Houston Astros: Top Four Players to Protect in Rule V Draft

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Astros 9th top prospect Joe Musgrove Photo Credit by Tammy Tucker

Joseph Musgrove

Musgrove is the crown jewel of the Rule V eligible players, which is surprising since before 2015, he really hadn’t lived up to his draft rank. Musgrove was drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Musgrove was later traded in the J.A. Happ trade in 2012. At the time, he was supposed to be one of the key players in return for Happ. When the trade happened, I thought this guy could be with the Astros soon, and then we didn’t hear much about him until this past year.

Musgrove pitched at three different levels in 2015, making up for some of the lost time from injuries in previous seasons. I had the pleasure of interviewing him over the phone, then later got to meet him with the help of former Astros top prospect, Brett Phillips. You can check out his interview here: Keeping Up with the Astros Prospects: (RHP) Joe Musgrove.

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Musgrove represents a future pitcher who could be a number two or three pitcher, He is tall, 6’5”, and uses the height to throw off the hitters with a good downhill motion and low 90’s fastball. The Astros will not call him up to become a member of the bullpen; his future is in the rotation. While he is not in the MLB Pipeline top 100 top prospect list, Musgrove could join the list with a strong 2016 in Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies until he is needed in the big league rotation.

Musgrove had one of those seasons that most people can only dream of having. Hopefully, his dream of reaching the big leagues will happen soon. He’s a good pitcher and won the Astros pitcher of the year in Houston’s minor league system. I guess going 12-1 will open some eyes, it opened my eyes.

Next: Houston Astros: Weeding out the 40-man roster, Villar, Grossman.

2015 Stats from Baseball-Reference: 12-1/ 1.88 ERA/ 99 strikeouts in 100 2/3 innings.

Verdict: Luhnow will be on the hot seat if they do not protect Musgrove.