Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/9/14
One of the biggest reasons that the Red Sox steered clear of certain free agents in the offseason was because they wanted to keep their second-round pick. The Sox turned that pick into Teddy Stankiewicz on Thursday, and they seem thrilled with the selection. Stankiewicz, a native of Keller, Texas, was drafted by the Mets in 2012, but he didn’t sign. Instead, the right-hander went to Seminole State Junior College, where he went 4-5 with a 2.52 ERA, 70 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 60 2/3 innings over 11 appearances (nine starts). During that time, the Red Sox really liked what they saw in the 19-year-old, and they ultimately decided to take him in the second round (45th overall). “He’s a big, physical pitcher. He’s got, probably for me, one of the best deliveries in the draft,” Red Sox amateur scouting director Amiel Sawdaye said. “His arm works really well. He throws three pitches, and he really commands his fastball. I think one of the interesting things about Teddy is he’s 19 years old as a junior college pitcher, but you can kind of almost consider him pitching like a college junior. We felt like if this kid were at an SEC school — like Arkansas, where he was slated to go last year — there’s a chance this kid would be pitching like a college junior.” The 45th pick in this year’s MLB draft carries a pick value of $1,229,600, which is almost double the $680,400 pick value that accompanied the Mets’ selection of Stankiewicz (No. 75 overall) last year. The young hurler’s decision to not sign and instead attend junior college — thus leaving him eligible for this year’s draft — seems like a good one at this point. It’ll be a few years before we know whether or not the Red Sox made a good decision in drafting Stankiewicz, but last offseason showed that Boston clearly valued its second-round pick. Under Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, if a player turns down a qualifying offer from his last team to test the open market, that team is entitled to receive draft pick compensation from whichever team signs the player. Since the Red Sox had one of the 10 worst records in baseball last season, they would have had to part ways with a second-round pick had they signed Kyle Lohse, Adam LaRoche, Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano or any other player who was given a qualifying offer by his previous team. The Red Sox decided that price was too high, and the decision thus allowed them to add Stankiewicz to a draft haul that also includes left-hander Trey Ball, who Boston selected with the seventh overall pick on Thursday. Stankiewicz, like Ball, brings a big frame to the mound. The righty is listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds. But it’s his overall repertoire that impressed the Red Sox the most. “He attacks the strike zone. His changeup has really improved from last year to this year, breaking ball has gotten better. We’ve kind of seen a little bit of the improvements from year to year and his fastball was up to 96 this year and really consistently sitting in the low 90s,” Sawdaye said. “I think he’s a guy we really felt comfortable with. We trusted, had really good mound demeanor and a guy that was going to go out and throw a lot of strikes and compete at the lower levels right away.” According to MLB.com, Stankiewicz has the potential to be “a solid middle-of-the-rotation type starter down the line.” It’s too early to determine whether or not the Red Sox made the right move in holding onto their second-round pick last offseason, but Stankiewicz definitely has the tools to justify the decision, especially given the lackluster crop of free agents that the Red Sox passed on. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here. Photo via Twitter/@RedSox
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