Red Sox pitching prospect Angel Bastardo has been named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 15-21, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.
Bastardo made his seventh start of the season for High-A Greenville in its 3-2 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fluor Field last Wednesday. Though he did not factor into the decision, the right-hander allowed just one hit on two walks and seven strikeouts over six scoreless innings. He finished with 80 pitches (50 strikes) and induced 11 swings-and-misses.
In seven starts for the Drive this season, Bastardo has posted a 5.03 ERA and 4.13 FIP with 47 strikeouts to 17 walks over 34 innings of work. The 20-year-old has impressed as of late by holding opposing hitters to a .170 batting average against in the month of May.
Among qualified pitchers in the South Atlantic League, Bastardo ranks second in strikeouts per nine innings (12.44), second in strikeout rate (32.9 percent), fifth in opponents’ batting average (.206), 13th in WHIP (1.26), first in swinging-strike rate (20.2 percent), 11th in FIP, and eighth in xFIP (3.88), per FanGraphs.
Bastardo, who turns 21 next month, is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 40 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks 14th among pitchers in the organization. The native Venezuelan originally signed with the Red Sox for just $35,000 as an international free agent coming out of Moron in July 2018.
With a projectable 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame, Bastardo throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 93-95 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph and shows sink, an 83-86 mph curveball that varies in shape, and an 84-88 mph changeup that can be inconsistent at times, according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.
Given that he has made just seven starts at the High-A level thus far and still has areas to improve in (i.e. command and control of the strike zone), it would not be surprising if Bastardo were to spend most of the 2023 season with Greenville before garnering consideration for a promotion to Double-A Portland.
With that being said, that timeline could accelerate if Bastardo continues to turn in impressive outings for the Drive as he has been doing. It is also worth mentioning that the righty can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft at the end of the year, though him being added to Boston’s 40-man roster in November seems unlikely at this point since he is still a ways away from sniffing the major-leagues.
(Picture of Angel Bastardo: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)