Wednesday night, Luis Exposito
got the call. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia
sick, Exposito was summoned to Yankee Stadium for his first day as a major leaguer.
The timing seemed appropriate, since his call-up came on a day when Major League Baseball conducted Rounds 31-50 of its amateur draft. Exposito, after all, was taken by the Sox in the 31st round of the 2005 selection process as a draft-and-follow; he was signed prior to the 2006 draft, and over his six seasons in pro ball, he’s developed into a player whose abilities suggest that he has a major league future.
The third day of the draft, for obvious reasons, will feature fewer players with big league futures than the first two. Nonetheless, there are future big leaguers to be found in the final 20 rounds of the draft. Certainly, Exposito can offer hope to some of the players taken by the Sox on Wednesday.
31st round: Tyler Wells, OF, Lexington Catholic HS (Ky.)
Based on the limited available information on the interweb, it would appear that Wells won the John Philip Sousa Band award and was a National Honor Society member at Lexington Catholic, a school that had one of the top baseball programs in Kentucky. He is listed at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, and is considered a fast-twitch athlete with a good swing, some speed and an idea of what he is doing at the plate. He does not have a known commitment to a college program.
32nd round: Julius Gaines, SS, Luella High School (Ga.)
Gaines is considered an athletics shortstop with a good glove. He dealt with early-season shoulder issues as a senior, but improved as the year progressed and ended up hitting .391 with two homers. Entering the year, he was projected to be a pick in the relatively early rounds, but appeared to slip due to his performance while playing through the injury. He has a commitment to Florida Atlantic University; Gaines fits the profile of a high-school draftee whom the Sox will follow over the summer to determine what kind of offer, if any, to make in hopes of convincing him to turn pro. www.mycountypaper.com/henrysports/headlines/Gaines_hoping_to_have_his_name_called_early_in_draft________________________________123145958.html" target="_blank">Gaines told the Henry Daily-Herald that he was open to turning pro, depending on where he was drafted and what kind of offer he received.
33rd round: David Chester, 1B, University of Pittsburgh
At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, he likely wins the prize for the biggest player drafted by the Sox (helped in part because the team’s tallest draftees, such as 6-foot-6 sandwich pick Henry Owens, are rail thin). Chester is a senior out of Pitt who mashed in Big East play. He led the conference with 16 homers while hitting .345 with a .470 OBP and .665 slugging mark. He’s a likely candidate to land in Lowell.
34th round: Ben Dartnell, LHP, Vauxhall High School (Manitoba)
A 6-foot-3, 210 pound lefty from Canada, www.winnipegsun.com/2011/06/08/red-sox-draft-local-hurler" target="_blank">Dartnell told the Winnipeg Sun that he was pleasantly surprised when the Red Sox — his favorite team — drafted him, since he’d had little contact with them. He had worked out for the Brewers. The article suggests that Dartnell throws as hard as 91 mph.
Also noteworthy: Vauxhall is a place of profound yet subtle significance, as the Vauxhall Gardens in London were a cultural institution from the 17th to 19th century that helped to shape popular amusements — such as amusement parks — into present times.
35th round: Carlos Coste C R/R 6-2 186 Academia Bautista High School San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Red Sox have been aggressive in drafting talent from Puerto Rico in recent years, most notably with 2009 first-rounder Reymond Fuentes and 2010 fifth-rounder Henry Ramos. Coste is from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy.
36th round: Jace Herrera, RHP, Wekiva High School (Fla.)
Herrera is a 6-foot-4 right-hander who was a standout performer in the Orlando area. He features a high-80s fastball with a hard slider. He has a commitment to the University of Miami.
37th round: Robert Youngdahl, OF, Hill-Murray High School (Minn.)
Youngdahl was recruited to pitch at Kansas State as a pitcher, as the 6-foot-2 left-hander bumps 90 mph with a diverse array of pitches. He was 13-5 with a 1.98 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 118 innings as a junior. He had better than a 4.0 GPA, and turned down an offer to pitch at Dartmouth. However, he was also an accomplished hitter for his prep team, and was named www.startribune.com/sports/120668059.html" target="_blank">Athlete of the Week by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune early in the season on the strength of his two-way performance.
38th round: Tyler Poole, RHP, Hickory HS (NC)
Poole is a 6-foot-6, 205-pound right-hander originally had a commitment to play basketball at Ole Miss before electing to accept a two-sport scholarship at Coastal Carolina. www.observernewsonline.com/content/three-area-baseball-players-could-be-selected-mlb-draft" target="_blank">He told the Observer-News that he is likely to go to college, barring an unexpectedly significant bonus offer.
39th round: Corey Vogt, RHP, Keene State College (Conn.)
Vogt is a a two-time All-Little East Conference reliever who had four saves, a 2.82 ERA and 30 punchouts in 22 1/3 innings for Keene State. The lifelong Yankees fan had a workout at Fenway Park over the weekend, and told GM Theo Epstein, “You better draft me if I’m doing this for you.” Vogt, in a school press release, said that he would have no problem shifting allegiances now that he has been selected by the Sox.
“They’re paying my salary now, so I won’t have a hard time with it,” he said. “It’s going to be cool playing baseball and earning a paycheck doing it.”
Vogt throws in the low-90s.
40th round: Jordan Gross, LHP, Don Bosco Prep HS (NJ)
Gross is a 6-foot-2 lefty whose fastball has registered in the low-90s. He has a commitment to Tulane that is considered nearly unbreakable, so at the least, the Sox may use the summer as an opportunity to get to know the well-regarded southpaw, who was undefeated and had thrown a pair of no-hitters by late-May.
41st round: Matt Marquis, OF, University of Maryland
Marquis, the son of two University of Maine alums, transferred from Vanderbilt to become an everyday centerfielder for the Terps. He had a terrible outfield collision at the beginning of May that kept him out for the rest of the year. He was hitting .207 at the time of the injury.
42nd round: Derek O’Dell, SS, Canyon High School (Texas)
O’Dell is a multi-sport athlete who has a commitment to TCU. He stopped playing basketball this winter so he could focus on his baseball career. His movements at short at fluid, and he drove the ball to the gaps for Canyon.
43rd round: Brandon Downes, OF, South Plainfield High School (N.J.)
Downes put up big power numbers as a high school junior, hitting .484 with a 1.063 slugging mark while hitting a school record 15 homers. His numbers took a hit as a senior as opponents pitched around him. Still, he is regarded as a player with a broad skill set and impressive athleticism. He has a commitment to play baseball at the University of Virginia, and suggested that it is unlikely that he would change course.
44th round: Matt Martin, C, The Pendleton School (Fla.)
A catcher with an all-fields approach and enough arm strength to have registered some sub-2.00 pop times while throwing to second base. Martin is playing for the summer league Florida Bombers, where the Sox will likely follow him this year. As of early 2011, he did not have a college scholarship.
45th round: Matt Gedman, 3B, UMASS
The son of former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman will likely have the opportunity to play for his father, the hitting coach for the Lowell Spinners. Gedman hit .402 as a senior at UMASS, and finishes his four-year career with a .334 average and 14 homers in 142 games. Baseball America describes him as a scrapper whose performance exceeds his tools.
46th round: Mac Williamson, OF, Wake Forest University (N.C.)
At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, he’s a physically imposing player who hit .273 with a .368 OBP, .493 slugging mark and a team-leading 12 homers and 49 RBI. He would appear to have raw power, as his coach described his batting practice sessions as “flat-out scary.” Williamson was a redshirt sophomore in 2011, so he can return to school in hopes of improving his draft stock as a junior next year without losing leverage.
The outfielder refuses to eat raw fish.
47th round: Sam Wolff, RHP, College of Southern Nevada
Wolff passed when drafted by the Angels in 2009. He enrolled at the University of San Diego before transferring after his freshman year to the College of Southern Nevada. He has a big fastball, and claims to have touched 97 mph while sitting at 94-95 mph, and he told InsideDakotaSports.com that he wants to sign.
“Honestly, I really want to sign more than anything,” Wolff told the website. “But certain things have to be right. The biggest thing about professional baseball is getting your foot in the door and getting into the system. That’s what I am looking for. I want to deal with professional coaches and start professional development.”
Wolff said the Angels and Red Sox had been the two most interested teams in him. He had been told by the Angels that he’d go as early as the fifth to eighth round. Wolff was 6-4 with a 4.48 ERA last year.
48th round: David Sosebee, RHP, White County HS (Ga.)
Sosebee went 10-1 with a 0.61 ERA as a senior after going 7-1 with a 0.76 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 55 innings as a junior. The 6-foot-1 right-hander has a commitment to pitch for the University of Georgia. He showed an ability to command a 90 mph fastball, curve and changeup.
49th round: Jadd Schmeltzer, RHP, Cornell University
No player drafted out of Cornell has ever reached the big leagues. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Schmeltzer — a pitcher whose stature is suitable for his school’s Big Red mascot — is hoping to buck the trend. According to this wide-ranging interview with his campus paper, Schmeltzer drove an H3 around campus in Ithaca, playing videos of his high school football highlights in it. It would also appear that he is prone to malapropisms.
Schmeltzer, who gave up playing football after his freshman year to focus on baseball, also gave up being a two-way player as a senior to focus on pitching. He went 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA, 38 strikeouts and 20 walks as a senior. Perhaps most notably, he did not permit a single homer. At least in his high school career, he worked mostly in the high-80s with his fastball with a slow curve that measured in the 60s.
50th round: John Gorman, RHP, Catholic Memorial HS (Mass.)
The Red Sox began and ended their draft with right-handed pitchers from New England. Gorman went 6-1 with a 0.14 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 51 innings to earn Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Player of the Year honors. He is expected to enroll in Boston College this fall.