¾ arm slot; easy, balanced delivery; consistent timing and pace; stays out in front of ball during landing; low energy expending motion; at times speeds up prior to release and jerks head off target; works from center of rubber; creates explosion via strong back leg drive; loose body; repeats arm slot and delivery
Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA, Red Sox)
No. 3 Starter
Command: average. Movement: heavy sink and downward action, especially from knees to middle of the thighs; arm-side run at 91-92; straight above the belt. Kept ball from top of the thighs to the knees; hit target in lower tier of strike zone consistently; missed plate arm side; hitters consistently late and chewed up; can stand to throw more strikes; misses bats; velocity dipped from 93-97 in first inning to 92-95 in fourth inning and beyond; sat 92-94 in the stretch.
Command: average. Movement: tight and late break; appears like fastball before darting from line of sight. Very deceptive offering when fastball is consistently down in zone; varies shape; can bury or throw for a strike; at times holds onto too long; misses bats; did not throw arm side; only used late in the count, with two strikes.
Command: plus. Movement: arm-side fade, with drop and strong depth. Seamless arm speed; used at any point in the count; extremely deceptive; misses bats; major-league out pitch; keeps hitters way out front; separation between fastball makes up for mistakes; hard to wait back on.
Was barely touched in the outing – one or two hard hit balls in play all night; improved keeping fastball down in the zone; strong life and movement with offering when utilized in that spot; lot of late swings against heater; generated swings and misses with all three of his pitches; eight of nine strikeouts swinging; showed outstanding feel for changeup; slider pattern can become predictable; would like to see Webster pitch with fastball; currently a thrower; will need to prove he can establish inner third against big league right-handed hitters.
Overall, project Webster as a third starter or high-leverage reliever at the major-league level. The stuff is by far good enough to remain as a starter and he can have an arsenal of three plus pitches, but the stamina over the long season and ability to maintain stuff deeper into games is currently a question. Webster almost seems to come out of the gates with too much energy and adrenaline. Part of maturation process will be to manage outings better. I have a tougher time seeing Webster as a 200-plus-inning pitcher year in and year out. He will have to prove his durability and team will likely have to balance wearing him down. Webster’s secondary offerings are well advanced against the level of competition. I feel both the change and slider will continue to miss bats at the next level, but he will use the slider more often earlier in sequences to avoid high quality hitters from jumping on the fastball quickly. Potential to make an All-Star game or two. Reminds me of Tim Hudson.