Jun 18, 2013; Dayton, OH, USA; West pitcherLance McCullers
throws against the East All-Stars in the first inning during the Midwest League-All Star Game at Fifth Third Field. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Who’s Hot: Lance McCullers
Everyone knows about Mark Appel and is tracking his progress, but I want to talk about Lance McCullers. McCullers is off to a near perfect start to the 2015 season and seems improved from 2014. McCullers’s start looks like a guy who is hungry to pitch in the major leagues. If he keeps pitching the way he is now, it won’t be long before he takes the mound for the Astros.
McCullers pitched for the High-A Lancaster Jethawks for all of the 2014 season, where he had a 3-6 record, a 5.47 ERA and gave up 18 home runs. Starting off 2015 in Corpus Christi, he owns a 0.00 ERA through 10 innings pitched with only six hits allowed and striking out 12 hitters. The early stages of 2015 has been a perfect start to the season for Lance, who I bet feels like he can compete with Mark Appel to be the ace of the Astros in the future. This competition will be one to keep an eye on, but I still expect Mark Appel to make the majors first, partly because management is so high on him, and he’s a bigger name.
Lance McCullers, as well as all the other minor league pitchers in the Astros system, will have a good shot at making the majors this season and next season. Because of with the lack of starting pitching talent in the back-end of the rotation. Roberto Hernandez is a solid stopgap pitcher, but he definitely doesn’t have a long-term future in Houston, and Brad Peacock is battling all sorts of injury issues, so there are openings definitely there for the taking.
Next: Who's Not Part 2