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Monday, June 6, 2011
Orange County: Owens to Red Sox, Harrison to Twins


Henry Owens, the left-handed ace of Huntington Beach Edison, was selected in the compensation portion of the first round of the Major League Baseball draft on Monday by the Boston Red Sox with the No. 36 pick overall.

Owens (6-6, 200) has already signed to play college at Miami.

He was announced by former Red Sox star Jim Rice, who referred to him as “Henry Owings.” Rice figures to get it right soon enough. Owens was one of the top prospects in the nation. He had 140 strikeouts in 91 2/3 innings, and a 1.15 earned run average. In 16 appearances, 12 in which he pitched five innings or more, he allowed more than four hits only twice. He gave up 45 hits.

Owens' only defeat of the season came in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section playoffs, a 3-1 loss to Lakewood in which he walked three, allowed four hits, and struck out 11 in six innings. Owens had been brilliant in the playoffs, pitching a no-hitter in the first round and pitching two innings of hitless relief in the second.

With a fastball in the 90-92 mph range, and reaching as high as 94—and with two curves, a slider and a change-up—Owens was the No. 33 prospect and the No. 19 pitcher in the nation, according to  Baseball America. He was the 20th pitcher taken. Maxpreps had him ranked No. 2 among high school prospects.

Boston chose college pitcher Matt Barnes, a right-hander from Connecticut, with the 19th pick, and Blake Swihart, a high school catcher from New Mexico, with the 26th selection,

Also taken in the comp round was Travis Harrison of Tustin, who was chosen No. 50 overall by the Minnesota Twins.  Harrison (6-1, 225) is a third baseman who batted .481 with 13 home runs; 24 of his 37 hits were either doubles or homers. He scored 33 runs and drove in 30. The Twins were clearly looking to bolster the left side of their infield; their first pick was shortstop Levi Michael from North Carolina with the 30th pick.