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Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, scouting director Amiel Sawdaye break down draftees

06.05.12 at 1:12 am ET

The Red Sox acquired three college players on the first day of the 2012 draft, grabbing Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero with their top pick (1st round, No. 24 overall), following that with left-hander Brian Johnson of the University of Florida (1st round, No. 31) and finishing the day by grabbing Monmouth flamethrower Pat Light with the team’s third selection (1st round supplemental, No. 37 overall). Here’s what Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and amateur scouting director Amiel Sawdaye had to say about the three picks:


Cherington on whether the Sox thought Marrero — who was slated in some mock drafts as a top-ten selection — would be available when they picked at No. 24: “There were a couple of teams we thought might be a spot where he’€™d go, and he didn’€™t. We were happy he got there. We look forward to trying to get him into the Red Sox organization. He’€™s a talented shortstop who’€™s been a good player at a major program and a good player at Team USA and a guy we liked a lot coming into the spring and like a lot moving forward.”

Sawdaye on his offensive ability: “He has a very quiet swing — functional. He’€™s a guy that sprays the ball around the field. He has what we call sneaky power — a guy that obviously doesn’€™t look like the biggest player on the field but can definitely juice the ball out of the stadium. He’€™s certainly somebody who we feel like has a chance to impact the baseball.”

Sawdaye on how Marrero’s offense compares to his defense: “We think he’€™s advanced on both sides of the baseball. Certainly I think he’€™s probably a better defender. We don’€™t see him moving off shortstop. We think he’€™s a guy that in the long term is going to be a shortstop. I don’€™t think the question of moving him to a different position is even one we’€™re going to tackle right now.”

Sawdaye on the idea that Marrero had a down year as a junior: “I didn’€™t actually the offensive decline was as much of a worry for us. He showed us some things in the box that we really liked and some things that we really look for. Certainly, I think he expected to have a better year statistically but it’€™s not something that is a concern for us either from injury or physical play.”


Sawdaye on whether the Sox will develop Johnson — a two-way player who both pitches and plays first at Florida — as a pitcher: “Certainly, he’€™s a pitcher first for us. He’€™s definitely very intriguing for us as a first baseman, and part of that plays in our evaluation as a guy that plays two ways. We think there’€™s some upside there. But he’€™ll definitely be going out as a lefthanded pitcher for us.”

Sawdaye on Johnson’s repertoire: “The fastball is at 90-94. He can pitch with a plus fastball, can spin a breaking ball, throws two different breaking balls, obviously has a feel for his changeup, very repeatable delivery and it’€™s a guy that throws strikes. He has performed in many different levels and is still performing in the College World Series. He’€™s a guy that we think is super competitive and somebody who’€™s pitched on the big stage.’€


Sawdaye on Light’s stuff: “Power pitcher. The fastball, he runs it up there to 97, 98 this year. He’€™s one of the guys that obviously we scouted on the Cape this past summer in a different role. In the Cape, he was more of a reliever role and obviously came in as a starter this year at Monmouth and got a chance to see extended outings. He’€™s a guy that we feel like has three pitches, certainly will need to develop a little bit more of a changeup and a breaking ball, but for us, it’€™s a power fastball that’€™s one of the best fastballs in the draft.’€

Read More: 2012 MLB Draft, amiel sawdaye, arizona state, ben cherington
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