Red Sox pitching prospect Shane Drohan has unsurprisingly been named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Month for the month of April, Minor League Baseball announced on Thursday.
In his first four starts of the season for Double-A Portland, Drohan has posted a miniscule 0.78 ERA and 1.53 FIP to go along with 26 strikeouts to just four walks over 23 innings of work. The left-hander is currently holding opposing hitters to a .163 batting average against.
Among 32 qualified Eastern League pitchers, Drohan ranks 10th in strikeouts per nine innings (10.17), second in walks per nine innings (1.57), fourth in strikeout rate (30.6 percent), second in swinging-strike rate (17.3 percent), second in walk rate (4.7 percent), first in batting average against, first in WHIP (0.74), second in ERA, first in FIP, and fourth in xFIP (2.79), per FanGraphs.
Drohan, 24, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the COVID-shortened 2020 amateur draft out of Florida State. The Fort Lauderdale native signed with the club for $600,000 and has since emerged as one of the more intriguing pitching prospects in the organization.
After closing out the 2022 campaign in Portland, Drohan made an effort to put on weight during the offseason. He came into the spring listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and impressed at camp by displaying a newly-implemented cutter as well as a fastball with increased velocity.
Per SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall, Drohan now sits between 92-94 mph and tops out at 96 mph with his heater after averaging 90.8 mph with the offering last year. In addition to the cutter, the southpaw also operates with an 83-76 mph changeup and 75-89 mph curveball.
Given the uptick in velocity and strong start to the season, Drohan is now regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks tops among all of the club’s young pitchers. He is slated to make his fifth start of the year for the Sea Dogs in Erie on Thursday night.
With that being said, Drohan could soon be in line for a promotion to Triple-A Worcester if he continues to impress with Portland. Although he does not turn 25 until next January, Drohan can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career later this year. As things stand now, he has already made a legitimate case to be added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November.
(Picture of Shane Drohan: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)