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12/01/09 10:00 AM ET

Sox know how to get it done in Draft

Combine bold picks with deep pockets for good results

It's difficult not to like what the Red Sox do every year come Draft time. They have the resources to spend money, they take chances, they think outside the box, and as a result, they've built a strong farm system via the Draft and international scouting.

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AL East

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This past year was no different. Once upon a time, the Sox seemed to be one of those "college-heavy" teams. Well, once they filled in some gaps in the upper parts of the system with players who could move quickly, they've become one of the more active pursuers of high-end high school prospects.

Six of their first 10 picks came from the prep ranks and they had to go considerably over-slot -- something they've shown no fear in doing -- to get premium talents like David Renfroe in the third round, Madison Younginer in the seventh and Brandon Jacobs in the 10th.

Top five picks

1. Reymond Fuentes, OF: The exciting, toolsy outfielder impressed in the Gulf Coast League after signing quickly as the 28th overall pick in the Draft. A cousin of Carlos Beltran, Fuentes uses his speed to play an excellent center field and motor around the basepaths as well. Fuentes hit .290/.331/.379 and stole nine bases in 14 attempts over 40 games.

2. Alex Wilson, RHP: After an up-and-down season at Texas A&M, his first following Tommy John surgery, the Red Sox were careful in how they used Wilson. He made 13 starts and seemed to be too much for the NY-Penn League. He posted a 0.50 ERA and allowed just 10 hits in his 36 innings of work for a .085 batting average against. Wilson walked seven and struck out 33 batters. Many see him as a reliever long-term and if they go that route, he could move up quickly.

3. David Renfroe, SS: Like Casey Kelly, who the Red Sox took with the 20th pick in the 2008 Draft, Renfroe was an exciting two-way high school player. He also was a two-sport standout as a quarterback. Unlike Kelly, Renfroe will not continue to pitch and hit in the Red Sox system. He'll be a position player once he gets started. He signed too late to make his official pro debut last summer, so Red Sox fans will have to wait to see if he can make it as a shortstop.

4. Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF: The Ball State product signed quickly and spent the bulk of his time in full-season ball with Greenville in the South Atlantic League. Including three games in the NY-Penn League, Hazelbaker hit just .165 in 48 games, with a .289 OBP and .228 slugging percentage. He did steal 11 bases in 13 tries. If he can get going, he's an interesting leadoff-type with the potential to play center field even though he hasn't spent much time at that position.

5. Seth Schwindenhammer, OF: This high school outfielder out of Illinois hit just .194 over 124 at-bats in the GCL, to go along with a .252 OBP and .274 slugging percentage. He struck out 41 times and drew eight walks in 36 games. He's a left-handed hitter with some pop and everyone knows just how valuable that can be if he can figure things out in the years to come.

Best of the rest

It's hard to call him a "sleeper" when he got well above-average slot to sign in the 10th round, but outfielder Brandon Jacobs was lured away from a football scholarship to Auburn as a running back and has already shown better baseball acumen than some may have expected. ... Outfielder Alex Hassan (20th round) played with Lowell and Greenville and hit a combined .328/.375/.472 over 34 games. ... 22nd-rounder Jordan Flasher split time relieving in the Gulf Coast League and NY-Penn League after signing out of George Mason. The right-hander threw 16 1/3 innings without allowing a run, walked eight, struck out 15 and kept hitters to a .196 average. Not bad for a guy who had Tommy John surgery in 2008. ... Right-hander Kyle Rutter of NC State was taken in the 41st round and then posted a 2.10 ERA between Lowell and Greenville. Rutter struck out 27 in 25 2/3 innings of relief.

Fast risers

Especially if he's shortened into a reliever, Wilson has the chance to make a bee-line to Boston. The same might be said for Kendal Volz, the ninth-rounder out of Baylor. The right-hander starred as a closer for Team USA the summer before his junior year. He started strong in the 2009 season, but he struggled later and was back in the bullpen in the postseason. If he bounces back and remains a reliever, he could move up quickly as well.


Of their 50 Draft picks in 2009, the Red Sox were unable to come to terms with 24 of them. Their first unsigned selection was right-handed pitcher Brandon Kline, who was known to be a tough sign with a strong commitment to the University of Virginia. Some familiar-sounding names also decided to head to college. 16th-rounder Luke Bard, brother of Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard, opted for Georgia Tech (wonder what his Tar Heels brother thinks), Mike Yastrzemski (36th round), grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, headed to Vanderbilt. Kyle Arnsberg (45), son of former Major Leaguer Brad Arnsberg, chose Arizona State over Boston.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.