Boston Red Sox: Cole Sturgeon

Recapping Day 2 of the MLB draft

June, 6, 2014
6/06/14
11:18
PM ET
A rundown of the Boston Red Sox's second day of the 2014 amateur draft:

Third Round (103)

The pick: Right-handed pitcher Jake Cosart out of Seminole State (Florida).

The build: 6-foot-2, 235 pounds.

The stats: 5-3, 5.34 ERA, 67 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched.

The scouting report: Don't let the stats fool you when it comes to Cosart. A former outfielder at Duke, Cosart, following the advice of Houston Astros pitcher Brett Oberholtzer, a teammate of his older brother Jarred, transferred to Seminole State last year to start his career as a pitcher. Live fastball that can reach 98 mph and a developing curveball that could be a major league pitch. Will seemingly begin professional career as a starter before moving toward late-inning relief down the line.

The recommended bonus: $509,400.

Fourth Round

The pick: Right-handed pitcher Kevin McAvoy out of Bryant University (Rhode Island).

The build: 6-foot-4, 210 pounds.

The stats: 9-1, 2.62 ERA, 94 strikeouts in 99⅔ innings pitched.

The scouting report: The highest drafted baseball player in program history at Bryant, McAvoy led the school to an NCAA tournament qualification, where he pitched 6⅔ innings, allowing two unearned runs in his one tournament start. Presumably an under-slot signing, could free up money for Red Sox to spend on other picks.

The recommended bonus: $377,600.

Fifth Round

The pick: First baseman Josh Ockimey out of SS Neumann Goretti High School in Philadelphia.

The build: 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. Bats left, throws right.

The scouting report: Ockimey participated in a private workout at Fenway Park last fall, so the Red Sox are no stranger to his capabilities. Big left-handed first baseman with tremendous power potential and bat speed. Still raw, though strong athleticism could help to translate power into game results as he advances through the professional ranks.

The commitment: Indiana University.

The recommended bonus: $282,800.

Sixth Round

The pick: Outfielder Danny Mars out of Chipola College (Florida).

The build: 6-foot, 195 pounds. Bats switch, throws right.

The stats: .380/.460/.584, 25 stolen bases, 54 runs scored in 48 games.

The scouting report: Speedy center fielder who could be a plus runner at the major league level. Contact hitter, power expected to remain below average.

The recommended bonus: $211,800.

Seventh Round

The pick: Right-handed pitcher Reed Reilly out of Cal Poly -- San Luis Obispo (California).

The build: 6-foot-4, 220 pounds.

The stats: 12 saves, 1.71 ERA, 53 strikeouts in 47⅓ innings pitched.

The scouting report: After turning down the Baltimore Orioles, who drafted him in the 18th round of last year's draft, Reilly saw his stock increase this year following another strong season for the Mustangs. Closer, fastball operates in the low 90s but can reach 95. Good movement on slider, changeup. Stuff seems to play more into middle reliever role as opposed to late-inning option.

The recommended bonus: $163,500.

Eighth Round

The pick: Catcher Ben Moore out of the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa.

The build: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds. Bats/throws right-handed.

The stats: .305/.367/.481, 9 home runs, 35 RBIs.

The scouting report: High-contact hitter with great control of the strike zone as evidenced by low strikeout totals in college. Played outfield last season despite spending his early years as a catcher.

The recommended bonus: $152,700

Ninth Round

The pick: Right-handed pitcher Kevin Steen out of Oak Ridge High School (Oak Ridge, Tennessee).

The build: 6-foot-1, 170 pounds.

The scouting report: Decent upside, low 90s fastball accompanied by promising curveball. Could require over-slot bonus to sign.

The commitment: University of Tennessee.

The recommended bonus: $142,600.

Tenth Round

The pick: Outfielder Cole Sturgeon out of Louisville (Kentucky).

The build: 6-foot, 180 pounds. Bats/throws left-handed.

The stats: .325/.410/.468, 18 stolen bases, 57 runs scored in 63 games.

The scouting report: Senior at Louisville, average speed while showing little power at the plate.

The recommended bonus: $137,600.

Other draft notes:

• In addition to the three Massachusetts products taken on Day 1 of the draft, Foxboro native Austin DeCarr (third round, 91st overall by the New York Yankees), Arlington native Pat Connaughton (fourth round, 121st overall by the Orioles) and Sudbury native Adam Ravenelle (fourth round, 130th overall by the Detroit Tigers) were taken in the early rounds of the draft's second day.

• Four of the Red Sox's first 11 picks are alumni of the Cape Cod League: second-round pick Sam Travis (2012), McAvoy (2013), Moore (2013) and Sturgeon (2012/13).

• Several top draft prospects remain entering Day 3, including pitchers J.B. Bukauskas (No. 29 on ESPN Insider Keith Law's Top 100), Bryce Montes De Oca (No. 32) and Mac Marshall (No. 47). All talented high school pitchers, steep draft bonus demands could be the reason they are still on the board.

Looking ahead: The draft will conclude Saturday with Rounds 11-40. Round 11 will begin at 1 p.m.



Scouting reports: Red Sox's Day 2 picks

June, 6, 2014
6/06/14
9:52
PM ET
Day 2 of the 2014 MLB draft saw the Red Sox pick up several interesting prospects, including raw flamethrower Jake Cosart. Cosart can hit the upper 90s, but he's still very raw. With his rawness comes great potential, though. Read more about Cosart and the seven other picks in the scouting reports below.

In terms of overall strategy, this being the third year under the current draft rules, Friday saw the Red Sox appear to move away somewhat from their draft strategy of the past two years. In 2012 and 2013, the club selected college seniors in the later rounds (7-10 or so), players who would sign for well under the slot values for those rounds, allowing the club to repurpose the saved cap space to sign players selected in earlier (and later) rounds to over-slot bonuses.

The Red Sox drafted just two college seniors on Day 2 this year, and one of them, seventh-rounder Reed Reilly, has college eligibility remaining, giving him more leverage than the typical senior. Last year, the money saved on drafting and signing three below-slot seniors went mostly toward signing catcher Jon Denney (third round) and first baseman/outfielder Nick Longhi (30th round). After the signing deadline, the Sox were left with extra money they could have spent, perhaps because many of the club's other potential above-slot signings, such as outfielder Ryan Boldt and pitcher Jordan Sheffield, were serious about going to college and the money offered was still insufficient to change their minds.

This could have played into a strategy change, as the club might have realized that, in the current system, it is difficult to offer life-changing money to picks not taken early. Add the fact that many other teams seem to be playing it more straight-up -- this year's draft went stunningly to form when compared to major draft rankings -- and the club might have decided to play it straight as well.

Although the Sox might have tried to "game the system" less, there are still candidates for under-slot bonuses. Some possibilities are fourth-rounder Kevin McAvoy, seventh-rounder Reed Reilly, eighth-rounder Ben Moore and 10th-rounder Cole Sturgeon. There will not likely be enough money saved from these, however, to go after another big fish Saturday, with the extra cash more likely to be spread around.

Overall on the day, the Sox drafted eight players. Two picks were high schoolers, four were drafted out of college, and the other two come out of the junior-college ranks.

Going pick-by-pick, here are today's draftees:

Round 3 (103rd overall): RHP Jake Cosart, JC, Seminole State (Florida)

Cosart looks like the best player drafted on the day, as one might expect. An athletic right-hander, Cosart is a flamethrower who can touch 98 mph, according to Baseball America (BA), and sat 92-95 with life on his fastball. Baseball Prospectus considers his curveball a second major league pitch, while his changeup lags behind. The 20-year-old started his college career at Duke University as an outfielder, but after redshirting a season, he transferred to Seminole State, where he took off as a pitcher. Control and command are issues, but since he hasn't been pitching very long, he is still raw with much upside. BA ranks Cosart as the 97th-best prospect in the draft, while Perfect Game USA has him ranked 102nd. He is the brother of Houston Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart.

Round 4 (134th overall): RHP Kevin McAvoy, JR, Bryant University (Rhode Island)

A local pick out of Rhode Island, McAvoy led Bryant University's pitching staff, going 9-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 15 starts. Across 99 2/3 innings, he struck out 94, walked 28 and did not allow a home run. McAvoy's fastball has topped out around 93, but sat more often in the 89-91 mph range, according to Al Skorupa of Baseball Prospectus. He needs to improve his secondary pitches but commands his fastball and uses both sides of the plate well. Some have speculated that his stuff and velocity will play up in a relief role. He looks likely to begin his career with the Lowell Spinners this summer.

Round 5 (164th overall): 1B Josh Ockimey, SS Neumann Goretti HS (Pennsylvania)

Listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Ockimey is a raw athlete with big power potential. Jim Callis of MLB.com used Ryan Howard as a potential perfect-world comparison. He did not crack Baseball America's Top 500 prospects, but the Red Sox had him in for a pre-draft workout and were reportedly extremely impressed. He has quick bat speed and strong wrists but will need to work out some mechanical issues in the pros. An upside pick, expect him to move slowly through the system. He is committed to Indiana University.

Round 6 (194th overall): CF Danny Mars, JC, Chipola College (Florida)

Mars is a switch-hitter with plus speed and should be a threat on the bases. He ranked 338th by Baseball America and 200th by Perfect Game USA and has had a strong season this year at a small college, hitting .380/.460/.584 with four home runs and 25 steals. He projects to be a line-drive hitter with below-average power but should get some extra bases in the gaps due to his speed. Though not considered an elite fielder, he is expected to stick in center. He is committed to play for Florida State next year.

Round 7 (224th overall): RHP Reed Reilly, SR, Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo (California)

Polished reliever in college who could move through the system quickly if he is kept in the bullpen (though the Red Sox do have a track record of moving college relievers back to the rotation early in their career). His sinking fastball is reportedly around 91-92 mph, topping out at 95, according to MLB.com, and is proficient at producing ground balls. Reilly tied a Cal Poly record for saves as a redshirt sophomore in 2013 and was drafted by the Orioles in the 18th round last year. His secondary stuff is a work in progress and inconsistent, with his changeup flashing above average at times but with great fastball command, he looks like he could be a future major league reliever. He was ranked 181st overall by Baseball America and 229th by Perfect Game. He will likely begin his Red Sox career with the Lowell Spinners this summer.

Round 8 (254th overall): C Ben Moore, JR, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa (Alabama)

Moore played mostly in the outfield throughout his career but caught more often earlier in his career, and the Red Sox asked him to be listed at that position. He has advanced bat-to-balls skills, according to Baseball America, with a low strikeout rate, as well as a strong walk rate. In his three-year college career, Moore hit .307/.375/.443 with 15 home runs. He was ranked at 315 by Baseball America.

Round 9 (284th overall): RHP Kevin Steen, Oak Ridge HS (Tennessee)

Athletic righty with a strong pitcher's frame and a loose arm. Focused on basketball early in his high school career, so is still raw as a pitcher. Fastball sits in the low 90s and his curveball is inconsistent, according to Jim Callis on MLB.com. He is a work in progress with upside. Committed to Tennessee.

Round 10 (314th overall): OF Cole Sturgeon, SR, Louisville (Kentucky)

Two-way player with great speed. Solid contact hitter with limited power potential. Has a strong arm, as evidenced by his work out of the bullpen at Louisville. Sturgeon was a captain and batted .325/.410/.468 this year for the Cardinals with 16 doubles. He was also a decent left-handed pitcher out of the bullpen.

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