Who is Jordan DiValerio? Red Sox pitching prospect walked just 5.1% of the batters he faced with Low-A Salem in 2021

Jordan DiValerio was one of 16 undrafted free agents the Red Sox signed in the wake of the pandemic-shortened 2020 amateur draft.

Two days before officially signing with the club, DiValerio received a phone call and recruiting pitch from Boston ace Chris Sale, which made the decision to put pen to paper that much easier.

“It was definitely really surprising,” DiValerio told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo at the time when describing his conversation with Sale. β€œIt means so much to just be wanted by such a great organization.”

A right-handed senior coming out of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, DiValerio signed with the Sox for $20,000. Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Nescopeck, Pa. native was unable to make his professional debut in 2020 since the minor-league season had already been cancelled.

Instead, DiValerio got his first taste of pro ball during fall instructs in Fort Myers. He took what he learned there into minor-league camp the following spring and opened the 2021 season with Low-A Salem.

In 31 appearances (one start) for Salem, the righty posted a 5.72 ERA and 4.21 FIP to go along with 72 strikeouts to just 16 walks over 72 1/3 innings of work. The length of his outings ranged from 2/3 of an inning to four full frames.

On the surface, a 5.72 ERA is not exactly an eye-popping statistic. But, in DiValerio’s case, his ERA does not tell the full story when you consider the fact that he also put up a 4.21 FIP and much more respectable 3.95 xFIP.

Among the 35 pitchers who accrued at least 70 innings in the Low-A East last year, DiValerio ranked ninth in FIP, seventh in xFIP, fourth in walks per nine innings (1.99), fourth in walk rate (5.1%), and seventh in swinging strike percentage (14.6%), per FanGraphs. The 24-year-old hurler also yielded a .347 batting average on balls put in play, which suggests he might have been the victim of some bad luck behind him.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, DiValerio throws from a high three-quarters arm slot and operates with a five-pitch mix that consists of an 89-92 mph that tops out at 94 mph, a 77-79 mph curveball, an 80-83 mph changeup and splitter, and an 82-84 mph slider, according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Like fellow right-hander Devon Roedahl, DiValerio — who does not turn 25 until October — may not be regarded by any major publication as one of the top pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. That being said, he is projected by SoxProspects.com to kick off the 2022 season in the bullpen for High-A Greenville.

As is the case with Roedahl, perhaps DiValerio can earn himself a promotion to Double-A Portland before the end of the year.

(Picture of Jordan DiValerio via his Instagram)


Who is Devon Roedahl? Red Sox pitching prospect was named Low-A East Postseason All-Star in 2021, is projected to begin 2022 season at High-A Greenville

The Red Sox selected two prospects out of the University of Houston during the 2019 amateur draft. The first player, first baseman Joe Davis, was drafted in the 19th round while the second player, right-hander Devon Roedahl, was drafted in the 27th round. Both Davis and Roedahl were signed by former area scout Tim Collinsworth.

While Davis has already established himself as somewhat of a folk hero within Boston’s farm system, what Roedahl did last year seems to have slipped under the radar a bit.

As a junior coming out of Houston, Roedahl ultimately signed with Boston for just $25,000 in June 2019. The Beaumont, Texas native made his pro debut in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and made 16 appearances there to close out the 2019 campaign.

The following spring, Roedahl — like many 2019 draftees — had his first full year in pro ball wiped out from under him when the 2020 minor-league season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He did not receive the benefit of an invite to the Sox’ alternate training site; nor did he participate in fall instructs.

On the heels of a lost 2020, Roedahl finally had the chance to embark upon his first full season as a professional last spring. The righty broke minor-league camp with Low-A Salem and spent the entirety of the year there while operating on a fairly consistent schedule.

Across 37 relief appearances out of Salem’s bullpen, Roedahl posted a 2.52 ERA and 3.42 xFIP to go along with 62 strikeouts to just 12 walks over 60 2/3 total innings of work. He also recorded 11 saves.

Although he was admittedly facing younger competition, Roedahl still ranked fifth in walk rate (4.9%) among Low-A East pitchers who accrued at least 60 innings on the mound last year. He also ranked fifth in walks per nine innings (1.78), 18th in strikeout rate (25.5%), ninth in batting average against (.208), sixth in WHIP (0.99), third in ERA, and fourth in xFIP, per FanGraphs.

Because of these numbers, Roedahl was named to the 2021 Low-A East Postseason All-Star team as well as the 2021 SoxProspects.com All-Star team. The 6-2, 225 pounder works with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 91-93 mph fastball, an 83-85 mph splitter, and an 82-85 mph slider, per his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Roedahl, who turned 25 in November, is not going to pop up on any Red Sox top prospects lists anytime soon. Still, he is one of several minor-leaguers who can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in their respective careers next winter.

With that being said, Roedahl — who is likely already in Fort Myers for spring training — is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 season in High-A Greenville’s bullpen. Perhaps he can make his way to Double-A Portland by the end of the year.

(Picture of Devon Roedahl via his Instagram)