Believe it or not, the Houston Astros are starting to put together the pieces of a young, talented pitching staff.
Bud Norris has stepped up his game in 2011 and Wandy Rodriguez has been his usual solid self. The Astros also have J.A. Happ in the rotation, and if he can learn to be more consistent on the road, he can be a quality major league starter.
Lyles used a combination of four-seam fastballs, changeups, curveballs and sliders to confuse the Cubs for seven innings. Overall, Lyles struck out four, allowed five hits and two runs and didn’t walk a batter in the 92-pitch effort.
What was most impressive about Lyles’ performance was that he barely threw any pitches in the 90s. He was living in the mid-80s all day.
Take a look at his velocity chart courtesy of PitchFX. He was changing the velocity on his pitches more often than the guys on Pawn Stars rip off some schmuck trying to sell a rare coin that’s worth $10,000 and agrees to sell it for $400.
Lyles did leave some balls up, and if he was facing a lineup that didn’t have Blake DeWitt batting sixth, he could have gotten hurt. But in his defense, if he keeps hitters off balance, a pitcher can get away with mistakes.
Here are some other things you should know about Jordan Lyles:
College: None. Went to Hartsville High School in Hartsville, South Carolina
Drafted: 38th pick of the first round of the 2008 June draft
Minor League Stats
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||3.97||16||90.2||105||27||63||1.456||10.4||0.5||2.7||6.3||2.33|
|A (1 season)||A||3.24||26||144.2||134||38||167||1.189||8.3||0.3||2.4||10.4||4.39|
|AA (1 season)||AA||3.12||20||127.0||133||35||115||1.323||9.4||0.7||2.5||8.1||3.29|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||3.99||13||49.2||44||10||64||1.087||8.0||0.7||1.8||11.6||6.40|
|A- (1 season)||A-||6.35||2||5.2||7||7||4||2.471||11.1||3.2||11.1||6.4||0.57|
Ranking: No. 42 out of 100 top prospects in baseball for 2011
Analysis: “Lyles was the second-youngest pitcher in the Texas League in 2010, six months older than Martin Perez but with an ERA nearly three runs lower. He even slid up to Triple-A to set himself up for a potential call-up late in 2011.
He remains a little under the radar because he is in the Astros’ system and doesn’t pitch with a big fastball, sitting at 89-92 mph and showing a little better with a curve, a cutter-slider and a plus changeup that had him better against left-handed batters in Double-A than against right-handers. His command of his fastball and changeup is above-average, but he’s still working on his feel for the two breaking pitches, and it’s hard to project him as a No. 1 with only the change as a potential out pitch.
However, the Astros surely would take him as a future No. 2 who’s on the cusp of the majors at age 20, the best pitching prospect their system has produced since the days of Roy Oswalt.”