Player on the Rise – Rogelio Armenteros
This award goes to the prospect most likely to make a name for himself in 2017. This year’s winner: Rogelio Armenteros.
Armenteros only pitched in three games for the Hooks in 2016, posting a 1.96 ERA in just over 18 innings. His body of work this year between Quad Cities, Lancaster, and Corpus Christi that should have him on the Houston Astros’ radar. You won’t find him on the Astros current Top 30 prospect list currently, but the 22-year-old Cuban native is the strikeout leader among all pitchers in Houston’s deep farm system. That’s right. Armenteros amassed 140 punch outs in 2016, nine more than the Astros’ #1 prospect (#30 in the MLB Top 100), Francis Martes.
Perhaps Armenteros’ biggest advantage is his ability to get ahead in counts and put batters away when he needed the big out. Across the three minor league levels, he pitched in this year Armenteros when pitching with runners in scoring position held a batting average against of .222, .174, .071 in Quad Cities, Lancaster, and Corpus Christi, respectively. In his one postseason start, he threw an effective five innings, allowing just one run on six hits. He’s likely to return to Corpus to begin the 2017 season, but the sky is the limit for this hard-throwing right righty.