Draft Day 1 in Review
By: Colby Garrapy
As the clock turned to 7 pm the Nationals made their highly anticipated move and selected 17 year-old college slugger, Bryce Harper, with the first overall pick of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. For the Red Sox, questions still arose over whom they chose with their 20th overall pick.
Kolbrin Vitek was viewed as one of the best college bats on the market and rumor had it the Padres had interest in selecting him with their 9th overall pick. Anthony Ranaudo, pitcher from LSU, was another targeted by the Sox, but Boras as an agent would make him difficult to sign. Bryce Brentz, outfielder from Middle Tennessee State, was seen as one of the most powerful right-handed hitters in the draft. All three were viewed as potential first round picks, and all three the Sox managed to draft on Day 1.
Kolbrin Vitek, 3B/OF, Ball State
High School: Bryan
Hometown: Bryan, OH
As the 9th pick rolled around and the Padres went in another direction, leaving Kolbrin Vitek available, the Red Sox saw it as a chance for them to land their guy. With the 20th overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox chose Kolbrin Vitek of Ball State.
Kolbrin Vitek, junior at Ball State, made an impact throughout MLB front offices this year when he posting a .361 AVG, 17 HR, 83 hits, 73 runs, and 17 stolen bases. He became the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, Louisville Slugger first team All-American, and semifinalist for the Golden Spike Award, as the top amateur player of the year.
As teams began recruiting Vitek for college, the University of Michigan offered him a chance to be a pitcher and he said no thanks. Ball State was the right fit as he was given the opportunity to play the field everyday and be in their starting rotation, where he succeeded and put up a 3.28 ERA. It was his bat that got the attention of many scouts. Vitek can flat out hit with consistency. His quick bat speed and ability to make contact with the ball is exactly what the Sox were looking for with a first pick.
First glimpse for many Sox fans would have them questioning the move, drafting a second baseman. What about Pedroia? Vitek, a second baseman at Ball State, is not projected to end up playing there in the future. Many scouts saw him as an outfielder down the road due to his above average speed and good arm. The Red Sox understand he would have the ability to play the outfield, but see him as an average third baseman defensively in the future.
Expected to sign within the next few days, Vitek will hopefully report to one of the Red Sox facilities to begin his professional career. Could it be here with the Spinners? We won’t find out until everything is official. Kolbrin Vitek has a promising future in baseball, and hopefully a bright future in the Red Sox organization.
Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee State
High School: South Doyle HS
Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
MLB comparison: Brad Hawpe/Nick Markakis
Bryce Brentz, outfielder for Middle Tennessee State, drafted with the 36th pick of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft is a perfect for the Red Sox. Thought to go in the top 10, the Sox got lucky as he slipped by and went late. His raw power potential from the right side of the plate will be a great pay off for the Sox down the road.
Brentz is seen as a future middle of the order guy playing a corner outfield position. During his workout at Fenway Park prior to the draft, Brentz was hitting light tower high homeruns onto Lansdowne Street. That type of power at his age got the Sox excited about what could come in the future. Standing at 6’ 185 lbs. Brentz has drawn comparisons to the Colorado Rockies Brad Hawpe and Baltimore’s Nick Markakis. Drafted out of high school in the 30th round by the Cleveland Indians, Bryce opted to go to college instead. Three years later, he has established himself as one of the most feared right-handed bats in college baseball.
Just a year ago he led the NCAA in AVG (.465), HR (28), SLG (.930), and total bases (214), but a high ankle sprain plagued his 2010 season and may have affected where he was drafted this year. While he suffered an injury-plagued season, Brentz still managed to produce a line of .348 AVG, 15 HR, and 49 RBI.
Scouts have had questions about his ability to be patient at the plate. Joining the Sox organization will only help Brentz as they strive for patience. Losing Jason Bay opened the opportunity for the Red Sox to draft Bryce with their compensation pick. A pick the decision makers didn’t have to think hard and long about.
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU
By: Michael Sebor
Selected as the 39th overall pick by the Red Sox in 2010 Anthony Ranaudo is a hard throwing right hander from LSU with a fast ball that touches 96 MPH. To compliment his fastball Ranaudo also displays a curveball and changeup in his arsenal. He uses his fastball control to set up his strikeout opportunities. Ranaudo is 20 years old and stands at a towering 6’ 7’’. Tall and intimidating he is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the country. Director of Amateur scouting for the Red Sox Amiel Sawdaye was quoted saying “He was arguably the top college pitcher coming into the year. For one reason or another, we believe he slid in the Draft. He’s someone we’re really, really excited to take and hopefully can come to an agreement with him sometime soon.”
In 2009 Ranaudo was the Tigers ace starter. He recorded a 12-3 record with a 3.04 era in 19 starts with 50 walks and 159 strikeouts. He was named 2009 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player finishing 3rd in the nation in strikeouts, and 5th in the nation in wins. He became the first LSU player since Kurt Ainsworth in 1999 to lead the SEC in strikeouts. With an opponent batting average of (.209) Ranaudo helped lead the Tigers to to their first national championship since 2000. Ranaudo was the winning pitcher in game 3 of the CWS finals vs. Texas working 5.1 innings and allowing four runs on eight hits with five walks and four strikeouts. He also defeated Arkansas in a CWS semi finals game pitching 6 scoreless innings on 4 hits and no walks.
Ranaudo had a sharp statistical decline in 2010 mainly because of elbow issues. He missed a chunk of time early in the season and had trouble returning to his elite form. This year he was unable to keep the ball down the way he had in the past. He had a 5-3 record with a 7.49 ERA in 14 appearances (10 starts). This year he recorded 54 strikeouts with 26 walks and an opponent batting average of (.282). It is because of his slide in statistics, and his elbow injury in 2010, is most likely why he slid to the 39th pick in the draft. Even with his problems in 2010 Ranaudo is still considered one of the top pitching prospects in this draft, and has the potential to have a very promising future in baseball.