Houston Astros Top Prospect Joe Musgrove Makes 2016 Debut
The Corpus Christi Hooks’ 2015 season was definitely one to remember. From current Astros stars Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers to potential future stars A.J. Reed and Colin Moran (as well as others), the Hooks saw their fair share of talent pass through the Sparkling City by the Sea. That should not change this season, as players such Joe Musgrove and Alex Bregman join the already-dangerous roster. This week, the spotlight is on Joseph Musgrove.
Musgrove started out his professional career as a player in the Toronto Blue Jays organization after being drafted in the first round in 2011. Musgrove started out poorly, having more than a 4.00 ERA in each of his first three seasons. In the middle of his second season of struggling, Joe was a part of a large 9-person trade with the Astros centered around J.A. Happ, who struggled for Houston most of the time he spent here. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, the young pitcher has improved dramatically and has risen through the ranks of the minor leagues, as well as the Astros prospect lists.
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Since the beginning of the 2014 season, the young pitcher has improved drastically and has risen through the ranks of the minor leagues, as well as the Astros prospect lists.
Since the 2014 season, Musgrove has compiled a record of 19-2 with a 0.94 WHIP in that period, which is pretty good if you ask me. The not-so-average Joe has quietly become one of the best pitchers in Minor League Baseball. His ERA has also become astounding, 1.88 last season in 19 games. One final stat that makes Musgrove such an intriguing prospect is his strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is 7.64. To put this in comparison, Chris Sale, the player last Major League season with the highest K/BB, had a 6.52.
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Joe Musgrove’s biggest strengths are his high-speed fastball and control over his pitches. Joe’s fastball can reach 95+ mph fairly regularly, and he has a nice slider and curveball that he uses to throw hitters off. His control over his pitches is what really sets him apart from other minor league prospects. As previously stated, he rarely walks hitters which lead to his high K/BB. Musgrove also does not give up many long balls, only 15 in his five-year career. He is poised for another great year, potentially reaching the Major League club at some point.
Musgrove is already off to a great start in the young season. In the Hooks first game of the year, he allowed only one hit in 5 innings of work, striking out 4 and walking no one. The Astros showed that they were not afraid to call up pitchers straight from AA last year, as evident with McCullers and Vincent Velasquez.
If one of the starters on the Astros struggles, could this year potentially be the year that we see Musgrove?