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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Jordan Jankowski

Mar 6, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Jordan Jankowski (63) throws during the eighth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Jordan Jankowski (63) throws during the eighth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

As a 27-year-old on a Triple-A roster, Jordan Jankowski is an old man compared to the other young prospects in the system. Drafted by the Astros in the 34th round in 2012, Jankowski was once a highly touted prospect in the Astros system. At the Triple-A level primarily as a reliever who can pitch multiple innings, Jankowski has found his niche. 

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In his 52.1 innings this season, Jankowski has a 3.78 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP. Where Jankowski has found his success is through the strikeout. Averaging 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings this season, Jankowski has 74 strikeouts in his 52.1 innings.

He showed that off Thursday night against Round Rock. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning and struck out the side.

Jankowski may be finding his groove also within Triple-A. As opposed to 2015, his strikeout percentage has increased, and his walk rate and WHIP have decreased dramatically.

Like Gustave though, Jankowski has struggled with runners in scoring position, giving up 19 earned runs on 12 hits and five walks. Even with those horrid numbers, he does show he is hard to hit even in those situations, with a .279 average against.

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With a .195 average against in 2016, Jankowski’s time is now to produce at the major league level. Outside Hoyt, Jankowski has the major league ready stuff to contribute to the major league club now.

***Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, and MiLB.com***

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