Throughout the minor league season, I will be writing about a prospect every Monday who has reached the AA level or higher that could be on your fantasy roster by season's end, and what you should know about them. With Allen Webster getting lit up in each of his last two starts in the rotation (May 8th and June 22nd), could we see the arrival of another pitching prospect from Pawtucket, Brandon Workman?
Weight: 195 lbs.
On 40-man roster: No
Age as of 6/24/13: 24 (Turns 25 in August)
Workman was drafted by the Phillies in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft, but he opted to attend the University of Texas rather than sign as a professional. This turned into better luck for the Red Sox, as they were able to draft him in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft and signed him to a bonus of $800,000. He did not sign soon enough to debut in 2010, but instead was sent to full season Low-A Greenville for the 2011 season. His line there was solid but did not particularly jump off the page: 3.71 ERA, 115 strikeouts, 33 walks, 128 hits allowed in 131 innings pitched.
He improved as he moved up, making 20 starts in 2012 at High-A and finishing with a 3.40 ERA, 107 strikeouts, 20 walks, and 104 hits allowed in 113 innings pitched before being promoted to AA. In 5 starts in Portland to finish the year, he struck out 23 and walked just 5 in 25 innings pitched. The Red Sox returned him to Portland to start his 2013 campaign, where 74 strikeouts against 17 walks in 65 innings pitched earned him a promotion to AAA Pawtucket. He has made three starts there so far, striking out 18 and walking 8 in 19 innings pitched.
The Scouting Report - Scouting reports are gathered from other internet sources and written reports, unless otherwise noted.
Workman features a low-90s fastball which can touch 96 at times, and primarily mixes in a cutter and a curveball. All three of his pitches are anticipated to be at least average with the possibility of plus depending on how well he commands them. He will also mix in both a changeup and slider from time to time, but Chris Mellen of Baseball Prospectus noted that it is only a "show me pitch", just used to give the hitter one other thing to think about at the plate. There are concerns about Workman's ability to stick in the rotation long-term, due to consistency issues regarding both his delivery and control.
What's Keeping Him From Contributing Now?
Workman is not on the 40-man roster, and would need to be added in order to be called up. There are players that could conceivably be removed from the 40-man to get Workman onto the roster, but as noted by Over the Monster's Twitter account, it could be hard going for the team to actually decide to move him on there if they don't need to. That said, the team will need to protect him in the upcoming offseason, so the idea that you will lose massively by moving him there now seems a bit of a stretch.
When Could He Arrive?
I could see the team bringing him up at some point this season, if nothing else to see what they have in terms of a potential rotation candidate. The concerns about him being able to stick in the rotation seem to stand out, but if the team has a need in the rotation, they could do worse than giving Workman a shot.
What Could He Do For Fantasy Owners Once He Gets There?
Workman profiles as a streaming starter should he be called up, and ownable in AL-only formats and extremely deep formats. He should provide a decent amount of strikeouts and a reasonable set of ratios, but it seems like the potential for a blow up start exists there.