Guduan was left unprotected from the Rule 5 draft last December and wasn't claimed because, despite his impressive velocity, he has had less than impressive command in the past. However, according to Hooks Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski, Guduan has improved tremendously on that front.
Borkowski called Guduan's four strikeout appearance on Saturday his worst appearance command-wise of the young season. "That's the worst he's been so far. So, yeah, he's coming along really well throwing strikes. He was able to throw a 2-1 slider for a strike which he's going to have to do. He's going to have to throw behind-in-the-count sliders to lefties."
Reymin Guduan - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen
When I mentioned how Guduan made it look so easy, Borkowski responded, "And that's what's changed. In year's past, it didn't look easy. He was high anxiety, over work. He put a lot of pressure on himself (to throw strikes). And this year he looks really relaxed. Mechanically, I haven't done anything with him here. It's just his attitude that he's a lot more relaxed, a lot more under control with himself."
Guduan won't make it through another Rule 5 draft without being picked off. But that may be a moot point. With his continued improvement, he will likely make the Astros 40-man roster and his major league debut long before the November deadline to protect players.