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2017 Red Sox top prospect voting: Mike Shawaryn looks to build on brief pro success

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Mike Shawaryn is our number 14 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Photo via Kelly O’Connor; http://sittingstill.smugmug.com

We have our second consecutive low-minors pitcher coming in at number 14. There were a few other competitors for this slot, but in the end Mike Shawaryn rose above his competition, taking 24 percent of the vote.

A University of Maryland product, Shawaryn was selected in the fifth round of last year’s draft, but was signed to a $637,500 signing bonus that came in well above slot. Prior to the college season, he was seen as a potential first-round pick, but after merely being good rather than great in the spring, he fell down draft boards.

Shawaryn was placed in Lowell after signing with the Red Sox, but as a pitcher the Red Sox were understandably cautious with their new player. He started six games in 2016, but he only tossed 15 23 innings in that time. Despite the small sample, though, he was impressive. The big righty struck out 22 batters over that time while walking seven and not allowing a single home run. Obviously, it’s hard to built any conclusive opinions based solely on that performance, but it was surely encouraging.

In the coming season, it can be expected that Shawaryn will spend the majority of the year — if not all of it — in Low-A Greenville. It will be his first test of full-season ball, and just seeing if he can make it through the full year will be test enough. The good news is he won’t have to anchor that rotation, as last year’s first round pick Jason Groome will hog the headlines from that group. Shawaryn will be able to see if he can build upon his short pro debut with minimal attention from all but the most intense prospect hounds.

Long-term, it’s unclear at this point what the optimal role for Shawaryn will be. Some scouts think that ultimately he will be best utilized in the bullpen. However, he looked pretty good as a starter last year, and while the Red Sox are making an effort to convert future major-league relievers to that role earlier in their development, it doesn’t appear to be the plan here. The good news is that the stuff isn’t the reason for his possible future as a reliever. He has the potential for three solid pitchers including a fastball and a slider that both have the potential to be above-average offerings. When you combine that with a changeup that could be average, you have a starter’s repertoire. Unfortunately, he currently has a delivery that uses a whole lot of effort, and it’s hard to succeed in longer stints pitching like that on a consistent basis. Only time will tell if he’ll be able to keep the same results with a toned down delivery. If not, we’ll see him in the bullpen sooner than later.

  1. Andrew Benintendi
  2. Rafael Devers
  3. Jason Groome
  4. Sam Travis
  5. Bobby Dalbec
  6. Brian Johnson
  7. Marco Hernandez
  8. Roniel Raudes
  9. Michael Chavis
  10. C.J. Chatham
  11. Josh Ockimey
  12. Nick Longhi
  13. Travis Lakins
  14. Mike Shawaryn

As always, you can help round out the top-15 by voting below.