Red Sox pitching prospects who’ll make Boston forget about Jordan Montgomery

Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Despite missing out on Jordan Montgomery, Boston Red Sox fans have a lot to be excited about when it comes to the organization's pitching staff.

Boston fared quite well in spring training even without elite help, and its staff posted the second-lowest ERA of any team in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. The Red Sox's depth is definitely there, even if their starting rotation is lacking.

Red Sox fans will have to wait just a bit longer to see the full extent of the talent in the system. Boston has made trades to bolster its pool of pitchers in the farm system this winter, and new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow's eye for pitching talent is already serving the Sox well.

The Red Sox are touted as having one of the better prospect pools in MLB, but it was light on pitchers before Breslow's hiring. Starting pitching has been Boston's direst need for the past few seasons, but the tides may turn in the near future. The Red Sox have enough pitching talent approaching MLB-readiness and they'll eventually force Boston's Montgomery woes out of fans' minds.

Red Sox pitching prospects who’ll make Boston forget about Jordan Montgomery

Richard Fitts

Red Sox fans already got a peek at Richard Fitts during the Sox's second exhibition game with the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers on March 26. He arrived in Boston from the Yankees as part of the Alex Verdugo trade this winter and he's already taken up residence on the Red Sox's top prospect list at No. 12.

Fitts posted great numbers against the Rangers — he logged three strikeouts, one walk and two hits in 3.1 innings. He showed out with the Yankees' Double-A affiliate last year, too. He collected a 3.48 ERA, 163 strikeouts and just 43 walks in 152.2 innings . On Sept. 15 of last year, Fitts had the outing of his career, during which he posted 11 strikeouts with the Somerset Patriots.

Fitts is expected to make his MLB debut in 2024 after he starts his year in Worcester, so Red Sox fans may get a chance to see what he can do in the big leagues in the back half of the coming season.

Justin Slaten

The Red Sox acquired 26-year-old right-hander Justin Slaten through a trade with the Mets and he turned heads immediately in spring training. Slaten was a Rule-5 pick with the Mets and his status continued through to the Red Sox organization, but he made it easy for the team to place him on the Opening Day roster so they don't have to risk losing him.

In his 6.1 innings of Grapefruit League play, Slaten didn't post a single earned run. He registered six strikeouts, one walk and two hits on the spring. His 2023 minor league numbers are even more impressive — the righty recorded a 2.87 ERA, 86 strikeouts and 20 walks in 59.2 innings pitched.

Slaten's stuff has collected praise from people up and down the Red Sox organization, including manager Alex Cora and fellow Rule-5 pitcher, Garrett Whitlock. Cora said Slaten has quality velocity and movement, emphasizing the importance that he's a big guy in a Sox bullpen which lacked imposing presences last season.

Wikelman Gonzalez

Wikelman Gonzalez is one of Boston's few homegrown pitchers and he's Boston's No. 7 overall prospect. Developing pitching internally is one of Breslow's priorities as CBO, and Gonzalez would be a great candidate to show the program's progress.

The Venezuela native signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2018 and he's improved each year he's been with the club. Gonzalez shined for the Sea Dogs in 2023 and posted a 2.42 ERA in 10 starts. The righty also spent some time in Salem last year and logged a staggering 168 strikeouts in 111.1 innings between the two clubs. states that Gonzalez has the best shot at becoming a bullpen arm due to his smaller frame, but his ceiling could be a middle-of-the-rotation starter. He's considered further ahead in his progress than Brayan Bello was at his age -- Gonzalez is expected to make his MLB debut next season.

Until the Sox's young pitchers are ready to play, Boston fans will anxiously await their arrival to the big leagues, hoping that the Red Sox's bats and improved defense will be enough to get them to the playoffs.

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