Time to shine a spotlight on Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Grizzlies pitcher Rogelio Armenteros.
The Astros’ 11th-ranked prospect by MLB.com really burst onto the scene in 2017. His dominant numbers made everyone take notice, and he’s pitching well again this season for first-place Fresno. The 24-year-old right-handed Rogelio Armenteros is the subject of this week’s spotlight.
The Scouting Report
Armenteros’ stuff isn’t exactly electric; MLB.com describes it as “fairly ordinary.” He possesses a pair of fastballs that run in the low-to-mid-90s with a strong change-up. He also throws a slider and curveball, which rate as just average, but he uses them effectively.
Indeed, what makes Armenteros so tough is his deception and his ability to use his whole repertoire across all parts of the strike zone. It’s allowed him to post numbers that make him seem like an overpowering pitcher, even though he may not actually be one.
The Astros signed Armenteros for $40,000 in 2014 after he defected from Cuba. He made 15 appearances (12 starts) in 2015 across two Class-A stops, going 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA. 2016 saw him go from Class-A to Class-A Advanced to Double-A. Across all three, he went 8-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 26 appearances (22 starts), striking out 140 batters in 127.1 innings.
The 2017 season is where he really took off. In 24 appearances (20 starts) between Double-A and Triple-A, Armenteros went 10-4 with a stellar 2.04 ERA, fanning 146 batters in 123.2 innings. He allowed just a .205 batting average against him and a 1.04 WHIP.
So far in 2018, Armenteros is 7-0 with a 3.28 ERA in 74 innings. He’s still striking out more than a batter per inning, on average. Across his minor league career, he has a 3.03 ERA and 425 strikeouts in 386 innings.
In many other organizations, Armenteros might find himself in the big league rotation. The Astros’ pitching depth and overall health have kept him in the minors despite his success. This could make him trade bait at the deadline or in the offseason.
The scouting report notes he’s a “safe bet” to be a back-end starter, and of course, there’s further upside as well. If Dallas Keuchel leaves as a free agent after the season, Armenteros could be fighting for a roster spot in 2019. He could certainly be in the team’s plans for 2020.
Regardless, he’s an intriguing prospect to watch as he continues to be successful against minor league hitters.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com and MLB.com***