Through his first-game nerves, Houston Astros prospect Derek West tossed a scoreless frame in his Grapefruit League debut. West, who reached Double-A Corpus Christi last season, touched the mound for the first time Monday in West Palm Beach, Florida, walking one batter, before inducing a single and putting runners at the corners.
A ground ball turned into a double play got him out of the inning, and like that, spring training ended. West received his one opportunity on the mound, but now, his commitment to the World Baseball Classic is on the forefront of his mind.
“I was super glad to get those nerves out of the way before the (World Baseball) Classic and reminded myself the mound is the same distance anywhere I go,” West said.
Adding a cutter to his arsenal last offseason, West found his best chase with the pitch Monday, keeping him from falling behind in at-bats. He didn’t locate his fastball like usual, but his cutter dug him out of those holes.
Pitching coaches filed reviews Tuesday for those hurlers who faced the Miami Marlins on Monday. West will learn more on his pitch shape and velocity, before he leaves the spring training complex in Florida.
“Every coach in the dugout I would say at some point came up and said great work,” West said. “And they were glad to get me in for an outing before the Classic. They are super supportive people all the way around.”
West leaves Wednesday for Taiwan, taking a three-stop flight to join the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The nation’s first game is scheduled for March 8 against Panama.
Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly updates on the Astros minor league system. Also be sure to follow on Twitter, @AstrosFuture, and like on Facebook, facebook.com/AstrosFuture.