Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Speedy Fuentes the first pick for Red Sox

Red Sox first-round pick Reymond Fuentes, a cousin of New York Mets star Carlos Beltran, stands 6 feet tall but only weighs 165 pounds because "I practice every day, and I sweat every day." He says, though, that his frame hides his muscle.

"If I find a ball inside and I do a good swing, I know it's going to be over the fence," said Fuentes, whose family moved from Florida to Puerto Rico, his father's homeland, when he was nine years old. "I'm thin, but I'm strong. I have a hidden power."

Really, though, his game is his speed. Baseball America reports that he ran the 60-yard dash in 6.3 seconds at a tournament in May.

"When I had at-bats when I had to bunt, sacrifice bunt, I just put down the bunt and started running," he said. "I realized that it was not too often that they could get me out. On defense, I have good range. I can cover a lot of space in the outfield."

Fuentes compares to former Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon and sounds an awful lot like current Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Both are slap hitters with top-end speed and a little pop in their bats at the plate as well as below-average throwing arms in the field. Fuentes volunteered during his conference call with reporters that his "throwing mechanics" will be a focus for him once he signs.

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