Theo Epstein, Red Sox Scouting Director Pleased With Team’s Selections on First Day of MLB Draft

The Red Sox have developed some excellent home-grown talent over the past decade. On Monday, they selected what they hope will be their newest batch of All-Stars. Theo Epstein and Co. selected four players total and were very pleased with the results.

Epstein said that him and scouting director Amiel Sawdaye were "high-fiving and feeling good coming out of the room," although he noted that every team usually feels that way following a draft.

The Sox selected two hitters and two pitchers, all of which Epstein is confident in going forward.

"The hitters are up-the-middle guys, with strong defensive tools and the bats that we really like," he said. "Both pitchers we feel project as starters in the big leagues. We're real happy with how it went."

Here's a look at each of the Red Sox' draft picks from the first day of the draft:

No. 19: Matt Barnes, right-handed pitcher, University of Connecticut
Barnes was unanimously chosen as the Big East Pitcher of the Year this past season, compiling an 11-4 record to go along with a 1.62 ERA. A former Cape League pitcher for the Wareham Gatemen, Barnes helped lead UConn to the NCAA Division I Super Regionals. He's big — 6-foot-4, 203 pounds — and features a fastball that tops out around 96 mph.

Epstein said that it was a year-long process scouting Barnes and that he even saw him play in-person.

No. 26: Blake Swihart, catcher, Cleveland, H.S., Rio Rancho, N.M.
Swihart hit .602 in 28 games as a senior at V. Sue Cleveland High School in 2011. A 6-foot-1, 175-pound switch-hitter, Swihart could potentially move to a position other than catcher, although he was ranked as the No. 1 catcher in this year's draft by Baseball America.

"We're impressed with the way that he caught. He's athletic enough to really succeed back there. But also athletic and versatile enough to go play a number of different positions," Epstein said. "So we'll start him out as a catcher with the strong conviction that he can stay back there."

The 19-year-old has committed to play at Texas, but Epstein hopes the team can reach a deal with him.

No. 36: Henry Owens, left-handed pitcher, Edison H.S., Huntington Beach, Calif.
Owens, like Swihart, is a high schooler. He's a 6-foot-6, 190-pound product of Edison High School, where he was named the Sunset League Pitcher of the Year for two consecutive years.

Sawdaye said Owens projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy who can throw three pitches for strikes. He said Owens features the ability to command his breaking ball, which is always a plus.

No. 40: Jackie Bradley Jr., outfielder, University of South Carolina
Bradley had wrist surgery, which led to him dropping in the draft. But he led South Carolina with a .368 in 2010, and was named Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament Team upon leading the Gamecocks to a national championship.

While the wrist injury has led to some struggles for Bradley in 2011, Epstein said that the medical staff is comfortable that he'll return to 100 percent.

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