The Boston Red Sox signed top draft pick Jacob Ellsbury and assigned the speedy outfielder to Single-A Lowell, the team announced on Wednesday. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Among Boston’s first 16 draft picks, only right-handed reliever Craig Hansen from St. John’s remains unsigned.

Ellsbury, a 21-year-old from Oregon State, is often compared to Boston’s Johnny Damon. He batted .415 with a school-record 86 hits, playing errorless defense this season to earn honors as the Pac-10 co-player of the year.

Ellsbury hit .368 with 56 stolen bases, 162 runs scored, 36 doubles, 16 homers and 99 RBIs in three college seasons. Baseball America ranked him as the fastest baserunner among draft-eligible college players.

Boston selected Ellsbury 23rd overall.


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