In his very first game of 2016, Venezuelan pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza is already giving Red Sox fans reasons to be excited about his future.
Espinoza -- Boston's No. 4 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline -- tossed five scoreless frames in his season debut with Class A Greenville on Friday. The right-hander, who is baseball's No. 38 overall prospect, limited Asheville to just two hits while striking out four batters. He tossed 63 pitches, 43 of them for strikes.
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Despite Espinoza's five scoreless frames, he did not win as Greenville allowed six runs in the seventh and ultimately lost, 6-4.
Espinoza, who turned 18 last month, signed with the Red Sox in August 2014 for $1.8 million, doubling the Venezuelan bonus record set by Francisco Rodriguez in 1998. He posted a 0.68 ERA in 10 starts (40 innings) with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox last season.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.