Left-hander Kyle Hart will make his first career major-league start for the Red Sox on Thursday against the Rays, manager Ron Roenicke announced following Tuesday’s 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay.
Hart, 27, is regarded by SoxProspects as the No. 42 prospect in the Sox’ farm system.
Drafted by Boston in the 19th round of the 2016 amateur draft out of the University of Indiana as a fifth-year senior, Hart was added to Boston’s 40-man roster last November and was subsequently assigned to the club’s alternate training site last month where he has gotten some work in during simulated games and live batting practice sessions.
With the PawSox in 2019, the former Hoosier posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.32 FIP over 18 appearances (15 starts) and 100 1/3 innings pitched. He also made nine starts for Double-A Portland before getting promoted to Triple-A last May.
Per his SoxProspects scouting report, Hart’s pitch mix included an 87-90 mph fastball, an 85-86 mph cutter, a 76-79 mph curveball, and a 81-82 mph changeup.
Based off that, it becomes apparent that the southpaw doesn’t necessarily rely on his velocity, but rather his control. Red Sox pitching coach Dave Bush said as much when speaking with reporters via Zoom on Tuesday.
“His command is going to be critical,” said Bush. “It always is for him because the stuff is not going to light up a radar gun. But he’s got multiple pitches. He commands both sides of the plate.”
Over those 100 1/3 innings with Pawtucket in 2019, Hart struck out just over 19% of the hitters he faced and walked just under 9%. Put another way, he fanned 2.22 times the number of hitters he walked last season.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 200 lbs., Hart will be opposite Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow on Thursday afternoon. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI.