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Red Sox lean heavily on pitchers in Draft

BOS View Full Game Coverage TON -- The Red Sox concluded the 2012 First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday after 40 rounds, 42 selections and with hopes that the next generation of prospects will rise to the Majors like a select few before them.

There's first-round pick Deven Marrero, a junior shortstop from Arizona State who hopes he can follow the path of former Sun Devil shortstop Dustin Pedroia.

"He's a unique player, but I'd like to put myself in his category and hopefully do what he did," Marrero said. "Hopefully everything goes right and I get a chance to do what he did.

"I've met Dustin a couple of times. He came to some games at ASU and he always comes by for the alumni games, and it's just awesome to have him as a guideline. He's a great guy and a great one to follow. I'm excited."

Marrero became familiar with the New England after playing in the Cape Cod League last summer and said it was a relief to be drafted by the Sox.

"That area up there is unbelievable," he said. "They love their sports and they have a great reputation for every sport. It's a great vibe out there and they all want to win and win championships. Going out there and getting a feel for that on the Cape was awesome."

After Marrero, the Red Sox turned their attention to pitchers, particularly powerful arms with the tools to become starters. Boston drafted 23 pitchers overall, including three southpaws.

"We definitely found a lot of pitching and a lot of big physical guys that we feel like have a chance to be starting pitchers," said amateur scouting director Amiel Sawdaye. "The only way to get those young guys in your rotation is to develop them internally, and hopefully we have the arms to do that. I feel like we did a good job there."

Monmouth University right-hander and No. 37 overall pick Pat Light was in Boston on Wednesday to get a physical. At 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Light has the physical tools the Red Sox covet.

"To hear your name called by the Boston Red Sox is a dream come true," Light said in a statement released by the school. "It was one of my goals to be a first rounder, and hard work truly paid off. Words cannot describe how happy I am."

Playing in smaller conferences didn't hurt Light and fifth-rounder Mike Augliera from Binghamton University. They overpowered the competition with consistency.

On the other hand, the Red Sox drafted three pitchers from the University of Florida, one of the strongest programs in the NCAA.

Lefty Brian Johnson went No. 31 overall and closer Austin Maddox went in the third round. The Sox grabbed a third Gator in the 20th round with 6-foot-8 right-hander Gregory Larson.

All three are currently playing for Florida in the NCAA tournament.

"They perform against some of the best competition in the country, typically get good coaching and are just as prepared as anyone else, if not more," Sawdaye said.

On Day 3, the Sox drafted two players with New England ties. Braintree High School's Pat Delano went in the 35th round, though he's likely to honor his commitment to play at Vanderbilt University. And with their final selection, the Red Sox drafted outfielder Kevin Heller from Amherst College.

The Red Sox drafted Jake Davies in the 21st round out of Georgia Tech. He's the younger brother of Kyle Davies, who pitched for the Braves (2005-07) and Royals (2007-2011). As a senior, Davies hit .326 with 14 homers and 73 RBIs in 63 games.

Boston drafted two catchers with ties to the organization.

J.T. Watkins, the son of area scout Danny Watkins, went in the 10th round and Miguel Rodriguez, the son of Minor League hitting coordinator Victor Rodriguez, went in the 36th round.

"J.T. is a really good player," Sawdaye said. "He's a big catch-and-throw guy, spent some time on the Cape this past summer and had a pretty good year. He's a solid guy who can really catch and throw for us in the Minors."

The Red Sox finished the Draft with eight infielders, eight outfielders and three catchers in addition to 23 pitchers. Boston selected 27 college players and 15 high school prospects.

Boston Red Sox