Even with the graduation of shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox's farm system has continued to be an area of strength for the club this season. It will showcase its best talents Wednesday, when the club's top two prospects are scheduled to take the mound for its top two affiliates.
Left-hander Henry Owens (No. 1) will get the ball for Double-A Portland against Erie at 7 p.m. ET, while right-hander Allen Webster (No. 2) is slated to start for Triple-A Pawtucket at Durham at 7:05 p.m. Both games can be seen on MiLB.TV.
Owens, ranked No. 26 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, has thrown seven scoreless innings in back-to-back starts. He is 6-3 with a 2.52 ERA this season. He leads the Eastern League with 68 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.
Erie is led by Tigers No. 2 prospect Devon Travis, who is ranked as the fourth-best second baseman. Travis missed more than a month due to an oblique injury, but he has come back strong. In 15 games since returning to the lineup, he is hitting .324 with 10 extra-base hits.
Webster, ranked No. 38 on the Top 100, is coming off his best start of the season. He held Norfolk to one run on three hits and struck out seven batters in eight innings Friday. Overall this season, he is 3-2 and ranks ninth in the International League with a 2.93 ERA.
Webster will have the benefit of having No. 5 Boston prospect Mookie Betts in the lineup. Ranked No. 52 in the Top 100, he was promoted from Portland on Tuesday and went 0-for-4 with a walk in his Triple-A debut. Betts led the Eastern League with a .355 batting average at the time of his promotion.
Durham will turn to left-hander Mike Montgomery, the Rays' No. 18 prospect, to face Webster. Their offense is led by shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, the Rays' No. 1 prospect and No. 70 overall, and outfielder Mikie Mahtook, the club's No. 14 prospect. Mahtook ranks third in the International League with a .338 batting average.
Owens and Webster won't be the only pitchers ranked in the Top 100 on the mound Wednesday. Right-hander Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' No. 3 prospect and No. 93 overall, is slated to start for Class A Delmarva against Hagerstown at 6:35 p.m.
Top prospect probables:
Jason Adam (Royals' No. 8), Northwest Arkansas vs. Tulsa
Chris Anderson (Dodgers' No. 5), Rancho Cucamonga vs. Visalia
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 6), Richmond vs. Trenton
Paul Blackburn (Cubs' No. 14), Kane County vs. Clinton
Parker Bridwell (Orioles' No. 15), Frederick at Salem
Jamie Callahan (Red Sox's No. 18), Greenville vs. Lexington
Zach Davies (Orioles' No. 12), Bowie at New Hampshire
Kendry Flores (Giants' No. 20), San Jose vs. High Desert
Ismael Guillon (Reds' No. 9), Dayton at Bowling Green
Hunter Harvey (Orioles' No. 3), Delmarva vs. Hagerstown
Luke Jackson (Rangers' No. 7), Frisco vs. San Antonio
Michael Lorenzen (Reds' No. 4), Pensacola vs. Jacksonville
Cody Martin (Braves' No. 9), Gwinnett vs. Columbus
Keury Mella (Giants' No. 19), Augusta vs. Rome
Bryan Mitchell (Yankees' No. 13), Trenton at Richmond
Mike Montgomery (Rays' No. 18), Durham vs. Pawtucket
Aaron Northcraft (Braves' No. 14), Mississippi at Montgomery
Henry Owens (Red Sox No. 1), Portland vs. Erie
Joely Rodriguez (Pirates' No. 19), Altoona vs. Binghamton
Angel Sanchez (Marlins' No. 16), Jacksonville at Pensacola
Mark Sappington (Angels' No. 4), Inland Empire at Lancaster
Luis Severino (Yankees' No. 9), Charleston at Hickory
Eric Surkamp (White Sox No. 20), Charlotte vs. Rochester
Jake Thompson (Tigers' No. 3), Lakeland vs. Fort Myers
Austin Voth (Nationals' No. 26), Hagerstown vs. Delmarva
Allen Webster (Red Sox's No. 2), Pawtucket at Durham