Josh James: C-
In his first full season with the Astros, Josh James was a bit disappointing. Although he missed the entire month of August due to shoulder soreness, James got in 48 appearances and 60.1 innings of relief on the books. He ended the season 5-1 with six holds and was only able to get one save out of his three save opportunities.
In those 48 games out of the bullpen, he had an ERA of 4.77 and a 1.34 WHIP, both the second-highest among Astros relief pitchers with 25 innings or more of work. The flame thrower did, however, lead the bullpen with 99 strikeouts and a 14.77 SO/9IP.
The 26-year-old’s issue, for the most part, was his control. James had one of the teams higher BB/9IP ratio with a 5.22. That took away from his high strikeout count taking his K/BB ratio down to 2.83, which is pretty low for a pitcher with a SO/9IP he had. It also showed up in the number of pitches it took James to get through an inning, as he carried an 18.63 pitch/inning count.
The potential can be seen with James and I still believe he has a bright future with the Astros. He did have injury issues during Spring Training and got in very little work prior to the season, plus his late-season shoulder issues plaguing him. I look forward to seeing how he does in 2020.