At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cape League Well Represented in BoSox Draft

The Boston Red Sox yesterday selected five former Cape League players on what was the first day of this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. Perhaps the most notable is right-hand pitcher Daniel Bard, who was taken in the first round at number 28 and who toiled successfully (3-3, 1.25, 82 Ks in 65 innings) for the Wareham Gatemen last summer. Bard was the pick the Sox received as compensation for losing Johnny Damon to free agency, and he was ranked by Baseball America as the Cape League’s Number Two prospect (trailing only UNC teammate Andrew Miller, who played for the Chatham A’s and was drafted yesterday at number six by the Detroit Tigers).

Furthering the Cape connection, the Sox selected San Diego State right-hander Justin Masterson in the second round at number 71 overall. Masterson, too, played for Wareham last year and was rated the League’s number 11 prospect by Baseball America (3-1, 1.15, 39Ks in 31.1 innings). NC State first baseman Aaron Bates followed shortly thereafter at number 83. Bates played for Brewster last season, led the league in on-base percentage (.446), was named a Cape League All-Star, and won the All Star Game home run hitting contest.

The five first-day BoSox Cape League draftees are:

.....................Draft....... ..........Cape League
Daniel Bard......RHP..28...UNC-Chapel Hill..Wareham '05
Justin Masterson.RHP..71...San Diego State..Wareham '05
Aaron Bates......1B...83...NC State.........Brewster '05
Jon Still........C....133..NC State.........Falmouth '05
Matt LaPorta.....1B...433..Univ. of Florida.Y-D '04

BoSox Lose Game, but Pauley Shines Bright
Hats off to Sox rookie David Pauley, who pitched the game of his professional life last night at Yankee Stadium only to suffer the 2-1 loss. Pauley gave up eight hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings, and was charged with only two runs – one of which actually scored when reliever Rudy Seanez walked in what proved to be the game winner.

Many will say the turning point for Pauley was the ball he missed in the seventh when he didn’t get his glove down in time to field Miguel Cairo’s easy bouncer – a play that, if made, would have been the third out. But the fact is that it is extremely difficult to win when your team scores only one run. Never mind that Manny Ramirez, who was just being himself, was thrown out by a country mile trying to stretch a clear single into an impossible double, or that Yankee outfielder Melky Cabrera denied Ramirez’s bid for atonement in the eighth by robbing him of a home run on a terrific fence-climbing play. Pauley pitched well enough that he deserved to win, and it is my hope that the Sox let him to stick around long enough to reap that particular reward.


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