Fans of the Houston Astros (and completive baseball in general) have been waiting for the day when their young players will start to help their big league club win. Dallas Keuchel gave the Astros a glimpse of things to come in his performance last night.
Still just 26 years-old, this is Keuchel’s third season in the Majors. After finishing 2012 with a 5.27 ERA and 2013 with a 5.15 ERA, the Astros weren’t too optimistic about the future of the former 7th-round draft pick out of Arkansas. This year, however, Keuchel has turned his career around. Keuchel has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the American League, owning a 3.06 ERA in 53 innings with a 1.11 WHIP, 47 strikeouts, and just 11 walks. According to ESPN.com, Keuchel is tied with Max Scherzer for second in the AL in WAR at 2.0, a shade behind Mark Buehrle’s 2.2. Keuchel looked every bit as good in last night’s start.
Keuchel threw an absolute gem against his division rival Texas Rangers, throwing a complete-game shutout, allowing just seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. With prospects like Mark Appel, Mike Foltynewicz, and Nick Tropeano lurking in the minors, Keuchel will need to continue to pitch like this to keep his spot in the Astros’ rotation in the near future. If Keuchel can be the pitcher the Astros have seen in his first 8 starts of the season, the outlook for the future just got a tad brighter.