High school lefty Owens lands on Red Sox
California native was dominant during senior year campaign
BOSTON -- Perhaps some day, opposing batters will stand in the late-afternoon Fenway Park shadows with dread, staring at an imposing left-handed pitcher named Henry Owens.
That is exactly what the Red Sox envisioned Monday night, when they took Owens with the 36th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft.
The 6-foot-6 Owens is from Huntington Beach, Calif., and had a dominant career at Edison High School.
"Obviously, Owens was another guy we scouted a lot this summer at Team USA," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "He went to multiple showcases. Left-handed, obviously first off, he's a guy we project to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy. He throws three pitches for strikes. Advanced pitchability. A guy who has the ability to command his breaking ball and throw a changeup. For a high school kid, that's unique and certainly something that we covet."
The 18-year-old is 12-1 with a 1.15 ERA in his senior year, and has a whopping 140 strikeouts and just 45 hits allowed over 91 2/3 innings.
He has a low 90s fastball and also has two different curves in his repertoire -- one that ranges from 69-74 mph, and another one that is roughly 75-77 mph. Owens has also been working on his changeup.
The last time the Red Sox took a high school lefty within the first couple of rounds was Jon Lester back in 2002.
"We always take the best player available on the board," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. "Owens is somebody who, as Amiel said, is 6-foot-6 with a projectable frame. We've seen him up to 94 [mph] and has advanced feel with three pitches right now. He's always performed well against the best competition. Left-handed or right-handed, he stood out as somebody we liked, and the fact that he's left-handed was an added bonus."