(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
McHugh went 11-9 with a 2.73 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .208 BAA, and 9.14 K/9 ratio. He was a terrific surprise as a young arm and finished with MLB’s highest rookie pitching WAR (3.4). He struckout 157 batters while allowing 117 hits, 41 walks, 47 earned runs, and 13 home runs in 25 starts (154.2 innings pitched). He needed just 5.1 more innings to qualify among AL pitching leaders, but would have ranked sixth in ERA and sixth in strikeout percentage (25.4%). He was also named the Astros’ Rookie of the Year.
The 27-year-old McHugh went 7-0 with 66 inning pitched, 55 strikeouts, seven walks, and a 1.77 ERA in his final 10 starts of the 2014 season. He should be in the mix for AL Rookie of the Year with Chicago’s Jose Abreu and New York’s Masahiro Tanaka. Although it’s unlikely he wins the award, McHugh was an incredibly nice surprise for the Astros this season and will be a big part of their plans moving forward.