5 Boston Red Sox prospects to watch for the Salem Red Sox

2022 Red Sox Draft Signings
2022 Red Sox Draft Signings / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz

A lot of people are rightfully excited about Luis Perales. He isn't the only 19-year-old pitching prospect primed to breakout in the Boston Red Sox system. Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz might not get the same attention, but he deserves it.

Rodriguez-Cruz appeared in just two games for the Salem Red Sox last season. He posted a 1.50 ERA, .143 BAA, 1.00 WHIP, and six strikeouts over six innings in Low-A. The right-handed pitcher didn't allow a home run in 38 1/3 innings between Rookie Ball and Low-A.

We only have a small sample size of the 2021 fourth-round draft pick. Rodriguez-Cruz has shown plenty of raw potential to get excited about. He possesses three solid pitches while working on a fourth.

Rodriguez-Cruz has a fastball that sits in the low-90s. It wouldn't be surprising if he could bump the velocity up in the coming years, though. He's already managed to boost it a little bit. If he can work on the command and add velo, this could quickly be a great pitch.

He also has a curveball that works in the mid-to-high 70s with a fantastic sweeping break. Rodriguez-Curz already has a strong command of the pitch and has shown he can use it to produce ugly swings.

Next is a changeup that looks like a fastball out of his hand. The pitch sits around the low-80s and features a sharp drop at the end. It is a pitch that will confuse hitters and one that he already shows a good command of.

Finally, Rodriguez-Cruz is working on a slider. Definitely, the pitch that needs the most work, but there's something there. It works in the mid-80s and has a more horizontal break than the curveball. Command and consistency need improvement, but he's shown the ability to snap them off.

Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz only has six innings of work in Low-A heading into the 2023 season. We'll get to see a lot more of the Boston Red Sox pitching prospect this year, though. And it wouldn't be surprising if he finds his way onto everyone's radar and hearts.