The Boston Red Sox have a fair amount of exciting young arms in their organization.
Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is all about building sustainably, so fans should get used to seeing a lot of homegrown talent reaching the Major League level.
In this article, we’ll be ranking the three most promising pitchers in the Red Sox organization.
In order to be considered, the player must not have already completed two full seasons at the MLB level.
3. Connor Seabold
Of the three arms on this list, Connor Seabold is the only one who hasn’t debuted at the Major League level yet.
SoxProspects.com ranks Seabold as the organization’s sixth-best overall prospect.
Seabold spent three seasons at California State University Fullerton and was dominant every step of the way, posting ERAs of 3.26, 2.48, and 2.96 in his time there.
His success has carried over at the minor league level and he was recently promoted to Triple-A Worcester.
Seabold doesn’t light up the gun with his fastball, but he has two very strong secondary pitches (a changeup and a slider) to which he owes a lot of his success.
Seabold projects as a middle-of-the-rotation big league arm if all goes to plan, and fans should be excited about his potential.
2. Garrett Whitlock
Garrett Whitlock has been a revelation for the Boston bullpen this season.
After initially being drafted by the New York Yankees in 2017, the Red Sox acquired Whitlock in the Rule 5 Draft.
The perception seems to be that very few substantial players come from the Rule 5 Draft, but Whitlock seems determined to end that narrative.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) April 29, 2021
As a rookie this season, the righty has been one of the most reliable relief arms for the Red Sox.
Over 14 appearances, Whitlock has a 1.73 ERA, 3.48 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP.
He has allowed a run in just three of his outings and has five holds on the year.
Perhaps the most valuable element of Whitlock’s game is his ability to pitch several innings if needed.
10 times this season, the young stud has put in multiple innings of work in an outing.
1. Tanner Houck
The Red Sox picked Tanner Houck in the first round of the 2017 draft after the righty put in three dominant seasons at the University of Missouri.
Houck spent three years in the minors before making his MLB debut toward the end of the 2020 season, and he pitched out of his mind last year.
Over three MLB starts, the righty allowed only one earned run.
He gave up just six total hits and struck out 21 batters in 17 innings.
Houck went 3-0.
Frustratingly, we’ve seen very little of Houck this season, although for a fair reason.
The Red Sox have a crowded rotation.
Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez are the only two arms on the staff who presumably have absolute job security due to their proven track records, but they’re also the only two starters in the rotation who have had underwhelming seasons so far.
Eovaldi has been just okay, posting a 4.01 ERA and 1.17 WHIP (although he does have a 2.31 FIP which implies that he’s been a lot better than his ERA suggests).
Rodriguez has had a more rocky campaign to this point, pitching to a 5.64 ERA and 1.44 WHIP (but like Eovoladi, Rodriguez has a solid 3.69 FIP, implying that the inflated ERA won’t last long).
Oddly, the other three arms in the rotation (which were question marks entering the year) have been more reliable than the two aforementioned horses.
Red Sox fans were ready to throw in the towel on Garett Richards after he allowed six runs in his first start of the season, but he has a 2.95 ERA in 10 starts since.
Nick Pivetta has a solid 3.77 ERA.
Martin Perez has allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his 10 starts this season and has a staff-best 3.55 ERA.
That rounds out the starting five, and with Chris Sale still set to return at some point this season, it’s easy to understand why we haven’t seen much of Houck.
That said, he is big-league ready, and it seems likely that the team will find a role for him at some point this season.
Tanner Houck threw his first bullpen today in Worcester according to pitching coach Paul Abbott. All fastballs. Sounds like he’s feeling good.
— Katie Morrison (@KatieMo61) June 1, 2021
It should be noted that Houck is currently dealing with a minor flexor strain injury that he suffered during his most recent Triple-A stint, but he’s reportedly back to throwing off a mound.