Prospect Review – Jordan Lyles – P – HOU

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The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted in the supplemental 1st round (#38) of the 2008 amateur draft
Age: 19


2008 – Greeneville (Appalachian League – Astros Rookie Ball) – 13 starts

  • 3-3, 3.99 ERA, 49 2/3 IP
  • 64 K, 10 BB
  • .345 BABIP, 2.45 FIP, 1.087 WHIP

2008 – Tri-City (New York-Penn League – Astros Short Season A) – 2 starts

  • 6.35 ERA, 5 2/3 IP
  • 4 K, 7 BB
  • .294 BABIP, 10.08 FIP, 2.471 WHIP

2008 Totals (2 levels) – 15 starts

  • 3-3, 4.23 ERA, 55 1/3 IP
  • 68 K, 17 BB

2009 – Lexington (Sally League – Astros Single A) – 26 starts

  • 7-11, 3.24 ERA, 144 2/3 IP
  • 167 K, 38 BB
  • .247 BAA, .349 BABIP, 2.42 FIP, 1.19 WHIP

Baseball America – #3 (HOU – 2010)
Baseball Prospectus – #3 (HOU – 2009) – 3 star
Project Prospect – Unranked (Pitchers – 10/2009)
John Sickels – #2 (HOU – 2010) – B+, #4 (HOU – 2009) – B-


Lyles was drafted in 2008 straight out of high school, and has really done well in his brief time so far as a professional. He struck out 68 against 17 walks in 55 1/3 innings combined between 2 levels in 2008, and followed it up with 167 strikeouts to 38 walks in 144 2/3 innings at Single-A in 2009. His BABIP actually shows that there could be some improvement to some of his other peripheral stats, as he had a BABIP of .349 for the season.

Lyles throws a low 90’s fastball, and also has a curveball and changeup that he appears to command fairly well also. His delivery appears to be very smooth and easy, which should be another positive in his favor.

Of some concern to me would be his increased innings total in 2009, as he easily had a big jump from the total he threw in 2008. However, if the Astros are slightly conservative with the young right-hander in 2010, they should be able to help him to increase his innings without too many setbacks.


I am really looking forward to seeing what Lyles can do next season. I believe he is likely to start the season at High-A, and could very well see an early promotion to AA if he pitches well to start the season. His low walk totals, coupled with those high strikeout numbers, bode well for Lyles to continue his success in 2010. It’s hard to remember that in spite of those numbers, Lyles is still only going to be 19 coming into the 2010 season.

The Astros have never really struck me as a team that is really that concerned about developing players in their minor league system. The only players that I can recall them developing recently that have stuck for any length of time have been Bud Norris (who debuted last year), and Wandy Rodriguez (who came up in 2005, but didn’t really see a lot of success until 2008). With that said, the fact that the Astros do generally like to go sign free agents (most recently Brett Myers), I believe that they will allow Lyles to develop of his own accord. This would be the ideal for his development anyway.

Projection for 2010

9 – 6, 3.40 ERA, 150 IP, 165 K, 40 BB (Split between High-A and AA)

Expected ETA

2012 at the soonest. I could see a mid-season call up that year potentially, with an outside chance to make the team out of Spring Training.

Tomorrow’s Prospect for Review: Trevor Reckling (P) of the Los Angeles Angels

6 responses to “Prospect Review – Jordan Lyles – P – HOU

  1. Lyles’s jump in innings may not be as severe as you think, since he pitched 60-2/3 innings in high school ball in 2008…that means an overall jump of about 30 IP from 2008 -> 2009, which isn’t out of the realm of sanity.

  2. I always seem to forget about that. Should be obvious that if they got drafted, that they made some appearances during the same year.

    30 innings pitched is definitely not a severe jump, especially for a pitcher coming out of high school. Do you think that they could jump him as high as 175+ this season (if he stays healthy)?

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