Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Getting to Know Astros/Hooks RHP Chris Devenski

RHP Chris Devenski has had a phenomenal start to his 2015 season for the Corpus Christi Hooks, already earning Pitcher of the Week honors in the Texas League and Player of the Month honors from the Astros organization. In 19.1 innings of work (4 games, 2 starts), he is 2-0 with 1 save, a 0.00 ERA and a 0.621 WHIP. He has walked only 4 batters while striking out 16. Hitters are only managing to hit .121 against him, and he's holding lefties to a .059 batting average. On April 25th, Devenski threw 6.1 no-hit innings in a 7-inning game before being taken out of the game. He is no stranger to no-hitters, having tossed one in the final game of the season in 2012 for the Lexington Legends.

Hooks Manager Rodney Linares said of Devenski, "He's taken it to heart to work as hard as he can every day," so much so that some of the staff are concerned that he may overwork himself. But as Linares puts it, "It's a marathon, not a sprint. I know that, but it's hard for me to tell a kid not to work, and hard work pays off. It's paid off for him. He's been amazing."

Linares continued, "The good thing with (Devenski) is that even when he's behind in the count, he will make that one good pitch to get back into the count or to get the guy out. He mixes real well. What's not to like about what Devo is doing this year? Hopefully, he can maintain it. He's not on anybody's list, but he's definitely on our list. Hopefully he can maintain it and probably pitch in the big leagues."

Before Saturday's game, Devenski was being being interviewed by Hooks media director Chris Blake about his terrific start and the Player of the Month honors. Blake asked Devenski about his circle changeup which has been described by Hooks Pitching Coach Doug Brocail as a "major league changeup." It turns out that early in his career, his teammates came up with a nickname for that pitch ... The Circle of Death.

I talked with Devenski on Sunday about overcoming struggles, his success against lefties, what makes his changeup so effective, interacting with the fans and more. (I apologize for the shakiness of the video ... I promise that I wasn't inebriated!)


For much, much more on the Astros minor league system and all the players, purchase the highly rated 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook!


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