The newest arm to the PawSox rotation and perhaps the most prolific of them all, southpaw Henry Owens.
Ryan Fox (@Spider_Fox87)
Back in 2002, the Red Sox had a young southpaw come up through their farm system. By 2006, he made his debut in Triple-A Pawtucket, going 3-4 with a 2.70 ERA, 43 Ks, and a WHIP of 1.457. That same year, he was called up to Boston to pitch with the Red Sox, going 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA, 60 Ks, and a 1.648 WHIP. That pitcher was none other than Jon Lester.
Fast forward to 2014. Almost the same exact scenario. A young southpaw coming up through the early 2010s, making a splash at every level he’s pitched at. No, it’s not Jon Lester the II but he could be just as or even more effective than Lester. That young southpaw is none other than Henry Owens.
There are a majority of Red Sox fans who probably have no idea who this young man is. But as the old saying goes, to get to know somebody you gotta first learn about where they had come from.
allowed 100 hits, 58 runs (55 were earned), walked 47 batters, but struck out 130, held batters to a .256 average, and had a WHIP of 1.446. He was also named to the Boston Red Sox 2012 MiLB.com Organization All-Star Team.
Then in 2013, Owens started to take off. He first started the year in Advanced-A with the Salem Red Sox, pitching in 20 games (starting all of them) to go 8-5 with an ERA of 2.92, recorded 123 strikeouts, and had a WHIP of 1.137. Because of his stellar performance, Owens was named to the Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star team. He then was called up to Double-A to pitch for the Portland Sea Dogs on August 1 and finished the rest of the season in Double-A. He pitched in 6 games with the Sea Dogs (starting all of them) to go 3-1 with an ERA of 1.78, recorded 46 strikeouts, and had a WHIP of 1.088.
His overall numbers for 2013 were as followed: 26 games pitched (26 starts), a 15-4 record with a 2.47 ERA in 127.2 innings, allowing 84 hits, 47 runs (40 were earned), walked 68, struck out 169 batters, had a WHIP of 1.126, and opponents batted .177 against him. Owens was voted to his second MiLB Organization All-Star Team as well as voted as the Boston Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Going into the 2014 season, Henry Owens was tabbed as the No. 2 prospect overall in the Red Sox farm system according to Baseball America and MLB.com and the No. 3 prospect overall according to SoxProspects.com. He was pitched in his first MLB camp with the Red Sox during spring training before being relocated to Double-A Portland prior to the start of the 2014 season.
In 20 game appearances with the Sea Dogs, Owens started all 20 games to go 14-4 with an ERA of 2.60 in 121 innings. He allowed 89 hits, 36 runs (35 were earned), walked 47 batters, but struck out 126 more, had a WHIP of 1.124, and batters could only hit .201 against him. Owens was also named to the Eastern League All-Star team as well as to the 2014 Futures Game All-Star Team for the US Team.
Then on August 1, Owens was promoted to Triple-A to pitch for the Pawtucket Red Sox. His first start in a PawSox uniform was on August 4 against the Columbus Clippers. In his PawSox debut, Owens pitched in 6.2 innings, giving up just 2 hits, 3 walks, struck out 9 batters, threw 100 pitches (70 for strikes) and picked up the win in a 5-0 shutout. Interestingly enough, in that same game, Owens took a no-hitter bid into the 6 inning where, unfortunately, he gave up two hits that inning.
his fastball, Owens can throw with almost precise aim at where he wants the ball to go. He was described by PawSox Manager Kevin Boles as somebody who has good rhythm in his pitches and has no fear or hesitation when he pitches.
But what makes Owens stand out is his mentality. At first glance, he’s very comical and likes to crack jokes with his teammates. However when he takes to the mound, Owens seemingly shuts out everything and focuses on his game. Because of this focus, he doesn't let the game get by him too fast. Even when he’s on pace for no-hitters or when thousands upon thousands of people are watching him, Owens doesn’t let that break his concentration. All he’s focused on is getting that batter out.
At his current level, many scouts are saying that Owens’ ceiling is that of a No. 2 starter in a rotation. Ironically enough, they said the same thing about Jon Lester when he was pitching in the minors. However from watching him live, I can honestly say that the ceiling for Owens is not of a No. 2 starter. Rather, he has the pitches, the mentality, and the work ethic of an ace. Boston management should wait at least one year to let this young man develop and hone in on his craft. If they do that, then you have two giants in Anthony Ranaudo (6’7’’) and Owens (6’6’’) mowing through opposing lineups as if they were just rookie level.dit.
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