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Dexter Fowler trade: Meet Dan Straily, the Astros' newest pitcher

Introducing the Astros newest pitcher, Dan Straily. He has his issues but the recent track record suggests that the Astros may have a potential diamond in the rough.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Not many prospects strike out 190 batters in 152 innings across the AA/AAA levels without earning top 100 status. But Dan Straily did that 2012. That's because it came out of nowhere. He wasn't evan an organizational top 30 by any outlet. Yet, Kevin Goldstein had this to say after his breakout

His fastball features above-average velocity and command, and his slider is solid, but it's his changeup that has developed into an absolute weapon; an easy plus pitch with good deception in his delivery and plenty of late break.

He hasn't been able to replicate 2012 at the major league level but has shown flashes (including an 11 strikeout performance against the Astros). His career ERA, FIP, and xFIP are hover in the mid-4's. His career K/9 is below 8 and BB/9 is in the mid 3's. He's also a flyball pitcher with a career GB% around 35%. Doesn't exactly encourage a lot of hope to turn around his career.

At the major league level, Straily has struggled to display the gas in his fastball that vaulted him to success in the minors. His velocity has steadily declined from a 92 MPH average in 2012 down to a below-average 89 in 2014. That will be a significant obstacle as the A's and Cubs were unable to accomplish that.

The highlight is that he still does possess a good slider and change up. He also can toss a curve along with his four seam and two seam fastballs.

As i've discussed several times, pitch values are largely dependent upon pitch sequencing. It's no secret that the Astros were able to recreate Colin McHugh through the use of pitch tunneling and Effective Velocity. His actual stuff didn't change much, but the sequencing did. With that his slider went from -2.4 to 18.5 and his curve went from 0.2 to 6.4 in pitch value per fangraphs.

Mechanically, he's not a bad pitcher by any means. He uses his back leg to get a solid push off the rubber but could do a better job of getting his hips out early in his delivery. He could also work on hip mobility to keep his lower leg more vertical  for improved push off. He does have that "second gear" that many pitching coaches talk about that helps get his hips around and create a good stride.

The upper arm doesn't have any red flags. I would like to see a little better deceleration phase, but he's not extremely upright and stiff.