5 Boston Red Sox prospects to watch for the Greenville Drive
By Hunter Noll
Boston Red Sox High-A pitching prospect Juan Daniel Encarnacion
An insanely deep group of pitching prospects for the Boston Red Sox overshadowed Juan Daniel Encarnacion. And yes, they are insanely deep in this area.
Bryan Mata made his comeback, Brayan Bello was a star, and Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy continued to climb the ladder. Lower down, Luis Perales, Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz, and Wikelman Gonzalez were making waves.
Throughout all that, Encarnacion was one of the most consistent pitchers in Boston's minor league system. The right-handed pitcher made 26 appearances (25 starts) between Low-A and High-A in 2022. He posted a 4.05 ERA, .239 BAA, 1.27 WHIP, and 129 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings.
Over his last 56 2/3 innings, Encarnacion allowed 22 earned runs (3.49 ERA). That's an incredible second half. The fact he managed to do that in his first minor league season should be getting talked about.
Encarnacion is not flashy, so the attention doesn't come to him. He possesses a fastball that works in the high-80s to low-90s, a sweeping curveball, and an inconsistent changeup. Nothing that's going to get fans or media talking about him too much.
Encarnacion has made it work, though. Not only has he made it work with those pitches, but he's improved on them over the last few years. If he can take the next step in his development this year, 2023 should be a fun show.
The Boston Red Sox have headline-grabbing prospects. Juan Daniel Encarnacion isn't one of them. He'll go out there every fifth day and produce, though. If he continues to improve, the headlines will come.