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Taken by Boston, Littrell has feel for pitching

BOSTON -- College lefties who show they know how to pitch tend to do well in the Draft and for southpaw Corey Littrell, his savviness on the mound is what he sees as his biggest strength.

The Red Sox selected the Kentucky Wildcat in the fifth round of the Draft on Friday with the 143rd overall pick.

"My biggest strength is my competitiveness. I know how to pitch," Littrell said. "My dad played professional baseball with the Dodgers, and at an early age he instilled in me how to pitch. I'm not a guy that's going to overpower anyone or anything like that, but I can control four pitches and I know how to pitch and I'm very smart on the mound."

The Wildcats' Sunday starter is more pitchability than pure stuff, showing an ability to mix four pitches well. None of them -- fastball, curve, slider and changeup -- grade out as better than average, though his fastball has excellent sink to it. His changeup is his best pitch with good fade and his two breaking balls can be effective. Littrell has shown enough this spring to get some interest as a middle- or back-of-the-rotation starter, one who might not take too long to be big league ready, and one who could at least be an effective lefty reliever if needed.

Being drafted by the Red Sox was a dream come true for Littrell. His performance in Cape Cod last summer helped turn some heads and he also had a chance to check out Boston while there.

"You have your certain organizations that you'd like to go to," Littrell said. "It happens that the Red Sox were one of those, because I was at the Cape last summer and we went to Boston all the time and I love the city of Boston."

Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for
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