What stands at 6 feet 6 inches tall, is a starting pitcher and was once a prized prospect? If you guessed Henry Owens, then you are correct. Owens was one of the most prized pitching prospects for the Red Sox a few years back. Although known as a “complete space-shot”, many believed he was the next big thing. But in typical Red Sox fashion, Owens hasn’t panned out like once believed. But I for one do not think he is the sole contributor to the problem. That problem for those scoring at home is called development, and there are a couple others who the finger could be pointed at.
Let’s just start with Owens. In 3 seasons in the minors, Owens had a combined recorded of 40-16, like I said earlier he was a coveted prospect (in my opinion at least). Many believed that this kid had the stuff to be the next ace of the pitching staff. His sophomore and third year campaigns he had an ERA in the mid 2’s, for a 21 year old kid that’s not too bad. But when he comes up, the flood gates opened. To be quite honest, he has not been the same since the 2014 campaign, when he went from AA-AAA and posted a combined 17-5 record. Since then, he’s 21-27, and that ERA is well breaking its way through the stratosphere.
His pitching style isn’t great. A fastball that barely breaks into the low 90s, combined with a slow (turtle like) curveball and an ugly changeup. Something that could have been worked on if he was properly developed. So now here’s where part 2 comes into play.
I place a lot of the blame here on the front office. I remember the day Owens was called up actually. A Boston sports radio station (you all know who with the call numbers in the 98 range) absolutely crushed the Sox for calling him up. A producer said something like “this is a terrible, possibly developmentally catastrophic move, they’re ruining his development”. That they did, who was at the helm in 2015? Oh why it was Ben Cherrington and John Farrell, the dynamic duo that has done nothing right(2013 was cool don’t get me wrong, but they stink/stunk). Not only have the ruined Owens but there’s another prospect or two that could be thrown in there (cough cough Blake Swihart).
Listen, I’m not solely placing the blame on these two for everything with Owens. He could have worked a lot harder in the offseason. But the guidance from coaches also could have worked wonders for this kid. So let’s just call this the three amigos of underdevelopment or something like that. Trust me, this is just one of the reasons why I don’t like Farrell but that’s another topic for another day.