Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
2013 Dominican Winter League Stats: 17.2 IP, 6.11 ERA, .319 BAA, 15/10 K/BB (5 GS)
Acquired by the Boston Red Sox in the 2012 blockbuster deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Allen Webster was outstanding this year over the first two months of the season at Triple-A Pawtucket. In his eight starts during that span, the 23-year-old registered a 2.39 ERA and a 46-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 37.2 innings.
As a result of his success in the minor leagues, the Red Sox called Webster up to start the back-end of a double dip on April 21. After that, he bounced between the minors and the majors three more times but struggled in each of his opportunities with the Red Sox.
Overall, the 23-year-old registered an 8.60 ERA with 37 hits allowed and a 23-to-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 30.1 innings (seven starts) with Boston.
The 6’3” right-hander works from a three-quarter arm slot and repeats his delivery well with excellent drive from his backside and good balance throughout. However, he does pull off on his frontside and jerks his head at times.
His fastball is most effective in the range of 91-96 mph with some sink and arm-side life. He’ll occasionally scrape 97-98 mph in shorter bursts. It has heavy sinking action when located down in the zone and yields a high number of ground-ball outs.
Webster also features a mid- to upper-80s slider that flashes plus potential with tight spin and late break, and it’s a highly effective offering when he can drop it off the table. The right-hander’s changeup improved significantly this past season, as he throws it with deceptive arm speed in the low-80s with a heavy fade.
If Boston chooses to deploy him in the major league bullpen, Webster has the potential to be a force in the seventh or eighth innings. However, don't expect the Red Sox to give up on him as a starter any time soon.