Astros: Fresno Player Spotlight- Underrated Bullpen Pieces

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Jul 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch (14) points to the bullpen during a pitching change in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch (14) points to the bullpen during a pitching change in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jandel Gustave

Feb 24, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher J Gustave (67) during media day for the Houston Astros at Osceola Heritage Park. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher J Gustave (67) during media day for the Houston Astros at Osceola Heritage Park. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Jandel Gustave’s career in the Astros organization has been a roller coaster. After being signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010, Gustave did not become a full-time reliever until 2015. That was when he really took off.

In 2015 with Double-A Corpus Christi, Gustave had a record of 5-2 with a 2.15 ERA. He also had a WHIP of 1.30 and an average against of .235.

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With a solid 2015, Gustave came up to Triple-A Fresno at the beginning of the 2016 season as the number 17 prospect in the Astros system. At first glance, it looks at though Gustave has regressed a bit. In his 42 innings so far in 2016, he has a record of 1-2 with a 4.07 ERA. However, he has actually gotten better this season.

First of all, his strikeouts have increased dramatically. With a fastball in the mid to upper nineties, Gustave averages a strikeout per inning this season. Also, his walk total is down from last year with a walk percentage at 9.2%, 0.9 percentage points lower than in 2015.

Second, Gustave has been tough to hit.  His WHIP is lower than it was last season. 0.04 points lower than last season, Gustave’s average against has also decreased to .226.

Third, Gustave has had no trouble giving up the long ball. In his 42 innings this season, he has given up no home runs.

The point where Gustave gets into trouble is when there are runners in scoring position. In 10.1 innings, he has a 16.55 ERA, giving up 19 earned runs on only 11 hits and walking eight.

Even though he has been in the Astros organization for six seasons, Gustave is only 23 years old. With high velocity on his fastball, Gustave has the chance, like McCurry, to get a chance at a bullpen spot in 2017.

Next: Jordan Jankowski

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