The Future of the Houston Astros Rotation is Bright!
The Corpus Christi Hooks are off to a good start in the AA Texas League. With an 8-5 record, there have been many positive things to look at for the future of the Houston Astros. One of the main positive areas thus far is pitching. Corpus Christi pitching has dominated the Texas League, leading in ERA with 2.72 and strikeouts with 122. One catalyst in the great pitching has been David Paulino, and he the Hooks’ spotlighted player this week.
Paulino started his career in the Dominican Republic. He was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 2010 and has slowly made his way through the Minor Leagues. In 2013, he was traded with other prospects (including Francis Martes) in a deal for Jose Veras. That same year he had Tommy John surgery, but he has since recovered fully and is performing exceedingly well. Though playing well in the Rookie League, he still stayed there three seasons from 2011-13. Finally, in 2015, he was given the opportunity to play at the various A-Levels and, for the most part, has pitched well. Now he is taking advantage of the opportunity given to him with the Hooks.
Paulino’s main strength is his ability to throw the fastball by opposing hitters. He is a flamethrower and can overpower even the best of hitters. He was able to recover from injury very well and remains one of the Astros’ top pitching prospects.
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Paulino earned the invite he received to the Big League Spring Training this March. Though he did not perform very well and did not stay the whole spring, Astros fans and management were still able to see the potential Paulino has to succeed at the Major League level. Up to this point in his Minor League career, Paulino has generally been a mid-2.00 ERA pitcher. Due to his fantastic fastball, the batting average against him is usually very low, around .220 or less most years.
The main question with Paulino is his health and ability to pitch many games in a season, as he has never pitched in more than 13 games in a year before. That hopes to change this season, and he is off to a great start. He hasn’t won or lost a game so far this year, but that certainly is not his fault. Paulino has 16 strikeouts in 13 innings and currently has a 2.08 ERA.
With the poor start by the Astros starters, pitchers like Paulino, Martes, and Joseph Musgrove may see themselves getting promoted faster. We may see some or none of them this year, but the future the Astros have at the starting pitching position is exciting for Astros fans.
*All stats via milb.com*