The Houston Astros top prospect, right-handed pitcher Hunter Brown, has spent the last couple of days as part of the taxi squad, but will be activated on Friday and pitch out of the bullpen for the pitching-rich Astros team.
The 24-year-old Brown was the Astros fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Wayne State in Michigan and had steadily worked his way through the system before breaking out this season.
Hunter Brown, the Houston Astros top prospect, will join the active roster on Friday
With Triple-A Sugar Land, Brown was 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 23 games, including 14 starts.
Brown has struck out 134 and given up only 70 hits in 106.0 innings and held opponents to a .186 batting average, but has also walked 45, which is something he’ll have to improve upon in Houston.
While the Astros placed Justin Verlander on the disabled list Tuesday, Brown will work out of the bullpen as the team still has five experienced, quality starters on their roster in Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., and Jose Urquidy.
To prepare for his role with the Astros, Brown entered his final game with Sugar Land mid-inning on Sunday, hitting 99 MPH while tossing 3.1 hitless innings.
The Astros have a huge lead in the American League West and that leaves the possibility of Brown getting a start down the stretch as Brown’s future is seen as a starter despite him filling a bullpen role initially.
Earlier this season, Verlander reached the 130-inning mark that allows him to opt out of the second year of the deal he signed with the Astros last season and become a free agent, which could open a spot in the 2023 rotation.
Brown’s fastball is dominating, but he also possesses a power curveball in the 80s that drops off the table which he throws from a three-quarters arm slot, a slider and change up.
Brown will need to learn to command the strike zone more than he has in the minors to this point along with throwing secondary pitches for strikes in order to be successful at the Major League level.