I can’t believe I’m calling the Astros the biggest winners of the Rule 5 Draft, but with Aneury Rodriguez and now Lance Pendleton, it’s tough to ask for much better.
Pendleton, 27, has always been old for his levels, but his scouting reports check out fine, and he’s pretty much MLB-ready. He and Rodriguez are the only two starting pitchers that fit that bill in the entire Rule 5, and somehow Houston nabbed both of them.
Pendleton’s fastball and curveball both rate above-average, and he throws strikes in the bottom of the zone with both pitches. Is he going to be an ace? Definitely not, particularly considering his age. But Pendleton is likely ready to take on a fifth starter/middle reliever job in the NL right now–he may even be somewhat overqualified for that in terms of skillset.
Well done, Houston. Well done.