David Ross on D&C: ‘Really impressed’ with Red Sox pitching prospect Henry Owens
|02.20.14 at 9:37 am ET|
Red Sox catcher David Ross joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to talk about pitching prospect Henry Owens and playing for the Red Sox next season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Owens, the team’s first-round pick of the 2011 draft, was the first pitcher Ross caught during spring training.
“I was really impressed — sneaky fastball, real easy delivery,” Ross said. “For me, he’s already trying to do some things that are more of a veteran pitcher. I talked to him a little bit, like, ‘Let’s lock in the fastball command first before we start backdoor breaking balls and changeups.’
“But his changeup is plus-plus. That thing’s really good. His breaking ball — he can flip it — it’s big — he can flip it in pretty much any time.”
Owens went 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA in just six games last season for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. The 21-year-old right-hander is considered to have a chance of joining the Red Sox later in the season, but he will start the year in the minors.
“For me, baseball’s all about confidence,” Ross said of not bringing Owens up early in the season. “If you have a guy with confidence and you dent that confidence, it’s hard to come back from that. Or you would hate for him to come in and struggle a little bit and think he can’t pitch at that level.
“That kid’s going to pitch at the major league level if he’s healthy. It’s just going to take some time. He needs to refine some things because you want him to come up and have success.
“Some organizations are able to bring up younger guys and let them take their bumps. You’re coming off a World Series championship — you have a little bit less of a — or I would say you have some veteran guys that you feel more confident in.”
Ross, who hit .216 last season, has one year left on his contract with the Red Sox.
“I’m just going to be happy with the contract I got this year and hopefully go out and try to win another championship and then I’ll start doing my campaign,” Ross said of staying with the team beyond the 2014 season.
“Let’s get another championship under our belt, and then, hey, we’ve been rolling pretty good since ol’ No. 3 got here. Maybe I’ll start that campaign.”
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