Although players drafted this past June most likely will not be playing at the big league level anytime soon, these players still deserve to be discussed because one day they could be the next big league stars. The Red Sox have seen plenty of talented players that they drafted move right through their system and to Fenway. These include Clay Buchholz, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.
In last June’s draft the Red Sox had four of the first 40 picks, and it would not be too far fetched to see one of if not a few of these players in the big leagues one day.
Matt Barnes- 19th overall
The first pick of the draft for the Red Sox was Matt Barnes, a right-handed pitcher out of UConn. He led UConn to the NCAA Super Regionals before falling to South Carolina. Barnes was named Big East pitcher of the year and finished with an 11-5 record and a 1.93 ERA in 17 starts for the Huskies. Barnes did not pitch in any game for the Red Sox organization this summer, and this fall played for the Red Sox in the Fall Instructional League in Florida. He will likely begin next year with Low-A Greenville or High-A Salem.
Blake Swihart- 26th overall
The Red Sox selected high school catcher Blake Swihart from New Mexico. It was once thought that Swihart would not sign with the team and go play for the University of Texas, but the Red Sox got a deal done. He is a switch-hitting hitter with power from both sides of the plate. He also did not play a game in the Red Sox organization this summer, but this fall took part in the Fall Instructional league. The hope is that Swihart will be able to bypass Single-A Lowell and begin the year in Greenville.
Henry Owens- 36th overall
For the second straight the Red Sox selected a high school pitcher, this time left-handed pitcher Henry Owens from California. Although the pitcher did not sign until the deadline it was never really in doubt that he would sign. Owens is 6-6, 195-pounds went 12-1 with 140 strikeouts in 91.2 innings this season. His fastball is in the low 90’s. Owens did not play a game in the Red Sox organization last summer, but like the others did play in the Fall Instructional League. He will likely begin the year in Greenville next year.
Jackie Bradley Jr.- 40th overall
Jackie Bradley Jr. was taken by the Red Sox with the 40th pick. The centerfielder was the most difficult of the Red Sox draft picks to sign as it was thought he would return to South Carolina for his senior season. At the beginning of the year he was thought of as a top 25 pick, but a wrist injury set him back. Bradley did play a few games for Lowell and was moved up to end the season to Greenville. Bradley could even start 2012 with High-A Salem.