Red Sox lefty reliever target: Tanner Scott
Let’s be honest, there are much bigger names on this list than Tanner Scott. A 27-year-old with a career 4.73 ERA on a bottom-dweller team, Scott has forever been held back by control problems. He has walked 96 batters in just 156 innings, good for a disastrous 5.5 BB/9 ratio. No matter how good your stuff is, it’s hard to be an effective reliever when you are walking 14% of the batters you face.
Despite his control problems, Scott has always been good at one thing: Getting lefties out. Scott has held same-side hitters to a .199/.330/.293 over his career. This past season was even better this past season, allowing just three extra-base hits and no home runs in his 86 plate appearances against lefties this year.
The reason why the Red Sox should acquire Scott, however, is not because of what’s he’s done but of what he can do. Few lefties in the game possess better stuff, as his whiff rate and his fastball spin rate both rank in the 98th percentile among his pitchers. His upper 90’s fastball has always been his calling card, but his slider is beginning to catch up. He threw the breaking ball at a career-high rate in 2021 and held batters to a .218 XBH.
With the Orioles forever in a rebuild, it won’t take much for the Red Sox to acquire Scott. The risk-reward here is off the charts, and with Darwinson Hernandez struggling with injuries and inconsistencies, the Red Sox could use another dynamic lefty in the bullpen.