Red Sox Arizona Fall League Preview Part 1: The Pitchers
By Drew Peabody
Acquired: 2013 first round choice (seventh overall) out of high school in Indiana
Ht: 6-6 Wt. 185 Throws: Left
Scouting report: Fastball sits at 90-92, topping out at 95. In four professional seasons, fastball has increased movement leading to command issues. Has two speeds for his curveball, 70-72 and 76 mph. Slider sits around 84, just started throwing it mid-2015
Outlook: High school top picks can be risky propositions and Ball’s numbers reflect that. In his first full season of 2014, struggled to a 4.68 ERA as a 19 year old but was still promoted to High A Salem where he has pitched for the last two seasons. In 2016, he missed time with a knee injury which limited him to 117 innings after 129 innings in 2015. Walks are a definite issue, rising from 3.5 per nine innings in 2014 to 4.2 in 2015 to 5.2 in 2016.
AFL Goals: Increase innings load. As a pitcher who has only started in the minors, he is being developed to do that in the majors. He needs to improve his command going forward as the team is likely to try to push him forward to AA next season. At 22, he is still developing physically so the team is giving him all the reps it can to keep moving him in a positive direction.