Red Sox Minor League Prospects Update
Owens on Target. Greenville lefty Henry Owens landed the number five spot in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet from Baseball America. After a slow start, Owens has been impressive in his last eight games. Last week, he didn’t allow an earned run over 10 innings in two starts and had 10 strikeouts. Owens is still a long way from the bigs – but is another example of how the Red Sox 2011 draft is shaping up as top-notch.
Tazawa on a Roll. Junichi Tazawa is another hot pitcher. He has 15 strikeouts and only one walk in his last 8 1/3 innings pitched for Pawtucket. Tazawa has strengthened his pitching arsenal – adding a slider and improving his splitter, giving him four quality pitches. While the Red Sox need pitching help, I don’t see Tazawa getting into Boston’s rotation this year – maybe the bullpen. More likely, Tazawa could be a trading chip in a trade deadline deal for a more established starter.
Bard Struggles Continue. Alex Speier asks given Daniel Bard’s continuing control problems at Pawtucket – should he be sent to Ft. Myers to work on his pitching mechanics. Fair question. But even at Pawtucket the focus is on development. So better for Bard to keep working against higher caliber competition than younger players he should be able to dominate even when he is not at the top of this game.
Keep an Eye on Carpenter. Chris Carpenter is back from elbow surgery, making rehab appearances at various stops in the Red Sox farm system. So far so good. Carpenter could be a factor in the Red Sox bullpen later this season. And also keep an eye on the other player in the Cubs compensation package for Theo Epstein – Aaron Kurcz. He was an Eastern League All Star. I watched the game and he pitched well.