Coming into the 2023 season, the Astros top prospect, pitcher Hunter Brown, had already shown his abilities at the big league level and got a spot on the major league roster out of Spring Training. He would quickly graduate the prospect list but this left many wondering who the next breakout Astros pitching prospect would be.
If they have been following for a while, they would know the name Spencer Arrighetti. Here on AstrosFuture, I had Arrighetti as the next best pitching prospect behind Brown, as did Baseball America. MLB had him 3rd, behind Brown and Colton Gordon.
Arrighetti had some good hype build up coming off a breakout 2022 season which saw him lead the system in strikeouts with 152 in 106.2 innings, including a strong finish in Double-A. I also wrote this piece on him last season.
Unfortunately, things didn’t really go his way during the month of April. The right-hander had a 11.05 ERA allowing 22 hits and 18 earned runs in just 14.2 innings. A rough start for what was expected to be the next breakout arm for the Astros, following the long list of system developed pitchers.
But over the last month, Arrighetti has proven exactly why he was ranked so highly. In 27 innings during the month of May, Arrighetti posted a 0.67 ERA (2 ER) while striking out 37. In his most recent outing, he set a career high with 12 K in just 5 innings. He has been nearly unhittable allowing just 8 singles and 4 doubles in May, good for a .136 BAA. He also posted a 29.0 K-BB% during the month of May.
“I’m glad I’ve righted the ship in a big way,” Arrighetti told Astros Future. I asked him if he changed anything from earlier in the season and his answer was simple…
“I remembered how to throw hard and remembered how to compete,” Arrighetti said with a laugh. We have all heard how important the mental side of the game is. This illustrates that. We’ve seen pitchers like Framber Valdez become legitimate aces after working through some things on the mental side.
Even last season, Arrighetti talked to me about the mental approach to the game and staying focused. With the injuries the Astros have experienced this season on the staff, and the constant need for pitching, Arrighetti hitting his stride now could be big for his opportunity, and for the Astros big league staff.