A look at Jordan Lyles, starting pitcher for the Houston Astros.
Jordan Lyles was drafted out of high school in 2008 in supplementary round, #38 overall by the Astros. He was only 17 years old at the time and was immediately assigned to Rookie ball. Lyles immediately had success and quickly climbed through the minors, posting solid numbers across all levels.
Jordan Lyles first appeared on Keith Law's top 100 prospects list in 2010, debuting at #60 and peaked at #42 in 2011. Lyles made his major league debut on May 31, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs at the young age of 21.
According to Brooks Baseball, Lyles has four pitches he mostly uses; a low 90's 4 seamer (27%), low 90's sinker (25%), high 70's curveball (16%), and mid 80's cutter (14%). An interesting note is that according to Keith Law's top 100 prospects from 2011, Lyles only plus pitch is his changeup, which he's used sparingly this year (4%) compared to last year (12%). It may be because whenever he's thrown it this year, it's been getting absolutely hammered (.423 batting average against).
Even though Lyles has struggled in his brief time in the majors (32 starts, 5.26 ERA), he is only 21 years old and had he gone to college, probably would have spent this year as his first full year in the minors. Keith Law projected him last year as a possible future #2, and if he was in the Dbacks organization, would probably be in a long line behind Kennedy, Hudson, Cahill, Miley, Corbin, Bauer, Skaggs, and maybe even David Holmberg trying to break into the rotation.
Lyles has had two starts against the Dbacks in his career, both at Chase Field, and has been killed in both of them. Last year, on August 8, Lyles went 5 innings, giving up 12 hits, 7 runs, walking none and striking out 2, while this year, on July 22, Lyles went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 10 hits, 8 runs (5 earned), walking none and striking out 2. Even though his starts don't seem like they've been much better lately, one thing to look for today is if Lyles is able to get Dbacks hitters out via strike out. In his first 13 starts this year, Lyles only struck out 44 batters in 74 innings. Since his last start against the Dbacks, in his last 25 innings, he has struck out 22 batters.
Interesting 2008 MLB Draft Facts
With the #26 overall pick, the Dbacks picked Daniel Schlereth, a relief pitcher from the University of Arizona. Many thought that the Dbacks chose Schlereth because he had "now" stuff and would be able to possibly even make the Dbacks roster to help them with the 2008 pennant race. Suffice to say, Schlereth did not make it to the majors until 2009 and was part of the 3 team trade that sent him and Scherzer to the Tigers and brought Kennedy to the Dbacks from the Yankees and Edwin Jackson to the Dbacks from the Tigers. Looking back, I'm sure the Dbacks would rather have had Lyles as I'm sure it would have been easy to find another relief pitcher to send to the Tigers. Oh well, at least the Dbacks were able to draft Wade Miley 5 picks after the Astros took Lyles!