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Boston Red Sox Top 10 Prospects: No. 7 Michael Bowden

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst IMarch 30, 2010

Drafted: First Round, supplemental, 2005 (Aurora, IL)

Height: 6′3″ Weight: 215 lbs

Born: September 9, 1986

The 23-year-old righty put together another strong season in Triple-A last year, going 4-6, 3.13, in 126 IP…but he struggled in a brief promotion with the big league club (1-1, 9.56).

In an interview, Portland Sea Dogs pitching coach Mike Cather told me that he has never met anyone who works harder than Bowden…so if hard work counts for anything, Mike will enjoy success at the major league level very soon.

His fastball, curveball and changeup all have "plus" potential, in part due to a deceptive 3/4-arm slot. His fastball sits at 90-93 mph, but it has heavy movement and he throws it “downhill” with pinpoint accuracy to both sides of the plate.

He has a better-than-average changeup that has good movement, although he needs to control it better. The scouts say the power curveball he had previously has regressed and is no longer a plus pitch. He has a ‘fringy’ slider.

As I’ve mentioned previously, the ONLY thing I worry about with Bowden is his delivery. It contains a pause at the top of the arm swing which allows hitters to get a prolonged peak at his grip, which tips off his pitches. It’s something he can get away with at the minor league level due to the lack of video and scouting, but which I think is hurting him when he is with the Red Sox.

One of these days he’s going to put it all together—here or elsewhere (if he is traded)—and when he does, he’s going to be a consistent winner in the heart of someone’s rotation.

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