Rays take position players with 1st 3 picks in draft
ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays went with position players Thursday during the first day of the draft, taking high school third baseman Josh Lowe with the 13th overall pick then following that with a pair of college center fielders – Ryan Boldt at 53rd and Jake Fraley at 77th.
“I really think it’s just the way things fell,” scouting director Rob Metzler said. “We view it as what’s the best talent? What’s the best value? What’s the best future value on the board? Is there some feeling that position players, if you’re going to get them you have to take them early? I don’t know. That’s one point of view. I don’t know if that’s the definitive view we take. … We just felt like they were the best guys, the best overall outcome for the organization.”
Lowe, who played at Pope High in Marietta, Ga., was the Georgia Gatorade plyer of the year. He hit .391 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI this spring. Metzler said Lowe will begin his pro career as a third baseman.
Boldt, a junior at Nebraska, has been compared to Cornhuskers coach Darin Erstad, who was the first pick in the 1985 draft.
Boldt, 6-2, 212, hit .344 this season with 24 multi-hit games. He led the Cornhuskers in scoring during all three of his seasons.
“He’s a physical, athletic outfielder. He can run. He can hit. He has power potential,” Metzler said.
Fraley, 6-0, 190, played at LSU. He had five home runs this season and 35 RBI. He stole 28 bases in 64 games.
“Another athletic left-handed hitting center fielder,” Metzler said. “He has very good contact skills. Good bat. Good defensive plyer. Good outcome for us.”
The draft continues today with rounds three through 10.