Top Red Sox Pitching Prospect Thad Ward Shines In Fall League Debut

Ward is Boston's 15th ranked prospect

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October 4

Thad Ward has been out of action for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Tommy John surgery, but he showed off an impressive fastball in his Arizona Fall League debut Tuesday.

The No. 15 prospect of the Boston Red Sox started and pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Scottsdale Scorpions. He struck out seven as his team beat the Mesa Solar Sox, 12-5. The right-hander reportedly operated mostly at 91-94 mph with his two-seamer while also utilizing his 81-85 mph slider that he is best known for.

“The fastball was working well,” Ward said, as transcribed by MLB.com’s Jim Callis. “I think a lot of it was due to mixing in a lot of sliders in early to try to get them off of that and then beating them with the fastball. My catcher, Andy (Thomas of the San Francisco Giants), did a really good job of calling pitches and made sure we mixed it up pretty well so we didn’t get predictable. It just worked out that way.”

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The Red Sox signed Ward out of Central Florida as a fifth-round pick in 2018. He converted from college reliever to pro starter and won the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year award in his first full season.

Ward returned to the mound this July and posted a 2.28 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings across four levels. He didn’t allow a run in his first four outings.

“There were glimmers where I thought, ‘OK, now I’m fully back,’ and then there’d be an outing or two where I didn’t feel quite as good,” Ward said. “So it’s been a little bit of back and forth. It took a little bit to where I finally felt like myself again up on the mound and not having to make some adjustments and I could just compete.”

Ward could be a name to consider for Boston in 2023 if he’s able to develop his pitches and sustain his level of play, and he’s off to a good start so far.

Thumbnail photo via USA TODAY Sports Images
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