to pitch for Vanderbilt, Tulane, and Harwich of the Cape Cod League before being drafted by Philadelphia in 2009. Zeid was traded to Houston as part of a five-player trade at the 2011 trade deadline. He made his major league debut on July 30, 2013, and has already appeared in seven games for the Astros, including on Aug. 6 against Boston.

27. Tony Sanchez, C, Pittsburgh
Boston College, 2009 (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)

One of the most prolific hitters in Boston College history, Sanchez hit .327 with 24 home runs in 161 career games as an Eagle. The backstop was ultimately drafted fourth overall by Pittsburgh in the 2009 draft. He recently made his major league debut on June 23, 2013. While the 25-year-old is currently working as the Pirates’ backup catcher, he is seen as a future starter at the position.

28. Brandon Gomes, RHP, Tampa Bay
Durfee High School, 2002 (Fall River, Mass.)

Gomes made his major league debut for the Rays on May 3, 2011. He presently boasts a 5.40 ERA in 14 appearances out of the Tampa Bay bullpen. He was acquired from San Diego in December 2010 with three other players in exchange for shortstop Jason Bartlett. Gomes still calls Fall River his hometown, and achieved a lifelong dream when he came to Fenway Park as a big leaguer for the first time on Aug. 16, 2011. He left 20 tickets for friends and family.

29. Nate Freiman, 1B, Oakland
Wellesley High School, 2005 (Wellesley, Mass.)

Growing up in Wellesley, Freiman was both a pitcher and a hard-hitting catcher in high school. He won his conference MVP award as a junior and senior, the Division 2 Baseball Player of the Year Award as a junior and senior, and was named the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. Freiman went on to play for Duke and was later drafted in the eighth round by San Diego in 2009. Oakland picked him up from the Padres in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft. Now a first baseman, the 6-foot-8 Freiman made his major league debut on April 3, 2013. He’s hitting .268 with 2 home runs for the Athletics.

30. Joe Martinez, RHP, Cleveland
Boston College, 2005

Martinez went 11-7 with a 2.42 ERA in 40 career games for Boston College, and was drafted by San Francisco in 2005. The reliever has been up-and-down between Triple-A and the majors since 2009, and is presently pitching for Triple-A Columbus. He has a 5.82 ERA in 21 career major league appearances.

31. Ryan Lavarnway, C, Boston
Yale University , 2008

Lavarnway played three seasons at Yale before the Red Sox drafted him in 2008. He hit .384/.482/.725 over his Bulldog career, leading the NCAA in batting average and slugging percentage in 2007. He also played for the Manchester (Conn.) Silkworms of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in the summer of 2007. Lavarnway had a very impressive minor league career in the Red Sox system, and is currently hitting .268/.311/.375 as Boston’s backup catcher.

32. Charlie Morton, RHP, Pittsburgh
Barlow High School, 2002 (Redding, Conn.)

Atlanta drafted Morton right out of high school in 2002, and the Braves traded him to Pittsburgh in June 2009 with two other players in exchange for Nate McLouth. In 100 career major league appearances, 99 of which have been starts, the 29-year-old is 27-48 with a 4.91 ERA.

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