Red Sox announce first three picks of 2012 First-Year Player Draft

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox tonight selected shortstop Deven Marrero out of Arizona State University with their first pick in the first round (24th overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and took left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson from the University of Florida with their second selection in the first round (31st overall).  The club also selected Monmouth (NJ) University product right-handed pitcher Pat Light (37th overall) in Compensation Round A.  Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye made the announcement.

Marrero, 21, was the No. 1 draft eligible college shortstop according to Baseball America and hit .325 (193-for-593) with 37 doubles, 11 triples, 12 home runs and 95 RBI in 150 career games over three seasons with Arizona State, earning all-conference honors in all three campaigns.  The 6-1, 194-pound right-handed hitter was a First-Team Pac-12 All-Conference selection in 2012 and posted a .284 average (62-for-218) with 11 doubles, five triples, four homers, 33 RBI, 38 runs scored and 11 stolen bases in 54 games as a junior this year.  As a sophomore in 2011, he was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the All-Pac-10 First-Team.  Marrero set a Sun Devils freshman record with a team-leading .397 clip (62-for-156) in 2010 and was named a Collegiate Baseball First-Team Freshman All-American.  Last summer he was a Cape Cod League All-Star, hitting .326 (15-for-46) in his second season with the Cotuit club, and also led Team USA with 19 hits and 14 RBI in 14 games.  Marrero earned All-State and All-County honors with American Heritage (FL) High School in Plantation, Florida as a junior during the school’s state and national title-winning 2008 season, a team that included current Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer.  He was previously selected by Cincinnati in the 17th round (509th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft but did not sign.  Deven is the cousin of Chris Marrero, a first baseman in the Nationals organization, and Christian Marrero, an outfielder in the Braves system.

Johnson, a 6-3, 230-pound junior, is 8-4 with a 3.56 ERA (34 ER/86.0 IP) and 68 strikeouts compared to 15 walks in 16 pitching appearances, all starts, for the Gators this season, holding opponents to a .242 batting average.  The 21-year-old leads University of Florida hurlers in games started and is tied for the team lead in wins and innings pitched.  He is also batting .310 (58-for-187) with 12 doubles, five home runs and 40 RBI as a first baseman and designated hitter this season and is in the running for the John Olerud Award, presented to the nation’s top two-way player.  This year is his second straight First-Team All-SEC campaign at designated hitter, and he was also named a Second-Team Louisville Slugger All-American as a utility player in 2012.  A left-hander, Johnson has compiled a 22-11 record on the mound with a 3.72 ERA (99 ER/239.1 IP), 191 strikeouts and 44 walks in three seasons with the Gators, and has also batted .326 (151-for-463) with 28 doubles, three triples, 14 homers and 90 RBI.  In 2010, he was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team as both a starting pitcher and at designated hitter and was chosen as a Freshman All-American by Baseball America.  He was a two-way player with Yarmouth-Dennis of the Cape Cod League last summer and also played for the USA Collegiate National Team for a second consecutive year.  Johnson was named Florida Today Player of the Year, Brevard County Player of the Year and First-Team Class 4A All-State as a junior in 2008 at Cocoa Beach (FL) High School.  He was selected in the 27th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft by the Dodgers but elected not to sign. 

Light compiled an 8-3 record with a 2.40 ERA (27 ER) in 14 starts for Monmouth as a junior this season.  A 6-6, 215-pound right-hander, he set single-season school records with 102 strikeouts, tops in the Northeast Conference this year, and 101.1 innings pitched en route to being named 2012 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Pitcher of the Year as well as Third-Team Louisville Slugger All-American and First-Team All-Northeast Conference.  The 21-year-old was a two-time NEC Pitcher of the Week in 2012 and also earned a Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week Award.  In three seasons for the Hawks, Light went 14-14 with a 3.84 ERA (100 ER/234.1 IP), 196 strikeouts and just 52 walks.  He was named to the 2010 NJCBA All-Rookie squad and was tabbed to the 2011 Northeast Conference All-Tournament Team.  Last summer he played for Chatham in the Cape Cod League.  A native of Colts Neck, NJ, he is a 2009 graduate of Christian Brothers (NJ) Academy, where he helped the school to a State and 2A-North Sectional Championship.  He did not sign after being selected in the 28th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft by Minnesota.