Red Sox go pitching route in sixth round

Red Sox go pitching route in sixth round

BOSTON -- Unlike in recent years, when the Red Sox often pounced on pitching early in the Draft, they waited until the sixth round to take their first arm this year in right-hander Travis Lakins out of Ohio State.

Lakins, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound sophomore, saw his numbers and velocity dip a bit from his freshman year. But the Red Sox think Lakins has the tools to develop into a solid pitcher once he improves his command.

Lakins fired a 10-inning gem en route to a 2-1 win over Nebraska in April.

The selection of Lakins marked the latest the Red Sox waited to take a pitcher in the Draft since 1992.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com beginning at noon ET.

Round 7: RHP Ben Taylor, University of South Alabama
The Red Sox might have a future closer on their hands in Taylor. When the 6-foot-3, 225-pound righty moved to the bullpen full-time during his senior year, he took his game to another level.

"He was fantastic for us. He was our closer, but we'd bring him in the sixth and seventh if we needed to," said University of South Alabama head coach Mark Calvi.

"Ben is the ultimate worker, the ultimate teammate and he was the ultimate competitor for us the last two years. He was a strike-throwing machine for us and really competed hard and was as clutch a pitcher as I've had in a long time."

Not only does Taylor's stuff seem to play better in the bullpen, but he has the mentality that goes with the role.

"Ben is one of those guys who does better when he can see the finish line," said Calvi.

Round 8: LHP Logan Allen, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
The hard-throwing lefty has a scholarship waiting for him at the University of South Carolina. The Red Sox are hoping he decides to go pro. He was the first lefty taken by Boston, but the third consecutive pitcher. Allen was essentially unhittable in his senior year, posting a 0.93 ERA and striking out 64 batters over 45 innings.

"It was unbelievable," said Allen. "It was the team I had talked to the earliest since I had started my senior year, and it was the team I wanted to go to the most. The area scout, Stephen Hargett, was one of my favorite guys. That was my favorite option. I got to go to my dream team. I'm unbelievably excited and can't wait to start. I would have had no problem turning down money to play at the University of South Carolina, but to play for the Boston Red Sox and live my dream that I've been dreaming since I was a little kid is definitely worth it."

Round 9: 1B Tucker Tubbs, University of Memphis
The right-handed hitter had a significant jump in his power this season, belting 17 homers after hitting eight over his first three college seasons. Tubbs had a career OBP of .378 and was a third-team All-American this season.

"He's had some ups and down, but he absolutely never quit working," said Memphis State coach Daron Schoenrock. "He's not a power guy who just swings and misses a bunch. He knows what he can hit and what he can't, and what he can hit hard, and he's learned to take the other pitches. He's not a chase guy."

Tubbs played third and second earlier in his career before moving to first the last two seasons.

Round 10: 3B Mitchell Gunsolus, Gonzaga
The Red Sox completed Day 2 by taking a third baseman with diversified skills at the plate. The left-handed hitter produced a slash line of .353/.449/.556 with 15 doubles and seven homers in his senior season at Gonzaga.

"I think he's a very good overall hitter," said Gonzaga coach Mark Machtolf. "He can really do it all. He gets on base, he walks, he's got a really good feel for the strike zone. He's shown gap power and this year, he's finally shown home run power. And he runs decent. You combine all those tools, and they've got themselves a very good power."

Gunsolus also projects to have versatility on defense.

"He's played short, he's played third and I think he can play second or the outfield," said Machtolf. "I think the fact he can play more than one position, it's really going to help his chances of advancing."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.