Red Sox top-30 prospect rankings after the 2018 season
By Hunter Noll
8. Mike Shawaryn
Mike Shawaryn had one of the better seasons for a pitching prospect in the Red Sox organization. That led to him making his way to Triple-A and now he could head into 2019 with a chance to make a name for himself in Spring Training.
Shawaryn spent most of the year (112 2/3 innings) in Double-A, dominating to the tune of a 3.28 ERA. The right-handed pitcher then threw 36 2/3 innings in Triple-A. Although the ERA was higher there (3.93) he did some things even better at the higher level. That included position a lower WHIP and batting average against.
The fact that he wasn’t overwhelmed by the midseason change bodes well for his prospects as – well – a prospect.
Shawaryn finished 2018 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 26 appearances (25 starts). The 24-year-old held opponents to a .233 batting average and struck out 132 batters over 149 1/3 innings.
In a lot of senses, this was the best season of his career, and that bodes well for his future.
When it comes to his pitches, Shawaryn definitely has some nice weapons.
His best offering is a sweeping slider that disappears versus both lefties and righties. It’s definitely the pitch that will produce the most strikeouts.
Shawaryn also has a fastball that’s listed as a two-seamer but when watching, it appears as a sinker. The pitch produces a lot of weak contact while sitting in the low-90s.
Finally, there’s a changeup that might be his worst pitch but is still solid. It’s deceptive in the sense that he throws it like his fastball, but there’s a drop-off in speed as well as a slight dip to the pitch.
Shawaryn’s first two seasons in the minors saw him posting K/9 rates above 9.00. 2018 was the first time he had more innings (149 1/3) than strikeouts (132). This isn’t a step back though as this was due to an improved fastball that produced a lot of weak contact. That’s why his ERA and home runs were down, as were his walks and WHIP.
It wouldn’t be surprising in the least if Shawaryn made his Major League debut at some point next season. The Red Sox will more-than-likely give him looks as a starter but a bullpen role might be in his future. This is simply due to the fact that he’s already so close to the Majors, but the Red Sox don’t have any real openings in the rotation at the moment.