We’re reviewing all 316 players to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.
Héctor Neris is a six-foot-two, 227 lb. right-handed pitcher from Villa Altagracia, DR. Born on June 14, 1989, Neris signed his first professional contract with the Philadelphia Phillies at the age of 20.
Neris worked his way up through Philadelphia’s system until making his debut in 2014. He pitched a perfect inning and earned a victory on August 5, striking out Jake Marisnick in a 15-inning, 2-1 win against the Astros.
In eight seasons with the Phillies, Neris pitched in 405 games, totaling 407 2⁄3 innings and striking out 520. He was 21-29 with a 3.42 ERA, a 1.192 WHIP, a .220/.299/.382 slashline, and only 59 walks. On November 27, 2021, he signed with the Astros through free agency for two years and $17 million.
On July 31, Neris came in to pitch the 10th inning of a 2-2 tie with the Seattle Mariners, and collected two strikeouts over a perfect inning. He earned the win when Yordan Alvarez singled home the ghost runner in the bottom of the frame for a 3-2 victory. On September 3, he struck out one in the 10th inning of a 2-1 12-inning loss tot he Anaheim Angels. He earned his highest WPA of the season on September 7, earning a win over the Texas Rangers by pitching a perfect 10th inning in a 4-3 10-inning victory.
Over the whole season, Neris ranked second on the team with 70 appearances, and struck out 73 in 68 1⁄3 innings. His 1.010 WHIP ranked second in the bullpen (to Pressly’s 0.890), and he held the opposition to a .205/.275/.305 slashline.
The postseason would see Neris pitch six innings and allow only one run on two hits. He walked zero and struck out nine. A definite highlight was in Game One of the World Series, when he entered with the bases loaded and two outs, tied 5-5 in the top of the seventh. He struck out Nick Castellanos on five pitches.
Neris will continue to serve as a key piece of one of the deepest bullpens in history through 2023.