The Red Sox have promoted top pitching prospect Brandon Walter to Triple-A Worcester, according to multiple reports.
Walter, 25, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 6 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks second among pitchers in the organization. The left-hander was originally selected by Boston in the 26th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Delaware.
After signing with the Sox for a modest $35,000, Walter saw his first full professional season get wiped out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Castle native then burst onto the scene in 2021 by posting a 2.92 ERA in 25 appearances (14 starts) between Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville.
This spring, Walter broke camp with Double-A Portland and continued to impress. In nine starts for the Sea Dogs, the southpaw pitched to a 2.88 ERA and 2.88 FIP with 68 strikeouts to just three walks over 50 innings of work. He allowed a total of two earned runs while striking out 19 in his final two starts.
Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, Walter ranks fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (12.24), first in walks per nine innings (0.54), third in strikeout rate (34.7%), sixth in swinging strike rate (16.8%), first in walk rate (1.5%), fifth in batting average against (.191), first in WHIP (0.78), fifth in ERA, fourth in FIP, and second in xFIP (2.42), per FanGraphs.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Walter throws from a low three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 92-94 mph fastball that tops out 95 mph, an 82-85 mph changeup, and an 80-83 mph slider, according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.
Walter, who turns 26 in September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter. Given how he has performed so far this year, it seems all but certain that the Red Sox will protect and add the lefty to their 40-man roster by the November deadline.
In the meantime, Walter will join a talented WooSox rotation that already includes the likes of No. 1 pitching prospect Brayan Bello, Josh Winckowski, Kutter Crawford, and Connor Seabold.
Walter last pitched on May 26, so he could be in line to make his WooSox debut against the Syracuse Mets at Polar Park on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
(Picture of Brandon Walter: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)