Henry Owens making an impression (video)

(foto: AP)
Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

Saturday marked the first Spring Training appearance for Henry Owens, a top prospect in the Red Sox organization.

Owens tossed three no-hit innings to start the game, overcoming some command issues and keeping the opposing Pirates off the scoreboard despite three walks.

He struck out three over 7 innings as well, getting Pittsburgh's Gregory Polanco twice.

He showed off his strong off-speed pitches and an ability to work out of trouble and manager John Farrell was impressed, "He's on such a good developmental path. It's kind of exciting to watch a young guy starting to come into his own."

The 22-year-old Owens is likely to begin this season at Triple-A Pawtucket, but he could be one of the first options to join the rotation if a spot opens, and he showed why on Saturday.

He excelled with both his changeup, which he can throw to lefties as well as righties, and his curveball.

Farrell complimented how Owens has used the latter pitch throughout the spring, saying it shows tighter, later action than it did a year ago.

"I've been throwing it for strikes early in the count and late in the count and getting strikeouts with it, putting more power behind it, so it's been a good weapon," Owens said.

Owens has made a mechanical adjustment at the start of this Spring Training, trying to efficiently load his weight back before bringing it toward home plate. He's still trying to develop the necessary muscle memory.

On Saturday, Owens felt himself rushing his delivery at times, especially with his fastball, and he walked three batters between the second and third innings. Still, he was able to strand the runners and now has held the opposition to two runs over seven innings this spring, with seven strikeouts.

Unfortunately he is frequently mentioned in possible Cole Hamels trade packages.

The 22-year-old southpaw figures to start the season in the minor leagues, but a strong spring could accelerate his rise to the big leagues, but will it be in Boston or elsewhere?

Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.

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