Astros Minor League Report: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not for Double-A Christi Hooks

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

Who’s Hot: Vincent Velasquez

Velasquez, rated by MLB Pipeline as the Astros fourth best prospect joined the Corpus Christi Hooks on May 8th after starting the season with a groin injury. Although Velasquez has had injury issues throughout his minor league career, he is off to a very hot start in Corpus Christi since he recovered.

In five games started, he has a 3-0 record with a 1.37 ERA, 37 strikeouts, a 0.91 WHIP, and only four runs allowed through 26 1/3 innings pitched.

Velasquez is actually pitching nearly to perfection right now with the Hooks. A few days ago, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning when he surrendered a solo home run. In that outing, he threw 61 strikes out of 98 pitches and struck out nine hitters.

This red hot start for Velasquez is really a good sign for him as he had a rough go of it in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a 6.59 ERA across four starts. He really hasn’t had a point in his professional career where he’s pitching like the way that he’s pitching now. It seems like he’s beginning to get a grasp on the game similarly to what we saw from Lance McCullers when he had a dominant month of April in Corpus Christi.

Velasquez’s fastball – which can reach up to 100 mph – has been mowing down Double-A hitters and it seems as if it’s just about ready to be tested with the Astros in Minute Maid Park. If he continues to pitch like this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in an Astros uniform before the end of July.

Next: Who's Not Part 1