by Dan Peschong
Weird how potential topics come up for blog postings….this one came up just because of a previous article by Chip on the Rule 5 draft.
It bothered me that Jake Buchanan, who I had perceived as having good value to the Astros was not put on the 40 Man Roster and thus was placed at risk of being picked up by another organization. Luckily, Jake successfully made it through and the team has kept a potential future starting pitcher or at least a solid chip to pair up in a future trade.
When I was looking up Buchanan’s recent stats one of the things that struck me was the similarity of those stats to another minor league pitcher – one who was protected on the 40 Man Roster – Asher Wojciechowski.
Both guys pitched at AA and AAA last season. Wojalphabet was 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA at Corpus before spending the majority of the season at OKC posting a 9-7 and a 3.56 ERA.
Jake the Snake spent more time at CC with a 7-2 record and a 2.09 ERA before finishing the season at OKC with a 5-5 record and a 3.89 ERA.
Considering Buchanan is almost a year younger than Asher W. – it made me wonder what criteria was used to pick which one to expose and which one to protect. (Yes, this is not exactly Sophie’s Choice – but I am supposing that it was not an easy decision). So here are some thoughts on each.
The case for Wojciechowski
- Asher did show better numbers after his promotion to AAA. Perhaps the fact that he was giving up 7.8 hits / 9 IP vs. Buchanan’s 10 caught some eyes.
- He has consistently been a better strikeout pitcher than Buchanan averaging above 7 per 9 IP vs. Jake’s below 6 for each of their minor league careers.
- Woj has been excellent in both 2012 and 2013 – with ERAs of 3.09 and 3.32 respectively and a WHIP below 1.2 both seasons, while Buchanan struggled in 2012 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.588 WHIP.
The case for Buchanan
- In 2012 – Buchanan spent basically the whole year at AA ball while a year younger than Asher W. who spend 2/3 of the year at A+ ball before being traded from Toronto and being placed at Corpus.
- Buchanan has shown superior control for a young pitcher. He has averaged 1.8 BB/9 in the minors including a sparkling 1.3 in 2013. He has also averaged 3.11 K/BB so far – with an extremely good 4.50 in 2013. Woj is okay in these categories – 2.5 BB/9 in his career – 2.9 last season and 2.85 K/BB ratio in his career and 2.37 in 2013.
- Jake Buchanan sounds like he should be a starting pitcher. Actually he sounds like he should be the next QB for the Texans – but I digress. Asher Wojciechowski sounds like he should be a bowler who stars in the sequel to the Big Lebowski.
Maybe this one came down to the anti-Moneyball test – what the scouts eyeballs reported or the radar guns recorded. So, what do you think – did the team protect the right guy?