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Red Sox prospect Henry Owens tosses six-inning no-hitter

Apr 3, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT

Henry Owens ap AP

Double-A Portland’s Henry Owens kicked off the minor league season in style Thursday, throwing six hitless innings against Reading before the game was called due to rain.

Owens, probably Boston’s top prospect now that Xander Bogaerts is in the majors, was matched up against the Phillies’ best pitching prospect, fellow left-hander Jesse Biddle.

Owens, who went 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA in six starts after a late-season promotion to Double-A last year, was probably done after six regardless, given that it was the first day of the season and he had thrown 86 pitches. He struck out nine and walked two in the gem.

Second basemam Mookie Betts, another one of Boston’s top prospects, ¬†went 4-for-4 with a homer from the leadoff spot to lead the offense in the 5-0 victory.

  1. hammyofdoom - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    I really hope Red Sox fans really appreciate how bright the future looks for this franchise. It’s not often that you get to see a team win 3 World Series in 9 years and then be so well set up for the future with players like Bogaerts, Owens, Bradly Jr, Middlebrooks or Cecchini at 3B with hopefully one or more of of Ranaudo, Webster, Barnes or Workman becoming viable MLB starting pitchers.
    Combine that with Lester and Pedroia if Lester signs that extension, plus a massive payroll the Sox fanbase has every reason to expect a lot from this team. Absolutely nuts

    • jcmeyer10 - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:18 AM

      I don’t take a second for granted. When the death rate spiked after the 2004 Championship I truly realized how much it meant to the fans who have truly suffered through some rough years.

      This is the promise land.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:04 AM

      The Sox system has been pretty strong for awhile. Some or a lot of those guys won’t pan out, but still it is nice to have so much potential there.

      It’s much better than the days when the fans were so badly overrating players like Michael Coleman, Brian Rose, Juan Diaz, Morgan Burkhart, Stenson, Alcantarra….

      “As soon as Juan Pena works his way back we’re set man. I’m telling ya.”

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

        Or Awsum Fossum

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:18 AM

        Fossum at least brought Schilling back in trade, and hung around the majors for awhile.

      • pastabelly - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        Well, Pavano came through the ranks with Rose and they turned him into Pedro Martinez. Every team has its share of Colemans and Roses. I would like to see an outfielder pan out. Brentz is still a prospect, but 25 years old.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        pastabelly, I’m talking more about the fan’s attitude toward those mediocre players at the time not the player’s failures to make it.

        “Why isn’t Izzy with the big team? He’s going to rake. Come on Duquette, what are you doing?”

        Although it is also just as likely that the team failed to properly develop those players as it is that they just weren’t that good.

        But still, whatever the case, those days sucked because we couldn’t develop a decent prospect and had to keep bringing in the Jose Awfulmans and Mike “Laser” Lansings and us idiot fans would sit there and say “Well, if he can just match the career season he had in Colorado 4 years ago the team will be unstoppable.”

        Remember Sean Berry? SEAN BERRY!

      • pastabelly - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Mike Lansing :) A true AHole for years back.

        You are probably right about the Red Sox having poor player development. It’s possible that Pavano needed to get out of the Red Sox system to do well. It has seemed lately that several Sox prospects have panned out . . . for Oakland.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      I will also say that it’s awesome that the team is getting better at giving potential a shot instead of listening to those who want to stick with mediocrity like Stephen Drew.

      However Xander turns out, and so far so good, but at least they are giving him a shot. Same with Middlebrooks.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        I agree with almost everything you’ve said here, but I have a quibble. It would be malpractice to not give Xander a shot, though. He had an 850 OPS in low A in 2011. The next year, he had an 880 OPS in high A in 100 games, so they moved him up to AA for 20 games, where he had a 950 OPS.

        He started 2013 in AA (which seems reasonable) and played 55 games with 900 OPS. He could obviously handle AA. In 60 games in AAA, he had a 820 OPS. They called him up in late August and he split his time between third and short. Showed he could handle it.

        Maybe this seems obvious in retrospect, but I’m not sure what other option the Red Sox had other than handing him third base or shortstop this year. It would have been odd to have him start in AAA again. And it would been equally weird for him to spend much longer at the other minor-league levels than he did. I applaud them for finding him and playing him. But I feel like any team with a player of this caliber and results should have done the same thing.

        I was at the game last night. I love him so much, my wife is already sick of it. That’s a record. (She loved Jacoby as much as I did from the beginning, so she wasn’t sick of hearing me gush about him.)

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        I actually think not signing Drew gives Middlebrooks more of an opportunity than Xander.

        I was really afraid they were going to destroy Middlebrooks’ career by signing Drew and shifting Xander to third like they did in the playoffs.

        And, like I said at the end of that post, good or bad, at least Middlebrooks is getting a legit opportunity to sink or swim.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        You and I differ, I think, in that I would have been okay bring Drew back on a one-year contract to play short with Xander at third. It seems that’s the team’s position, too.

        But we at least agree that it would have been a bad decision to sign Drew to a three-year deal and block any chance of Middlebrooks playing.

        Because they just won a World Series, I’m a zillion times more patient. I’m willing to see if Middlebrooks succeeds. They certainly gave him that chance last year. I don’t know what to make of the guy. Streaky hitters are not uncommon, but I feel like he’s extreme in that regard. Given how hard it is to find power hitting these days, Middlebrooks’s 30 homers per 162 MLB games is worth holding onto. But if he can’t get the OBP up into a more tolerable place, those homers are likely to be empty.

        Yadda yadda yadda. I don’t know, but I’m glad they’re giving him a chance.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        I still buy that Middlebrooks poor start last season was either injury related or just a sophomore slump after a long injury-related layoff.

        I respect that he OPSed .808 (I think) when he returned from the minors, even if that wasn’t good enough to erase his really poor contribution early on.

        I think he’s earned the right to have the shot he earned after his 2012 start, and I think moving Xander to third, even for 1 season would just result in him being the permanent third baseman, once again leaving the Sox flailing to fill the shortstop position with a permanent solution.

        So even if Middlebrooks flops, I think it’s easier to find a solution at 3rd than it would be at Shortstop.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        He homered today! WOOOO!

    • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      I’m loving it. Boston doesn’t take nearly enough time to appreciate just how great their sports teams are right now. We’re going to be a miserable, whiny lot when they start sucking again.

  2. savilo831 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:38 PM


    • hammyofdoom - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      Brandon Belt is a Red Sox now too?!?! SWEET!

      But no, really…What about that there Giant?

    • aresachaela - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      Savilo831, Isn’t your previous statement at the Freddy Garcia site enough? You sure love your baby giraffe huh?

  3. savilo831 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Go Giants!!!!!

  4. savilo831 - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Seriously. I haven’t read anything on the giants from these guys. Just trying to get their attention

    • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Then start your own blog. I can’t wait to not read it.

  5. slystone111 - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:21 AM


    • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:49 AM


  6. evanpenn - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    Mookie Betts? That is an awesome name!

    • renaado - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:28 AM

      Not as awesome as Garin Cecchini !

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:52 AM

        Teddy Stankiewicz and Dalier Hinojosa are pretty good too.

  7. unclemosesgreen - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Jackie Bradley Jr. may have a shout about being the next best Sawks prospect after Bogaerts, but I believe Owens is thought to have higher upside, albeit with slightly lower odds of fulfilling that potential.

    • hammyofdoom - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      I think that’s fair. If I recall Owens has a high ceiling but low floor, while Bradly has a lower ceiling but waaay higher floor

  8. birdman6824 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Sorry, Matthew, all Mookie references on HBT belong to Craig

    • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Not if Betts becomes a star, which might well happen.

  9. mikhelb - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    it will be fun to see how many of those players make it fine in the majors, the last time the boston farms were rated this high they didnt produce a lot of real talent, mostly overrated hitters overhyped so they could be traded for mlb players they wanted. most of that talent had to wait a few years in other teams to learn new things and begin to produce. but thats the risk of minor league talent, for every Ellsbury and Pedroia there will be 10 Pork Chop Poughs, one Pedroia is more than enough for any milb system to produce every 5 or 10 years… unless that farm system is of the dodgers and they want to produce players like in the early 1980s and 1990s.

  10. slaugin - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Remember when Scott Cooper took over 3B for Wade Boggs and became a stud? No??? Me neither.

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