Red Sox promoting Henry Owens to Double-A

July 31, 2013 - 9:42 am

According to an industry source, the Red Sox are promoting left-hander Henry Owens to Double-A Portland. Owens just had a string of 19 1/3 no-hit innings spanning parts of four starts for High-A Salem, a stretch in which opponents were 0-for-55 against him. Owens, who turned 21 this month, is 8-5 with a 2.92 ERA, 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.6 walks per nine innings this year. The 2011 supplemental first-rounder has a startling .180 opponents'€™ batting average, fourth lowest among all starters in full-season minor league baseball. He'€™s 21, he'€™s left-handed, he'€™s 6-foot-7 with an angle and release point that opposing hitters have almost never seen. At this point, now that he had his breakthrough with pitch efficiency, there'€™s virtually nothing left for him to prove in High-A. That helps to explain why the Red Sox made the move to promote the wildly talented left-hander, who features a low-90s fastball that can touch 95 mph, a swing-and-miss changeup and a curveball that looks at times like a major league average offering. The Sox viewed him as virtually untouchable in trade talks. In 20 starts, Owens has thrown 104 2/3 innings this year -- exceeding his total of 101 2/3 innings last year in Single-A Greenville. But, Owens was less pitch efficient last year than he's been this season, and so the Sox are comfortable with the idea that he has perhaps five or so remaining starts this year, with the innings bump representing a proper workload increase for a pitcher in his second full professional season.