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Red Sox nab complete catcher to open Day 2

BOSTON -- Jon Denney was the only player at the MLB Draft telecast not selected Thursday, but the high school catching prospect didn't have to wait long to hear his name on Day 2.

The Red Sox made Denney the 81st overall pick, taking him with their first selection on Day 2 of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on Friday. The slot value for the selection is $671,2000.

"For a little bit I was surprised," CJ Medlin, Denney's coach at Yukon High School in Oklahoma, said of the wait to be selected, "but in the long run, this could be just a biased opinion, but I feel like he's going to end up being one of the top kids of the high school catchers taken this year when it's all said and done. I think he's got plenty of tools, I think his upside is tremendous and his ceiling is pretty much untapped right now."

Director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye was "excited with the talent that was available" in rounds three through 10.

"Our scouts did an outstanding job in preparation for this area of the Draft, allowing us to select a diverse mix of talented pitching and position player prospects," Sawdaye said in a statement. "We look forward to adding this talent into the Red Sox organization and to beginning the players' development path in professional baseball."

Denney has the complete package for the position, with advanced receiving skills and a plus arm. He has some power in his bat as well and showed off his offensive skills at the Area Code Games over the summer.

Denney continued showing all-around ability both at and behind the plate during his senior year, moving past other prep backstops in this Draft class.

Some scouts think his athleticism projects better as a corner outfielder or first baseman at the next level.

"I think he's got a great chance to stay behind the plate with Boston," Medlin said. "I think he's got the aptitude to do so, but wherever they do decide to put him I think he'll do great at and excel at it tremendously."

Denney is committed to play at Akransas next year, but he has indicated he would like to start his professional career sooner rather than later.

"I know he's eager to start that journey of professional baseball," Medlin said. "I know he's going to have a big decision on his plate right now with where he was drafted or you know going to school. Personally I'd love to see him go and play some pro ball and get it going."

In the Pipeline

Through two days and the first 10 round of the Draft, the Red Sox have selected seven pitchers, two outfielders and one catcher. The focus on pitching reflects a need for top arms in their farm system. Of Boston's top 10 prospects as ranked by, only three are pitchers and only one of those (Henry Owens) is a lefty. The Red Sox have drafted three left-handers thus far, including their first pick Trey Ball.

Boston took lefty Corey Littrell in the fifth round Friday. Due to his college experience at Kentucky, some scouts think Littrell could be on an accelerated track to the big leagues.

The two outfielders Boston has selected so far -- Jordon Austin and Forrestt Allday -- could face a crowded road to the big leagues. Led by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz, the Red Sox seemed to have a good idea of their immediate future at the position.

Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for
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