No matter what players the Corpus Christi Hooks lose to promotions up in the Astros system, the team still continues to dominate.
This most recent set of promotions, Alex Bregman and Teoscar Hernandez, may prove to be difficult to overcome, but more young players will get the chance to prove themselves. Another advancement, the one of Brendan McCurry, has opened the door for another pitcher to get some save opportunities at the Astros Double-A level. This pitcher is Aaron West, and he will be spotlighted for this week.
West has been in the Houston Astros organization his whole career thus far. He was drafted in 2012 by the team in the seventeenth round and has turned into a spectacular player. He skipped Rookie League and went straight to Tri-City in 2012. He was a starter that year and went 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA for the ValleyCats.
West struggled the next year in Class-A Advanced, though, but was promoted to Corpus Christi the next year and has found success in his last two years there. Last year was a great year, as he transitioned into a reliever and pitched in 30 games with a 2.77 ERA. With McCurry gone from the Hooks now, West should be able to find himself in more save situations.
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West seems to thrive in the pressure situations. Of the ten save situations he’s had this year, he’s converted 9 of them. He also is good at not giving up home runs, only having allowed 22 of them in his 334.1 career innings pitched. His WHIP has room to improve, normally sitting around a 1.20, but he has shown the ability to get out of situations into which he put himself.
This season has been a very good one for West. He has picked up right where he left off from last season, compiling a 2.58 ERA and five wins so far in 23 appearances. He has also thrived since May 23, only allowing one earned run in that span. He has also found success since McCurry got the call to AAA, having picked up a win and a save in 3 appearances.
Aaron West may get the call up to AAA before the season is over. He also has the ability to be a solid reliever for the Astros someday. But one thing that he definitely needs to improve on is letting people on base. It is a rare game that he doesn’t let someone get a hit off him, and as a professional relief pitcher that will eventually come back to bite him. Though minor league relieving can be slightly different, with pitchers throwing multiple innings often, he definitely can improve and become a solid pitcher for Houston.
**Statistics via MiLB.com**