John Fay thinks Brad Boxberger’s MLB ETA may be Opening Day 2011:
But Boxberger is probably the player with no big-league experience who has the best chance to make the Reds out of spring training.
We’re basing that on three things: (1) The Reds are going to need bullpen help; (2) Boxberger has top-shelf stuff; and (3) and he took a big step from 2010 to 2011.
Boxberger, a 23-year-old right-hander, went 2-4 with a 2.03 ERA while splitting time pretty evenly between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville. In 62 innings, he allowed 32 hits, walked 28 and struck out 93.
No question Boxberger has great stuff. Remember, he was selected as a supplemental first round pick in 2009, the same year Cincinnati took Mike Leake. He throws hard, and he’s been throwing even harder since being switched to the bullpen.
Boxberger is out in Arizona, playing in the Arizona Fall League. His debut was pretty good: 18 pitches, 14 strikes, struck out all four hitters he faced, and picked up the save.
He’d look pretty good in the RHP bullpen spot that has been filled by the Carlos Fishers and Jordan Smiths of the world.