Boston Red Sox: 5 Greenville Drive storylines to follow in 2024

The minor leagues are always filled with intriguing storylines to follow as prospects try to make their way to the Majors. Here are a few you should follow for the Boston Red Sox High-A team in Greenville.
Rows of empty seats at Fluor Field Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The Greenville Drive and all other Minor
Rows of empty seats at Fluor Field Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The Greenville Drive and all other Minor / JOSH MORGAN/Staff via Imagn Content
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Did Jedixson Paez add some velocity?

Jedixson Paez might be the most intriguing pitching prospect in the system for the Boston Red Sox. He's not as dominant as Luis Perales or Wikelman Gonzalez, and he's certainly not as electric as Yordanny Monegro.

What Paez is, however, is Bob Ross in pitching form. He's advanced at painting corners and putting the ball exactly where he wants. This type of control is rare for pitchers, let alone a teenager in the minor leagues.

The right-handed pitcher posted a 3.31 ERA, .230 BAA, and 1.01 WHIP in 18 appearances (16 starts) for Single-A in 2024. He struck out 73 batters in 84 1/3 innings. That isn't a ton of strikeouts. And it could have to do with his fastball sitting around 90 MPH. That's not exactly striking fear in hitters. He does have a solid off-speed combo with a changeup and a curveball.

More importantly, though, is the command. Sure, he isn't overpowering hitters, but Paez is never causing trouble for himself. That's impressive for anyone, but it's next level for a 19-year-old.

Paez's elite control helped him dominate in his first season with the Salem Red Sox. However, there is a clear question about how he will handle higher competition. Pinpoint command of his pitches is enough to overcome low velocity in Single-A. Will that be the case in High-A and above, though?

We've seen pitchers be effective without throwing hard. Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks is a perfect example of someone still doing it now. That being said, adding some velocity wouldn't hurt Paez's chances of making it to the Major Leagues. And the good news is that a jump in MPH is expected. We've already seen his fastball tick up in previous years. As he matures, the fastball should improve.

That begs the question, did Paez add some extra velocity this offseason? Or will we need to wait a little longer to see another boost? If there was an uptick, does it hurt his control, or does he continue to paint by numbers?

With all the fantastic prospects in the Boston Red Sox system, Paez might be the most intriguing question entering the 2024 season. And it all centers around how fast he's throwing.