The Houston Astros have a plethora of talent coming through their Minor League systems. Many are from trades, and others are from drafts. However, the first few prospects who are coming up have been acquired through trades. Everyone knows what Jarred Cosart has done in his first five starts, but another Astros rookie is trying to make a name for himself.
Brett Oberholtzer, a starting pitcher for the Astros, has only made two starts in his young career, but those two starts have gotten the attention of myself. I’ve been studying the Astros farm system for quite a while. Oberholtzer wasn’t drafted, but he was traded to the Astros from the Atlanta Braves in a trade that included Michael Bourn. A quick observation of that trade makes a clear statement: the Braves won that trade — easily. Even now, I still believe the Astros were fleeced that day. However, if Oberholtzer can continue to be an effective pitcher, the Astros might have something brewing.
Obie, because Oberholtzer gets old after typing it a lot, is the first starter since 1980 with seven or more innings and no earned runs in each of his first two starts. It isn’t a major sample size, but Obie is looking great. He has shutout two of the top teams in the American League, the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. In his next start, he’ll be facing yet another top AL team in the form of the Texas Rangers.
His next start will be big for him. If Obie can continue to locate his pitches, he will have success. I’m not ready to say whether he will be a mainstay going forward, but if he keeps this up, it will be hard to tell the 24 year old no.