The Boston Red Sox used their earlier picks on UConn RHP Matt Barnes (19th overall) and HS catcher Blake Swihart (26th overall) leaving them with two compensation picks. Those compensation picks stem from losing Victor Martinez to the Detroit Tigers and Adrian Beltre to the Texas Rangers during free agency.
The Red Sox used the first compensation pick (36th overall) to take high school LHP Henry Owens. Owens does have a commitment to play college baseball at the U (Miami, FL). They then used the second compensation pick (40th overall) to take South Carolina Gamecocks OF Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Here’s what MLB.com had to say about Owens:
Big lefties tend to get noticed, and Owens has been on radars for some time now as he’s made the showcase circuit. The 6-foot-6 southpaw gets some Mark Langston comparisons, in terms of his body type, and he might have the arm to match. The SoCal high school product has a good delivery and arm action that allows him to throw his fastball 90-92 mph, peaking at 94 mph. He keeps it down in the zone and knows how to elevate it when needed. His curve, 69-74 mph, has two tiers to it. The first is a slower, Barry Zito-like breaking ball he throws to get strike one. The second is harder and generates more swings and misses. He also throws a slurvy slider, 75-77 mph, with a wide break. He has an advanced feel for a changeup and while he does try to work it in, he hasn’t needed to use it a lot at this level. He’s got polish on the mound, with advanced command and control of all his pitches, a package that could be a ticket to a first-round selection.
And here’s what MLB.com had to say about Bradley, Jr.:
Bradley, the center fielder for the University of South Carolina, seemed destined to be a no-doubt first-round pick before this season started. But struggles with the bat — he hit just. 259 over 37 games — and a wrist injury that required surgery have thrown his status into question. He swings a better bat than what he showed this season, having hit well in the tough SEC in the past as well as for Team USA this past summer. Though he’s only 5-foot-10, he packs surprising power into his frame. He’s a rare combination of an outfielder who has the chance to be an above-average defensive center fielder while having below-average speed. He’s got an above-average arm and plus instincts which should allow him to stay there, like a Jim Edmonds. A team that thinks the pre-2011 Bradley is the real one will likely still take a chance pretty early on.
Ironically enough, Barnes and Bradley will be able to get acquainted before they potentially become teammates in the Red Sox minor league system. Barnes’ UConn Huskies will take on Bradley’s South Carolina Gamecocks in the Columbia (SC) Super Regional this weekend with a berth to the College World Series on the line.