Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Epstein stays true to up-the-middle mantra

"If you're going to have a lot of players at a position, you want it to be in the middle of the field. These are young players we're talking about, and as center fielders mature, a lot of them move off and can play right field. If the bat really comes, they can play left field as well. If you have a surplus on the corners, those players can't go anywhere as they mature and slow down. You can never have enough center fielders. You can never have too many shortstops."
-- Theo Epstein

Theo wasn't kidding. Check out the Red Sox draft list so far:

1. Reymond Fuentes, CF
2. Alex Wilson, RHP
3. David Renfroe, SS
4. Jeremy Hazelbaker, CF
5. Seth Schwindenhammer, LF
6. Branden Kline, RHP
7. John Younginer, RHP
8. William Wilkerson, RF
9. Kendal Volz, RHP

Volz, by the way, allowed six hits and only an unearned run in 14 innings pitched for Team USA last summer.

According to Baseball America, "Volz is a powerful athlete with two power pitches. He attacks hitters with a 92-94 mph fastball that touches 95 and has even more future projection. Volz works off his fastball and commands it well in the zone. He also throws a hard slider at 82 mph with late, sharp break and depth. Those two pitches alone make Volz a candidate to be a closer at the big league level. However, he also throws an effective changeup. With his frame and the ability to use three pitches, Volz will at least be given a chance to start at the pro level."

Baseball America ranked Volz the No. 3 prospect from Team USA behind No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg and No. 7 overall pick Mike Minor but ahead of No. 22 overall pick Kyle Gibson.

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