Before the 2012 season began, I wrote an article encouraging Astros fans to “Adopt a Prospect”. The purpose of this exercise was to pick a prospect from our recently re-tooled system and follow that player’s progression through the course of the year. I chose to follow Jarred Cosart. Cosart was plagued by a blister problem on his throwing hand that caused his innings to be limited and thus, the Astros sent him to play in the AZ Fall League. Let’s take a look at how he performed during the 2012 season after the jump.
Cosart, as you’ll remember, came over with Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid and Domingo Santana in the Hunter Pence trade on July 30, 2011. He immediately became our best pitching prospect and still holds that title. While Cosart did not blow away opposing batters as was expected this year, he also did not pitch poorly. The one knock on Cosart has always been that he has electric stuff but not electric results. His type of stuff usually generates a lot of strikeouts, but that just hasn’t been the case thus far in his career. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge fan of Jarred and his game. I believe Cosart has all the tools and makeup to be a future ace or #2 starter for the Astros. But, whether or not that happens remains to be seen.
Jarred Cosart (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)
One of Cosart’s best tools is his ability to induce groundballs. This was on display again this year as he was 11% above league average in inducing groundballs for the 2012 season.. His control was shaky again this year as his walk rate was 4.0 BB/9. Now given the fact that his ground ball rate is great, he will likely be able to turn some of those walks into groundballs as he did this year, but the problem is that he can’t rely on that happening at every level. At some point, he will need to cut down on his walk rate.
Cosart began this season at AA Corpus Christi. He had finished the 2011 season with the Hooks as well, after being promoted there following his trade to the Astros. He pitched well, to the tune of a 5-5 record with a 3.52 ERA stretched across 87 innings. He also struck out 68 batters while at AA. He enjoyed a well deserved promotion to AAA Oklahoma City and again pitched well for the RedHawks. He compiled a record of 1-2 with a 2.60 ERA stretched across 27.2 innings while adding 24 strikeouts. Altogether, Cosart’s 2012 season line was a 6-7 record with a 3.30 ERA and 92 strikeouts. All in all, he had a good season. It wasn’t spectacular by any means but it was a solid 2012 campaign for the 22 year old power pitcher.
Some have reported that Cosart will be given a strong look as the Astros closer for the 2012 season, a task Cosart said (through twitter) would be welcomed. I don’t believe he will be the closer. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported that after the Astros signed veteran righty, Jose Veras, Veras was told he would be given the closer’s job. It would make no sense to stick Cosart in the bullpen as a 7th, 8th inning guy or in a mop-up role. My guess is Cosart will begin the 2012 season as a member of the RedHawks starting rotation down at AAA and will be called up at some point this year, either for a spot start or permanently to the big league club. All in all, he had a good season. It wasn’t spectacular by any means but it was a solid 2012 campaign for the 22 year old power pitcher.