SoxProspects News

September 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM

2018 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Pitchers


Following up Monday's All-Star Position Players post, we are presenting the top five starters and three relievers from the 2018 season. The list includes four players from the lower minors, three players from the upper minors, and one starter who was traded at the end of July. 

Starting Pitcher: Denyi Reyes
After starting the season in Greenville bouncing between starting and a piggyback role, Reyes earned a full-time slot in the rotation by the end of April and he never looked back. Once he locked down a starting role in Greenville he went 8-3 with a 1.70 ERA, striking out 104 and walking only 13 over 106 innings. He won the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month award in May, June, and July over this span and was subsequently promoted to Salem to begin August. While he was not quite as dominant in Salem, he still put up great numbers while facing competition about two years older than him on average. Over six starts he went 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Reyes was also a SoxProspects.com All-Star and a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2017 and he was named the 2018 South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year. The 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic has pitched his way onto the radar, rising from being outside of the SoxProspects.com top 60 to start the year to being ranked 24th at the end of the year. 

Starting Pitcher: Jhonathan Diaz
Reyes's teammate in Greenville, Diaz opened the year in the rotation and was solid yet unspectacular. Through 11 starts he had an ERA of 3.79 over 61 2/3 innings, walking 19 and striking out 64. He got one spot start in Salem on June 11 and then was sent back to Greenville where things started to click. Over his final 15 starts after returning to Greenville, Diaz went 9-3 with a 2.46 ERA over 91 1/3 innings, striking out 83. He prevented Reyes from winning four Pitcher of the Month awards in a row by taking home the August award, and he allowed only two earned runs over his final 34 innings. The 21-year-old will likely team up with Reyes again in 2019 in the Salem rotation.

Starting Pitcher: Kutter Crawford
A third potential member of the 2019 Salem rotation, Crawford burst onto the scene as arguably the top performer in the system through May, posting an ERA of 1.70 over his first 47 2/3 innings with 13 walks and 61 strikeouts for Greenville. His performance was a bit up-and-down after this stretch, with an ERA of 3.90 over his next 12 starts, while his strikeout rate also dipped below one per inning. His overall performance was still strong enough to get him promoted to Salem for the final six starts where he went 2-3 with a 4.31 ERA over 31 1/3 innings. A 16th-round selection in the 2017 draft out of Florida Gulf Coast University, Crawford's go-to pitch is his cutter that sits between 85-87, and that pitch led him to being named a 2018 South Atlantic League All-Star.

Starting Pitcher: Jalen Beeks
Beeks is a familiar name to Red Sox fans as he pitched his way onto the major league roster after dominating in Pawtucket. Unfortunately those major league starts went poorly for Beeks, and he was ultimately traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi. Before his first spot start for Boston on June 7, Beeks struck out 80 batters over only 56 1/3 innings with the PawSox, pitching to a 2.56 ERA while batters were hitting only .197 against him. Beeks was not quite the same after being sent back down to Pawtucket, as his ERA was 4.10 over five starts before he was called back up to start for the Red Sox. After being hit hard in that start he made only one more appearance for the PawSox before being traded. He finished the year off with Tampa Bay, recovering from a rough first few appearances to post a 4.32 ERA.

Starting Pitcher: Mike Shawaryn
The ninth-ranked prospect in the system, Shawaryn got his first taste of the upper minors with an opening assignment in Portland. He was a steady contributor for the Sea Dogs, going 3-6 with a 3.64 ERA over 81 2/3 innings before he went on a strong run that led to his promotion to Pawtucket. He closed his Portland tenure with 24 strikeouts over 31 innings and a 2.32 ERA. His last seven starts with Pawtucket were hot and cold, with a complete game shutout being offset by a rough six-run outing over only 3 1/3 innings. In all he went 3-2 with the PawSox with an ERA of 3.93. A fifth-round pick in 2016, Shawaryn did make one appearance out of the bullpen in 2018, and it's possible he gets more work out of the bullpen in 2019 if that's where the organization thinks he can best help the big league club. 

Relief Pitcher: Ryan Brasier
Brasier was an afterthought in spring training after he was signed as a minor league free agent in March. He spent the 2017 season in Japan putting up good but not great numbers for Hiroshima. He opened eyes off the bat in Pawtucket, putting up great numbers while racking up 13 saves over 34 appearances. He struck out 40 while allowing only six runs over 40 1/3 innings. He was still a bit under the radar when he was called up to Boston, but after seeing him a few times fans could see the potential with his upper 90s fastball and mid 80s slider. He has become a key piece of Boston's bullpen, posting a 1.73 ERA while striking out 24 over 26 innings. Nobody expected Brasier to be throwing high-leverage innings in October when he was signed, but between his breakout and regression from some other arms, Red Sox manager Alex Cora will be relying on Brasier in the postseason.

Relief Pitcher: Matthew Gorst
Gorst is another player who surprised this year, starting the year outside of the top 60 prospects and pitching out of Salem's bullpen, and he ended the year in Pawtucket ranked as the 46th best prospect in the system. Drafted in the 12th round of the 2016 draft out of Georgia Tech, Gorst entered the year with some momentum from a good 2017 season, and he carried that forward to Salem where he went 28 1/3 innings over 20 appearances, striking out 33 and allowing only five runs. He got promoted to Portland in June and he had one of the most impressive pitching stretches of the season as he did not allow a run over 20 1/3 innings with the Sea Dogs. He eventually allowed a run with the PawSox and struggled a bit over his last few appearances, but overall it was a terrific season for the 23-year-old. 

Relief Pitcher: Durbin Feltman
It is not very often that fans clamor for a June draft pick to get promoted to the major leagues, but that gives some insight into how impressive Feltman was in his short time in the system after being drafted in the third round out of Texas Christian University. Feltman got his feet wet in Lowell where he was not even challenged, striking out seven over four innings without allowing a baserunner. He moved up to Greenville and struck out 14 over seven innings while allowing two runs and walking one. His next stop was Salem where he struck out 15 over 12 1/3 innings and allowed three runs. While it looks like he is done pitching this season, Feltman is a name to keep an eye on as it likely will not be long until he is knocking on the door of the major leagues. 

Photo Credit: Durbin Feltman by gofrogs.com; All other photos by Kelly O'Connor

 
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