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Boston replenishes farm system with arms

Boston replenishes farm system with arms

With homegrown talent like Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox know a thing or two about the importance that comes with the sometimes-overlooked First-Year Player Draft. On Wednesday, they completed another year of trying to build talent in their farm system with the conclusion of Day 3.

Boston started off the 2010 Draft by selecting two power collegiate bats and finished it by going the high-school route, as 14 of the 20 players the Red Sox selected on the third day -- rounds 31-50 -- were high-school seniors, including seven of the first eight.

Draft Central

In total, Boston -- which sported four picks in the first 57 selections thanks to compensation for the losses of Billy Wagner and Jason Bay -- drafted 26 pitchers, 16 infielders (including seven catchers) and 10 outfielders. Thirty-three players -- though none among the top four -- were plucked out of high school, and 19 were from the college ranks.

One may be difficult to sign.

After drafting two potential middle-of-the-order bats in Ball State second baseman Kolbrin Vitek, who will move to third base, and Middle Tennessee State outfielder Bryce Brenz, the Red Sox took a bit of a gamble when they selected power right-hander Anthony Ranaudo from Louisiana State University with their third pick.

That gamble was two-fold: Ranaudo is coming off a season plagued by elbow woes, and he's represented by heralded down-to-the-wire negotiator Scott Boras.

"We'll see," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, whose team has until Aug. 16 to lock him up. "We'll sit down with Anthony and with his advisor, Scott Boras, and talk about why we think the Red Sox are a good fit for him, and we'll just have to see how that process goes."

But as was the case with Brentz -- the No. 36 overall pick, who would've been a top-tier selection had he duplicated his gaudy sophomore-year numbers -- the Red Sox never would've thought Ranaudo -- one of the top young arms last year -- would fall in to their laps at No. 39 overall at the start of the season, so they went for it.

"He was arguably a Top 10 pick coming into this year," Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye said. "He's a guy that has light tower, plus raw power."

By starting off Day 2 by selecting University of Texas right-hander Brandon Workman, the Red Sox went to work on bringing more arms into their system, as 18 of the 29 players selected on Tuesday were pitchers.

On Day 3, seven of 20 were pitchers.

Among the final-day picks, the Red Sox drafted North Central College shortstop Nicholas Robinson, who's the nephew of one of the team's amateur scouts, Jim Robinson. The club also took Rhode Island native Zach Kapstein in the 44th round. He's the nephew of Red Sox senior advisor for baseball projects Jeremy Kapstein.

Two other players were drafted with New England ties: outfielder Thomas Bourdon of Northwest Catholic High School in Connecticut (38th round), and first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth, a Mattapoisett, Mass., native from Yale University (49th round).

The club dedicated this year's Draft to long-time scout and former Major League pitcher Jerry Stephenson, who passed away at age 66 on Sunday.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }