On Wednesday, the Astros picked up their first, bona fide prospect of the winter. Who is Akeem Bostick, the player Houston picked up from the Rangers for Carlos Corporan? What can Astros fans expect from the pitcher in the future?
Who is he?
Akeem Bostick will turn 20 in May. Last season, he pitched for the Rangers Low-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, the Hickory Crawdads. So, he's already a fan favorite of The Crawfish Boxes.
He's a 6-foot-5, 185-
His cousin, Brandon Bostick, plays tight end for the Green Bay Packers. You may remember him from that Seattle onside kick last Sunday.
Where did he come from?
Bostick was drafted out of Florence, South Carolina's high school with the 62nd overall pick in 2013 by the Texas Rangers. A rangy, three-sport athlete, Bostick has plenty of athleticism, but remains raw as a pitcher with imperfect mechanics.
Bostick actually signed to play football at Georgia Southern and could have followed in his cousin's footsteps.
He was rated as the No. 2
What does he throw?
Bostick features a nice fastball, sitting in the low 90's for the most part. He occasionally touches the mid-90's and could gain some velocity as he matures.
One scouting report pegged him as having a chance for an above-average breaking pitch, but others seem skeptical of that at this point. He also has an average
Even if he doesn't gain velocity, Bostick features a pretty heavy fastball. Last season, his most common outcome from a batter was a
With the curve needing serious work, I wouldn't be surprised if the Astros tried to get him to throw his slider to complement the two-seamer.
What's his ceiling?
Bostick is still very raw as a pitcher. He's got plenty of room to fill out in his lanky 6-foot-5 frame. As he develops, he could add zip to his fastball and become an innings-eater.
But, with all raw prospects, his floor is pretty low. There's a chance he never has success outside of Low-A ball.
Here's a video of him from before the 2013 draft.
What's his ETA?
There's a small chance that Bostick could make it to Lancaster this season, but he probably goes back to Low-A Quad Cities for another season. There, he can work on refining his secondary pitches and become more consistent while working in a tandem setup.
That means he's probably three or four years away from making a major league appearance. Give him at least a half season in Low-A
A good comparison to his possible progression is Astros 2012 supplemental first round pick Lance McCullers, Jr. The two don't have similar pitching arsenals, but could follow similar developmental paths. The Astros sent LMJ to Lancaster for a full season last year and he's probably headed to Corpus this season.