In the 2014 MLB draft, the Boston Red Sox selected two players out of Chipola College in Marianna, Florida: Danny Mars and Ian Rice. Mars, an outfielder, was picked in the sixth round and Rice, a catcher, fell to the 21st round. Mars came to Massachusetts to sign his contract, and Rice came so that he could play in the Cape Cod League for the Cotuit Kettleers.
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So far this year in Cotuit, Rice has collected a hit in his six at-bats as he serves as one of the team’s catchers. The other catcher, Casey Schroeder, also went to junior college this past year and was selected in the 14th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics. Rice will see more action as the season progresses, and should be able to put up some impressive numbers and the same goes for Schroeder.
As far as a scouting report goes, Rice is known for his power. Smacking ten home runs this spring and leading the Cal Ripken Collegiate League in home runs last summer Rice impressed. Along with his .500 OBP for Chipola, yes, Rice walked about twice as often as he struck out which shows he has a great eye at the plate. On the base paths, Rice is not the fastest man alive since he is a catcher. Behind the dish, Rice has been working hard to improve his defense. With this being said, he could one day be a good defensive catcher at this rate.
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Given that he is committed to the University of Houston next year, Rice definitely has some options and leverage over Boston. Ranked as the 303rd best draft prospect by Baseball America, it seems strange that Rice fell all the way down to the 21st round. Sign-ability does not seem like it could be an issue, but it will take more than $100k to lure him away from college. As the season wears on in the Cape, Rice plays well, and the deadline to sign comes closer, expect Boston to up the ante and give Rice a realistic offer. Realistically for Rice, Boston should be able to swoop him up with about $300k.
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Overall, this will be an interesting one to see unfold. Ian Rice will be a fun player to watch in the Cape. Expect this one to come down to the wire whether or not he signs with the Red Sox as it will likely be announced on the day of the deadline. Rice is definitely a player Boston needs to make a priority in signing since his potential is far too great to pass up.