Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 6/7/12
You had to figure Brandon Magee's draft stock would slip after he blew out his Achilles' tendon. All things considered, a two-round drop for a guy who hasn't been on the field in more than a year and has a career .103 batting average at Arizona State doesn't seem bad. Magee was one of the more interesting names to pop up on the third day of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. He was taken in the 23rd round by the Boston Red Sox, the same team that drafted ASU shortstop Deven Marerro in the first round and ASU recruit Willie Ethington (a pitcher from Mountain View High School in Mesa) in the 17th. It's the third time Magee's name has been called during the baseball draft. The first time was out of high school in Corona, Calif., by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 29th round, and then again in 2011 by the Oakland A's in the 21st. A pro baseball career seems very much a possibility for Magee, who told the Arizona Republic's Doug Haller that baseball is his "first love," but first he needs to get through his senior season with the Sun Devils football team. Magee is being counted on to be a leader of a young defensive unit from his linebacker position as he returns to the field from the injury that wiped out his 2011 season. His baseball position is outfield, and though he's suited up for the Sun Devils for three seasons (2009-11), he's never been able to concentrate on the game -- during fall practice or the spring season -- because of his football commitments and has seen only sparse action, mostly as a pinch hitter. Thus his .103 average with 22 strikeouts in 29 at-bats. "I know I can play. All I need is reps," Magee told Haller. Counting Magee, the Sun Devils ended up with 10 players drafted -- starting with Marrero in the first round. Their other third-day picks were first baseman Abe Ruiz (16th round, White Sox), relief pitcher Robert Ravago (22nd, Marlins), catcher Beau Maggi (24th, Royals); and catcher Max Rossiter (32nd, Pirates). The Red Sox, by the way, haven't drafted a Sun Devil since nabbing Dustin Pedroia in the second round of 2004. That one turned out pretty well. While Magee's future bears watching, of equal interest to Sun Devil Nation might be the fate of a dynamic recruiting class assembled by Tim Esmay. A whopping 14 ASU signees were selected over the three days, including four of the first 110 picks: Catcher Clint Coulter (27th, Brewers), righty pitcher Paul Blackburn (56th, Cubs); third baseman Mitch Nay (58th, Blue Jays) and righty pitcher Kieran Lovegrove (110th, Indians). You have to figure that it will be difficult for any of those four to turn down the money -- the bigger question will be if Ismay can retain the five mid-round picks: pitchers Ryan Kellogg (12th round, Blue Jays); Chris Flexen (14th, Mets), Ethington (17th, Red Sox) and Tony Blanford (18th, Phillies) and shortstop Jorge Flores (19th, Blue Jays).
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