Astros: Enoli Paredes, from unknown to reliable reliever
Enoli Paredes has quickly gone from an unknown to a reliable reliever for the Houston Astros.
The Houston Astros bullpen has at times been a mere shell of what it once was. A struggling bullpen went straight to a rebuild due to injury and free agency, but one rookie has stood out the entire season: Enoli Paredes.
The Dominican born relief pitcher started his professional career when he signed as an amateur free agent after the 2015 season. Even though the Astros were a playoff team at the time, they were building for the future with Kyle Tucker being drafted that year along with the signing of Framber Valdez, along with others.
The young, lanky righty started this season at only 24 years old and then turned 25 as the regular season came to a close. During his rookie campaign, he showed a lot of rust, which is normal for a guy who has never played in the Major Leagues before.
In four years in the minors, Paredes never had an ERA over 4.00. While he started a third of the games he played, expect Paredes to be a bullpen guy for the future as he lacks stamina. He does show signs of being a power pitcher with some movement on his secondary pitches. He is throwing the ball as fast as a guy dubbed “Flames” James.
In the month of July, Paredes struggled. Pitching in four of the seven games played by the Astros, he set a 5.40 ERA with an opponent batting average of .333. I, myself, was not happy with the way Paredes was playing. He would come into games leading, then be pulled with the game tied.
He was displaying some levels of nervousness and rust, but he got through it. A big issue he had is that he would be set for two batters, but then collapse after. Paredes was lacking stamina, and this affected his next month of playing.
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In the month of August, we saw double the amount of games. Pitching in eight of the 27 games played by the Astros, Paredes showed he was getting ready to be an every-other-day pitcher out of the bullpen. While posting a 2.89 ERA, Paredes dropped his opponent batting average to .182 and struck out almost three batters for every walk allowed.
Moving onto September, the Astros would close their season with 26 games, and Paredes pitched in six of those games. He kept on the same track as the month before, while showing progress and the ability to be a thin situation guy.
Now, the playoffs are here, and you wouldn’t expect a rusty rookie to make many appearances would you? Well, Paredes has been a major key to the Astros pen. In 4 games this postseason, he has not allowed a run in 4.1 innings pitched; he has retired 13 consecutive batters.
If there was an award for second half pitchers, it would go to Paredes. He has shown so much value and consistency after being a high stakes risk. He will be a valuable 1-2 inning righty for the rest of this postseason and for the future.