It's a pitching-only version of the Greenville Drive update. Partially because we already covered the team's hitters last time out, and partially because there aren't many players at Greenville doing any hitting.
Miguel Pena, SP
When we looked at Pena at the beginning of the month, he was showing off his fantastic command and control. He's taken it up to another level in his starts since, though, as he's now walking fewer than a batter per inning, keeping the ball in the yard, and has a K/BB higher than his strikeout rate.
As with most young pitchers, his secondary stuff is where the questions lie. You can see that he knows where his pitches are going, and his high-80s fastball has been far more effective than you would think given its low velocity. Pena was part of a three-pitcher combined no-hitter, the first in Greenville's history. For his part, Pena threw six innings, striking out seven without allowing a walk or hit.
Not everything is perfect, though, as he's been noticeably better from the wind-up without runners on. From the stretch, Pena has given up two homers, and has induced fewer ground outs than otherwise. It's a small sample at this stage -- a situation split from a pitcher with 31 innings always is -- but it's something to watch out for as the season progresses.
Henry Owens, SP
Henry Owens had a crazy start to the season. He didn't last more than four innings in any of his first four appearances, was walking seven batters per nine, had struck out more than twice as many hitters as he had thrown innings, and owned an ERA over 10.
Things have settled down for him as of late, as Owens hasn't allowed a run in three starts and 15 innings, bringing his ERA all the way down to 4.91. He's still struck out 18 hitters in that stretch, too, and against six walks per nine. It's certainly not perfect, but for a 19-year-old in full-season ball, one with his stuff, it's a step in the right direction.
As with Pena, when runners are on, bad things have happened in the season's early goings. Except for the walks -- of which there have been 12 -- he's been much better from the wind-up. One step at a time for a pitcher straight out of high school, though.
Yeiper Castillo, P
Castillo is 23, but he's still in Greenville thanks to missing all of the 2011 season due to injury. He had 75 innings at the level back in 2010 as a 21-year-old, and they went well enough for the Venezuelan righty, even if they weren't dominant. The Red Sox signed him all the way back in 2005, and this is his sixth season in the organization, most of which was spent in the Dominican Summer League as well as Low-A Lowell.
His fastball sits in the low 90s, and according to Sox Prospects, he leaves it up in the zone quite a bit. He has an effective change-up about 8-10 miles per hour slower than his heater, but his curveball has been lacking as a third offering. It's hard to argue with the results at this level, but results aren't everything. When Castillo ends up in High-A Salem, we'll likely see a truer picture of what he is. Or, at least, truer than what he's doing as a 23-year-old in his second go-round in Single-A.