The Red Sox have made some interesting and perhaps somewhat predictable draft selections so far in the fledgling 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft.


Theo Epstein gambled on a future power hitter for the hot corner when he selected Kolbrin Vitek 20th overall.


While a well-developed Vitek could succeed Adrian Beltre and internally help solve a partial power outage with youth and value, the 36th-picked Bryce Brentz could soon replace the aging J.D. Drew or the already aged Mike Cameron.


Some may have been surprised to witness Epstein draft a collegiate pitcher with the 39th pick since the Red Sox are replete with locked-up arms. However, buying low on the recently injury-derailed Anthony Renaudo presented far too high an upside for the Fenway front office to decline.


And “you can never have too much pitching.”


Yet, where will the Red Sox turn in round 2? Which thinning position will Epstein seek to restock next?


The bullpen can always use an upgrade, particularly this 2010 version—Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, and Manny Delcarmen are all shadows of their formerly filthy selves.


And let’s not forget the great Red Sox catching conundrum. While the beloved Jason Varitek is demonstrating he might make a viable backup backstop for another year or two, neither he nor Victor Martinez possesses the defensive prowess to consistently halt opposing runners’ relentless pursuits of second base.


Restocking the bullpen will probably consume most of the remaining 49 rounds, and one never knows how good a 20th-round arm might turn out, but it’s much tougher to find a great catch.


The Washington Nationals drafted catcher Bryce Harper No. 1 overall, but will probably convert him to an outfielder to accelerate his rise to the bigs.


The Cincinnati Reds seized Miami-standout Yasmani Grandal at No. 12, and the Red Sox passed on Canadian Kellin Deglan—who went 22nd to the Texas Rangers.


Shortly before the Sox’ second pick, the Tampa Bay Rays snatched Indiana’s Justin O’Connor with the 31st overall pick, and the Houston Astros selected Michael Kvasnicka out of Minnesota’s fertile catcher breeding ground.


The Red Sox now look ahead to the 57th overall pick—the seventh pick in round 2—and won’t pick again after that until the 110th spot.


If the Red Sox are going to pick a decent catcher, odds are it will have to be with their very next selection.


So who is available? Who might they go after should they pursue catching in round 2? ranks Louisiana State’s Micah Gibbs top among remaining collegiate catching prospects. The switch-hitting backstop was—among other accolades—named the 2009 ABCA Gold Glove catcher and manned the dish for the United States’ National Team during the 2008 World Championships. claims that Gibbs has fittingly been “compared to Jason Varitek… for his defensive play.”


According to’s scouting reports, Gibbs “has big raw power, especially from the left side” and has been “praised for his leadership far and wide,” while his “defense is beyond reproach.”


Them’s draftin’ words.


Should Gibbs be taken before the Red Sox can consider him, Villanova’s Matt Szczur ranks next, also according to


Szczur’s “plus arm, plus athleticism, rapidly emerging power… [and] championship pedigree” combine to suggest “a young man on the cusp of a long big league career.” Certainly a power-hitting catcher who can contain would-be base stealers should catch the Red Sox’ attention.


Whomever the Red Sox select at No. 57 he will perhaps stand as their last big pick of this year’s draft.




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