For the second straight outing and the third time in his last five starts, Red Sox pitching prospect Isaac Coffey recorded 11 strikeouts for High-A Greenville on Thursday night.
Going up against Rome on the road at AdventHealth Stadium, Coffey struck out 11 and did not walk a single batter over six scoreless, three-hit innings. The right-hander finished with 87 pitches (64 strikes) and induced 21 swings-and-misses. He also retired the final eight hitters he faced as the Drive went on to defeat the Braves by a final score of 6-2.
Coffey, who was credited with the winning decision, improved to 3-2 on the year. The 22-year-old has posted a 2.89 ERA and 4.64 FIP with 61 strikeouts to seven walks over eight starts spanning 43 2/3 innings of work for Greenville this season.
Following Thursday’s performance, Coffey now leads qualified South Atlantic League pitchers in strikeouts. He also ranks second in strikeouts per nine innings (12.57), second in strikeout rate (35.1 percent), first in walks per nine innings (1.44), first in walk rate (4.0 percent), ninth in batting average against (.217), second in WHIP (0.78), seventh in swinging-strike rate (14.9 percent), fourth in ERA, 13th in FIP, and first in xFIP (2.91), per FanGraphs.
Coffey, who turns 23 next month, was selected by the Red Sox in the 10th round of last year’s amateur draft out of Oral Roberts, where he was a two-way player. Since signing with Boston for just $7,500, though, the California native has been used strictly on the mound.
As noted in his Baseball America scouting report from before the 2022 draft, Coffey “will not light up the radar gun, but he has the ability to spot his deceptive 89-91 fastball from a low three-quarter slot.” The 6-foot-1, 205-pound hurler also “does a fine job spotting up his slider-changeup mix to attack both left-handed and right-handed hitters.”
Considering how much success Coffey has enjoyed at the High-A level as of late (1.96 ERA in four May starts), one has to wonder if the righty could soon be in line for a promotion to Double-A Portland. That in itself would represent a new challenge for a young pitcher who is seemingly having his way with the opposition right now.
(Picture of Isaac Coffey: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)