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MLB DRAFT

MLB Draft 2022: Red Sox go heavy on college pitchers on Day 2, and nab an intriguing catcher late

The Red Sox added a college shortstop Tuesday to the pair of high school ones they took to begin their draft choosing University of San Diego's Chase Meidroth in the fourth round.Amanda Loman/Associated Press

The Red Sox used six of their eight picks on college pitchers on Monday’s second day of the 2022 MLB Draft. Their second-to-last pick, however, was a catcher who has their full attention.

While driving in 91 runs this year for Randleman High School outside of Greensboro, N.C., ninth-round pick Brooks Brannon tied the state high school home run record of 20 set by his father, former Mariners minor leaguer Paul Brannon.

“We think he’s got a chance to be an impact catcher and he’s got really unique power, so pairing those two things up, I think there’s a lot of intrigue with him,” said Paul Toboni, Red Sox director of amateur scouting.

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With plus raw power that Baseball America says comes with a swing that’s “constantly looking to do damage,” Brannon’s strong point as a catcher is his above-average arm strength.

“I feel like I can hold my own on any given day. I’m a catcher, I think I can hit for power and average, and I feel like I can play in the big leagues,” said Brannon. “I know that I’ll play hard, I know that I’ll play well, and I hope I move up quickly and we win a ring in Boston.”

Toboni described Brannon’s defensive skills as “pretty advanced, actually,” and pointed to room for improvement in his plate approach. Waiting for the right pitch to swing at versus expanding the zone will be a focus, said Toboni, “but we’re also cognizant that it’s part of the maturation process for every hitter. So I think that’s an area where Brooks is really going to lock in and work to get good.”

Brannon, 6-foot and 210 pounds, is committed to play for the University of North Carolina, but said he will be discussing with both the school and the Red Sox on Tuesday.

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“I’m excited for the opportunity to be a Red Sox, and can’t thank everyone along the way enough,” he said.

The Red Sox used their third- and fifth-round picks on lefthanded college relievers they would like to convert into starters: Dalton Rogers from Southern Miss and Noah Dean of Old Dominion.

In 37 innings and 23 games this year, Rogers struck out 57 while walking 23 and posting a 1.95 ERA. His fastball averages 92-93 miles per hour and tops out at 96, according to Baseball America, and breaks vertically about 18 inches. Rogers also throws a changeup and a slider.

Dean, 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, has stuff Baseball America describes as “fearsome,” with a fastball topping out at 100 and sitting around 97. Dean also throws a mid- to upper-70s breaking ball with plenty of break to it. He struck out 45 percent of the batters he faced in three years at ODU.

“They’re actually somewhat similar,” said Toboni. “They were used primarily in relief roles but we actually think that they carry starter traits, both of them, and we’re going to develop them as starters. It’s definitely not a situation where we’re trying to fast-track someone. In both of these guys’ situations, we’re trying to take our time to develop them and see how it pans out.”

The other positional pick came in the fourth round: Chase Medroth, a second baseman from the University of San Diego. After playing only six games last year due to injuries, Meidroth hit .329/.440/.544 with 10 home runs and 40 walks — compared to only 25 strikeouts — this spring.

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“He’s got a really good idea of what he’s doing at the plate, he sees the ball really early, he walks a lot, he makes a ton of contact, and he’s a good defender in the infield,” said Toboni. “What drives the intrigue is just his own management skills and his ability to put the bat on the ball and in play in the middle of the field, which obviously isn’t super easy to come by.”

As a collegian, Caleb Bolden pitched for Arkansas and Texas Christian.Butch Dill/Associated Press

Caleb Bolden, their seventh-round pick, is a 23-year-old righthander out of Texas Christian University and Arkansas who went unsigned after the Tampa Bay Rays drafted him five years ago. A former Tommy John recipient, he struck out 46 and walked 19 across 39 innings this season, with batters hitting him at a .240 clip and Bolden posting a 6.23 ERA.

He struck out 84 in 88⅔ innings with a 3.86 ERA during his Arkansas stint.

With their sixth-round pick, the Red Sox went with 23-year-old righthander Alex Hoppe from UNC-Greensboro. Hoppe, at 6-1 and 200 pounds, was the Southern Conference’s pitcher of the year as a senior, holding opponents to a .182 batting average.

In Round 8, the Red Sox chose righthander Jonathan Brand from Miami University in Ohio. His 1.40 ERA was the third lowest for a starter in the US this season, with Brand posting an 8-2 record over 13 starts, with 86 strikeouts over 77⅓ innings.

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With their final pick of the day, the Red Sox chose righthander Isaac Coffey, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound 22-year-old out of Oral Roberts University. As a junior this year, Coffey struck out 78 batters over 88⅓ innings while walking only 16.

Picking so many college pitchers was not by design, said Toboni, but a matter of who was available and when. What may not be so happenstance is that many of the picks Monday should sign for under their slot value.

That makes sense given that the Red Sox have a $2.5 million agreement (pending a physical) with their No. 79 pick, outfielder Roman Anthony, according to a league source. That’s well above the $820,000 allotted for the slot.

Anthony, out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was chosen with a compensatory pick received for the departure of Eduardo Rodriguez in free agency.

The draft concludes Tuesday with Rounds 11-20.

Alex Speier of Globe Staff contributed to this report.


Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB.