Description: Thin, athletic right-hander with some projection in
his upper body.
Mechanics: Throws from a
three-quarters arm slot from the first base side. Easy, athletic
mechanics. Starts in the stretch but then steps like he is
throwing from the wind-up. Loose arm action. Stab behind during
delivery. Comes across body. Arm gets out of sync with the rest of
his delivery at times. Gets good extension. Maintains delivery
deep into games.
Fastball: 91-94 mph.
Tops out at 96 mph. Primarily, will sink the pitch with late
movement down and in on right-handed hitters. Could add velocity
as he matures. Typically has good control of the pitch; control
appeared to have taken a small step back after promotion to High
A in 2019, but that may have been caused by the after-effects of
a comebacker off his pitching hand in mid-July. Potential
above-average offering more likely to settle in the
Cutter: 86-89 mph.
Added the pitch in 2019 and it has already become a go-to pitch.
Two-seam grip similar to Rick Porcello. Late horizontal
movement. Able to generate swinging strikes with the pitch
already. Potential plus offering.
81-83 mph. Horizontal shape. Ideal sidespin. Pitch shows bite.
Has strong feel for the pitch, able to throw it for strikes in
the zone or bury it down and out of the zone when ahead in the
count. Potential plus offering.
87-89 mph. Pitch has mostly been shelved in favor of the cutter
at this point and has firmed up from 84-86 mph range he once
threw it at. Throws with deceptive arm speed. Pitch shows fade
and looks like a fastball until late. Can be on the firm side,
but flashed average potential in 2018.
Curveball: 76-79 mph. Vertical, 12-to-6 shape.
Pitch is more of a show-me offering at this point and is rarely
Career Notes: A Ft. Myers native,
served as a Red Sox batboy in the spring of 2004 at City of
Palms Park. Also had scholarship offers to play basketball.
Pitched largely in the bullpen during college, but Red Sox
amateur scouts including signing scout Stephen Hargett and
pitching crosschecker Chris Mears identified Ward as a candidate
to move into the rotation and excel. Participated in the 2018
Fall Instructional League. Came out early in two 2019 starts
(July 14 and August 27) after trying to barehand comebackers.
Did not miss time, but relative issues with walks following the
first incident (21 walks in 30 innings versus 36 in previous 95
2/3 innings) raise question of whether his control was affected.
Summation: Ceiling of a back-end starter if
his development continues on an upward trajectory. Should at
least be able to pitch in a long relief role, and could perhaps
even fit in the back of a bullpen. Has three pitches that
project as at least average that he tunnels well in his sinker,
cutter, and slider. Latter two pitches show plus potential. Able
to generate swinging strikes, but also uses repertoire to
generate bad contact, allowing him to work deeper into outings.
Ability to stick as a starter will depend on continued
improvement of fastball command and refinement of secondary
State of the System: Low Minors Pitchers (4.2.20)
Scouting Report Update (4.24.20)