Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Astros Minor League Depth - Starting RHP Pt. 2

As Spring Training approaches, I've been looking at the Astros minor league depth, position by position. Because of the sheer number of pitchers in the organization, I really needed to break them down into groups. Today, we look at the right-handed starting pitchers in the organization who had the best seasons in 2012 playing on short season clubs.

Lance McCullers - August 2012
Photo by Jayne Hansen

The embedded chart shows the pitchers ranged from low to high in terms of WHIP. I have noted their current age and the last level at which they played.



2012 college draft picks Aaron West, Daniel Minor and Brady Rodgers had simply outstanding first seasons in the organization, as did NDFA Lance Day.

Astros supplemental first rounder, Lance McCullers, was kept on a strict pitch count, but was nonetheless impressive in his limited time. The Blue Jays supplemental first rounder from 2011, Kevin Comer, came to the organization very late in the season as the PTBNL in the 10-player July trade. Adrian Houser, the Astros second rounder from 2011 showed definite improvement over his freshman season.

Samil de los Santos in his second season and Elieser Hernandez in his first both had good seasons for the DSL Astros. Agapito Barrios and Edison Frias both made the transition from the DSL in their first season to the GCL in their second quite nicely, although Barrios needs to work on his control (8 hit batters and 11 wild pitches for the short season).

Both Raul Rivera and Vincent Velasquez missed the 2011 season completely due to injury which makes their 2012 results that much more impressive.

Michael Feliz' ERA and WHIP for the GCL Astros was practically microscopic before his promotion to Greeneville. Feliz, who only turned 19 in September, will likely start the season back at Greeneville.

Juri Perez had fantastic numbers at Tri-City, and made five appearances (three starts) for Lexington. I look for him to start the season with Quad Cities.

There are two other pitchers that I will be keeping an eye on in 2013 that were with the Greeneville squad in 2012. Francis Ramirez had a fairly average season, but his strikeout rate was worthy of notice. Unfortunately, his walk rate caught my notice too, but not the good kind of notice. The other is Joe Musgrove, another 2011 first round supplemental pick by the Blue Jays who came to the Astros organization in the July trade. Musgrove was limited to only 17 innings coming off an injury in 2012. I assume that Musgrove will still be groomed to be a starter, at least for now, but that isn't necessarily a given.

I'm not making many predictions as to where these players will be playing in 2013, but most of those who played at Tri-City will probably go to full season A at Quad Cities. Most of the others will likely play at some level of short season ball after spending time in extended spring training.

Monday: Starting RHP in Full Season Clubs
Coming on Wednesday: Right-Handed Relief Pitchers at AA and AAA

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