Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday the Red Sox made their first round of roster cuts and we examined some of the offensive standouts among that group. However, many of the top prospects that were recently cut were pitching prospects and it would behoove us to take a look at those arms in addition to the bats. According to SoxProspects, the #3 prospect (Henry Owens), #6 prospect (Matt Barnes), #7 prospect (Allen Webster), and #8 prospect (Anthony Ranaudo) were all cut yesterday. Those are some intriguing arms and this was many of our first look at them; let’s go deeper.
Allen Webster: Webster was probably the Red Sox’ most impressive pitching prospect this spring. However, he did it in a bit of a roundabout manner. Webster was absolutely rocked in his first outing of the spring, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk in just 1.2 innings pitched. He recovered, however, and was dominant in his second start of the spring as he tossed 3 scoreless innings, allowing 1 hit and no walks while punching out a batter against a “full-force” Miami Marlins lineup. Webster covered the medium range in his next start, allowing 2 runs in 3.1 innings, walking 3 and striking out 3 against the Orioles. Perhaps the largest issue Webster will need to work on in order to remain a consistent starter is improving his consistency, an issue that plagued him during this spring; however, there were certainly positives with his spring performance.
Anthony Ranaudo: Ranaudo falls into the same camp as Webster; however, his performance varied on an even more extreme level. He was absolutely filthy in his first game, tossing 2 perfect innings while striking out 4 batters against the Minnesota Twins. However, Ranaudo was rocked even more than Webster in his second game as he allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks in 1.1 innings. He then recovered with a decent performance in his third game, tossing 2 scoreless innings while allowing 1 hit, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout. Similarly to Webster, consistency has been a major concern for Ranaudo in the past and this spring proved no different; like Webster, there were positives too though.
Henry Owens: From a performance level, Owens was fairly mediocre this spring. He had a decent first start, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and no walks while striking out 2. However, his second start left quite a bit to be desired as he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 2.1 innings. Owens’ spring was largely a positive outside of game-time, though. The Red Sox pitching staff was thrilled by Owens’ phenomenal stuff, wowing some to the point of saying that he could be the Red Sox’ best young arm. Owens is still a long way from the majors– he may not even see Fenway Park in 2014– but he seems like he’ll be an exciting young pitcher when he does get the call.