The Boston Red Sox, according to BaseballProspectus.com, have a 0.7 percent chance of making the playoffs, which means there really isn’t a whole lot to play for down the stretch.
Or so it seems.
The Red Sox are on the way to another disappointing last-place finish, which means the club once again will use August and September to take stock of what they have moving forward. One example of that will come Tuesday night in New York where Henry Owens will make his major league debut.
Owens will be faced with the tall task of facing the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in his first start on a big-league mound. Before he toes the rubber in the Bronx, here’s a closer look at the young left-hander.
Weight: 220 pounds
Drafted: First round (36th overall) in the 2011 draft … was taken in supplemental round as compensatory pick for Victor Martinez
Preseason prospect rankings: No. 44 (Baseball America), No. 19 (MLB.com) and No. 46 (Baseball Prospectus)
2015 minor league starts: 21 starts (all with Triple-A Pawtucket) … 3-8 … 3.16 ERA … 103 strikeouts and 56 walks in 122 1/3 innings … 1.144 WHIP
From SoxProspects.com: “Profiles as a solid No. 3 starter with a chance for more if he continues to refine his command and curveball. Development of curveball is key; relies heavily on fastball/changeup combination. Advanced feel for pitching. Will be able to withstand the rigors of starting at the big league level. Although somewhat goofy off the field, is able to flip the switch, and possesses a mature demeanor on mound. Floor of a back-end starter.”
From Baseball America (August 2014): “The lanky, 6-foot-7 left-hander has solid-average velocity (88-92 mph), but Owens succeeds more with deception than velocity because batters struggle to pick up the ball out of his hand. He pairs that with a dominant changeup, the best in the Double-A Eastern League this season.
“The Red Sox have moved him away from throwing a slider, and he now uses a curveball as a third pitch, which can be inconsistent but is average when he commands it. Other times, it can be too loopy.
“Owens is working on control this season and has sliced his walk rate to a career low 3.5 batters per nine innings, and over the course of his past 10 outings, has walked 19 in 64 innings. Scouts praise his makeup as well.”
From BaseballProspectus: “While the stuff is certainly where it needs to be to get big league hitters out right now, the control and command are not. As stated above, the fastball command is below-average, and the change and curveball are pitches that are much better when he’s ahead in the count — as is the case for all pitchers. He’s made some strides with his control this summer, but there’s going to be starts where he struggles because of too much self-inflicted damage.”
Thumbnail photo via Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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