Red Sox grab high schooler Ball with first-rounder
The Red Sox, picking seventh in the First-Year Player Draft for the first time in 20 years, took perhaps the best two-way player available in Trey Ball.
Though Boston drafted him as a left-handed pitcher, Ball, a product of New Castle Chrysler High School (Indiana) is also highly-regarded as a let-handed hitter and outfielder.
Listed at 6-5 and 174 pounds, Ball will turn 19 later this month.
“I’m a pitcher and outfielder from New Castle, Indiana and I can hit for power, I can hit for contact,” Ball said during the pre-recorded segment MLB Network displayed immediately after he was picked. “The best word that describes me as a baseball player would probably be athletic. The most influential coach in my baseball life has probably been my dad.
“He’s taught me the game since I was very little and he’s brought me to where I am now. I try to model my game after Cliff Lee. He was always very consistent in the strike zone.”
Ball has a fastball that travels into the low to mid 90s. His changeup is a plus pitch. The curveball is a work in progress, but has promise, according to scouts.
The Red Sox will now start the process of trying to sign Ball, who has a commitment to the University of Texas.
The last time the Red Sox drafted as low as seventh was 1993, when they took a left-handed hitting outfielder named Trot Nixon, who played most of his career in Boston and helped the team achieve World Series championship glory in 2004.
Ball clubbed 10 home runs in his senior year of high school. As a pitcher ,he was 6-0 with a 0.76 ERA.