Red Sox prospect Anderson Espinoza had eleven strikeouts in five innings pitched last night for the Greenville Drive of the Sally league. He struck out the side in the second inning and had two strikeouts in each of the other four innings pitched.
Espinoza has been on a strict pitch/inning count this season, normally being cut off before 75 pitches, and has yet to go more than five innings this season. Last night, he tied his career high of 78 pitches thrown, which included 50 pitches thrown as strikes and just one walk. It also was the second time this season he has struck out three batters in one single inning this year. He has 35 strikeouts already this season, easily leading the league
As the top pitching prospect in the Red Sox system, and the consensus number four overall he has been impressive so far in his first full year of play both stateside and in full season ball. He has really done everything better than expected this year. And this performance was even more impressive since it came just a week after he had suffered his worst performance of his minor league career, going just 3.2 innings on April 30th, and giving up six runs (five in one inning). He had never given up more than four runs in any previous outing. It was a great example of how Espinoza shows poise beyond his still teenage years, normally getting out of jams, and in this case putting it all behind him to come back with a great pitching performance next time out. This was his first ten plus strikeout performance of his minor league career.
At just age 18, he is the youngest player in the Sally league and has turned into must watch baseball for all prospect hounds and minor league enthusiasts. His next start will probably be next Thursday the 12th against the Augusta Greenjackets, due to a scheduled off day for the Drive on Wednesday.