Boston Red Sox starting pitching prospect Chase Shugart has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for banned substances. The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey first reported the news, noting that this is Shugart’s second failed
Chase Shugart, Boston Red Sox Pitching Prospect, Suspended 50 Games
Just like fellow 2018 draftees Triston Casas and Nick Decker, Chase Shugart had an abbreviated 2018 season. Pitching just eight innings, Shugart recorded an encouraging 1.13 ERA, nine strikeouts, and just one walk. Shugart pitched in both the Dominican Summer League and with the short-season Lowell Spinners, making a combined four starts between the two levels. It’s obviously a small sample size, but Shugart impressed when he was on the mound.
Shugart currently has a four-pitch mix, although some of his pitches aren’t nearly as good as others. His fastball sits in the mid-90’s and has some life when thrown down in the zone. His slider, while somewhat inconsistent, offers great break and has swing-and-miss opportunity.
Shugart’s curveball and changeup aren’t nearly as good as those two pitches, but they can be used as complements. Shugart is confident enough in his curveball to throw it in any situation, although he probably shouldn’t. The pitch is inconsistent, but when thrown correctly, has serviceable break and movement. His changeup, meanwhile, has a long way to go. While it’s deceiving out of his hand, Shugart cannot locate it with any type of consistency. If he keeps the pitch long-term, it should only be used in rare situations.
Shugart finished the season as the 21st-ranked prospect via SoxProspects.com and my 23rd overall prospect. This news obviously hits his prospect stock, but there’s still plenty of time for the righty to turn it around. Michael Chavis underwent a similar suspension in 2018 yet returned to the field better than ever.