Red Sox promote pitching prospect Juan Daniel Encarnacion to High-A Greenville

The Red Sox have promoted pitching prospect Juan Daniel Encarnacion from Low-A Salem to High-A Greenville, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.

Encarnacion, 21, has posted a 4.09 ERA and 3.33 FIP with 119 strikeouts to 39 walks over 24 appearances (23 starts) spanning 103 1/3 innings of work for Salem this season. That includes a 2.92 ERA across his last eight starts dating back July 15.

Among qualified Carolina League pitchers, Encarnacion ranks third in strikeouts per nine innings (10.36), fourth in strikeout rate (26.7%), sixth in groundball rate (43.9%), fifth in WHIP (1.30), second in FIP, and fourth in xFIP (4.12), per FanGraphs. The right-hander was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week during the first week of June.

This is Encarnacion’s fourth full season in pro ball. The Red Sox originally signed the native Dominican for $40,000 as an international free-agent coming out of San Pedro de Macoris in September 2018. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League the following June and pitched to a 3.86 ERA over 14 starts.

After the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the 2020 minor-league season getting cancelled, Encarnacion returned to affiliated ball last year and produced a 2.96 ERA over 12 outings (10 starts) and 45 2/3 innings in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.

Despite the relatively strong numbers he has put up at three different levels now, Encarnacion is not yet regarded by any major publication as one of the top pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. Perhaps that has to do with his stuff.

According to SoxProspects.com, the lanky 6-foot-2, 173-pound righty operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a sinking 90-93 mph fastball that tops out at 94 mph, a 76-81 mph slider, and an 84-85 mph changeup. He “could develop into a very intriguing prospect” if his arsenal continues to improve.

Encarnacion, who does not turn 22 until next March, was not the only Red Sox pitching prospect to make the jump to Greenville on Tuesday. Fellow righties Graham Hoffman and Nate Tellier have also joined the Drive’s pitching staff, while Joey Stock was placed on the 7-day injured list due to a hand abrasion.

(Picture of Juan Daniel Encarnacion: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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