Red Sox trade acquisition from John Schreiber deal already impressing fans

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The Boston Red Sox farm system is highly-ranked and carries many talented players, but the organization's biggest need is severely underrepresented on the farm — starting pitching.

Early in spring training on Feb. 17, the Red Sox made a move to address some of their minor-league pitching deficiencies.

John Schreiber had a breakout season for the big-league club in 2022 and it seemed like he was going to grow into a key piece for Boston's bullpen. But his talent and long-term control made him an ideal candidate for a trade, and the Kansas City Royals swooped in to bring him to the Midwest. For as helpful as Schreiber was, the Red Sox do not need bullpen pieces.

The Red Sox's prize from the trade was (and still is) young flamethrower David Sandlin. The 23-year-old has been turning heads with his velocity down in Fort Myers.

David Sandlin is already upping the Red Sox's young pitching game

Sandlin appeared in the College World Series for Oklahoma and was the 20th-ranked prospect in Kansas City's system. He touched 98 MPH with his fastball in his college days, but a mechanical change and big-league coaching have helped the righty tick it up a notch to 100 MPH.

“I think really just focusing on moving dynamically down the mound,” Sandlin told Christopher Smith of MassLive. “Getting my hips and shoulders aligned and just having an athletic, sound movement rather than being static in my load and back leg.”

Sandlin's Baseball America scouting report suggests he could be in for a breakout season in 2024 if he can elevate the rest of his arsenal. Along with his fastball, Sandlin's pitch mix contains a split-finger, curveball and slider. His slider reaches plus on occasion, but the rest of his arsenal needs refinement and more control.

For the time being, he'll continue to blow past High-A batters. Last season, he pitched to a 3.51 ERA over 66.2 innings in 14 appearances. He posted 87 strikeouts and just 18 walks.

As Sandlin spends more time in professional baseball, he's sure to approach the breakout he's predicted to have. He's still just 23 and has been on the right trajectory. His presence immediately elevates Boston's pitching prospect presence, which is something the organization badly needs.

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