No. 17: Red Sox starting pitching prospect Jedixson Paez
Jedixson Paez is the enigma of the Boston Red Sox pitching prospects, in my opinion.
Paez had a fantastic first season in the minor leagues. The right-handed pitcher posted a 3.31 ERA, .230 BAA, and 1.01 WHIP in Single-A. He struck out 73 batters in 84 1/3 innings, only surrendering 12 walks.
The strikeouts are low, but other than that, Paez put up phenomenal numbers. So what's the issue? Why is he an enigma?
The control is already well ahead of his age. A 19-year-old shouldn't be able to locate the way he does.
The control is elite, but you need the stuff to get hitters out at higher levels. Paez's biggest question is his velocity.
He has a fastball that sits right around 90 MPH. The command is there. The velocity could use a boost, though. The good news is that Paez has already shown he can work on that, as his 2022 fastball was in the mid-80s.
He also has a changeup that works in the low 80s. It looks a lot like his fastball but has a decent late drop, and the increased speed in his fastball makes this an even tougher pitch for hitters to see.
Finally, there's a curveball that sits in the high 70s. It has a good break to it, and Paez can unsurprisingly locate it very well. The ability to locate makes a good breaking ball great.
Jedixson Paez is such a strange pitching prospect for the Boston Red Sox. He's intriguing because the stuff looks good, and the control is elite. But can you trust him to not get hit around in the higher levels if he doesn't add more velocity?
Honestly, I think you can make it without 95-plus on the fastball. It would make things a whole lot easier, though.
If Paez does add some velocity, I wouldn't be shocked if he became a name the national media picks up on quickly. So be on the lookout for that next season.