No. 20: Red Sox starting pitching prospect Angel Bastardo
Angel Bastardo had some of the more dominant stretches of any Boston Red Sox pitching prospects in 2023.
The right-handed pitcher posted a 4.68 ERA, .221 BAA, and 1.28 WHIP between High-A and Double-A. He struck out 149 batters compared to 55 walks in 119 1/3 innings.
Bastardo had rough patches throughout the season but also put together a few ridiculous starts. Those starts included back-to-back complete games shutouts (although one was only six innings and the other was seven innings). In those two games, Bastardo allowed five hits and no walks while striking out 23 batters.
Those two starts highlight the intriguing dominance that Bastardo showcased multiple times in 2023.
The 22-year-old's fastball sits in the low-mid 90s and can sneak into the high 90s. It's not the most dominant fastball, but if he can add some more command to it, there's enough velocity that it's a solid pitch.
Then there's a slider in the high 80s. It has fun movement and a good break, but can look different depending on the night. That gives me the feeling that Bastardo doesn't have the best control of the pitch yet.
A curveball that works in the low 80s is next. It is probably Bastardo's most intriguing pitch. When it's right, the pitch has a deep break that gets hitters off balance. However, it's inconsistent and sometimes doesn't do Bastardo any favors. It could be a plus pitch, but it needs to find consistency first.
Right now, the changeup is Bastardo's best pitch. Sitting in the mid-80s, it has a devastating late drop. It works perfectly when he's got command of his fastball.
Angel Bastardo had an eye-opening campaign in 2023 and became another legitimate Boston Red Sox pitching prospect. The high strikeout totals are fun, but he'll need to become more consistent with his pitches to elevate himself higher.