Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is Henry Owens The Next Great Red Sox Lefty?

(Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press-Herald)
Part of the reason Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is reluctant to spend over $100 million on un-tested Masahiro Tanaka is the boatload of near-ready arms in the Boston system. Chief among them is left-handed starter Henry Owenswho is listed as the #2 overall left-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com and the #21 overall prospect by Scout.com. Owens opened a lot of eyes in 2013—getting as high as AA Portland and performing extremely well there. The lanky (6' 6", 205 pounds) 21-year old went an impressive 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA for the Sea Dogs. His repertoire is a low-90s fastball, change-up and curve—all of which are made more deceptive by his expansive wingspan. Initially, he was projected as a middle-of-the-rotation guy, but more recent evaluations place him higher on the pitching food chain. This kid is a keeper—and could very well grace Fenway in 2014. Babe Ruth, Mel Parnell, Lefty Grove, Bruce Hurst, Bill Lee, Jon Lester—all great Red Sox lefties. Is Owens next?