Learning the Astros Farm: Rogelio Armenteros
With the Houston Astros’ historically incredible 2018 team pitching performance fresh in our minds, it is hard to wrap or heads around the fact that the Astros’ have some holes to fill in their plans for the 2019 pitching staff. One player who is poised to make the jump from the minor leagues to the major leagues and help fill the void is Rogelio Armenteros. The 24 year old Cuban right-hander has been on a bit of a meteoric rise in recent years. Although signed as an amateur out of Cuba in 2014 for just $40,000, Rogelio entered the 2018 season ranked as the #5 prospect in the Astros’ organization by Astros Future.
The rise of Rogelio is underlined by his dominant numbers in the historically hitter friendly Pacific Coast League playing for AAA Fresno in 2018 and part of 2017. In 2017, across two levels, AA Corpus Christi and AAA Fresno, Armenteros put up a 2.04 ERA in 123.2 innings with a 146K/38BB ratio — that includes a 2.16 ERA and 11.1 K/9 in 58.1 innings in his first taste of PCL action. Rogelio followed up his impressive 2017 with a solid 2018. In his first full season at AAA Fresno, he put up a 3.74 ERA over 118 innings with a 134 K/48 BB ratio.
Could we see Rogelio Armenteros pitching at Minute Maid in 2019? AJ Hinch of course has a lot of say so in these decisions and he seems to think that Rogelio was ready to join the big club last season after being thoroughly impressed by his Spring Training performance.
Astros prospect Rogelio Armenteros will pitch in the majors this season, AJ Hinch said. Armenteros has impressed with his changeup in two games this spring.
— Hunter Atkins (@HunterAtkins35) March 1, 2018
Rogelio was also added to the 40 man roster last month, making sure he stays in the Astros system through the Rule 5 Draft, The scouting report on Rogelio is that he is not a totally overpowering pitcher, although his PCL numbers say otherwise. His fastball is low-mid-90’s and he throws a sharp slider and an impressive changeup that is still developing. There has been a running debate on Armenteros for most of his professional career — is he a starter or a reliever? I personally don’t see why he can’t compete for a back of the rotation spot, a spot that the Astros will be looking to fill. However, if that doesn’t work out, he has shown that he can dominate hitters with a lot of strike outs which is something that bodes well for a relief pitcher.
So it is entirely possible that we see Armenteros on the mound for the Houston Astros this season — but the question is how exactly will he fit in the club’s overall plans? We will have to wait and see. Join the discussion on Twitter @astrosfuture @stephenschlett.
**Photo Credit: Kiel Maddox**