There are lots of reasons to be excited about the Red Sox’ 2011 draftee Henry Owens. By the traditional statistics, he hasn’t been fantastic in his first year of pro baseball with the Greenville Drive. However, he has great stuff that has scouts drooling much as they did when he went 11-0 with a 1.10 ERA in his senior season at Edison High School in California. First of all, he is a power lefty with a good arrangement of pitches– all of them effective as he’s proven to the Red Sox. Secondly, he strikes out batters like Daisuke Matsuzaka walks them and that’s the kicker for Owens.
Ever since joining the Greenville Drive, Owens has been piling up the strikeouts like nobody’s business. It isn’t fair to say that that wasn’t expected of him as he struck out 13.32 his senior year at Edison, but the 13.08 that he’s compiled in professional baseball has been nothing short of masterful. He needs a little bit of fine tuning though, while his record is 7-2, his ERA is unimpressive at 5.20 but he has held hitters to a reasonable .251 batting average. According to SoxProspects (see his page here), he throws his fastball in the low 90′s with a curveball and a change as well. The curveball is a good pitch for him, but a bit loopy as he throws it in the mid 70′s. His change is below average but that’s alright as most high schoolers are similar in this respect. Just because of those strikeouts, though, the Red Sox are sure that the 6’7″ lefty will figure it out.
That pitcher’s frame of 6’7″ 200 pounds makes scouts at SoxProspects say that Owens will be highly projectable. Lefties with this frame often are and Owens fits into that of a second or third starter. Perhaps he could compare to a Brandon Morrow or Andrew Miller type who strikes out tons of guys but hasn’t really figured it out on other respects. After all, he has walked over a batter every other inning at 4.52 per nine. It’ll be very interesting to watch Owens’ progression through the ranks of the minors to see if he keeps up the high strikeout numbers. If so, the Red Sox may have a prodigy on their hands.