Yesterday, the Houston Astros claimed right handed pitcher Blake King off of waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. He was added to the 40 man roster and then optioned down to the Corpus Christi Hooks. King is the second pitcher coming over from the Cardinals in the last year as the Astros traded Pedro Feliz for right handed pitcher David Carpenter. Carpenter is currently playing for Oklahoma City RedHawks.
Blake King has struggled the past few years and has been in the Cardinals minor league system since 2006 but at age 24, he still has a chance to turn it around. In 2009, Baseball America rated Blake King as having the best slider in the Cardinals minor league system. This season though he has an ERA of 11.30 in 14.1 innings pitched. King’s biggest issue to this point has been his control as he has given up 24 walks compared to just 20 strikeouts.
In 2010 though was King’s best season as he had a record of 4-3, pitched 68 innings and had 84 strikeouts to just 48 walks. If King can get his control back and his slider is as good as Baseball America believes, he could be a quality arm coming out of the bullpen in a year or two for the Astros.