There’s plenty of promising Red Sox talent, but they’ll have to work on limiting the free pass.

It’s quite possible that there’s nothing more frustrating than when a pitcher is having trouble throwing strikes. As always, there’s the common saying of “there’s no defense for a walk.” This rings true particularly with two Red Sox prospects that are Major League ready, if they can figure out how to be consistent within the strike zone.

Fans are familiar with Darwinzon Hernandez, a promising Red Sox prospect that can help the team with his ability as a hard-throwing reliever. Anytime a team possesses a left-handed arm with the ability to display a wipeout arsenal, it’s worth getting excited about. Over 45.1 innings in the minors this season, Hernandez has walked an astonishing 39 batters.

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In his first start in Pawtucket, Hernandez limited the opposition to one hit over 5.1 IP, but walked 7(!!) in his AAA debut. His Major League debut wasn’t much different, as he walked 5 in only three innings. On the positive side, the electric young arm yielded only 5 hits between both starts, but it displays the enigma that has been Darwinzon Hernandez. The high potential Red Sox arm has a 12.9 K/9, but also a 8.1 BB/9.

Meanwhile, Durbin Feltman is a Red Sox prospect that many felt could help the team in 2019, or even last season. Projected as the best closer in last year’s draft, the TCU product has struggled with control issues with the Portland Sea Dogs, limiting his chances at advancing to Boston in the near future. This season, he’s posted a 6.89 BB/9 which has led to struggles towards the latter parts of a game (3 BS, 4.44 ERA).

All hope is not lost with the closer of the future, as over his last 10 outings he’s allowed a mere one run over 12.1 innings and walked 6. A K/9 of 8.62 should still play in Boston; however he needs to continue to pound the zone in order to setup his “plus slider” offering.

If either of these highly touted prospects are able to reach their development ceiling, it will be due to the ability to command the strike zone. The Red Sox have two very promising arms, and it’s on their respective coaching staff’s to help the young players make the adjustments needed to fix the existing control issues.

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