Red Sox Starting Pitchers
The Red Sox pitching staff has been “eh” for the last few years. They’ve had depth problems for one thing. Lack of top-tier starters has been the big one though – especially with Chris Sale injured.
The good news on that front is, they don’t have a lack of starting pitching prospects. And if everything goes right they have a lot of potential aces for that 2030 season. Starting with …
1. Bryan Mata
Bryan Mata is ridiculous. The only knock on him is his control. And that saw major improvements in 2019. Now the only issue is his lack of reps over the last two years. 2020 was a wash for the minors and 2021 saw Mata undergo Tommy John surgery right before the start of the season.
He’s only 22 though and has a ridiculous combination of pitches. The right-handed pitcher is going to rack up the strikeouts and if he can continue to improve on his command he will be one of the best pitchers in baseball at some point.
Starting the 2030 year, Mata would still only be 30. That could be right in the sweet-spot of his prime. So not only would he be the ace of the Boston staff, he could be the best pitcher in baseball.
2. Jay Groome
What’s scary is that Jay Groome could be right behind him. The left-handed pitcher ended up having a phenomenal 2021 season despite a miserable start. He tends to look untouchable and has a frankly disgusting curveball that will create a lot of problems for hitters.
Groome will be 31 on Opening Day of the 2030 season, so like Mata,, he could be smack-dab in the middle of his prime.
To this point in his career, injuries have really slowed down Groome. That’s sort of killed a lot of the hype surrounding him. However, that potential is still there and he could be one of the most dominant left-handed pitchers in baseball.
3. Brayan Bello
Brayan Bello will be sort of like the wild card of the group. He seems like he has the potential to go out there and throw a no-hitter any game. His stuff is that nasty. However, sometimes the right-handed pitcher loses it.
With that in mind, there will probably be stretches where fans are nervous that he’s on the mound and he struggles to get through four innings for a few starts. Those will be offset by dominant runs that see Bello go 20-something scoreless innings or something ridiculous though.
The strikeouts will come in absurd numbers and he will probably have some fantastic overall seasons. Might not be super consistent though so he slots in at three. He’ll be 30 at the start of the 2030 season – still in his prime.
4. Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy will be that fourth starter that a lot of teams wish they had as their ace. Might have a few implosion starts where he lets walks and home runs kill him. But for the most part the command will be under control and he’ll be picking up strikeouts left-and-right.
Murphy will be 31 to start the 2030 season. So expect him to be near the top of his game. The left-handed pitcher doesn’t have many negatives and could be elite if he keeps those home run numbers down.
Murph’s best trait will be that he’s able to get you at least five innings basically every five downs. Outside the random implosion game (which let’s face it everyone deals unless your last name is deGrom), the Red Sox will always have a chance when he’s starting.
5. Wilkelman Gonzalez
Admittedly, Wilkelman Gonzalez is hard to project because the sample-size is so small. That’s why I put him at five. Although if we’re being honest he could be untouchable.
The right-handed pitcher made just four starts in Low-A this year, and was seen as a very raw prospect. But he absolutely dominated in those outings, proving that he already has some great stuff to work with.
Gonzalez will be just 28 to start the 2030 season. He might walk a few batters, but he’s not going to give up too many hits and he’s going to strikeout a ton. So if things work out for him the sky is the limit. And if the Red Sox have him as a fifth starter the rest of the league isn’t going to be having much fun.