Sept 16, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Collin McHugh (43) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Collin McHugh: Player Profile


Collin McHugh was claimed off waivers by the Astros on December 18, after spending parts of 2013 with the Rockies and Mets.

McHugh, a 6’2″ 195 lb. righthanded pitcher , originally signed with the New York Mets after being drafted in the 18th round in 2008 out of Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia.  He appeared as primarily a starter during a steady ascent through the Mets farm system, with his best work coming in 2012.  Over 148.1 innings pitched spread over the AA and AAA levels, McHugh posted a stellar 2.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 8.2 K/9.

Finally promoted to the parent club on August 23, 2012, McHugh started in his major league debut, pitching seven shutout innings and striking out nine.  He would make three more starts and four relief appearances with the Mets to finish 2012.

After spending the first six weeks of 2013 in the minors, McHugh was recalled to make four appearances for the Mets.  After joining the Rockies organization via trade on June 18, he would spend a month with two different Rockies minor affiliates.  He would make only four starts for the Rockies, logging a 1.84 WHIP over 19 innings.

McHugh posts a league average groundball percentage (43.8% in 2013), an attractive trait to the Astros scouting staff.  His minor league strikeout rate over four years was 8.8 per 9 innings pitched, so it appears that the major league strikeout rate was an anomaly.  If those two traits show steady improvement, McHugh appears to be a strong buy-low candidate for the Astros.

An effective spring could have Collin McHugh breaking camp as a long reliever in the revamped Astros bullpen.  Should there be a rash of injuries or ineffectiveness, McHugh could be seen as a rotational band-aid.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

 

 

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  • 1oldpro

    What about his stuff? What does he throw? Best pitch? What’s holding him back. What are his projections? Where does he end up in April?

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Ultimately, I think the best parallel I can draw to McHugh is Lucas Harrell. I’m not sure he is capable of the “good” 2012, Harrell, but he is that type of pitcher less the attitude. With 3 of 7 bullpen roles filled and likely 4 of 5 rotation spots, I think a lot has to happen for McHugh to make the Astros out of Spring Training. It is possible depending on performance, but I think they more likely result has Luhnow trying to sneak him through waivers to get him to AAA. It will probably come down to how he pitches compared to Anthony Bass since they both have options and will likely fill the same role.

      He hasn’t done much in the majors, and has had some success in the minors. McHugh was never a top prospect with the Mets, but starting in 2008 he moved up the system at a decent, but not accelerated pace. i would expect to see strike out 7-8 batters per 9 nine innings, and have a decent ERA while scattering a few walks. Hits about 90 on the gun, doesn’t have crazy good stuff, and won’t really over power you, but he can get outs.

  • Steve

    I’m surprised Harrell is still on the 40-man, so McHugh could be seen as his replacement with a strong spring. Harreell just never seemed to take once he was demoted due to poor performance.

    Turnover needed to happen in the bullpen, and Jeff Luhnow hasn’t hesitated in seeking out reliable options.

    That said, I’d guess Luhnow and Porter see Albers, Qualls and Crain (if healthy) as their 7th, 8th and 9th-inning options. McHugh is as likely to get sent to OKC than to end up at MMP for Opening Day.