Results tagged ‘ Greenville Drive ’
Prospect Q&A: Red Sox LHP Henry Owens on Gaining Man Strength, Aiming for Price’s Fastball and Zito’s Curve, More
Henry Owens is very tall. Small forward-tall. Left-tackle tall.
As Fangraphs’ Mike Newman noted earlier this week in his scouting report of the 20-year-old left-hander, there is a lot to like about Owens, particularly if he’s not done growing.
I caught up with the California-born and -based Owens over the phone this afternoon. With two weeks before he heads to Spring Training, Boston’s 2011 first-round draftee (bio, stats here) discussed his strong debut season and strengthening that big-and-getting-bigger frame in advance of his next campaign, among other topics. Enjoy.
On his offseason goals: “I basically wanted to build my strength and stamina and increase my velocity. Basically, working on my legs and core. That’s been my main focus in the weight room. The way I have been throwing long-toss and my [bull]pen [sessions] since the first week of December, it’s felt like I’ve been throwing harder, so I”ll guess we have to see when the guns start showing up. I am really excited to get back into it, obviously, for my sophomore season.”
On increasing his velocity (which is mostly 90-92 mph): “It’s about the consistency of my velocity, so like my average fastball increasing two or three ticks. Just build off my stamina really. A few times last year, I would be cruising through the first innings and then has a little fall-off or lapse in the fourth or fifth, so I want to improve on that and go deeper into games this year.”
On his 2012 season: “I enjoyed the competition. It was a lot better than high school, and I liked that. I think that brings out the best in me because I’m a really competitive person, not just in baseball but in anything. I’m looking forward to the competition getting even more challenging this year because that will keep pushing to me to getting better and getting stronger.”
On what encouraged him about ’12: “My strikeout rate [11.51 K/9] was good, and toward the end of the year I started limiting walks a little better. At the start of the year, I was averaged four or five walks a game, and obviously that isn’t good as a starter. Once I limit the walks, the strikeouts might go down a little bit, but as long as I am keeping guys off base, that’s fine with me.”
On how he gave up fewer free passes: “I think the biggest thing was pitching more to contact and realizing it’s not a high school defense behind me, that I got all pros behind me. That helped my focus, and I started lowering my pitch count and going deeper into games.”
On April being his worst month, August his best: “It definitely [encourages] me. I don’t really go month by month. It’s more of a start-by-start thing, but it’s good to see. The Red Sox front office guys were very pleased with how I finished the year, so that was good, something to build off of.”
Thanks to the Boston Red Sox’s offseason of addition, MLB.com’s No. 70 overall prospect Bryce Brentz will very likely return to Triple-A Pawtucket next spring. If, however, Boston is stitched across his chest next spring, it will be his sixth different pro jersey. Here are the previous five, in a gallery.