At the start of the season, Henry Owens was widely considered the Red Sox top pitching prospect and was seen by many as the teams future ace. However, he has had his ups and downs. While he has settled down a bit his stats aren’t exactly in line with what many Red Sox fans had hoped to see from him after a dominant year in 2014.
In 2014, Owens boasted a 2.94 ERA across 2 levels, striking out 170 batters and walking 59. I was lucky enough to see his AAA debut in which he took a no hitter into the 5th inning. He looked absolutely unhitable in that game and gave many hope that he was on the fast track to the majors.
However, 2015 hasn’t exactly been the same story. Owens has been outshined by ex-teammate and now big leaguer Eduardo Rodriguez. Many had though Owens would get the first crack at the rotation, especially since he was widely considered the teams best pitching prospect but Rodriguez outshined him and is now making an impact in the majors.
Owens on the other had currently holds 3.45 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 43 walks in 13 starts. The walks are the thing that stands out to me the most there and he needs to find a way to better control his pitches if he wants to make an impact at the next level.
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Owens has never had “ace stuff” but last year he was able to mix a deceptive delivery with improved command to generate strikeouts and get the job done. However, he has been unable to find that command again this year and this raises the question of what Owens will be for the team.
The Red Sox are still struggling and some extra help in the rotation wouldn’t hurt, but I don’t think Owens is the answer we are looking for right now. Had his command from last year held up this might be a different story. On top of that, it has always concerned me that many of the swing and misses Owens generates are due to a deceptive delivery. While that might be great in the minors, major league hitters are not so easily deceived and would most likely catch onto his tricks.
That being said, I don’t think we can write off Owens by any means. He still has great potential and if he can find his command again, could easily be a future staple in the Red Sox rotation. I just have some serious doubts that he will be at the top of the rotation.