Jarred Cosart will be next. He will also be the first. Or at least tied for first.
Jarred Cosart (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)
This season was and is all about the stable of dynamic prospects the Astros have. George Springer and Jonathan Singleton were just promoted to AAA recently, but Cosart has been there all season. The starter is also the most major league ready of Houston’s top prospects.
Cosart, along with Singleton, was the centerpiece of the Hunter Pence trade in 2011. The Pence deal was the biggest and surest sign that the Astros were rebuilding, and the two prospects quickly became the top prospects of the minor league system.
The 23-year old had a successful minor league season in 2012 but he only pitched 27.2 innings in AAA. For that reason, Jeff Luhnow rightfully sent Cosart back to Oklahoma City to start 2013.
Had Singleton not been suspended to start the season, it is very likely that he would have beaten Cosart to Houston. At this point, it appears that Cosart and Singleton will make their major league debuts together. And that is only right as they are and will be the centerpieces of the rebuilding process for the Astros.
Taking Mark Appel out of the equation, there are other Astros’ pitching prospects that have generated more buzz and excitement than Cosart this season. But that does not mean that Cosart has not been pitching well. It is almost like he was forgotten about down in Oklahoma City, though to no fault of his own.
The recent struggles of Dallas Keuchel, the mediocrity and perhaps slim trade value of Erik Bedard, along with swirling trade rumors regarding Bud Norris, means that there should be at least one open rotation spot in the near future. And that spot will have Cosart’s name on it.
But before Cosart makes the trip down to Houston, he still has some unfinished business left in the minor leagues. On Monday Cosart was named to represent Oklahoma City in the PCL All-Star game. Now this is not the red hot and prospect filled AA, so there are only two players representing the RedHawks.
Without question, Cosart is deserving of the honor. He has started 16 games so far this season and sports a 7-4 record while striking out 90 batters in 87.2 innings. The only issue here though, is that his WHIP is 1.29. His ERA is 2.98, which does prove that he can pitch his way out of trouble. However, it is a little troubling though when projecting his performance to the major leagues. His command struggles have delayed his call-up to Houston. Although as of late, his command has improved.
We will be seeing Cosart in Houston soon, and there is no reason why he won’t be a fixture in the Astros’ rotation for the next 10-15 years.