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Hot Stove: Twins trade OF Denard Span to Nationals 11.30.12 at 11:03 am ET
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Denard Span

The Nationals acquired center fielder Denard Span from the Twins for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer on Thursday.

Span hit .284 with 90 steals and a .357 on-base percentage during five seasons with the Twins. Last season, he hit .284 with four home runs and 41 RBIs. He missed games late in the season due to a strained right collarbone, which let Ben Revere play some games and showcase his talent, likely leading the Twins to pull the trigger on dealing Span.

“He’s going to bring a dimension to the club that we haven’t had before,” Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo said, “a fast-moving, exciting guy that makes contact and moves the guy around and can fly around the field.”

With Span taking over in center, 20-year-old NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper moves to a corner, likely left field, with Jayson Werth probably staying in right.

Span tweeted that he was excited to be joining the Nationals.

The 22-year-old Meyer, a top prospect for the Nationals, played for the Potomac Nationals in the Carolina League and the Hagerstown Suns in the South Atlantic League this past season. Combined, he was 10-6 in 25 starts with a 2.86 ERA.

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The latest Red Sox draft buzz: final expert predictions 06.06.11 at 4:04 pm ET
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Here is the latest of what the experts are saying regarding the Red Sox and their first round selections:

- Baseball Prospectus has changed its prediction for the No. 19 pick. Earlier they had the Sox taking right-hander Alex Meyer from Kentucky. Now, the site predicts the club will take C.J. Cron, a first-baseman out of Utah. Cron is predicted to go as early as No. 10, so he might not be available at No. 19. In that case, the site suggests, the Sox might target outfielder Josh Bell or outfielder Brandon Nimmo. They are staying true with their prediction with the No. 26 pick as they say the Sox will take high school catcher Blake Swihart from New Mexico.

- Baseball America has also posted its final mock draft. They expect the Sox to be fairly conservative with the No. 19 pick and then get aggressive with their next three picks. They say the Sox are hoping for a big-name college pitcher to fall to them, and predict that they will select right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray out of Vanderbilt. At No. 26 they predict the Sox will pick high school catcher Austin Hedges out of California.

- Yahoo! Sports has posted its final mock draft as well. They say the Sox will select the best player available with the No. 19 pick and they believe that will be Taylor Guerrieri, a right-handed pitcher from South Carolina. At No. 26 they predict the Sox will select left-hander Matt Purke out of TCU. Purke was once predicted by some as the number one pick in the draft, but has slipped because of shoulder concerns and a loss in his velocity.

- MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has published his final mock draft. With the No. 19 pick he has the Sox selecting Alex Meyer, a right-hander out of Kentucky. He says after two years of struggling, he has started to pitch well and because of that has moved up into the top 2/3 of the first round. At No. 26 he predicts high school catcher Blake Swihart, out of New Mexico will go to the Sox. He says he is one of the best high school catchers in the draft and will come with a high price tag.

Read More: 2011 MLB Draft, alex meyer, blake swihart, josh bell Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
The latest Red Sox draft buzz: Who met with the Sox? at 2:29 pm ET
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With the first round of the Major League Baseball draft only a few hours away, here are a few more of the prospects that the Red Sox have worked out and have said to have interest in:

- Last week the Sox worked out Keene State right-hander Corey Vogt at Fenway Park. Vogt, a lifelong Yankees fan, reportedly joked with general manager Theo Epstein before taking to the mound.

“I told him you better draft me if I’m doing this for you,” Vogt said about pitching on the Fenway Park mound.

On the year, the reliever was 3-2 with a 2.82 ERA. Vogt had an impressive 30 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.

- The Red Sox actually used Skype to conduct a psychological review with prospect Dillon Maples, a high school pitcher from North Carolina. The right-hander was recently named the Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina. He has accepted an offer to play baseball at the University of North Carolina, and is also interested in joining the football team as a kicker/punter.

Maples’ father, Tim reached the Triple-A level of the Orioles organization. He was selected No. 45 overall in the 1979 draft.

- Red Sox scouts were in attendance at last week’s Virgin Islands Future Stars pre-draft workout in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Top prospects that worked out there were Deshorn Lake and Richard White. Lake, who has signed to play at East Carolina University, has a fastball that tops out at 90 MPH. White, who did not play baseball last year for academic reasons, reportedly has a fastball that can top out at close to 96 MPH.

- Many of the experts have the Sox connected with right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer out of Kentucky in the first round. ESPN.com draft expert Jason Churchill says that he has the best breaking ball (slider) of the entire draft (Insider only). He says that it can occasionally be “unhittable.” WEEI.com’s Alex Speier looks at the Sox’ attempts to sign Meyer after drafting him in 2008.

Read More: 2011 MLB Draft, alex meyer, corey vogt, deshorn lake Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Will the Red Sox renew their courtship of one who got away in ’08 draft? at 1:38 pm ET
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Right-hander Alex Meyer passed on a $2 million offer from the Red Sox to attend the University of Kentucky. (Photo used with permission of UK Athletics)

Back in 2008, the Red Sox considered their negotiations with Alex Meyer exciting for the sheer fact that they had no idea what the outcome would be. The team had taken the giant right-hander with a pick in the 20th round, viewing him as the ultimate wild card.

The team felt confident that it would be able to land first-round pick Casey Kelly. As the signing deadline approached, the club also reached a point where it believed that outfielder Ryan Westmoreland — whom it viewed as one of the top 10 players in the 2008 draft class — would also pass on his scholarship offer at Vanderbilt to begin a pro career with the team he’d spent his life rooting for.

But most teams viewed Meyer as completely unsignable, considering his commitment to the University of Kentucky to be iron clad. Based on where they were able to select him – a place where they hadn’t expected the then-18-year-old to be available – the Sox were willing to take a shot on a player who was being advised by Scott Boras.

At the time, Meyer screamed projectability. At 6-foot-7, he showed an ability to command a sinking mid-90s fastball and a hammer curve that made him one of the more impressive high school pitching prospects that year. Baseball America tabbed him as the No. 5 prospect coming out of high school in 2008.

Meyer hailed from a small town in Southeast Indiana. He was named the state’s Mr. Baseball as a senior, when he went 8-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 51 innings. He had power stuff, though he remained raw (as evidenced by his 30 walks that year).

Still, the potential was tantalizing. Meyer looked like a pitcher who would be a project, requiring time to develop consistent mechanics given his size, but the potential upside was obvious.

Meyer and Boras recognized the pitcher’s standing in the draft class. Shortly after the draft, the Sox were told that it would take $4 million for the right-hander to sign.

For most of the rest of the summer, the Sox had little to no contact with him. He met the Sox when they played the Reds in Cincinnati that summer, getting escorted around the clubhouse by then-Assistant GM Jed Hoyer. But there wasn’t much contact after that.

The Sox became pessimistic about the odds of signing Meyer when Kentucky pitching coach Gary Henderson (who had recruited Meyer) was promoted to head baseball coach that summer. That, the Sox expected, would likely seal the deal on convincing Meyer to head to college. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex meyer, jed hoyer, John Henry, mlb draft 2011 Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
The latest Red Sox draft buzz: Noon at 12:05 pm ET
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With the countdown to tonight’s draft now in full swing, here are the latest suggests about who the Red Sox might take with their early picks, as well as more reports about players whom the team has scouted and/or worked out:

- MLB draft expert Keith Law of ESPN.com has published his final mock draft. He has the Red Sox selecting right-hander Alex Meyer out of Kentucky with the No. 19 pick. He also notes that they could select Jed Bradley (LHP, Georgia Tech), Sonny Gray (RHP, Vanderbilt) or Mikie Mahtook (OF, LSU) if they were to be available when the Sox are on the clock. With the No. 26 he has them picking left-hander Chris Reed out of Stanford. A lot of experts have the Sox selecting high school outfielder Josh Bell from Texas but according to Law those rumors are “overheated.”

- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus published his mock draft on Friday. With the No. 19 pick he has the Sox picking Alex Meyer (RHP, Kentucky). He, like Law, says the Sox are hoping a few players drop and are available when they pick. At No. 26 he has catcher Blake Swihart, a high school catcher out of New Mexico going to the Sox. He also notes that Meyer could fall and the Sox could get him with No. 26 instead of at No. 19.

- The Red Sox have interest in high school outfielder Williams Jerez from Brooklyn, NY. He would most likely be drafted within the first two rounds. The Mets, Yankees and Blue Jays have also shown interest. He worked out with the Mets before their game on Sunday and he belted two home runs into the second deck in right field. If he does not end up signing with a team he has plans to play Junior college in Texas.

- Chaz Hebert (LHP, Breaux Bridge HS) is also reportedly on the Sox radar for day two of the draft. “I’ve seen projections between the third and fifth rounds, but the teams do what they want to do. It’s a big business. You never know what’s going to happen,” Hebert said. Hebert was the District 6-4A MVP and made the Class 4A all-state team (Louisiana), going 6-2 with a 1.36 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings. He has signed to play for Louisiana-Lafayette, but could turn professional.

Read More: 2011 MLB Draft, alex meyer, blake swihart, chaz hebert Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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