Bowden Set to Battle in 2009

Michael Bowden was a supplemental first round pick of Boston’s in 2005 out of an Illinois high school. The right-hander does not get the press that some of Boston’s other prospects do, but he could very well spend a significant period of time in the Major Leagues in 2009.

He currently projects as a third or fourth starter with an 88-92 mph fastball. During a one-game stint in Boston earlier this season, Bowden also flashed a solid change-up and curveball. He held the White Sox to two runs in five innings after allowing seven hits and a walk, to go along with three strikeouts. He worked up in the strike zone a little too much and induced just three ground balls, along with 11 fly balls and four line drives.

While at Double-A earlier in the year, Bowden posted a 2.33 ERA and allowed just 72 hits in 104.1 innings. He walked 24 batters (2.07 BB/9) and struck out 101 (8.71 K/9). Promoted to Triple-A, he allowed 40 hits in as many innings and walked five (1.13 BB/9). He struck out 29 (6.53 K/9). At both levels, Bowden also struggled with allowing too many fly balls although homers were more of an issue at Triple-A (1.13 HR/9), than Double-A (0.43 HR/9).

Despite some minor struggles, Bowden has positioned himself to receive consideration for a spot in Boston’s starting rotation in 2009, especially if Clay Buchholz continues to struggle.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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