Despite lacking homegrown pitching, the Red Sox are moving in the right direction.

It’s been quite awhile since the Red Sox have had a legitimate homegrown ace. Gone are the days of Jon Lester, and even Clay Buchholz, to write home about – rather there have been repeat misses over the past few seasons. There was Felix Doubront, Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, Jalen Beeks, and many others that failed to make a true impact at the Major League level.

In the bullpen, Matt Barnes and Brian Johnson represent homegrown talent, but the starting pitching has been dreadful for a couple of seasons. However, despite the notable wasteland, the Red Sox have hope in a couple of left-handed arms – especially one making a name for himself in Spring Training.

Meet Darwinzon Hernandez.

Hernandez is currently the #7 prospect in the Red Sox organization after a breakout campaign last season. He began the season in Salem, but earned a promotion to Portland by the latter parts of the year. Since the end of the year, he earned a trip to the prestigious Arizona Fall League where he posted a 1.59 ERA over 11.1 innings.

Those numbers are impressive due to the stellar competition that exists within the league; however he’s shown potential to more than prospects in the offseason. He’s impressed Sox’ ace, Chris Sale.

“He’s got a hell of an arm, I’ll tell you that,” said Red Sox ace Chris Sale. “I’ve watched him throw a couple of times. He’s right where he needs to be.”

via & Ian Browne

Hernandez flashes a fastball that reaches up to 97 mph, but largely lives in the range of mid-90’s. While the ability to flash numbers on a radar gun is nice, the put-away breaking ball is a key piece to any young arm’s arsenal. Thankfully, the promising has a nice curveball that he’s flashed throughout Spring Training.

It’s been a long time since the Red Sox have had impressive homegrown talent make an impact on the starting rotation, but there’s certainly reason to believe that Darwinzon Hernandez can be that guy. He’ll likely begin the season in Pawtucket, but keep an eye on this lefty and his development throughout the minors.