The Houston Astros have signed four undrafted free agents.
With the 2020 MLB Draft being shortened to five rounds, teams have the ability to sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents. The bonuses given to them cannot exceed $20,000, but otherwise there are no real limits. The Houston Astros have signed four thus far.
They signed two right-handed pitchers: Concordia Irvine starter Jimmy Endersby and UT-Arlington reliever Cesar Gomez. They also added Southeast Missouri State outfielder Justin Dirden and Missouri corner infielder Peter Zimmerman.
What We Know
Endersby, 22, pitched in relief for Cal State Fullerton in 2019, allowing one run in 6.2 innings. Presumably, he transferred to D-II Concordia to get a chance to start, and he made the most of it. In five starts in 2020, he went 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 28.2 innings, striking out 37 against just six walks.
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Gomez made eight relief appearances for UT-Arlington in 2020, allowing two runs in 8.2 innings and notching four saves. He walked six and struck out six, however, and he struggled to a 5.13 ERA in 52.2 innings in 2019 with underwhelming peripherals as well. Prior to 2020, he was a two-way player who hit well in community college, so he may be relatively new to being a full-time pitcher. Clearly the Astros like his athleticism and see some upside in his arm.
Dirden, a left-handed hitting redshirt senior, absolutely raked at SE Missouri State in 2020, hitting .414/.471/.900 with nine homers, 26 RBIs and nine steals in 17 games. He redshirted in 2019 due to injury after hitting .340/.437/.665 with 19 doubles, 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 57 games in 2018.
Zimmerman, who’ll turn 23 in July and attended San Jacinto College before transferring to Missouri, hit .333/.433/.632 with four homers, 17 RBIs and more walks than strikeouts in 16 games in 2020. He hit .287/.388/.484 with 10 doubles and seven homers in 44 games in 2019.
There could be more to come here, though I would imagine there won’t be many more considering there’s not likely to be a minor league season and there may be fewer minor league teams in the future. These four players clearly caught GM James Click’s eye, which would be why he signed them after the draft.