We’re reviewing all 316 players to have appeared with the Houston Astros at any level through the 2022 season.
Luis Vega is a six-foot-three, 165 lb. right-handed pitcher from Matanzas, Cuba. Born on November 16, 2001, he signed his first professional contract with the Astros on May 21, 2019 to a deal that included a $300,000 signing bonus.
Vega joined the DSL Astros at the rookie level after signing, and pitched 30 1⁄3 innings over 14 appearances, including a pair of starts. He was 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA, a 1.451 WHIP, and struck out 33 while walking only 11.
Vega split the 2021 season between the FCL Astros at the rookie level and the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers. He pitched another 17 games, starting five times and putting up a 1.395 WHIP over 52 1⁄3 innings. He struck out 54 and walked 26 while going 4-5 with a 5.50 ERA.
Vega opened the 2022 season back a the rookie level with the FCL Astros Blue. After starting four times, and striking out 18 over 15 1⁄3 innings, but also giving up 10 earned runs, he came on in relief for a July 5 matchup between the Blues and the FCL Cardinals. That was the only appearance he made through the season in which he did not allow at least one earned run. In five innings, he struck out six while walking zero, allowing one unearned run on four hits to earn the win in a 10-3 final.
Vega started seven times in total and appeared another five times in relief, with marked differences in his basic metrics. He posted a 1.111 WHIP in 18 frames as a reliever versus 1.778 in 27 innings as a starter. Conversely, he struck out 9.3 per nine as a starter against 7.5 K/9 as a relief pitcher. Make of that what you will.
Overall, Vega was 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA, a 1.511 WHIP, and an 8.6 K/9 over 45 innings. He allowed opponents to slash .256/.356/.523 for a way-too-hefty .879 OPS, especially for a four-year pro at the rookie level. If the Astros elect to keep him, I don’t think he would be anywhere above the FCL level, at least to start the 2023 campaign. Thanks for reading.