Again this week we will continue the Houston Astro player trend and focus on Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles. He has put up some of the best pitching numbers in all of baseball the past six weeks and has gone completely unnoticed in most circles.
Jordan Lyles is the youngest starter in the Astros rotation at only 22 years old. In his next start he will approach 200 innings in an Astros uniform. During the past six weeks he has really turned a corner and begun to develop as someone you want on your fantasy team.
According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, “Entering Tuesday, Lyles had allowed just seven earned runs during his last 372⁄3 innings, and his 1.67 ERA in the six-start span was third-best in the American League.” After Tuesday’s win, that’s now two runs or less in seven consecutive outings.
His peripherals this season haven’t changed dramatically from last year. The biggest reason for his success is his newfound propensity to keep hard hit balls out of the seats. He is allowing .77 HR/9, which is a large improvement over his 1.24 HR/9 last season. He has an excellent strand rate at 78.9% which is a little on the lucky side but can be sustainable for the rest of the season.
It generally takes 200 to 300 innings for a young pitcher to get acclimated to MLB hitters and settle into a groove. Jordan Lyles seems to have found his groove in June with more to come as we head into the midway point of the season.
A young pitcher’s confidence can be a bigger factor than balls and strikes thrown at this point in their careers. Right now Jordan Lyles is gaining more confidence in his abilities as each inning goes by. When you have the fearlessness to challenge hitters in any count like he has shown the past six weeks that makes for a potent adversary on the mound.