Houston Astros: Three pitching prospects who will have big roles in 2017

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The second most likely prospect to make an impact in 2017.

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays
MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays /

Jandel Gustave

Ironically, Gustave has the best chance of making the opening day roster. All offseason we have heard Jeff Luhnow, and A.J. Hinch sing the praises of Gustave. During Hinch’s town hall meeting for season-ticket holders said that he could make the team with his 100 mph fastball. He proved that he belonged in his stint with the Astros at the end of 2016.

After only 15 1/3 innings of big league experience, Gustave looks like he has the stuff needed to stick in the bullpen. He struck out 16 batters in 14 games with a 3.52 ERA. He did walk four batters, but he did have 47 games in Fresno to fine tune his stuff. The Astros could go with a left-handed pitcher instead, but it’s hard to send down a pitcher who can hit 100 mph.

Will he make the team?

Should he pitch well this spring and Hinch decides to go with 13 pitchers, he should be in Houston come opening day. However, he is low in the pecking order behind Ken Giles, Will Harris, Luke Gregerson, Chris Devenski, and Michael Feliz. If he has a Devenski like start to his career, he could earn the trust of Hinch for bigger roles.

Devenski’s value aside, unless you are a closer or the setup man, the 6th inning guy doesn’t get much glory. However, Gustave could earn some saves if Giles struggles at all this season. No matter what, you will here Gustave’s name a lot on Houston Astros’ broadcasts and Talking Stros. The Astros bullpen is one of the teams’ strengths, he will add to it.