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Red Sox take high school lefthander Henry Owens with third pick

06.06.11 at 10:37 pm ET
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One pick after they grabbed a high school catcher, the Red Sox targeted another demographic on whom they rarely use their top draft picks. The Sox took 6-foot-7 left-hander Henry Owens out of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, a pitcher with an impressive track record of success against advanced competition in the baseball hotbed of Southern California.

The last time that the Red Sox used a first round or sandwich pick on a high school left-hander? Until Monday, that would be 1997, when the team selected John Curtice with a first-round pick (No. 17 overall) out of Virginia.

It was a miss. Curtice went 4-10 with a 4.76 ERA in four years; he was done with affiliated baseball before he turned 21.

The Sox hope that they fare better with Owens, a pitcher with a low-effort delivery who reportedly works in the 87-91 mph range. That said, he flashed a velocity bump at times as a senior, hitting 94 mph. Based on the frame alone, his velocity would be projectable, and indeed, Baseball America said that he touched 94 mph as a senior, even if he typically sits at a more modest velocity. He also features a curveball, slider, cutter and changeup.

Owens was rated the No. 33 overall prospect in the draft this year by Baseball America.

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