One of the main benefits to come out of the Astros drafting Carlos Correa first overall, and I mean beyond acquiring Correa, is that the money saved allowed Jeff Luhnow to draft Lance McCullers Jr. in the second round.
Lance McCullers (David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports)
The entire Astros farm system has been nothing short of dominating this season. Leading that domination and system wide success has been a strong stable of starting pitchers. However, partly because he is only at Houston’s A-ball affiliate in Quad Cities, I feel that McCullers has almost been forgotten about.
McCullers last start of the season prior to being shut down for the year, came on August 15th, and it was not a good one. In five innings he gave up five runs on five hits and four walks while only striking out two batters. However in McCullers’ start prior to that, he pitched six innings and only allowed one run.
With that being the case, it is hard to make the argument that McCullers needed to be shut down because he was tired and due to poor performance. In general, all season the 19-year old’s performance was up and down, but overall he was pretty darn good this season. I think it was the correct decision to shut him down for the season, as there is no need to over exert him this early in his young career. This week, let’s take a look at McCullers’ season stats.
104.2 innings pitched, 25 games, 19 starts, 6-5, 3.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 93 hits, 49 walks, 117 strikeouts
Overall for a young pitcher in his first extended professional action, McCullers performed quite well. Obviously, you would like to see him reduce the walks, but other than that, I really do not have anything bad to say about his season.
I would expect to see him open next season with AA Corpus Christi, and don’t think we can expect to see him in Houston before 2015 at the earliest. But for now, the future seems to be a bright one for McCullers.