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Red Sox balance Draft haul on Day 3

Red Sox balance Draft haul on Day 3

Red Sox balance Draft haul on Day 3
BOSTON -- Matt Gedman still had hope on Wednesday, when the First-Year Player Draft shifted to its final day.

The Framingham, Mass., native and senior at University of Massachusetts Amherst thought there was a chance his name might get called somewhere toward the end of the Draft. He was incredibly nervous, so he traveled down to Cape Cod with some buddies to relieve stress the best way he knew how -- playing baseball.

When Gedman got to his car and saw all the missed calls on his cell phone, he figured something had happened.

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Gedman -- a 6-foot-2, 205-pound infielder -- became the 45th-round pick of the Boston Red Sox, his favorite team growing up, and one of the clubs for which his father Rich played during his Major League career.

"I wasn't expecting anything today," said Gedman, who batted .402 his senior season. "But I thought there was a chance. Just being able to keep playing ball, that's special. That's all I really want to do right now, is play baseball. I wasn't ready to start looking for a job, so the Red Sox, being picked up by them is extra special."

Gedman was one of 20 players to be drafted by Boston on Day 3. Being the 1,372nd player taken overall doesn't guarantee any type of big league future, but Gedman is ready to do whatever it takes.

"It's a long road to get there; I know that," said Gedman, whose father is the hitting coach for the Class A Lowell Spinners. "There are a lot of areas I have to improve on, so I haven't really thought about [playing for the same team as my dad] yet. I'm more concerned with making big improvements before I get to that level."

Draft Central

Scott Atchison knows a thing or two about making it as a late-round Draft selection. The relief pitcher has been up and down with the Red Sox over the past two seasons, but the 35-year-old has spent parts of 13 seasons in the Minor Leagues after being selected in the 49th round by the Mariners in 1998.

"I just took it as, 'Go out and do your thing,'" Atchison said about being drafted so late. "And my performance will dictate whether I keep moving up or I get sent home. Once you're in the clubhouse, no one really cares whether you're a first-rounder or 49th-rounder."

Atchison made his first appearance in the Majors in 2004, but he hasn't been much of a regular until last season, when he threw 60 innings for Boston.

"Once you get in the Minor Leagues, it's all about development to increase your chances of getting here," said Atchison, who was sent back down to Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. "Once you get in, it all depends on the player. Whatever you [put] into it is what you get out of it."

The Red Sox began Day 3 of the Draft by selecting 6-foot-5 outfielder Tyler Wells, a right-handed hitter from Lexington Catholic High School in Kentucky. Wells was a consistent, strong bat in the middle of the lineup for his squad, which was arguably the best high school team from Lexington.

Should he sign, Wells would be familiar with another high school player already drafted by Boston.

Perhaps the best high school team from Kentucky, St. Xavier, saw its ace, Matthew Spadling, also fall to the Red Sox. Spadling was drafted on Tuesday in Round 29, and his squad got the best of Wells' Lexington Catholic team, 2-1, back in March.

The Sox also picked up another shortstop, the slick-fielding Julius Gaines, from Luella High School (Ga.). Gaines was the No. 3-rated high school player in Georgia, according to BaseballScoutz.com, and was a 2010 Rawlings All-American.

Gaines was originally expected to be taken earlier in the Draft, but he's committed to Florida International.

Continuing to address perhaps the club's most glaring need, Boston drafted two more catchers on Wednesday, nabbing a pair of high school prospects in Carlos Coste (Academia Bautista High School, Puerto Rico) in the 35th round and Matthew Martin (The Pendleton School, Fla.) in the 44th.

John Gorman, a pitcher from Norwood, Mass., was just the second local player to be drafted by the Red Sox. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-hander had a 6-1 record at Catholic Memorial with a 0.14 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 51 innings.

The Sox drafted 13 high school players and seven from colleges on Day 3, completing the Draft with a balanced split of 24 selections out of college and 29 from high schools. They picked 27 pitchers and 26 hitters.

The next step is for the club to work out deals with its 53 new players. And while many of them will never make it to the big leagues, everyone -- from the first to 50th round -- at least has a chance.

"There's always hope," said Atchison. "You never know. You just have to get into it and put a bunch of hard work into it and not necessarily worry about what other people are doing or think, 'So-and-so is going to get a shot before me.' If you're good enough, you'll get a chance, no matter where you're drafted."

Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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