After finishing a strong 2013 season with AAA Oklahoma City, 25-year-old Asher Wojciechowski will report to Kissimmee later this month with hopes of acquiring a spot in the Astros starting rotation.
Wojciechowski was drafted 41st overall in the compensation round by the Toronto Blue Jays out of The Citadel (Charleston, SC) in 2010. He only started three games with low-A Auburn in 2010, even though he signed shortly after draft day.
His first full minor-league season was spent at high-A Dunedin, where he posted a 1.43 WHIP and 10.8 H/9 over 22 starts. A 3.10 K/BB ratio helped Wojciechowski mute the high hit totals, and he finished 2011 with a 4.70 ERA. A return to Dunedin in 2012 appeared to help stabilize Wojciechowski, as he saw improvement in WHIP (1.21), H/9 (8.8) and an already solid K/BB rate (3.45).
Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow and his scouting staff took notice, as Wojciechowski was included in a July 2012 trade that netted the Astros needed minor-league depth.
Now a member of the Corpus Christi Hooks, Wojciechowski sparkled in his Texas League debut. In 43.2 IP with the Hooks, he pitched to a 2.06 ERA over eight starts to finish the year. Wojciechowski’s primary three pitches are a fastball, slider and change-up.
The Astros scouting staff clearly liked what they saw from Wojciechowski to begin 2013, as he was promoted to AAA Oklahoma City on May 2, only six starts into his season. He kept the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League bats in check over 22 appearances (21 starts), with a Batting Average Against of only .229 and a ground ball rate of almost 60 percent. In a Ju
The Astros added the 6’4”, 235 lb. righthander to their 40-man roster this offseason, protecting him from being taken in the Rule 5 draft during the Winter Meetings.
Armed with a solid three-pitch mix (fastball, slider and changeup) Wojciechowski should present a strong case to win a rotation at the end of Spring Training. He’ll likely battle several candidates, including Dallas Keuchel and Alex White.
With his advanced age for AAA, it is in Wojciechowski’s best interest to set himself apart from other similar arms to ensure a spot with the parent club on Opening Day. The Astros rebuilt bullpen likely sees less spots open as opposed to 2013, so there isn’t any guarantee Wojciechowski opens in Houston as a reliever.