|Red Sox announce signings of 11 draft picks, including right-hander Ty Buttrey||06.15.12 at 3:46 pm ET|
CHICAGO — The biggest signability question among the Red Sox’ 2012 draftees proved to be little question at all.
The Red Sox announced the signings of 11 of their 2012 draft picks. As previously reported by WEEI.com, the group of signees included supplemental first-rounder Pat Light ($1 million bonus) and second-rounder Jamie Callahan. The team had already locked up five college seniors whom it drafted in rounds five through 10, most notably fifth-rounder Mike Augliera out of Binghamton, a pitcher whom the Sox view as being a legitimate prospect given the way in which he attacks the strike zone (he had an 83-to-7 strikeout-to-walk rate) and his low-90s fastball gets groundballs at an extreme rate.
This year, roughly 80 percent of balls put in play against him were grounders. In a conference tournament game at the end of his senior year, he pumped a 94 mph backdoor sinker over the plate on his last pitch of a complete game.
Most notable among the group announced by the club was fourth-rounder Ty Buttrey, a tall, 19-year-old with high octane stuff who at one point was projected as a potential first rounder. Buttrey, according to industry sources, will receive a bonus in excess of $1 million — far in excess of the $291,000 allotted by Major League Baseball for that pick in the draft bonus pool of $6.884 million that the Sox can spend for their 12 draft picks in the first 10 rounds. In order to be able to afford Buttrey while remaining with the pool, the Red Sox tabbed other areas through which to achieve savings. For instance, Light’s bonus was nearly $400,000 below the MLB-recommended bonus for the No. 37 pick, and the signing of the five seniors also offered the Sox significant savings below the slot allotments.
The only players from the first 10 rounds whom the Sox have not signed are their top two picks from the first round, shortstop Deven Marrero of Arizona State and left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson of the University of Florida, and third rounder Austin Maddox, the closer for the University of Florida. Both Johnson and Maddox, according to multiple industry sources, are expected to sign quickly once Florida is done playing in the College World Series.
Buttrey is a hard-throwing right-hander from Providence High School in North Carolina who, early in the spring season, was viewed as a candidate to be taken in the first round. He compiled a 9-2 record with two saves and a 0.91 ERA (7 ER/69.0 IP) this season for Providence Senior High School in Charlotte, NC. He averaged 13.04 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (100 K) in his senior season.
At the start of his high school season, Buttrey flashed a 93-97 mph fastball while also featuring a swing-and-miss knuckle curveball (described by an evaluator as a “wipeout” offering) and, on occasion, a changeup for which he showed some feel. His velocity declined later in the spring (perhaps because of usage, as his high school team used him as both a starter and reliever to maximize his impact), resulting in some slippage to his draft stock.
Still, when he was still available in the fourth round, the Sox saw a significant opportunity. He’s a tall (6-foot-4) pitcher who needs more core strength to improve his body control, but if he does that, given the way in which he pounds the strike zone, he could develop into either a starter or a back-end reliever. He is beloved by nearly anyone who watches him, given that he works at a blistering pace on the mound. One evaluator saw him throw a seven-inning complete game in little over an hour.
The Sox also announced the signing of outfielder Shaq Thompson (profiled here), the football star who will be a defensive back at the University of Washington this fall. Thompson will receive a dual-sport bonus that will count for less than $100,000, meaning the 18th round pick will not count against the team’s draft spending pool.
Here’s the Red Sox’ press release:
The Boston Red Sox today announced that the club has signed 11 players selected in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, including right-handed pitcher Pat Light, taken by the club in Compensation Round A, and right-handers Jamie Callahan, Ty Buttrey and Mike Augliera, Boston’s second, fourth and fifth round picks, respectively.
Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye made the announcement.
Light, the 37th overall pick out of Monmouth University, posted an 8-3 record with a 2.40 ERA (27 ER) in 14 starts as a junior this season. He established single-season school records with 102 strikeouts, tops in the Northeast Conference, and 101.1 innings pitched en route to being named 2012 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Pitcher of the Year and a First-Team All-Northeast Conference selection. In his three years at Monmouth, Light tallied 196 strikeouts in 234.1 frames, sixth most in school history.
Callahan, a right-hander out of Dillon (SC) High School, was named the 2012 Gatorade South Carolina Baseball Player of the Year after going 7-1 with one save, a 0.89 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 50.0 innings. He also hit .439 with five homers and 32 RBI this year and was tabbed Region 8-2A Player of the Year, helping lead his team to the regional championship. Callahan was an All-State selection in each of the past two years.
Buttrey compiled a 9-2 record with two saves and a 0.91 ERA (7 ER/69.0 IP) this season for Providence Senior High School in Charlotte, NC. He averaged 13.04 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (100 K) in his senior season.
A senior at Binghamton University in 2012, Augliera had six wins, a 3.16 ERA (29 ER/82.2 IP) and led the America East Conference with 83 strikeouts compared to just seven walks in 13 starts, including seven complete games. A three-time all-conference selection, the right-hander set school records with 23 wins, 298.1 innings, 50 starts and 13 complete games in his collegiate career.
Also among those who have signed is catcher Miguel Rodriguez. A 36th-round selection out of UNC Charlotte, he is the son of Red Sox Minor League Hitting Coordinator Victor Rodriguez and brother of club scout Victor Jr. Miguel made 20 starts behind the plate for Charlotte this year and caught 10 of 22 attempted base stealers.
Additional signings announced today include right-handed pitcher Kyle Kraus (7th round), first baseman Nathan Minnich (8th round), infielder Mike Miller (9th round), left-handed pitcher Dylan Chavez (14th round), center fielder Shaq Thompson (18th round) and first baseman Jake Davies (21st round).
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