Who Was the Astros’ MiLB Pitcher of the Year for 2018?
This was the hardest one yet. There were so many great pitching performances in 2018. Here is your chance to vote for the pitcher of the year for 2018.
Josh James, RHP
James was drafted in the 34th round of the 2014 draft and steadily made his way through the Astros system. James’ sleep issues are well documented, and getting this figured out, along with some mechanical adjustments, helped him gain elite velocity. This season in the minors he struck out 171 in 114.1 innings with a 3.23 ERA earning him his call up to Houston. He led the Astros minor league system in strikeouts, and it wasn’t close.
2018 Stats: 23 G, 3.23 ERA, 114.1 IP, 79 H, 41 ER, 49 BB, 171 K, 13.5 K/9
Tyler Ivey, RHP
Ivey was another high upside selection in the 2017 draft. He initially attended Texas A&M before transferring to Grayson Community College. 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, 112.0 IP, 86 H, 37 ER, 29 BB, 135 K, 10.8 K/9
Corbin Martin, RHP
The Astros selected Martin in the second round and he was great this season. 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.
2018 Stats: 25 G, 2.51 ERA, 122.0 IP, 88 H, 34 ER, 35 BB, 122 K, 3.4 K/BB
Ryan Hartman, LHP
Hartman was the Astros 9th round pick in the 2016 draft. He has consistently posted good numbers in his minor league career but this season he dominated the Texas League. He pitched in 25 games for the Hooks and had a 2.69 ERA with 26 BB/143 K in 120.2 innings. He also had a 2.96 FIP and 2.92 xFIP. Everything looked good for him with a 42.1 GB%, 29.9 K% and 5.4 BB%. I can’t find much on his actual stuff, but clearly the results are great.
2018 Stats: 25 G, 2.69 ERA, 120.2 IP, 104 H, 36 ER, 26 BB, 143 K, 10.7 K/9
Cristian Javier, RHP
Javier followed up a strong 2017 season with a good 2018 season. He pitched in 49.1 innings for Quad Cities and had a 1.82 ERA while striking out 80 while being nearly unhittable (28 hits in 49.1 innings). He was promoted to Buies Creek where he maintained his good strikeout rate (66 K in 60.2 innings) and had a 3.41 ERA.
2018 Stats: 25 G, 2.70 ERA, 110.0 IP, 72 H, 33 ER, 50 BB, 146 K, 11.9 K/9
Brandon Bielak, RHP
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, 117.0 IP, 96 H, 29 ER, 39 BB, 131 K, 10.1 K/9
Peter Solomon, RHP
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, 100.2 IP, 78 H, 26 ER, 32 BB, 114 K, 10.2 K/9
Brandon Bailey, RHP
The Astros acquired Bailey in the deal that sent Laureano to Oakland prior to the 2018 season. Bailey pitched the majority of the season in Buies Creek and was arguably the ace of the staff. He had a 2.49 ERA with 113 K in 97.2 innings. He dominated in the second half of the season posting a 1.31 ERA with 8 BB/45 K in 41.1 innings. He also pitched in five games for the Hooks striking out 23 over 24.2 innings.
2018 Stats: 25 G, 2.80 ERA, 122.1 IP, 90 H, 38 ER, 52 BB, 136 K, 10.0 K/9
**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**