Meet the New Faces: Kyle Hart
The Red Sox rounded out their 40-man roster on Tuesday by adding 5 players. Those 5 players, along with the other players on the 40-man roster will be protected from being taken in the Rule 5 draft. It is time to meet the new additions to the 40-man roster. Some could be ready to contribute in 2020 to the big club. Kyle Hart is one of the 5 names that made it onto the 40-man.
The Profile for Kyle Hart
Kyle Hart fits the mold that most of the Red Sox affiliates have for pitching. Outside of a select few, none are extremely intriguing. That being said, Kyle Hart is a 27 year old lefty that was taken back in the 2016 draft. The Red Sox selected him in the 19th round of that draft.
According to Sox Prospects, Hart has a profile like recently departed Brian Johnson. His fastball sits around 87-90 MPH but he can dial it up to 92 when he needs it. He also mixes in a curveball, cutter and a change-up. Unfortunately, his change-up sits in the low 80s, which doesn’t give the separation needed to keep hitters off balance in the Majors.
Hart isn’t too big of a strikeout guy. Last season at Pawtucket, he struck out 7.2 batters per nine innings. Hart has sat at an average of 7.8 K/9 over the course of his minors career. He really excels at limiting home runs, to his credit. His 0.6 career HR/9 can really help him at the big league level, given the number of home runs pitchers are giving up nowadays.
He projects as a swingman type of pitcher, and that would make sense, given his underlying stuff. He could start games, and come out of the bullpen against lefties, as he is particularly good against left handed hitters. Last season between Double-A and Triple-A, he had a 3.52 ERA. If he can keep that number around there and really limit walks and home runs, he could be a serviceable major league arm.
The Fit for the Red Sox
The Red Sox will need help rounding out their rotation at this point. They currently have Chris a Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi penciled in as their first 4 starters. Having just waived Brian Johnson, there is a void to be filled on the shuttle from Pawtucket to Boston. It seems as though Hart will get a crack at that, depending upon how the offseason shakes out.
The team also has Hector Velazquez in the fold as a player who can be a swingman. Velazquez, however, has been a much better pitcher coming out of the bullpen than he has starting games. It could be that the Red Sox look to use Velazquez as a piggyback starter to Hart, as it stands now. Either way, given the lack of starting depth in the upper levels of the minors, Hart should get a chance to stick with the big club.