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Red Sox select shortstop Chavis with first pick in Draft

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BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox selected shortstop Michael Chavis out of Sprayberry High School Marietta, GA with their first-round pick (26th overall) in the 2014 June Draft on Thursday night. The club also took right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech from Mt. Pleasant High School in Texas in the first round (33rd overall, compensation for Jacoby Ellsbury), and first baseman Sam Travis from Indiana University with their second-round selection (67th overall). 

Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye made the announcement.

Chavis, 18, hit .580 (47-for-81) with nine doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 37 RBI, and 21 stolen bases in 28 games, leading Sprayberry High School to an 18-11 overall record and this spring's 7AAAAA regional championship. A 5-foot-10, 190-pound right-handed hitter, he was named the 2014 Georgia Gatorade High School Player of the Year and also earned Southeast All-Region First-Team designation. Named a Perfect Game First-Team All-American, he won this year's Home Run Derby at the Perfect Game All-American Classic. Baseball America identified him as the top potential third base prospect available in the draft. He was also named to the Perfect Game Underclassmen First Team in 2013. Chavis is just the second high school infielder Boston has selected with its No. 1 pick since 1983, with the other being right-handed pitcher/shortstop Casey Kelly in 2008. Notable major leaguers that attended Sprayberry High School are right-handed pitcher Kris Benson and outfielder Marlon Byrd.

"Our approach each year is to select the best players available to us and we believe Michael fits that description," said Sawdaye. "He was undoubtedly one of the best high school hitters in this this year's class, and we were fortunate to have him. In addition, we believe his athleticism and defensive versatility will also be an asset to us."

Kopech, 18, went 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA and a .115 opponent batting average over 11 appearances this season for Mt. Pleasant. He allowed only four earned runs, 25 hits, and 18 walks all season, and tied for the lead Division 4A pitchers with 129 strikeouts in just 64.0 innings pitched. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Mt. Pleasant also played shortstop for the Tigers. This year he was named a First Team Perfect Game All-American and also earned a spot on Perfect Game's Texas-Region First Team. He struck out all three batters faced in his only inning of work during the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field and was named the exhibition's Player of the Game. 

Travis, 22, hit .347 (85-for-245) as a junior this season with 16 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 58 RBI, and 25 walks in 59 games for Indiana University. A First-Team All-Big Ten selection and Second Team Louisville Slugger All-American in 2014, he led the team in hits, doubles (tied), and RBI, and helped the Hoosiers to the Big Ten Championship and their first College World Series appearance. As a sophomore in 2013, the right-handed batter ranked second on the team in on-base percentage (.419), home runs (10), and RBI (57), and hit .316 (77-for-244) with 39 walks in 65 games, earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the Big Ten Tournament as well as the NCAA Bloomington Regional. The 6-foot, 210-pound first baseman played in 19 games for Team USA's Collegiate National Team in 2013 and was a Cape Cod League All-Star with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the summer of 2012. Travis, a native of Orland Park, IL, was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2012. He was named The Chicago Tribune's Illinois Player of the Year as a senior at Providence Catholic High School in 2011 and was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 40th round of the 2011 June Draft but chose not to sign.

 

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