Red Sox prospect from Alex Verdugo trade nearly tosses perfect game in Triple-A

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

The Boston Red Sox made a surprising move this offseason when they traded outfielder Alex Verdugo to the New York Yankees. If we're being honest, trading Verdugo wasn't the shocking part. It was more just that the two rival teams traded at all.

Part of the return for the Red Sox was pitching prospect Richard Fitts. He immediately became one of the top arms in the system and began the year in Triple-A.

Despite never pitching at the level before this season, Fitts has done well. There have been some issues (like getting hit a bit too much), but the positives are clear. On May 17, he surrendered a season-high six runs on eight hits over three innings. That highlighted the BAA problem.

His next start saw a massive improvement, though. Fitts allowed just one run on three hits over five innings. Then, on Wednesday, everything was shining. Hits certainly weren't an issue.

The right-handed pitcher took a perfect game into the eighth inning for the Worcester Red Sox. Fitts finished the game without allowing any earned runs on one hit over seven innings. He struck out seven batters compared to no walks. It wasn't just a fluke performance either, as Fitts was throwing harder on Wednesday.

Red Sox Prospects: Richard Fitts almost throws perfect game for Worchester

The 24-year-old is 4-1 with a 3.72 ERA, .246 BAA, and 1.22 WHIP this season. He has 41 strikeouts compared to 15 walks in 48 1/3 innings.

Even before Wednesday, Fitts was living up to the billing. He had some flaws to work on, but it's important to remember that this is his first taste of Triple-A. What we've seen recently is exactly why the Auburn product is such a highly-touted prospect, though.

Verdugo was a very polarizing player with the Red Sox. Some fans loved him, and others were counting the days until he left. Trading him to the rival Yankees caused more mixed feelings. Would Sox fans get to gloat as Verdugo's same issues would crop up? Or would he put it all together in New York?

However, the real spotlight should have always been on the return. Reliever Greg Weissert has been great in the Boston bullpen. Pitcher Nicolas Judice just made his first appearance in the FCL. Then there's Fitts, who has given Boston Red Sox fans a lot to be excited about this season, and Wednesday was the pinnacle.