|Red Sox sign second-round draft pick Williams Jerez||07.12.11 at 5:40 pm ET|
PHOENIX — The Red Sox have signed second-round pick Williams Jerez. The toolsy center fielder out of Grand Street High School New York City agreed to a deal that will pay him Major League Baseball’s slot recommended bonus. A year ago, the No. 81 pick (Daniel Tillman of the Dodgers) signed for an MLB slot recommended bonus of $443,700; it is believed that Jerez signed for the same figure.
Jerez became a controversial figure just prior to the draft. The Dominican-born player, whose listed age on his birth certificate is 19, received scrutiny as to whether his listed age was indeed accurate. Yet the Sox determined not only that they had every reason to believe that his listed age was his real one, but also that the lean, athletic 6-foot-4, 190-pound outfielder had the tools to make him a very interesting prospect.
“Unfortunately for him, the focus was not on his tools but his age,” Red Sox amateur scouting director Amiel Sawdaye said earlier this summer, explaining that the Sox were confident that Jerez’ birth certificate age of 19 was accurate after ample background work both in the U.S. and in his native Dominican Republic. “His tool set, if you hit on him, you have the chance to get a plus bat with plus power, arm strength, a good defender and probably a decent runner.”
Jerez will likely be developed as a center fielder to see if he can play well enough to stay at the position. If not, and if he were to end up in right field, the team feels the rest of his tools are good enough to make him an interesting prospect.
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