Essentially, if a player is drafted within the first ten picks in the MLB draft, then everyone expects that player to be a star. Last year, the Boston Red Sox scored a seventh overall pick—a pick which they used to snag Trey Ball. Ball was a talented two-way player in high school, dominating at the plate and at the mound, making him a viable option to be chosen that early in the draft. Many early picks have a cakewalk through the minor leagues; for Ball so far that has not been the case — until lately.
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Being from the north did not help his pro career start off on the right foot, especially when he was playing against teams filled with guys from all around warm climates who can practice more often. In seven innings of Gulf Coast League action, he surrendered seven runs, five of which were earned. Skipping short-season Lowell, Boston tested Ball by placing him in the low-A South Atlantic League. Ball got roughed up a bit, but the potential was there. By the end of June, he owned a 7.27 ERA.
Since July 1st, Ball has been pitching much better. In 42 2/3 innings of work, he owns a 2.53 ERA while walking 16 and punching out 29. This is a huge improvement over his outings earlier this season. Another positive note—in his last nine outings he has only let up one home run.
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Right now the 20-year-old is still getting a feel for pro ball, but is adjusting nicely. An athletic lefty, the sky is the limit for Ball, who could potentially be the next ace of the Boston Red Sox. He is pitching much better than his record shows and next year will be the year everyone sees it. In Salem next year, expect Ball to have a breakout year much like Henry Owens did last year. The two have great stuff, but lack an overpowering fastball. Command is what really matters which is something the pair has down better than most prospects. All Ball needs to do now is keep up what he is doing, and end this season on a high note.