Thursday, June 2, 2011


At only 21 years old, Houston Astros SP prospect Jordan Lyles made his MLB debut on Tuesday and pitched very well in place of the injured Wandy Rodriguez to the tune of 7 IP with 5 H 0 BB 1 ER and 5 K's.  He was in line to win the game but lost the chance due to shoddy bullpen work after he left the outing.  No doubt this was a very impressive first start for the kid and the former 2008 supplemental draft pick was talked about as a future ace.  So as Lyles embarks on his career, now would be the perfect time to take a look at what could be in store for him and his fantasy baseball owners the remainder of the season. 

As far as Lyles the player is concerned, he was putting up nice numbers in his Triple A campaign before being called up.  Lyles pitched to a 3.20 ERA with 41 K over 59 IP and so he obviously showed he was ready for a promotion.  Lyles's biggest strength as a pitcher is his loaded repertoire that is highlighted by a tremendous level of control.  Usually with young pitchers, control and walks are a big problem but that is far from the case with Lyles.  He didn't walk one batter in his debut and he will be a nice boost long term and maybe even short term in the WHIP department as a result of this gift. 

Now as far as the rest of the package is concerned, Lyles uses his various pitch arsenal to induce a big amount of ground balls and so home runs are also not a major concern here as well.  Its always nice to have pitchers who don't give up the gopher balls and Lyles is that type of starter.  What he is not however is a big time strikeout pitcher.  The 41 K's in 59 minor league innings this season shows that in spades and so Lyles should not be counted on for a boost in that stat.  The rest of the package though surely makes up for this.

All in all, Jordan Lyles is a name to pick up in all deeper formats and be monitored in shallow formats.  The lack of strikeouts eliminate him as a must have but he clearly has the stuff to be a nice back end starter.  The pedigree and natural ability is a harbinger of nice things to come here as soon as the this season.

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