Since 2005, the Red Sox have had only a handful of homegrown pitchers that have left their mark in Boston – Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, and Clay Buchholz.
Papelbon debuted in 2005, Lester in 2006, and Buchholz in 2007 and began the drought of homegrown arms that have flourished.
Clay Buchholz is the most recent arm – scary, right?
Yes, the team drafted Brandon Workman, Brian Johnson, Henry Owens and Matt Barnes in subsequent drafts, but their impacts have produced little to minimal positive results as MLB pitchers.
The lack of Red Sox growth is concerning, but there is hope in the current farm system.
In consecutive drafts under Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox have drafted highly regarded pitching prospects, Jay Groome and Tanner Houck.
At one point, Groome was considered to be a potential number one pick. There were some character questions that dropped his stock, along with the potential to elect to go to college. The Red Sox took a chance on the young lefty and it has paid dividends.
It has become recent news that the Red Sox have begun to change the philosophy in regards to how they use analytics to their advantage.
Dave Bush, a member of the Red Sox analytics staff, spoke to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato on Groome and Houck.
“He’s 19, but he’s light years beyond where I was,” Bush said. “And beyond where most guys are at that age.”
He then went on to say on his impressions on Houck,
"He’s interesting, a really big body, a very live arm, throws hard with a ton of movement on the ball,” Bush said. “Being 6-foot-5 with long arms, his thing is going to be refining his mechanics and keeping himself under control.” – Dave Bush / via Boston Herald
There are plenty of intriguing prospects in the Sox farm system, let’s hope that Groome and Houck can development in to front line starters. Meanwhile, Jalen Beeks, Chandler Shepard, and Ty Buttrey could be the start of a new group of homegrown pitchers.