Several Red Sox draftees are well-known to college baseball fans, and several may feature for the 2008 Spinners. The most recognizable name for college baseball fans is North Carolina catcher Tim Federowicz, who was taken in the seventh round. Federowicz is a three-year starter for the Tar Heels, who have lost to Oregon State in the NCAA championship game the last two years and are pegged to make a third appearance at the College World Series. Federowicz has hit over .300 in each of his three years and hit .297 in the Cape Cod League last summer. The strong-armed righty has also moonlighted as a reliever.
The Red Sox preceded their selection of Federowicz with another star college catcher, Yale’s Ryan Lavarnway. Lavarnway posted the best batting average in college baseball in 2007 when he hit .467. Nearly half of his 70 hits were for extra bases and his .873 slugging percentage was also tops in the college game. Lavarnway was named a third-team All-American by Baseball America after the season. This year he was on his way to another monster season, but missed the final 11 games after injuring a wrist. He was one of 50 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award, which goes to the top amateur player in the nation.
Spinners fans may also see several excellent college arms this season. Headlining the list is Rice reliever Bryan Price. Buried on one of the best pitchings staffs in college baseball his first two years, Price pitched just 17 ineffective innings. However, he began to harness his considerable talents in 2008 and the 6’4″ righty pitched 44.1 dominant innings. He allowed less than a hit per inning and posted 50 strikeouts while helping the Owls to the sixth overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
In the third round the Red Sox took Utah ace Stephen Fife and Notre Dame closer Weiland. Despite his size (6’3″, 215), Fife was a mediocre middle reliever for much of 2007. However he began to emerge late in the year and was a starter by the end of the season. Pitching at the front of the Utes rotation in 2008, Fife allowed just 91 hits in 92 innings and posted an excellent 78:29 strikeout to walk ration. Weiland, a third big righty (6’3″, 180) saved 16 games in his freshman year at Notre Dame, but has struggled since breaking his collarbone before the 2007 season. He does hold the school record for saves with 25 and scouts believe he has the ability to regain his dominant form as a professional.
Other College Players selected by Red Sox:
8th Round – RHP Michael Lee (Oklahoma City University)
10th Round – RHP Peter Ruiz (Santa Barbara Community College)
12th Round – LHP Robert McClain (Cumberland University)
16th Round – LHP Mitch Herold (Central Florida)
21st Round – 2B Jonathan Hee (Hawaii)
23rd Round – RHP Seth Garrison (TCU)
30th Round – RHP Alex Hale (Richmond)
31st Round – OF Andrew Frezza (Barry University)