Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sox Prospects: Justin Masterson

As many of you may know the Red Sox rookies are currently in town training and learning how to be major league players. A regular who's who of the Sox farm system was seen on Monday at BC working out inside. As a Stat Head, Baseball Card Prospector, and Sox fan this obviously caught my attention. One of the pitchers that seems to continually get mentioned in the Johann Santana trade talks is Justin Masterson, so I thought I would take this opportunity to give you all a little scouting report.

Name: Justin Masterson
DOB: March 22, 1985
Drafted: Second Round, 2006 Draft

Masterson was mainly an unknown until he dominated the cape cod league as a closer in 2005. It was here that I got the chance to see him for the first time, he seemed to pitch well using a three quarter delivery. He managed to get ten saves on the season and was rated as one of the top thirty prospects in the Cape League according Baseball America. For those who have not experienced Cape League Baseball, it is some of the finest amateur baseball in the country and Masterson was in fine company as 2005 also saw top prospects, Evan Longoria, Andrew Miller, and Danial Bard come to the cape.

Following the Cape season Masterson moved on to San Diego State from Bethel College where under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn he became starter who went 6-7 with a 4.81 ERA and was drafted by the Red Sox in the second round. He reported to short season Lowell and dominated as a reliever pitching in 14 games and posting a 0.85 ERA.

In 2007 Masterson started at A level Lancaster and after 17 games as a starter he was promoted to AA Portland. It was in Portland that I got to see Masterson again. As a comparison most people says he look a lot like a Derek Lowe without the mental issues. When I saw him in Portland he was using his sinker to perfection that he was varying in speed from 85 to 92 MPH. He also has a very good slider and what looks like a circle change. He has a crazy groundball to flyball ratio which when he gets to Boston will put our gold glove caliber infield to the test(minus Julio "opps" Lugo).

Off the field it sounds like he is a good kid, he comes from a strong christian family and spent time abroad while his father was a missionary. He seems to be fairly likable and would fit in well with the current clubhouse atmosphere.

Projected ETA: Mid to late 2008 depending on Injuries and the Bullpen

Projected Position: He is not the best starter right now in the organization and as many of you have noticed we are a bit heavy on the rotation right now and I don't see Masterson passing Clay of Jon at this point. His best spot maybe as a reliever complimenting Okajima and Delcarmen as setup men for Papelbon.


Anonymous said...

Why is ben listed as a contributor?

Ben Lauranzano said...

Because I write on the site...