Conor’s Top Red Sox Prospects: #17


I was busy again yesterday, but today I will make up for it by listing my seventeenth ranked prospect in Brandon Workman. Workman is not your typical top prospect type– he isn’t a dominant pitcher and he’s 23 years old and only in high-A Salem. However, he has a great body type to become an excellent pitcher; he stands at 6’4″, 195 lb and he has shown flashes of brilliance. He is probably not going to be an ace, but he has had much success in the minor leagues and he could certainly be a middle-of-the-rotation kind of guy.

Coming out of Texas University– a very good baseball school, Workman was acquired by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2010 draft, after a dominant junior year in which he went 12-2 with a 3.35 ERA and struck out 8.68 batters per nine innings. He showed the Red Sox why they drafted him so early by putting up a very good 2011 season with single-A Greenville. He went 6-7 with a 3.71 ERA and showed some dominant stuff– striking out 7.90 batters per nine innings with a 3.48 K:BB ratio. He was promoted to high-A Salem for the 2012 season and has done pretty well there. He is currently 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA and has struck out 38 batters in 34.2 innings, showing the dominant strikeout stuff that he was drafted for.

There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a strikeout guy too, as the tall righty reaches well into the 90’s. According to SoxProspects (see his page here), his fastball goes at around 92-94 mph generally. However, his out pitch is his cutter– which he throws in the high 80’s. SoxProspects says that his cutter has potential to be a wipeout pitch, as it tails in on lefties in a devastating manner. He also throws a change and occasionally a curve, both of which are below average and need work if he wants to stick as a starter. If he can get one of those pitches to work– he could be a dominant starter.

However, chances are that he still won’t be an ace. He throws hard and he gets strikeouts, but he should be a middle-rotation starter. It’s also possible that if he doesn’t develop a change or curve, he could potentially go to the bullpen. That could help tack a few miles per hour onto his already mid-90’s fastball. I would like to see him as a starter though, as he has the ability to work deep into games and help a Red Sox rotation for which that hasn’t been a strong suit the past few years. He should be in the majors by 2014, and hopefully can fix a pitching staff that isn’t looking good.