Craig Hansen, a first-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, has been assigned to Double-A Portland.
Hansen, a right-handed reliever out of St. John's, was the 26th overall pick in the draft. He joins a Sea Dogs team that's in first place with a record of 63-53, 4.5 games ahead Trenton in the Eastern League's Northern Division.
"Clearly we feel strongly about his ability," said
Ben Cherington, director of Red Sox player development, "and we are looking forward to seeing him pitch regularly in Portland."
A native of Glen Cove, N.Y., Hansen started his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, where he made two appearances.
In his professional debut on Aug. 4, he worked a perfect inning in relief, striking out two batters and earning a win. He also pitched two innings on Aug. 8, allowing no runs, two hits and whiffing two. He has not yet walked a batter.
Hansen, 21, was rated by Baseball America as the No. 10 prospect in baseball and the fourth-best pitching prospect in the draft.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander was honored as the Big East Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 3-2 with 14 saves and a 1.68 ERA in 31 appearances as a junior at St. John's. He struck out 85 in 64.1 innings, an average of 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
According to Baseball America, Hansen was listed as having the best breaking ball and the second-best fastball among draft-eligible college pitchers. The magazine tabbed Hansen as the draft prospect closest to reaching the Majors, though Cherington said "there is no timeline" for that.
In a three-year career at St. John's, Hansen was 7-6 with 26 saves and a 3.49 ERA in 83 games. He played four years at Glen Cove High School on Long Island, where he struck out 223 batters in 140 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox reportedly signed Hansen to a contract that will pay him roughly $4 million.
To make room for Hansen on the Sea Dogs' 24-man roster, the Sox also announced that left-handed pitcher Brantley Jordan was transferred to Class A Greenville.
Andrew Tarica is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.