Draft 2014: Red Sox draft RHP Edward Cosart No. 103

Still in his infancy as a pitcher, Jake Cosart already throws a fastball that can reach 98 mph. Those who have watched him up close wonder with excitement how good he will be once he really learns how to pitch.

The Red Sox used their first pick on Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft by selecting Cosart in the third round (No. 103 overall). The right-hander only recently converted to being a pitcher and has the ability to make big strides as he gets more innings under his belt.

"It's a dream come true to first of all get drafted, but to be a part of arguably the best organization in baseball, it's surreal, honestly," Cosart said by phone. "I was hoping an upper-level organization would take me, and it just so happened to be the Red Sox, so I'm pretty blessed and happy at the moment."

Cosart's older brother, Jarred, is currently a starter with the Astros.

"He's been a pretty big inspiration," Jake said of Jarred. "He got passed up until really late in the Draft. He said, 'I want to play baseball, so I'll still roll with it.' And he worked through every level of the Minor Leagues. He got up there, and it's been a big inspiration to me."

Now, Jarred will root on his brother during his upcoming development.

"I said, 'It's not all glamour. There's going to be ups and downs, you're going to have your tough times, just like in college, and you have to fight through it,'" said Jarred Cosart. "I told him, 'You've got to work hard and advance.' At each level he advances, he gets better. But I said, 'You'll be surprised when you start short-season or rookie ball, it's not the best, with the travel and everything like that.' I think he's prepared for it, mentally and physically.

"It's all on him now. He put in all the work growing up, his parents drove him around everywhere, and his college coaches pushed him, and now it's time for him to grab the bull by the horns. He's got some work to do, and he knows that. I think they've already told him what they want him to work on. I know he's more than capable, and now it's all on him."

Jake Cosart is a hard thrower who went to Duke as an outfielder and red-shirted last year before moving on to Seminole State, where he emerged into a dominant performer on the mound.

"He's always had a really good arm," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "Transferred out to junior college, and then I think that's where he really started to take off. We saw him in the fall. I think what was the most appealing thing about him was he was a really good athlete and had a really quick arm. Probably one of the quickest arms I've seen.

2014 Draft Central

"In the fall, he was throwing pretty big [velocity] out there, but it wasn't really consistent in the strike zone. As you see him in the spring, all the sudden it's starting to click a little more. He's starting to throw more strikes, the breaking ball, especially. You walk in there one day and it would be an inconsistent breaking ball. Then another day, he'd be throwing strikes pretty consistently in and out of the zone. I wouldn't necessarily call it a project by any stretch of the imagination, because this kid has a pretty good feel and it's a pretty fresh arm. He's not your advanced college pitcher, either."

Cosart is now all-in with the switch to pitching.

"It was a little bit of a transition," said Cosart. "It was pretty difficult not to play every day. But then again, as I get more experience and innings, it's becoming a lot easier. It will be interesting to see, once I get into the Red Sox organization, how I progress with solely focusing on pitching."

His coaches from Seminole State will be sure to follow that transition after investing so much of their time into his development this season.

"He came in with us as an athletic kid who hadn't pitched much at all," said Seminole State assistant baseball coach Doug Freeman. "He's got one of the quickest arms I've ever seen or played with. It was one of those things where he was so athletic, it took him a while to get a feel for pitching and being on the mound. The strides he made from when he got to us to today are just unbelievable."

Jake Cosart is the first to admit he is still evolving as a pitcher. Aside from the upper-90s fastball, he has a solid curveball. His changeup is still a work in progress, and it could ultimately be the determining factor in whether he can make it as a starting pitcher.

"He's just scratching the surface on the potential he has in there," said Freeman. "Realistically, he's like a high school arm. He's still learning how to pitch. With a few more years of refining that ability, the sky's the limit."

Even without a third pitch, Jake Cosart has the type of raw stuff that could make him a viable option out of the bullpen.

He was considered one of the top junior-college prospects in this year's Draft. It is impressive, considering he didn't even pitch much in high school.

"I probably totaled around 20-something innings between my junior and senior year," said Jake Cosart.

After a while, it simply became apparent to the younger Cosart that he projected as a pitcher.

"I kind of knew my future was on the mound, because of my arm strength in the outfield," he said. "I just never knew how to put it all together, and this year, I finally started learning a little bit about myself and my delivery and sequences and all the good stuff that goes into pitching. This year, I made the change. I said, 'I want to play baseball as a career, so the best way to do it is pitching.' So I stuck with it."

Jake Cosart appeared in 13 games for Seminole State this season, going 5-3 with a 5.34 ERA, while notching 67 strikeouts in 64 innings.

The 20-year-old is listed at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds.

After watching the Red Sox develop pitchers like Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon and Clay Buchholz, Jake Cosart hopes he can follow in line.

"The Red Sox have always been storied for progressing and developing young pitchers, and obviously you see what they have now -- world champions," he said. "I couldn't be part of a better organization, as far as a development standpoint. That's what I'm really excited about."

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

Red Sox take local college pitcher in fourth round

Kevin McAvoy went 9-1 with a 2.62 ERA this season.

The Red Sox, hoping to use proximity to their advantage, took right-hander Kevin McAvoy out of Bryant University (Smithfield, R.I.) with their fourth-round selection in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound pitcher who hails from Syracuse, N.Y., pitched in 15 games in his junior year at Bryant, going 9-1 with a 2.62 ERA.

"The rare occasions where living in the Northeast gives you a little bit of a competitive advantage, we feel like," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "I'm guessing Bryant University on a Friday isn't the most heavily scouted place. McAvoy was a guy we liked a lot in the [Cape Cod League] last year.

"He was probably an 88, 89 [mph] guy and just really sunk it. He went after people with a sinker-slider combo, and breezed through some lineups with the wood bat in the Cape. This year, we started to notice a little bit of an uptake in [velocity], but it wasn't affecting the overall movement of his fastball. He's still living in the bottom half of the zone, but now he's kind of living in the low 90s, more of a 90, 92 guy. He's still showing the slider, but mostly a ground-ball specialist that goes after you with the sinker."

McAvoy became the highest Draft selection in the history of Bryant.

"I'm very excited for Kevin," said Bryant head coach Steve Owens. "He's been building for this for three years. He's come in and gotten bigger, stronger and better, literally every week, since he's set foot on campus."

Owens watched with pride as McAvoy continued to open eyes, ultimately landing with the Red Sox.

"I think he went from maybe a 20th-round guy going into this year and then he was in the middle of the year, when he was throwing in front of 25 scouts, he was doing great, and I was like, 'Maybe he's about a 10th rounder.' He just keeps getting better," said Owens.

In 99 2/3 innings, McAvoy recorded 94 strikeouts while walking 28. He fired four complete games.

"He's a great kid. The ceiling is really high as far as him keeping developing," said Owens. "His velocity keeps increasing. He has tremendous fastball movement. He has a great sinking fastball. His mechanics are much improved, and they continue to get better. His secondary stuff has started to develop pretty well, too. He's primarily a sinker/slider guy right now, but his slider is getting better, and he has a workable changeup."

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

Ockimey known for bat speed, power

Josh Ockimey went deep during a pre-Draft workout at Fenway.

The Red Sox continued their pursuit of power bats in this year's First-Year Player Draft by nabbing left-handed-hitting slugger Josh Ockimey with their fifth-round selection on Friday.

The first baseman, a senior at Ss. Neumann Goretti High School in Philadelphia, was ecstatic to learn he was taken by the Red Sox.

"Just been drafted to the Boston Red Sox!! Thank you to everyone who's helped me get here!! #REDSOXNATION," he tweeted.

Just last week, Boston's scouting staff watched intently as Ockimey lofted balls off the Green Monster with an opposite-field stroke, and then turned on pitches and rifled them over the bullpen in right-center.

"He's got a really good swing for Fenway," said Red Sox director of scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "There's no doubt there's going to be some learning curves and bumps in the road when he goes out, but really, what we said about [Michael] Chavis and [Sam] Travis, power is a commodity in this game, and to be able to go out and buy that power and be able to take a chance on a big kid like that who is a pretty good athlete, and also has good instincts for the game, that's something we were excited about in the fifth round."

Ockimey impressed Boston's brass in a pre-Draft workout at Fenway last November.

"He's a fun one," said Sawdaye. "You can kind of see, as big as he is, he still has a lot of youth to him. You truly believe that this kid, he hasn't gotten his man strength."

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

Boston tabs speedy switch-hitter with pick No. 194

Danny Mars visited with the Red Sox last week.

The Red Sox found themselves a speedy switch-hitter with their sixth-round selection in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, taking Danny Mars out of Chipola College (Florida).

Mars, a center fielder, had a solid year for Chipola, hitting .380 with a .460 on-base percentage and a .584 slugging percentage. He added 29 stolen bases and four home runs.

"He's a 70 runner, so he can fly," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye.

His left-handed stroke is still developing, because he just became a switch-hitter within the last two to three years.

"Obviously, we were really impressed with his left-handed swing. He's not a huge kid," said Sawdaye. "There will be development with him. If he can really learn to repeat his swing left-handed, and iron out his mechanics, he's a guy we feel has a really good chance to play center field for us. It's hard to find these type of kids right now. He also has a really good arm."

Mars was in Boston last week visiting with the Red Sox and was thrilled that was the team that drafted him.

"More than honored to be drafted by the Boston Red Sox. Unbelievable day! #SoxNation," Mars tweeted.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

Reilly's decision to stay another year pays off

Draft Report: Reed Reilly, College Pitcher

Reed Reilly was known best as a dominant closer at Cal Poly. But the righty, selected by the Red Sox in the seventh round of the First-Year Player Draft, is going to get every opportunity to start at the professional level.

"We hope to get him out and start him and really develop him as a starter," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "He is a big, physical guy that's taken the ball for Cal Poly and spent a lot of time pitching in big situations."

After being selected by the Orioles in the 18th round last year, Reilly opted to return for another collegiate season.

Considering how much he climbed in the Draft, that proved to be a wise choice.

Though his fastball is generally in the low 90s, Reilly can get up to about 95 mph when he reaches back.

"He possessed three pitches," said Sawdaye. "We have no reason to believe he can't start, and that's how we're going to develop him. He's a fastball/curveball/changeup guy. He's a big physical kid and possessed a lot of things we look for in a starting pitcher."

Reilly saved 12 of the 28 games he pitched in this season while posting a 1.71 ERA and holding opponents to a .151 batting average.

In 47 1/3 innings, he issued 17 walks while recording 53 strikeouts.

Red Sox hope Round 8 pick Moore will 'catch' on

When the Red Sox selected intriguing Alabama junior Ben Moore in the eighth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, they listed him as a catcher.

There's a good reason for that. The Sox expect to put Moore back behind the plate, where he played regularly in high school before switching to the outfield at Alabama.

"He's going to catch. He caught in high school," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "He actually caught early on at Alabama. Our area scout knew him pretty well in high school, and has had a pretty good relationship with him for three years. He's talked to him before the Draft about caching. The kid really wants to get behind the plate."

There is always a premium on catchers, particularly ones who can hit.

"The kid has a prototypical catcher's body," said Sawdaye. "He is 6-1, listed at maybe 200. He's just a strong, durable kid. He had a lot of success this year with the bat in the SEC, and I honestly -- we haven't seen him catch in three years. I know he's catching [bullpen sessions] at Alabama. Our area scout saw him in high school and thought he had a chance to catch then.

"There's going to be a development path. He's not going to walk in and catch every game. There's going to be a lot of fundamental work. To try to find catching is not that easy to do right now. He is a guy who has a lot of the attributes, and one of them is a really good makeup and a passion to catch. We're going to give it a shot, and the fallback option is go back to the outfield."

The right-handed hitter hit .305 with nine homers, while adding an on-base percentage of .367 and a slugging percentage of .481 in his junior year. Moore, 21, is also known for having the type of disciplined approach the Red Sox preach throughout the organization.

"And he controls the strike zone," said Sawdaye. "Really good hand-eye [coordination]."

Prep righty Steen called on by Red Sox in Round 9

Kevin Steen was selected in the ninth round Friday.

The Red Sox added another power arm in the ninth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft by taking right-hander Kevin Steen, who spends much of his time away from the baseball field swishing jump shots.

"Steen is pretty exciting," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "He's an upside guy. He only had maybe four starts this year, because his team got to the state championship in basketball. He went right off the basketball court and got onto the mound."

As prolific as Steen is at roundball, the Red Sox think he can do every bit as much at hardball.

"You're buying the upside there," Sawdaye said. "It's a loose, live arm. It's a projectable body. He has the ability to spin a breaking ball. The [velocity] isn't there right now, and we don't expect it to be, because it's like his fourth game out of Spring Training, really. Hopefully, if we get this kid out and really get him on the mound and continue his mound progression, hopefully, we'll be seeing a different guy."

The Oak Ridge High School (Tenn.) product has a commitment to play college baseball at Tennessee.

Red Sox wrap Day 2 with versatile Sturgeon

Cole Sturgeon has had a big year for Louisville.

The Red Sox completed a busy second day of the 2014 First-Year Draft by taking Louisville outfielder/pitcher Cole Sturgeon, who is busy this weekend playing in the Super Regionals for a chance to go to the College World Series.

In his first 63 games this season, the senior hit .325, with two homers and 31 RBIs. He compiled a .410 on-base percentage while stealing 18 bases.

The Red Sox selected Sturgeon in the 10th round (pick No. 314 overall) as an outfielder, but that doesn't mean he won't get a chance to pitch.

"He's a good player," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "He's just one of those guys who kind of does everything. We'll send him out as an outfielder. He goes out and plays the game the right way and he's one of those grinders, can steal a base and do all the little things. He's a guy who can play all three outfield positions."

The lefty went 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA, notching 35 strikeouts in 34 innings.

"The interesting thing is this guy on the mound is 88 to 92 [mph] with a really good breaking ball," said Sawdaye. "I'm not saying we're going to pitch him now, but there's always that intrigue. He kind of reminds our guys a little of Craig Breslow on the mound. We'll send him out as a position player, see what he does this summer, and then we'll go from there. We anticipate this kid has pretty good bat-to-ball skills and he'll help us out right away, especially at the lower levels, just moving around the field."

Over the first 10 rounds, which included 11 picks, the Red Sox took three infielders, five right-handed pitchers, two outfielders and a catcher. Of the 11 picks, four were high school players, including the first two selections.