The 2020 regular season is almost upon us. So it’s time to talk about which Boston Red Sox prospects have big things in store for the upcoming campaign.
Eduard Bazardo is incredibly fun to watch. He can be extremely electric at times, and just has that factor. I don’t know if it’s the glasses, the delivery or what. What I do know though, is that the “fun” can sometimes make you miss just how good the Boston Red Sox relief pitcher really is.
Bazardo definitely showed that in 2019. The reliever put up incredible numbers between Advanced-A and Double-A. In 73 1/3 innings combined, the right-hander had a 2.21 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and .206 BAA while striking out 88 batters.
What about 2020 though? Well, if you ask me, it’s going to be a great year for Bazardo. Here’s why.
In the other “Year of” articles, I’ve talked about the whole situation going on and how a shortened season might hurt the players. For Bazardo, it might actually help. I’ll explain.
Boston has some issues with pitching. The starting rotation definitely has major holes, and the bullpen isn’t much better. What’s crazy about that though, is that the Red Sox did not really address those problems this offseason. In fact, the rotation undoubtedly got worse.
With that in mind, they will need pitching. And that’s where Bazardo comes into play.
At first, I thought he had an outside chance to make the team out of Spring Training. However, he would need to absolutely dominate to get the call. And while it was a small sample, two earned runs in 3 1/3 innings probably wasn’t going to do it.
Which means Bazardo will likely start the year in Triple-A (maybe Double-A but he’s already proven he can overpower there so what’s the point). The 24-year-old probably wouldn’t be in Triple-A long though.
As I’ve said, Boston’s very thin when it comes to pitching. And Bazardo has to be on their radar at this point.
The righty sits in the low-mid 90s with his fastball, but can reach back for 97. His fastball also has nice movement to it, and is a pretty reliable pitch.
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Meanwhile, Bazardo has a phenomenal curveball. I’m talking that make-a-hitter-look-stupid type of curve. It’s low-80s and has just ridiculous spin on it. It drops pretty sharply and it’s one of those pitches that looks unreal when watching in slow motion. Oh, and Baz already has great command of it. He’s not throwing meatballs too often.
There’s also a changeup, but he doesn’t throw it much. Basically it’s just there to throw hitters off every once in a while.
The fastball/curveball combination is absolute filth though. And that combo will help Bazardo climb up the Red Sox ranks really quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the Majors after a month of baseball this year. Boston needs help and Baz has showed last season not many could match him.
So why will 2020 be the year of Eduard Bazardo? Well it starts with a short but dominant run in Triple-A, and ends with him up in Boston helping out the bullpen.
Baz became a full-time reliever in 2019, and it turned him into a star. There’s no reason to believe he won’t take the next step in 2020. And that puts him in the Majors.
By no means will 2020 be the peak of Eduard Bazardo though. I probably won’t be making one of these for him next year, as he will no longer be a prospect. His story with the Boston Red Sox will have just begun though. And it should be a long and successful one.