#3 Option: The Consistency Model – Brian Johnson
Aside from one scuffle in his fifth outing, Brian Johnson has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his 2015 starts. He has seemed to pick up right where he left off in AA Portland and while he would surely benefit from as much seasoning in the minor leagues as possible, the pressing need at the major league level may dictate otherwise. Johnson is older than the other prospects on this list at 24 (for reference Rick Porcello just turned 26), and was considered to be a highly polished college pitcher when the Red Sox drafted him.
Johnson was initially labeled a low-ceiling, high-floor prospect and while that could still end up being the case for his major league value to this point the left-hander has been downright filthy at every level of competition. Johnson thrives with a four pitch mix that he uses to keep hitters on their toes despite lacking a single overpowering pitch. It remains to be seen if he can continue his success at the major league level behind a skill-set that is heavy on intangibles, but he certainly has the appearance of a better option than Masterson and for that he deserves consideration for a tryout with the Red Sox this season.
2015 Stats (Triple A): 2.72 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 4.0 BB/9
Risk: Very Low