Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SOX/ROX TALKS CENTER ON AA PITCHER

The Red Sox/Rockies negotiations continue. The Sox have eight days remaining to get a deal done for Julian Tavarez before they have to release him.

Indications are the Red Sox are interested in Rockies Double A pitcher Brandon Hynick in exchange for Tavarez. The 23-year-old Hynick is 2-2 so far this season for the Tulsa Drillers, posting a 4.89 ERA.

Numbers of this sort wouldn't seem to make the 6'3", 205 lb., right-hander untouchable, yet the Rockies claim they are unwilling to move him. In 46 innings Hynick has given up 55 hits to go along with 31 strike outs. And opposing hitters are batting .286 against him.

All of this leads one to wonder why both teams see him as so valuable?

Perhaps it was his performance last year with the Rockies Single A affiliate, the Modesto Nuts. There Hynick -- who was drafted by the Rockies in 2006 -- went 16-5 with a 2.52 ERA. In 182.1 innings, he allowed just 170 hits and only 31 walks, to go along with 136 strike outs. And opposing batters only managed to hit .243 against him.

For his efforts, MiLB.com named him Class A Starting Pitcher of the Year.

That's the kind of potential that both the Rox and Sox see as they assess Hynick. It's still early in the season, but so far the better Double A hitters have proven more difficult for him to handle. The question is, as the competition increases up the minor league ladder, will he be able manage it and make the jump? That's still an unknown.

Right now, the Rockies have to weigh their immediate needs against their belief in Hynick as a potential big league pitcher down the road.

That's a much easier decision for the Red Sox at present.

Copyright © 2008 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.

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