A first round pick in the 2011 MLB draft, Henry Owens— along with Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, and Jackie Bradley Jr.— make up a dream team of a first round. Owens, 21, is headed to the MLB Futures Game along with Mookie Betts this July. On the year, Owens is dominating through his first 14 starts. He has a miniscule 1.99 ERA, 89 strikeouts in 86 innings of work, a pair of shutouts, all while holding hitters to a .178 batting average. Without at doubt, Henry Owens is catching the attention of everyone.
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The 6′ 6″ lefty has already proven that his AA competition is much too easy for him and he is in need of a real challenge. There are two routes Boston could take. The first one is to send him directly to the big leagues. Right now, the Boston Red Sox have enough starting pitching, but they are not doing too well. Money should not be a problem since huge contracts should not tie them to mediocrity.
The real question here is whether or not Owens is ready and whether or not he can make the jump from AA to MLB. One pitcher of note did. This man had 13 appearances in AA, 11 of which were starts. In 61 1/3 innings pitched, he had a 1.91 ERA while fanning 59 batters and walking just 19. He held hitters to a .179 average and allowed no home runs. That man is Clayton Kershaw and he ended up just fine. The numbers Kershaw put up before he got the call are very similar to those of Henry Owens, suggesting he is ready for duty. With spots open on the 40-man roster, Boston would not need to DFA anyone else to get Owens onto the team.
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The other and less exciting option would be to send Henry Owens to AAA Pawtucket. In Pawtucket, Owens would likely dominate hitters once again and prove that the competition was too easy for him. It would definitely give him some time to improve and get ready to pitch in the Majors next year. However, the big league club needs help and Owens is definitely ready to help his big league counterpart right now.
Henry Owens is a talented pitcher, so keeping him in the Minor Leagues when he could be contributing to a big league team seems like a waste. Owens has the stamina to pitch deep into games, which is a big concern for younger players, and he has the talent to win those games. No matter what happens, Owens has a bright career ahead of him in Major League baseball.
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The question is: are they going to call him up sooner or later?
This writer asks: Why not call him up sooner rather than later?