Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum and president Theo Epstein watch the inaugural match play bunting tournament during spring training at Fitch Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Drafted in the 11th round of the 2010 draft, Kurcz is a man with clear strengths and weaknesses. A big arm, Kurcz can blow his fastball past opposing hitters, but at the moment that's about all he can do. His repertoire is extremely limited, and his command isn't the best at the moment.
Still, the fastball was enough to get Kurcz 91 strikeouts in 82 innings as a 20-year-old in High-A Daytona. Some of that even came starting, which he isn't really cut out for. When he moved to shorter outings from the pen, his numbers improved noticeably, with his ERA dropping a full point and his K:BB more than doubling.
Frankly, I'm not sure that Kurcz isn't the better prospect in the deal. While Chris Carpenter is further along and with somewhat more potential, Kurcz has the greater likelihood of actually being a good player for the Red Sox as far as I can tell, even if that contribution comes as a seventh-eighth inning man.
The Sox have had their difficulties filling the bullpen via free agency in years past, and they're often reluctant to bring pitchers up through the minors as relief arms. Here we have a prospect seemingly destined for the pen, however, and one who could do well there. I'll take it.