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Astros in Fantasy: Asher Wojciechowski

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Feb 26, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Asher Wojciechowski poses for a picture during photo day at Osceola County Stadium Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Astros fans have begged for Asher Wojciechowski to make the starting rotation with his strong spring showing. Not only has he made the Astros starting rotation, but he will be starting the third game of the season. Does this mean that he is the third best pitcher on the team? Despite the way Wojo pitched this spring, Collin McHugh and Roberto Hernandez would probably rank ahead of him. For this Astros in Fantasy post, we will look at what to expect from Wojciechowski in his rookie season.

What Wojciechowski Did in the Minors

Wojciechowski has played for two organizations in his five minor league seasons, which are the Blue Jays and the Astros. He was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2010 MLB draft, with the 41st overall pick. He was part of the blockbuster trade that sent J.A. Happ to the Blue Jays. While he has always had promise, he has struggled with injuries so far that have held him back.

Throughout his minor league career he has averaged seven strikeouts, two walks, and 0.7 home runs per nine innings pitched. He has had an up and down career so far, but he has shown some control this spring.

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Wojciechowski’s spring stats: 1-0/ 1.29 ERA/ 16 strikeouts in 21 innings/ 1.05 WHIP

During his spring starts, Wojciechowski maintained a quick pace at throwing pitches and pounding the strike-zone. In those 21 innings, he only walked five batters. In his last game of spring versus the Braves, he didn’t have his best stuff during the game. However, with the help of Hank Conger, he only allowed one earned run despite being challenged for the first time this spring.

Here is an MLB.com Top Prospect video of Wojciechowski

Projecting Asher Wojciechowski’s Stats

Below is a projection from Roto Champ:

Without sounding too much like a homer Astros fan, I can’t really see Wojciechowski with such a high ERA, WHIP, and walks. I also don’t see him pitching 200 innings in his rookie year. The Astros may not have as much invested in Wojciechowski as they do in a Mark Appel, but they will still try to protect his arm.

Below is a projection from Fantasy Pros:

This projection could be more realistic about that many innings pitched. Wojciechowski may not be up for the entire season with Brett Oberholtzer, Brad Peacock, and Dan Straily expecting to pitch at some point with the Astros this year. Every day he pitches will be like a tryout, because there will be so much scrutiny on him being a rookie and whether he’s blocking a spot for other pitchers, including Mark Appel at some point in the season.

With that being said, unless he comes out like Collin McHugh did last year, he could be the next Brett Oberholtzer type of pitcher who gets called up and sent back down. I think the Astros still feel like Oberholtzer is a solid pitcher, so when Obie is ready, Wojciechowki will probably be sent down until needed.

Ceiling: Henderson Alvarez

Floor: Jeff Locke

My overall projection: 9-5/ 3.75 ERA/ 98 SO in 103 innings pitched

CTH Writers Projections;

Jason @BaseballMiAmor: 6-4 with a 3.92 and 98 K’s. I don’t think he gets a full slate of games one way or another.

Thomas @obaniont:9-6 with 3.80 ERA with 120 innings and 90 K

Kennon @texasfury93: 6-6 with 125 innings pitched, a 4.25 ERA and 83 strikeouts.

Andy Brown @AndyBrown1314: Keeping my prediction conservative since I think it’s highly likely he’ll get bumped out at times 7-9/4.35/64 K’s in 102 IP.

Andrew Saunders @sandersandrew: I reckon 5-7, 90 innings and a strike per inning average and ERA of 4.20. Assuming he avoids the Tommy John plague of course

Brian @BabyBullDC: He’s my breakout guy, so I’ll go optimistic. 8-6 81 ks in 100 innings with a 3.68 ERA

Evan @Evron17: 7-5/ 3.98/ 89 K in 103 innings

Astros Fans Projections

  • Frank €@SHSU_SHIFFLET: 7-5/ 3.55/ 120 in 140 innings
  • Jay @jay_d53: 6-6, 4.88, 115 in 150 innings. Don’t think he’ll be up for the whole year, but I’d take those #s! #astros

What Other Experts are Saying

From Fantasy Pros:

"Asher Wojciechowski has made the club for the Houston Astros and will start in the third game of the season against the Cleveland Indians. (Astros.com)Fantasy Impact: This news came in conjunction with Brett Oberholtzer being placed on the DL with a blister. Wojciechowski is now draftable and/or worth a pickup in AL-Only leagues, but keep in mind that he could be replaced by Oberholtzer or Brad Peacock when they are healthy."

From Fantasy Alarm:

"Wojciechowski has been enjoying an outstanding spring as he’s posted a 1.29 ERA and 16:5 K:BB over 21 innings. There’s not much of a track record to work off of, but he could be a stable asset in deeper AL-only leagues. He needs to string together a few good outings before he can be trusted in mixed-league play. ANALYST: HOWARD BENDER"

Summary

Asher Wojciechowski is an unknown pitcher in fantasy circles, and he will have to earn his way into the circle of trust for most fantasy owners. You are going to have Astros homers such as Jason Burke rush out to pick up Wojciechowski, but most owners will steer clear for now.

If he pitches a great first game against the Indians, maybe more people will start to take notice. However, the true fantasy baseball owners will risk letting him pitch three games before rushing out to get him. Then you have the streamers, which are the owners like my friend Mike, who picks up a new starting pitcher each day to start them and then drops them before he gets attached.

Wojciechowski probably will not be with the Astros all year, so its hard to truly know what to expect from him. If he pitches like he did in spring training, the Astros might have another diamond in the rough to add to their rotation. He is not viewed as part of the future by most Astros fans, but he can bully his way into people’s hearts this year. Another good thing to say about his chances of success for this year is that he has a better offense to support him. Good luck to Asher Wojciechowski and the rest of the Astros in 2015, and yes I know how to spell his name now.

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