Allen Webster was, along with Jackie Bradley Jr., the talk of camp in 2013, and he made his big league debut in April. But much like Bradley, he struggled at the highest level. Many scouts reported Webster just might have ace-level stuff, but I have my doubts which is why he sits at No. 7 on my Boston Red Sox prospect list.
Webster has a good fastball, if not really good, with some reports having clocked him as high as 99 mph, but he typically tops out around 96. He does mix in a curve, slider and change, all of which can play at the big leagues with the weakest being his big slow curve. He has solid control and shows good command of all his pitches.
The concern I have is he throws on a stiff front leg. His mechanics are good until the very end of his motion. At times it appears he is able to throw that hard fastball despite himself. With the stiff front leg he runs the risk of elevating the ball, and in a ballpark like Fenway, an elevated fastball won’t stick around in the park for long.
He does have impressive control that will usually limit the mistakes, and he should be a quality starter for many years. But he’s not an ace. Instead, Webster probably fits more as a third starter or really good four. Of the pitchers in the high minors he might have the second highest ceiling, but consistency is just a bit of a concern for me.
Webster will likely exhaust his rookie eligibility this season, but I don’t see him grabbing hold of a consistent starting spot until the 2015 season.