To find right-handed pitcher Madison Younginer in the Boston Red Sox media guide, you must keep turning pages. And there he is, on page 556.

Younginer, John Madison IV.

The minor leaguers are always in the back of the guide, and in alphabetical order.

Based on Younginer’s draft status in 2009, some expected him to be closer to the front of the media guide by now – with the rest of the major leaguers, or those close to the majors.

“It has taken longer than I wanted,” Younginer said of his progress.

But now, in his sixth year, Younginer is showing signs of the promise the Red Sox saw when they drafted him out of Mauldin High School in South Carolina and signed him for a $975,000 bonus.

Younginer, 24, is putting up the best numbers of his pro career with the Portland Sea Dogs, with a 2.95 ERA in 33 appearances (64 innings). His 1.20 WHIP (walks and hits per inning) and 2.8 walks per nine innings are also personal bests.

“All the years I’ve had him, this is the one year, from start to finish, he has been consistent,” said Portland pitching coach Kevin Walker, who also tutored Younginer in Class A Salem the previous two seasons.

“The numbers speak for themselves because of that.”

Those numbers will likely keep Younginer in pro ball, whether with the Red Sox or someone else. Younginer will be a minor league free agent after the season, assuming Boston does not move him onto its 40-man roster. In free agency, Younginer can take the best offer.

While Younginer always figured to be working his way to Fenway Park, baseball is a business, “and I have to look out for my best interest,” he said.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Younginer brings a 95 mph fastball with a much improved curveball and developing change-up.

“He always had a good breaking ball, but was not getting that over the plate consistently,” Walker said. “The two things he’s done well this year are throw his fastball for strikes and his curveball for strikes … been more consistent, getting ahead in counts.”

When Younginer pitches ahead in the count, hitters are batting only .157 against him. When he’s behind in the count, they’re batting .326.

Overall, teams are batting .236 against Younginer (another personal best). His strikeouts are down a tick (to 6.2 per nine innings), but Younginer is now pitching – not just firing it in there.

Developing pitchers out of high school is never an exact science. Boston’s success with high draft picks is mixed. Jon Lester was a second-round pick in 2002 and he turned out OK. Boston picked Michael Bowden in the first round in 2005 and he saw some major league time.

Boston also drafted Caleb Clay (first round, 2006) and Brock Huntzinger (third round, 2007). Both pitched for the Sea Dogs and eventually left for others teams in free agency. Neither has pitched in the majors.

First-round pick Trey Ball (seventh overall selection in 2013) is moving through the Boston system, with a 4.19 ERA in Salem.

Younginer was drafted when the signing deadlines were later and did not join the Red Sox until mid-August 2009, while giving up a scholarship to Clemson. He did not pitch in 2009, but toiled for short-season Lowell in 2010 and 2011.

He moved onto Greenville, 11 miles from Mauldin, in 2012. But Younginer did not shine in front of the local crowd, compiling a 1-8 record and 7.29 ERA in 13 games (12 starts), walking 30 in 54 innings. He then spent over two months on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle.

In 2013, the Red Sox switched Younginer to relief.

“When I was drafted, my agent said I’d probably become a back-end bullpen type,” Younginer said.

He reached Salem in 2013, stayed there last season and seems to be breaking out this season.

“He looks more confident on the mound,” Walker said.

But what about Boston’s confidence in Younginer? The Red Sox have a decision to make: Do they let him go or move him to the front of the media guide?