If the Astros are looking for power pitchers and they can’t get Craig Kimbrel, Raisel Iglesias might be the next best option.
The 31-year-old right hander is an aggressive pitcher anchored around his upper 90 MPH 4-seam fastball. Iglesias is only posting a 3.34 ERA with the Angels this season, but he’s still generating tons of strikeouts (13.8 per nine) and not giving up a ton of baserunners (0.89 WHIP) in his 45 innings pitched thus far.
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There is a ton to like about Iglesias when you dig into his advanced stats. He’s in the top 2% in the entire league in K rate (40%) and top 5% in the league in expected batting average (.181 BA). Iglesias is a swing-and-miss expert – all four of his pitches generate a whiff rate over 30%, with his slider getting a deGrom-esque 51% Whiff rate.
He has a balanced blend of fastball (33% usage), slider (30%), changeup (28%) and sinker (8%) – This type of skillset with Brent Strom’s guidance ought to make Houston fans excited for this potential acquisition.
So what’s the knock on him? He gives up bombs – nine so far this season. His 5% HR rate is well above league average and seeing him pitch for Houston in a short park like Minute Maid would make a fan like myself a little squeamish.
But Iglesias has the same type of velocity like Ken Giles and Roberto Osuna with – judging by his advanced metrics- a higher ceiling than those guys with his skillset. With the Angels fading in the AL West, they look to be sellers at the deadline who’ll try to replenish more talent for their deficient farm system.
Houston could help their cause in return for the hard-throwing Iglesias, who seems to be in the prime of his career. A Pedro Baez/Rasiel Iglesias/Ryan Pressly three-headed bullpen monster would be quite imposing come playoffs.
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