Surprise, Arizona —— On Tuesday afternoon, I saw Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher Henry Owens start an Arizona Fall League game for the Peoria Javelinas on the road against the Surprise Saguaros — Owens’ fourth start of the AFL slate. He lasted five innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts, and earned the win on the road in Surprise. Through four AFL starts now after Tuesday, Henry Owens is 3-1 with a 7.71 ERA, and in 14.0 innings pitched for Peoria, he’s allowed 12 earned runs on 15 hits and eight walks with 11 strikeouts in that span.

I was down the line to take video and notes on hitters during the game, but I did walk away with some footage of the Boston Red Sox pitcher on the mound to get a better sense of his mechanics and arm action. You can see that short clip of a view of his pitches from the open-faced (first base) side right here:




Like I said, I was predominantly scouting hitters on Tuesday afternoon (you’ll see loads of high definition video on every hitter from that game and more throughout the next month as we continue to post Arizona Fall League videos into the winter), but I did take a few notes on Henry Owens, too — and I wanted to share those below. In the meantime, please subscribe to the Baseball Census YouTube channel for thousands more baseball prospect videos from the Arizona Fall League and throughout the summer season.

Henry Owens, LHP, Boston Red Sox — Game Notes

Dates: October 31, 2017
Games: Peoria @ Surprise; Arizona Fall League
Results: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 HR, 2 K, 66 pitches (38 strikes)
Box Score: Click Here

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NOTES & COMMENTS

Fastball
Hard-running arm side with some sink. Not much downward plane despite height, likely on account of gun-slinger/low three-quarters release. Consistent arm-side run, at points difficult to corral into strike zone. Reportedly throws a separate sinker as well, but difficult to tell difference on Tuesday. Very inconsistent command with variable release points; difficult repeating fastball delivery at times and below-average control and command, though able to survive enough in outing to get around it. Hell on LHH thanks to hard-boring action and tough release point, even without overpowering velocity. Velocity: 88-90, T 91

Curveball
Tendency to slow down body and arm speed, tipping pitch to some degree. 11-to-5 break with some sweeping action. Big velocity differential from fastball, giving Owens the ability to get hitters out on front foot. Lacks true wipeout/hammer look to it, though; slurve-like at times and can be somewhat difficult to differentiate from slider with lack of true curveball depth and feel. Will cast it and wrap his hand around the side of the pitch at times, giving it too much of a horizontal feel. Velocity: 70-73, T 74

Slider
Started at 78-80, got slightly harder and significantly sharper with more consistent life in the fourth and fifth inning compared to start of game. Sweeping 10-to-4 action, with depth almost like a cut fastball at its best. Hump can get big, though, and Owens has a tendency to get around the pitch and cast it a bit. Lacks plane and depth at times, as with fastball, likely on account of lower arm angle and lack of downward plane from height. Will drop elbow; loses pitch to horizontal spin when that happens. Velocity: 78-82, T 83

Changeup
Unremarkable; some arm-side run and tumble. Will predominantly use to RHH, shows some fade to get off the barrel. Inconsistent feel and command, inconsistent arm action with tendency to slow down body at times. Below-average pitch in October 31 look. Velocity: 78-80, T 81

Control/Command
Control and command both well below average; didn’t hurt him in October 31 start with only one walk in five innings, but nevertheless far too many non-competitive pitches and at-bats and too much time spent working behind in the count. Several pitches straight to backstop with release point completely out of whack; further pitches left up and out of the zone with no feel for command. Won’t get many borderline pitches as long as his control/command profile remains so far below average; needs to fill up the zone.

Mechanics
Low three-quarters release, almost gun-slinger like at times flirting with sidearm. Tall pitcher with a good frame (6’6″, 220 lbs.), but sacrifices the height and plane to get lower arm angle and release point. Mechanical inconsistencies creating significant control and command issues centering on inability to consistently repeat release point; in that sense, Henry Owens reminded me a great deal of San Francisco Giants lefty prospect Matt Krook. Lots of long levers and moving parts to get in sync, struggles to consistently land and release in same spots. Further struggles to repeat release with runners on, and will leave the ball up in the stretch when his arm fails to catch up to body driving to plate.

Intangibles
Recorded 1.66 – 1.71 times to the plate with full leg left and balance from left-handed side. Freezes runners fairly well with balance point look at first base; also has a step-back pickoff move that is extremely, surprisingly quick for his height. Shows whip-fast arm action on that pickoff move; will use it only once or twice a game to catch runners sleeping. Aside from that, generally distracted with runners on,; will leave ball up and out over the plate by focusing too much on runners.




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