Draft leftovers: Magee remains in demand

BY foxsports • June 7, 2012

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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