Sox sign pitcher straight out of high school
There was a great deal of fanfare surrounding this year’s baseball draft. While the MLB may not get the attention that the NFL or NBA does, it cannot be underestimated how important this time is as the Sox could be finding the next Ted Williams or Pedro Martinez, although I may be getting ahead of myself here.
The Sox got the seventh overall pick in the draft (their highest pick in 20 years) and used it to sign Trey Ball, a pitcher from Indiana. Ball is not just an ordinary draft pick though; the Sox signed him straight out of high school. While the kid is still young, the raw talent is obviously there, just look at his stats from 2013.
His 6-foot, 6-inch frame is imposing enough, but Ball ups the ante by featuring a fastball that tops at 94 miles per hour. Ball went 6-0 with a 0.76 ERA and 93 strikeouts as a senior, being named the Indiana Player of the Year. Throw in the fact that he is left handed as well and you’ve got every talent scout in the country drooling at the chance to sign him.
Ball features a blazing fastball, but he has a variety of, ahem, interesting pitches in his arsenal as well. In addition to the fastball Ball can throw a changeup and knuckle ball. He will have to learn a curve or slider, but that knuckle ball presents a very interesting option. It is not often a power pitcher throws a knuckle ball, add being a southpaw into the equation and the word “ace” is written all over it.
When asked what he thought Ball just seemed like a regular high school kid living everyone’s dream, to play major league baseball.
“We had a lot of contact with them in the spring,” Ball said. “They sent in multiple guys to come visit and have meetings with me. They sent in the site guys, so I’ve had a lot of contact with them. I think coming in I’d heard mostly between eight and 14 and being picked seventh by Boston it’s great. I’m kind of speechless. It’s kind of surprising. I had no idea where it was coming from. I guess it was a last-minute decision, I’m not for sure. But it’s a moment of greatness and I’m very excited, very happy.”
There is no doubt that Ball has the raw talent that can be matured into a star pitcher, either relief or starting. There was a great deal of speculation as to whether the Sox would sign a potential big bat or a pitcher, but as we’ve seen over the past few years there is no such thing as too much pitching. The biggest question now is whether or not Ball will sign. Ball’s twitter page says he is headed to Texas, but some of his tweets give another story. Which will it be? Ball does seem to lean towards Boston though, so it could be a clue that Texas may be missing out on a bright star.
“We haven’t shut the door on anything,” Ball said. “But it’s the best fit for me and my family. Anything can happen, but I feel that Boston is right for me.”