December 9, 2015 at 7:00 AM
This week, we recap the next six players in the season-end Top 40, going from 22 to 17. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.
#20 Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP
2015 Teams: Salem Red Sox
Final Stats: 141 1/3 IP, 4.01 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 77 K, 32 BB
2015 Peak Ranking: 17 (Current)
Season in Review: Stankiewicz has not posted standout numbers on paper, but he continues to show the potential to be a workhorse pitcher. The 6-foot-4 Texan topped the 140 innings mark for the second season in a row and ranked second among all pitchers in the Red Sox system in innings pitched. He also ranked fourth in the Carolina League in innings pitched. Stankiewicz showed flashes of brilliance last season with eight innings of shutout ball on May 25 then seven scoreless frames on July 3 as well as in his season finale on Sept. 6.
The righty pitched to contact, as evidenced by the 149 hits he allowed in his 141 1/3 frames with opponents batting .280 against him last season. It was also the second season in a row that he allowed more than 140 hits. Stankiewicz had ten games in 2015 in which he allowed seven or more hits. However, his impressively low walk total kept his WHIP down to a modest 1.28. Stankiewicz led Salem with the fewest walks among pitchers who threw at least 80 innings. Also despite the high opponent batting average against him, Stankiewicz allowed only 11 home runs on the season. - Eric Gendron
Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: Since entering the system as a second-round draft pick in 2013, Stankiewicz has worked hard on refining his mechanics. Once sporting an idiosyncratic lean backwards—not unlike a tennis serve—he now stays more straight to the plate with a bit of a drop-and-drive. Listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he has also put on some weight since being drafted, but still looks tall and lanky. He is athletic on the mound, sporting a good, quick pickoff move for a right-hander. He also benefits from increased flexibility due to his being born without a right pectoral muscle.
Stankiewicz mixes four pitches well, none of which profile as plus. He mostly fills the zone with fastballs at 90-94 mph. The pitch features some arm-side run, and he can dial it up to 96 on occasion. His primary secondary pitch is a low-to-mid-80s slider with two-plane, 10-to-4 break. He will also throw a changeup to left-handers and a curve to right-handers. The change at 80-83 mph shows fade at times and sink at others. The curve breaks sharply 11-to-5, but is inconsistent and still a work in progress.
Stankiewicz will make his next step up the ladder to Portland in 2016, but he likely still needs a full season of development before he comes onto the major league radar. - Chris Hatfield
#19 Pat Light, RHP
2015 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs, Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 62 2/3 IP, 3.88 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 67 K, 37 BB
2015 Peak Ranking: 14 (July)
Season in Review: Light, one of the hardest throwing prospects in the Red Sox system, made the transition to the bullpen full time in 2015, and for a stretch of the season was one of the most dominant relievers in the minors. The 2012 first-round draft pick has always had an impressive fastball, but it ticked up out of the bullpen this season and was regularly clocked in the high 90s. Light also reintroduced the splitter that he threw effectively in college to his arsenal this season, which became a major factor in his success.
Light dominated to start the season in Portland, posting a 2.43 ERA in 29 2/3 IP while striking out 32. He went 11 straight appearances without allowing a run from May 10 through June 6, prompting a promotion to Pawtucket. After three scoreless appearances to kick off his Triple-A career, however, the wheels began to fall off for Light. His ERA ballooned to 8.74 through 11 appearances for Pawtucket. He did manage to get his ERA down to 5.18 by the season’s end, but 26 of his 37 walks came with the PawSox, despite a similar amount of innings pitched at each destination. Coaches were able to determine that Light was tipping his pitches and are working to correct the issue, according to WEEI.com. He is currently pitching in winter ball for Criollos de Caguas in Puerto Rico. In 10 1/3 IP, Light has a 1.74 ERA with nine strikeouts and seven walks. Light was added to Boston’s 40-man roster on Nov. 20. - Eric Gendron
Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: Listed at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, Light has a tall, lean athletic frame that allows him to effectively pitch downhill by creating downward plane from his high three-quarters arm slot. The first thing that people mention about Light is his quick arm and explosive fastball that generally sits 95-98 mph out of the bullpen. In addition to the plus fastball, Light also features a plus splitter that is actually his best weapon with bat-missing ability. The splitter sits 85-87 mph with late tumble. Thrown with great arm speed and on the same plane as the fastball, hitters have a tough time recognizing the pitch.
The organization had Light shelve his splitter after being drafted to focus on the development of a traditional changeup and breaking ball as he developed as a starter, but with sub-par results. When Light made the transition to the bullpen this year, he began to reincorporate his splitter and establish himself as a future potential late-inning reliever with his plus fastball-splitter combination. After experiencing success in Portland for the first half of the season, Light struggled with his control after the promotion to Pawtucket, but still featured plus raw stuff. However, the results were largely hampered by the below-average control. Light was recently added to the 40-man roster and has a chance to compete for a spot in the major league bullpen in 2016, but projects to begin the season in Pawtucket barring injuries. - Chaz Fiorino
Photo credit: Kelly O'Connor