Call to arms: Sox load up on pitchers in Draft

Call to arms: Sox load up on pitchers in Draft

BOSTON -- The Red Sox went hard after pitching from start to finish in the 2016 Draft, opening the festivities by taking one of the most talented amateur arms available in high school lefty Jason Groome.

There was no letup in Day 2, when quality college arms Shaun Anderson (Florida), Mike Shawaryn (Maryland) and Steve Nogosek (Oregon) were selected.

And in Saturday's final day, amateur scouting director Mike Rikard and his staff found yet more arms they were excited about.

Of Boston's 40 selections over three days, 18 were pitchers.

"It's always good to get a lot of pitching," said Rikard. "We got some good arms that I like. We have some we feel can start and a few other guys we feel can have some impact in the bullpen and maybe at a little bit quicker pace. It will be exciting to watch those guys develop and progress through our system."

Sox take Lovullo again in Draft

Fourteen of the 18 pitchers the Red Sox took were college arms.

"I think this was a good group on the whole of college players," said Rikard. "I think there was good depth in that group and when we got down into that area, fourth, fifth, sixth round, there were some good college options, and that is just kind of how it fell."

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The Red Sox's farm system is currently loaded with promising position players, but impact arms aren't as prevalent. That could change after Boston's haul the last three days.

After several weeks of preparation by his staff, Rikard was thrilled the way the board fell.

"We feel good. I think most importantly, one of the things that I try to do as scouting director is get players our scouts are convicted on and players our scouts are passionate about," Rikard said. "I think we did that for the most part. On the whole, we got guys that kind of fit our process, so to speak, and that our guys really wanted the most. That part of it fell our way in the right spots and I feel good about that."

2016 Draft: Mike Shawaryn, RHP

In Saturday's final day, the Red Sox landed a potential sleeper in Matthew Gorst, who was one of the dominant closers in the country this season for Georgia Tech.

The reason he might have slipped was an elbow injury that hindered his performance in 2015. But Gorst bounced back in a big way in his junior season, notching a 0.55 ERA and striking out 55 over 49 innings.

"Our scout, Brian Moehler in Atlanta, really liked him," said Rikard. "I was able to see him this spring as well. He's a durable guy, he's got a deceptive delivery and a really good breaking ball. He would be a guy we may challenge at a little bit of a quicker pace and kind of see what we have."

Righty Brady Bramlett from Ole Miss is another pitching prospect the Red Sox were pleased to see still on the board when they picked him in the 13th round. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound senior went 8-3 with a 3.17 ERA this season.

"He's kind of a proven performer in one of the best leagues in the country and he's a really good strike thrower," Rikard said. "We think he's a pretty advanced guy. We see him as a starter. We like his delivery and he's got three pitches, so we're excited to see what he can do."

The Sox took a local college talent in the 17th round with Boston College catcher Nick Sciortino. The Barrington, N.J., native was the team captain for a BC team that has made a surprising run and is in the middle of a Super Regional against the University of Miami.

"He's more of a defensive-oriented guy," Rikard said. "We like his makeup a lot. Obviously that's very important for that position to kind of believe in the intangible and character attributes and so forth, and we do think he has a chance to be a good receiver with more of a contact-oriented approach at the bat. He grinds ABs."

For the second year in a row, the Red Sox selected Nick Lovullo, the son of bench coach Torey Lovullo. But this time, Lovullo is a senior for Holy Cross and will definitely pursue a professional baseball career with Boston. He was selected in the 20th round. The club stayed in the family in the 36th round when it took Jordan Wren, the son of front office executive Frank Wren, out of Georgia Southern.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.