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Gustave Primed For A Breakout

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by CometsWin, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

    May 15, 2000
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    Gustave Primed For A Breakout
    April 5, 2014 by Jose De Jesus Ortiz


    KISSIMMEE, FLA.—On the same day Mark Appel was throwing his first bullpen session since he was cleared to resume throwing after more than two weeks off, a little-known Dominican righthander was dazzling in a live batting practice on a back field at Osceola County Stadium.

    Former major league pitcher Steve Sparks, a knuckleballer who now serves as a radio broadcaster, watched Jandel Gustave in complete amazement.

    “Here’s a name to keep an eye on,” Sparks said. “His delivery is effortless and his fastball explodes on home plate.”

    The entire Astros camp was buzzing after Gustave’s live batting practice session, raving about his mid-90s fastball and superb slider.

    “He was one of our top pitchers in instructional league last year,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He works hard. He’s a good kid and the ceiling is really high.”

    Gustave, 21, signed in 2010 as a 17-year-old out of Pimentel, Dominican Republic. He spent his first two years in the organization in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. He was 2-3, 2.68 at Rookie-level Greeneville last year with 49 strikeouts and 23 walks over 44 innings in 10 starts.

    He averaged 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.74 walks per nine last year. He can still benefit from decreasing his walks, but it’s important to note that his walks per nine has come down from 11.28 in 2010, 15.83 in 2011 and 8.68 in 2012.

    Moreover, his strikeouts per nine innings rate has gone from 9.23 in 2010, 8.84 in 2011, 7.07 in 2012 and 10.10 last year.

    Barring injury, it’s fair to assume the 6-foot-2, 160-pound Gustave won’t be unknown for very long.

    “He’s a young arm with a great frame, very easy arm action,” farm director Quinton McCracken said. “He’s working his secondary (pitches), but he’s a very promising young prospect.”


    • Righthander Asher Wojciechowski had a setback when his right lat injury flared up as he attempted to soft toss into a net for a third consecutive day.

    • Catcher Tyler Heineman, 22, left a good impression before he was optioned to minor league camp in mid-March. “He’s a switch-hitting guy that can really hit from both sides of the plate,” manager Bo Porter said.

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