The most exciting thing to happen to the Houston Astros this season will take place on Friday night. Following Wednesday night’s loss, it was announced that the Astros were going to promote top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart from AAA to face the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. Cosart was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade during the 2011 season. With all of the buzz surrounding the 23-year old righty, I can’t help but wonder exactly what can we expect from Cosart?
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsJarred Cosart has electric stuff. He throws a mid-90s fastball and mixes in a sharp-breaking curve. He does have a changeup as well, but it’s still a work in progress. Before being called up, Jarred was 7-4 with a 3.19 ERA at Oklahoma City. Cosart has been a strikeout artist this season at AAA, striking out right at a batter per inning. His big weakness throughout his career has been his walks allowed. This season he has allowed 4.84 BB/9 innings. With that control, he should fit right in with the rest of the Astros’ rotation.
What I will be watching for is how Cosart handles adversity. My main worry with him is his mental toughness. MLB pitchers must be able to move on from mistakes. They also must be able to answer questions from the media after a tough outing, without being offended. I have interacted with Jarred on twitter several times during the last year, and from those encounters I could tell that he could not handle criticism very well.
Jarred Cosart has Major League caliber stuff. I believe that he will get an extended audition during the rest of this season and give the Astros the opportunity to see where he will fit going forward. Many of the scouting reports that I’ve read say that they see Cosart as more of a late-inning relief guy. If he is going to prove those scouts wrong and stick in the rotation, he will need to limit his pitches by cutting down on walks so that he can pitch deep into games. Whether Friday’s start is a success or a compete failure, one thing is for sure: fans will finally have a reason to tune in to see (or hear) this one!