BOSTON – What can we expect from the Boston Red Sox in the 2010 draft, which begins Monday night?

“You want to come back and look at the board?” teased Amiel Sawdaye, the new Red Sox director of amateur scouting, when talking to reporters last week.

Of course, the Red Sox were not about to make public their secretive board, containing all of their possible draft scenarios.

But, under Sawdaye, we can expect more of the same from Boston. The Red Sox, while taking the stereotypical “best player available” will bring in a mix of developed college players and riskier high school talent.

And they will likely gamble in later rounds on some high school kids committed to college and try to lure them with big-time bonuses.

This is a big draft for the Red Sox. While they lost a first- and a second-round pick because they signed free agents John Lackey and Marco Scutaro, they obtained three first-round picks and a second-round pick as compensation for losing free agents Billy Wagner and Jason Bay.

Two of the first-round choices are in the sandwich round, which are extra picks added before the second round.

Boston has four of the first 57 picks — Nos. 20, 36, 39 and 57.

“I think we’re in a pretty good spot,” Sawdaye said. “If you have extra picks you’re in a pretty good spot to get some players that may end up being just as good as players you’re going to pick in the top 10.”

Sawdaye is one of the new-wave type of baseball administrators, hired more for his mind than his baseball experience. He holds a degree in “decisions information systems” from the University of Maryland and was working for General Electric when he applied for a job with the Red Sox eight years ago.

He has worked his way up from an internship to his present task of replacing the respected Jason McLeod as chief of the draft.

McLeod followed Jed Hoyer to San Diego. Sawdaye now has more responsibilities but is still doing what he did under McLeod — organizing information.

That means digesting the daily reports on draft prospects.

How many prospects?

“Thousands,” Sawdaye said. “It’s hard to sift through all those reports. For me, you have to have a regimen every day. That’s something that I learned, probably five or six years ago. Guys get lost in the shuffle if you don’t read them every day.

“For me, it’s wake up every morning, look in our system, read all the new reports, catalogue them, take my notes, so when I get in the draft room, I know pretty much every player on the board.”

Included in the reports are skill assessment, character, medical issues and chances of signing.

“Synthesizing that information, attaching the appropriate amount of weight to the right information, and then turning it into a priority list is really an art, something Amiel is particularly good at given his background and the long period as assistant scouting director,” Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein said.

“You combine that with pure talent evaluation, which I think we certainly have in our department, and you put yourselves in a position to have good results.”

As for the draft itself, Sawdaye calls it “a group effort. In the end, you’re going to take guys that everybody is really comfortable with. Sometimes, we get multiple looks on guys.

“Sometimes there may be one or two guys in the room that are luke-warm on a guy but for the most part, it’s a group effort and everyone is really comfortable.”

Epstein has also been doing some scouting and figures he’s seen about 20 players.

“We’ll line up the board, and we know that once we get to (No.) 20, we’re getting one of those 20,” Epstein said.

Who might the Red Sox get?

Using information from two useful websites ( and and my own guesswork, I came up with six names that might pop up on Boston’s board:

Kaleb Cowart, high school right-handed pitcher and third baseman. Said to want a lot of money to ignore a scholarship to Florida State. If the Red Sox want him bad enough, they have the money to spend.

A.J. Cole, high school right-handed pitcher. Epstein said the strength of this year’s draft is high school right-handed pitchers, and Cole has the command and easy delivery the Red Sox like.

Brandon Workman, University of Texas right-handed pitcher. Polished pitcher who has had success in the Cape Cod League, which Boston scouts heavily.

Matt Harvey, University of North Carolina right-handed pitcher. Boston’s last pick from North Carolina, Daniel Bard, turned out OK.

Alex Wimmers, Ohio State right-handed pitcher. Same resume as Workman.

Ryan LaMarre, University of Michigan outfielder. Athletic player with potential.

Check out Monday’s Portland Press Herald for more on the draft.


Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]


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