There is one Astros’ minor league pitcher that all fans need to familiarize themselves with for the 2018 season.
If you follow the local professional baseball team in Houston, you may have already noticed the Astros’ twelfth overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, Rogelio Armenteros. Don’t worry if you haven’t, friend, as I am here to tell you about him.
Simply put, Armenteros could be an interesting pitcher for the defending world champs. And I don’t make such a statement lightly. For one, Armenteros was one of the Astros‘ best minor league pitchers last season not named Forrest Whitley. In 123.2 innings between two minor league levels, the age-23 pitcher posted a 2.04 ERA and limited opposing hitters to a .203 batting average. If Houston wasn’t in contention for a postseason berth, it wouldn’t have been a shock to see Armenteros make meaningful appearances.
In terms of his pitches, Armenteros won’t exactly overwhelm opposing hitters with a blazing fastball. Instead, he offers a four-seam fastball that can reach about 95 MPH. He also offers a two-seam fastball that gets up to 92 MPH. But Armenteros’ best pitch, per MLB Pipeline, is his change up. He also throws a curveball and slider/cutter combination. MLB Pipeline sums up one reason how Armenteros achieves the results he wants while not throwing overpowering pitches.
"Armenteros tends to fall off the mound with his delivery, which throws batters off even more without compromising his ability to throw strikes. He has to be fine with his pitches and he is."
Armenteros received the first start of the 2018 spring training for the Astros on February 23rd and he performed quite well. In two innings, the right-hander allowed zero hits and runs while allowing only one walk. He also struck out three Washington Nationals’ hitters.
And here’s actual footage.
Sure, this is spring training, but not a bad debut for the 2018 season.
Eric Huysman and I discussed about Armenteros quite a bit in the latest edition of the CTH Podcast. Shameless plug found in the embedded tweet below.
Looking ahead, Armenteros is probably on the short list to be promoted if the Astros need any additional pitching depth. He has shown the capability to perform at Triple-A. There is likely not much left for him to demonstrate with the Fresno Grizzlies. If he were with most franchises, there would not be much question about him being on an active roster. In Houston, though, there just isn’t room for him. Yet.
**Statistics and information courtesy of MLB Pipeline**