Astros: Top 10 non-prospects that surprised with big impacts
6. Wandy Rodriguez
Wandy Rodriguez will be looked at in future conversations almost the same as Shane Reynolds. A consistent innings eater who could get you out in a number of ways. Be it by strikeout or by ground out.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1999, the then 20-year-old Rodriguez’s road to the Show was a long and tedious one. Spending six years toiling in the Minors before getting his shot at the bigs, and in 2005, he got just that shot.
Another player who never cracked the Top 20 prospects for the Astros, the 26-year-old lefty made his Major League debut against the Chicago Cubs on May 23rd, churning out 5.2 innings of work and striking out six in a losing effort. Small beans considering the career that followed.
His rookie campaign managed to get him 128 innings of work, 80 strikeouts, and 10 wins on 10 losses, netting him a 5.12 FIP that year too.
Like a fine wine, he only got better with age. As his 2008-2012 seasons were his most memorable years. Again, with a rebuilding team, the Astros could at least rely on Wandy to get them through games.
In those seasons, Rodriguez was slated as the number two starter behind the likes of Roy Oswalt and Brett Myers. He would always finish a season with double-digit wins and 190+ innings pitched. Consistency.
In 2009, being his best year, he finished the season winning 14 games, topping out at 204 innings pitched, and 193 strikeouts.
Spending eight years with the organization (14 if you count the minors), he would collect 1306 innings, a career 4.04 ERA, 1093 strikeouts, and a respectable 7.4 K/9IP. Which for a name that no one knew about, is more than respectable and worthy of the number six spot on this list.