The Astros have had some very strong drafts since Jeff Luhnow took over as the general manager. While we have seen seem some really good ones (2012, 2015), the Astros are now in a spot where they are drafting lower, making it a little harder to hit on key players. So far, the 2017 draft is looking great for the Astros with pitchers dominating across all levels. Let’s take a look at some of the performances this season from the 2017 draft.
1.15 - J.B. Bukauskas
Bukauskas was projected to go higher but fell a bit falling right into the hands of the Astros. Many believe they got a steal with this pick and he put together a very good season. Bukauskas was involved in a car accident in spring training which pushed him timeline back a bit. He pitched a couple times in April before going back on the DL. When he came back, he looked like he was back in prime form. He started his rehab Tri-City striking out 9 in 8.1 scoreless innings.
He went back to Quad Cities and struck out 21 over 15 innings. JB was then promoted to Buies Creek where he really got rolling. He started five games for Buies Creek and posted a 1.61 ERA while striking out 31 over 28 innings. He earned a final promotion to Corpus Christi where he struck out 8 over 6 scoreless innings in his one start. He also made one start in the playoffs allowing 1 run in 6 innings. Overall he had a 2.14 ERA with 71 K in 59 innings.
2018 Stats: 14 G, 2.14 ERA (2.51 FIP), 59.0 IP, 42 H, 14 ER, 24 BB, 71 K, 10.8 K/9
2.56 - Corbin Martin
Another potential steal for the Astros. Martin was a polarizing prospect in the draft with some seeing him as a first round talent and others seeing him as a mid round pick due to concerns as a starter. The Astros selected him in the second round and he has been great. He started the 2018 season in Buies Creek and struck out 26 batters in 19 scoreless innings while allowing just 4 hits, earning him a quick promotion to AA.
Martin’s first start in Double-A was rough but he got rolling after that one. He pitched in 20 games after that first outing and he had a 2.45 ERA (3.26 FIP) with 96 K in 102.2 innings. Overall he had a 2.51 ERA (3.07 FIP) and struck out 122 in 122 innings. Martin also posted really strong groundball rates at both stops.
2018 Stats: 25 G, 2.51 ERA (3.07 FIP), 122 IP, 88 H, 34 ER, 35 BB, 122 K, 3.4 K/BB
3.91 - Tyler Ivey
Ivey was another high upside selection in the 2017 draft. He initially attended Texas A&M before transferring to Grayson Community College. Some saw it as a possible over draft but Ivey’s numbers, and stuff, are proving other wise.
Ivey started the season with Quad Cities had a 3.46 ERA in 41.2 innings. The peripherals were even better. He had 8 BB/53 K (26.b K/BB%) and a 2.14 FIP/2.40 xFIP in those 41.2 innings. He was promoted to Buies Creek where he has a 2.69 ERA with 82 K in 70.1 innings. There he had a 2.56 FIP/2.86 xFIP and 54.4 GB%.
2018 Stats: 24 G, 2.97 ERA (2.40 FIP), 112 IP, 86 H, 37 ER, 29 BB, 135 K, 4.6 K/BB
4.121 - Peter Solomon
Solomon was another high upside pick. A guy who had electric stuff but control issues. Just as the picks before, he dominated in the minors this season. He started the year with Quad Cities and had a 2.43 ERA with 88 K in 77.2 innings. He was promoted to Buies Creek where he was even better posting a 1.96 ERA with 4 BB/26 K in 23 innings. Overall he had a 2.32 ERA with a 2.40 FIP in 100.2 innings. Oh, and you wouldn’t believe it but he also posted good groundball numbers.
2018 Stats: 24 G, 2.32 ERA (2.40 FIP), 100.2 IP, 78 H, 26 ER, 32 BB, 114 K, 3.5 K/BB
7.211 - Parker Mushinski
Mushinski was another Texas product drafted out of Texas Tech. Mushinski pitched in relief in college but the Astros used him as part of the piggyback during the 2018 season. Mushinski posted a 2.33 ERA with 114 K in 89 innings. His last 10 outings of the season he had a 0.00 ERA with 34 K in 21.1 innings. Shocking but Mushinski also had a good groundball rate (53.4 GB%).
2018 Stats: 27 G, 2.33 ERA (3.19 ERA), 89 IP, 62 H, 23 ER, 45 BB, 114 K, 11.5 K/9
11.331 - Brandon Bielak
Bielak was drafted out of Notre Dame in the 11th round following a really rough junior season. The Astros aggressively started Bielak in High-A and he pitched great posting a 2.10 ERA with 74 K in 55.2 innings. He was promoted to AA where he had a 2.35 ERA, even though his peripherals went down a bit (22 BB/57 K in 61.1 innings). Overall he had a 2.23 ERA with a 2.94 FIP across both levels.
2018 Stats: 25 G, 2.23 ERA (2.94 FIP), 117 IP, 96 H, 29 ER, 39 BB, 131 K, 10.1 K/9
Overall, the 2017 draft is looking great for pitchers and there a good chance that at least 3-4 of these guys pitch for the Astros in the next couple of years. I’m excited to see what they do in 2019.