Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Farm Hens : Justin Masterson

Masterson is the often forgotten pitcher in the Sox farm system. This 6' 6" 22 year old righty was a 2nd round draft pick in 2006. His pitches include a 2-seam fastball that is devastating, a really good slider, and a circle change. As you can see from those pitches, he pitches to contact and gets a ton of ground balls. At Lowell last year, he posted a 74% GB rate in 31.2 innings. He also was able to post an ERA of 0.85 and stroke out 33 while walking only 2.

Coming into this season, he was converted into a start. To make things worse for Masterson, Lancaster is a hitters haven. As one would guess, his numbers regressed a little. He posted an ERA of 4.42 in 95.2 innings before getting the promotion to Portland. While at Lancaster his GB% came back down to earth, 54%, as well as his BABIP, 313.

The future for Masterson is still in doubt. Nobody knows if his future is as a starter or reliever. Personally, i think he should stay as a starter. There is no reason why he couldn't pitch 6 innings every 5th day. He has the build of a starter, not to mention the attitude. This is a very confident young man. His stuff does not translate to a set-up or closer. Because of that, i think he has too much talent as a long reliever. Either way, this is a player to keep an eye on.

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