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August 2, 2014

The Call-Up

Mike Foltynewicz

by Jason Parks and Mauricio Rubio


The Situation: In order to manage his innings workload and give him a well earned taste of the majors, the Astros promoted Mike Foltynewicz from Triple-A and will use the flamethrower out of the bullpen.

Background: Foltynewicz was selected 19th overall in the 2010 draft, a horrid first-round class—save for Harper, Machado, Harvey and Sale—that featured far more bust than boom (Colon, Loux, DeShields, McGuire, Skole, Simpson, Josh Sale, Vitek, Wimmers, Deglan). You get the point. The class was bad.

From jump street, Foltynewicz has been an absolute workhorse, making 104 minor-league starts and logging over 560 innings so far in his brief minor-league career, suggesting that health isn’t something that should be raising any red flags. The results have been mixed—which clouds his ultimate role—but the big righty has a respectable sample of taking the ball when it's handed to him and doing his job, quite the accomplishment in the modern era of pampered arms and disabled list frequency.

The Scouting: The body is everything you want in an innings eater, as the 22-year-old righty stands every bit of 6'4’’ and has a strong, muscular build in the 225 lbs. range. Along with his prototypical power size, the fastball is at the epicenter of his report, an 80-grade potential heart to his pitching machine. The velocity is overpowering, often sitting in the upper ranges of the 90s and touching over 100 with greater frequency than most would consider possible for a starting pitcher. The control far exceeds his command, but most minor-league bats can’t square elite velocity—especially when its elevated—so he’s been able to miss a lot of bats along the way, despite not being able to locate the pitch with any consistency.

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Related Content:  Scouting,  Houston Astros

8 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Ashitaka1110

"Well-earned?" Why do people keep saying he earned this? Why do people keep acting like he deserves to be in the Majors? He's largely been awful this year. He throws hard and people go nuts over velo. Other things matter too, folks.

Aug 02, 2014 07:55 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I think Foltynewicz has earned a call-up to the majors based on the developments in his skill-set (which don't always show up on the stat sheet), his professional sample since getting drafted, strong work ethic/makeup reports and the fact that the Astros major league team is awful and the goal is to build around the youth in the org. Seems pretty understandable and simple to me.

Aug 02, 2014 08:28 AM
 
Ashitaka1110

Seems odd to be calling DeShields a bust already in the same breath as saying a guy who can't find the strike zone most of the time deserves to be in the Show.

I'd also question that makeup report. He's spent the last eight months passive-aggressively whining about not already being in the Majors on Twitter.

Aug 02, 2014 09:47 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

You are free to question whatever you want. But I'm dealing with information gathered by industry sources and from the eyes of members of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Team. You are looking at stats and reading player comments on Twitter. Different approaches.

Aug 02, 2014 11:51 AM
 
Leg4206

No doubt, on all the reasons. People tend to obsess way too much on his stats this year. Development doesn't always show in the stats.

Aug 02, 2014 19:40 PM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

You must be getting makeup reports from different sources than a lot of other people are.

Aug 03, 2014 17:04 PM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

And I'm not talking about Twitter, FWIW

Aug 03, 2014 17:04 PM
rating: 0
 
Jquinton82

Did you guys do one on billy burns and if so can I get the link

Aug 02, 2014 12:58 PM
rating: 0
 
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Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/01)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Chris Tay... (07/25)
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Premium Article The Call-Up: Javier Ba... (08/05)
Next Article >>
Trade Deadline (08/02)

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