Red Sox draft picks, rounds 21-30: Red Sox go for college football standouts and a Muddy Chicken winner

June 06, 2012 - 5:44 pm
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This group of picks is most notable for an unusual demographic: College football players at prominent national programs who have spent little time on a baseball field in recent years. That, and for one player whose hero is a pop sensation, and another who claimed an honor inspired by a certain Red Sox second baseman... 21ST ROUND (NO. 661): JAKE DAVIES, 1B, GEORGIA TECH (SENIOR), 22 YEARS OLD Davies hit .326/.401/.548 with 14 homers and led the ACC with 73 RBI as a senior. Though he also served as a left-handed bullpen contributor for Georgia Tech, the Sox announced his selection as a first baseman. Listed at 6-foot-0 and 230 pounds, there may be limitations regarding his defense and athleticism, but evidently, the man can hit, at least in college. Playing for Harwich in the Cape League last summer, he hit .266 with a homer and 19 RBI. He is the brother of former Braves and Royals pitcher Kyle Davies. 22ND ROUND (NO. 691): JOE GREENFIELD, RHP, SOUTH SUBURBAN COLLEGE (IL), 20 YEARS OLD The Sox often like to take big right-handers from the Midwest, believing that as with many New Englanders, pitchers from the region can be undervalued in the draft because they spend most of their short seasons pitching without their best stuff. That said, because Midwesterners are at the mercy of the weather, they are often more raw than players from warmer regions of the country who play virtually year-round. Greenfield was 3-6 with a 4.28 ERA, 95 strikeouts and 30 walks in 82 innings as a sophomore. He has a big pitcher's frame (6-foot-4, 220). On the team's website, the South Suburban coach suggested that Greenfield features an "intimidating fastball" and an off-speed repertoire. Something not intimidating about Greenfield? The fact that he professes his personal hero to be Justin Bieber. 23RD ROUND (NO. 721): BRANDON MAGEE, OF, ARIZONA STATE (SENIOR), 21 YEARS OLD Magee barely played baseball at ASU, as he spent most of his college career as a linebacker for the football team. Still, he played in 27 games, hitting .103/.297/.138 while striking out 22 times in 29 at-bats. Still, he is considered an incredible athlete and is incredibly strong. In this interview, Magee said that even though his college baseball eligibility has concluded, his baseball-playing days were not done. That said, after missing the 2011 football season and 2012 baseball season after blowing out his Achilles and undergoing surgery, he is expected to return to ASU to play football in the fall. But Magee told the Arizona Republic that the Red Sox expressed a willingness to let him play his senior football season at ASU if he signs. 24TH ROUND (NO. 751): KEATON BRISCOE, 2B, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, 21 YEARS OLD Baseball America described him thusly: "Scrappy Canadian middle infielder has solid lefthanded bat, grinder mentality." He was academically ineligible to play for UBC in 2012, but is 8-for-13 in three games for the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets (a particularly formidable variant of yellow jacket, no doubt) in a summer wood bat league. In 2011, he hit .298/.421/.429 for UBC. 25TH ROUND (NO. 781): KHIRY COOPER, OF, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, 22 YEARS OLD Cooper was a two-sport Cornhusker, playing both baseball and football (as a wide receiver) in Lincoln. But he plans to transfer to Tulsa in the fall. Obviously, he's athletic, though two-sport status has also meant that he has remained unpolished as a baseball player. Here is how Cornhuskers coach (and former Nebraska two-sport star) Darin Erstad described Cooper in this article: "Oozing with talent," Erstad said. "He has bat speed, can run, he's got a good arm. It was a long-term projection out of high school. He's improved some, but it's difficult to continue when you're raw and you need to develop your talents." Cooper turned down an opportunity to turn pro out of high school after the Angels selected him in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. He was unable to play baseball this past season while recovering from a foot injury incurred during the football season. 26TH ROUND (NO. 811): JAKE NELSON, RHP, LAKE STEVENS HS (WA.), 18 YEARS OLD Nelson was both an outfielder and pitcher in high school, and he was named All-Wesco and All-Area for his offensive prowess after hitting .406 with 30 RBI. His high school coach described him as the best outfielder who's ever played for him, though he played shortstop for part of this season due to injury. He's also accepted a scholarship offer to play quarterback at the University of Central Washington. Here's Zapruder footage of him pitching at Safeco Field: 27TH ROUND (NO. 841): QUINN CARPENTER, RHP, GOSHEN CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL (NY), 18 YEARS OLD He's a big, 6-foot-3 right-hander with low-90s velocity. He has a scholarship commitment to East Carolina. Perhaps most importantly, he was named the recipient of the New Balance Dustin Pedroia '€œMuddy Chicken Award'€ as his team's grittiest player in the Area Code Games last summer for tossing 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. 28TH ROUND (NO. 871): WESLEY ROGERS, CF, J.L. MANN HIGH SCHOOL (S.C.), 18 YEARS OLD He is very fast (having run a 6.5 60-yard dash), Rogers has a commitment to Spartanburg Methodist College. 29TH ROUND (NO. 911): ALEX BREGMAN, 2B, ALBUQUERQUE ACADEMY (N.M.), 18 YEARS OLD Bregman put tremendous performances for Team USA, hitting .564/.596/.846 for the 16-and-under squad in 2010 and then backing that up with a .378/.500/.459 line for the 18-and-under team in 2011. He then set a single-season New Mexico home run record by going deep 18 times as a senior in high school. Here's the Baseball America skinny: "He has quick hands and an efficient, compact swing. He has bat speed, knows how to get leverage and sprays the ball to all parts of the field. He was going to spend half of his games behind the plate this year, but that plan was derailed when he broke the tip of his right middle finger and missed most of the season. Most scouts believe he fits best at second base, where he's a steady defender with solid-average arm strength. Bregman is a fringe-average runner but shows good instincts on the bases. Scouts love his makeup, and coaches, teammates and fans appreciate his knack for putting the bat on the ball, hard-nosed hustle, smart play and quiet swagger." He has a commitment to LSU and is considered unlikely to pass on the opportunity to play in college. 30TH ROUND (NO. 931): JUSTIN TAYLOR, RHP, FARMVILLE CENTRAL HS (N.C.), 18 YEARS OLD The lean, 6-foot-4 right-hander reportedly features a fastball that consistently registers in the 90s along with a slider. He has a commitment to East Carolina. Here's video of him.