After doing a little bouncing between the minor leagues and the majors, Houston Astros starting pitcher Lucas Harrell finally found his starting spot last season. The Astros weren’t very good last year as most already know but Harrell was a bright spot that might go unnoticed if you aren’t looking close enough. Let’s get a closer look at Harrell.
In a season where your team wins only around sixty games, putting up eleven wins as a starter is actually very good. He was responsible for over eighteen percent of his team’s victories. Project that over a hundred win season and he would easily have had eighteen wins if not more. His WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched) was 1.358 and his ERA was 3.76. That’s not bad but what if he could be better?
His strikeouts per inning pitched was 6.5. This spring Harrell is trying to perfect his curve-ball. If he is able to do that it could mean a big step forward. Right now he is mainly a fastball, sinker pitcher with an occasional change of pace. If Harrell adds a slower bigger breaking curve to the mix that is effective, his strikeouts per nine innings would go up by several.
Already considered the ace of the Astros staff by many, Harrell could find himself being called even better things that with a great curve-ball. So far this spring it is effective and has gotten at least one strikeout looking. On a team that already has a lot of exciting potential; Harrell’s second full season could have the most potential just by adding a curve.