Red Sox prospect Casey Sutherland becoming bright spot in weak farm system
By Isaac Aaron
With the Boston Red Sox having one of the weakest farm systems in all of baseball, Case Sutherland becomes one of the bright spots.
The Boston Red Sox farm system has gotten weaker by the year, notably with trades such as the Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel deals being a key factor in that. It shouldn’t bother the fans though, as those trades were a big factor in the 2018 World Series team. With that championship in mind, however, there eventually comes a time when you need to restock the farm system, which is something the front office will be putting a lot of their focus on as the 2020 season approaches.
Although Boston has one of the weakest farm systems in baseball at the moment, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have absolutely nobody down there. There are some players with star potential, whether you believe it or not, and one of those guys with plenty of potential goes by the name of Casey Sutherland.
I had the absolute pleasure of getting to chat with Casey for a bit to hear his awesome story. Sutherland went undrafted after college and was already planning his life beyond baseball. He was with his friend, former college teammate Max Bazin, planning where they were going to live when going to graduate school. He had recently completed his last college baseball game, and the thought process was that it would be the last game he’d ever play in his career.
That was true until Sutherland got a life-changing phone call. It was the Boston Red Sox on the other end, Sutherland’s favorite team growing up, and the first little league team he ever played with. They offered him a Florida Gulf Coast league spot, and after taking it into consideration he would take the offer, beginning his professional baseball career.
In his first season with the Florida Gulf Coast League, Sutherland appeared in 11 games, throwing 27 innings and giving up only two runs while putting up a 26-to-1 Strikeout-to-walk ratio. That’s just straight-up dominance. He’d get added to the Lowell Spinners postseason roster, throwing one shutout inning during their playoff run.
Sutherland has four pitches in his arsenal: four-seamer, two-seamer, slider, and changeup. His changeup is the strongest pitch, with the slider having room to improve. When you go about 27 innings and only give up a couple of runs, however, it’s safe to say that most of your pitches, if not all of them, were working. That ended up being the case for Casey.
Sutherland had some interesting things to say during our interview, including the fact that he got to meet World Series champions Chris Sale and Steve Pearce down in Fort Myers while the two were training at the JetBlue facility.
"“You’re out in the training room and Steve Pearce is just giving you tips on drills,” said Sutherland. “I mean where else can you get that? And one day we were sitting there before one of the games and Chris (Sale) comes over and says, I see you’re doing this on this drill, you need to go focus on this.”"
When Sale tells you to do something, you do it. Getting advice from people who have been there before is the kind of thing that can push Sutherland far up the levels in the minors and eventually all the way to the big leagues.
So, what now for Sutherland? Well, as time goes on, we’ll see how much he is capable of when it comes to how far he can get. But there is one thing for certain, and that is the fact that this kid’s got potential.
Don’t sleep on Casey Sutherland. He’s got a great story, someone who wasn’t even planning to be where he is right now, but here we are. I’m definitely going to be rooting for this man, and you should be too.