The Houston Astros struck gold, following the 2022 MLB Draft. Conversations began with right-handed pitcher Logan VanWey weeks before the 20th round last July, and after VanWey didn’t hear his name called, Houston swooped in to sign the Missouri Southern right hander.
Upon his arrival to West Palm Beach, Florida, last summer, VanWey knew his potential, and after four outings, everyone knew he was ready for a promotion. In eight innings of work, the then 23 year old punched out 16 batters, surrendering one hit and issuing three walks.
But a promotion never came.
VanWey hit an innings limit compounded by time in college, in the Pioneer League and in the Florida Complex League. The Astros advised him to take two weeks off from throwing, but he pivoted to a month and a half, before starting his offseason throwing program.
VanWey arrived to minor league camp with a new point of emphasis: add a sinker. Releasing pitches from a lower slot, the righty looks to complement his sinker with his sweeping slider — his go-to pitch.
“The at-bat I threw it, I got a weak ground ball to shortstop,” said VanWey. “It’s more of a weak-contact pitch to tunnel with my slider.”
Throwing every day, VanWey is scheduled to face live hitters again Sunday on the backfields at the Astros’ complex. While he doesn’t have a strong sense of his velocity, he knows it’s a tick down compared to his fastball.
The 24 year old expects to begin the 2023 season in Single-A Fayetteville. Ricky Rivera, the FCL Astros Orange manager in 2022, will manage the Woodpeckers this season, strengthening a connection with his first professional coach.
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