Minor League Prospect Note: Aaron West, RHP, Houston Astros
We've been talking about late-round sleeper prospects frequently (Collin McHugh, Michael Fiers, etc). Another guy to watch in this category is right-hander Aaron West in the Houston Astros system, drafted in the 17th round this year from the University of Washington.
West's pro debut has been excellent: 6-1 in 11 starts for Tri-City in the New York-Penn League, with a 1.81 ERA and a 57/7 K/BB ratio in 60 innings, with 47 hits allowed. This follows a 2.53 ERA with a 65/18 K/BB in 96 innings for the Huskies this spring. He was also impressive during the 2011 summer college ball season, so he's been throwing well for more than a year now.
West is a 6-1, 195 pound right-hander, born June 1st, 1990. He had an elbow issue in 2010, which hurt his draft stock a bit, but he's been effective when healthy. He features a low-90s fastball, a good slider, and a workable changeup. His command is quite good, he's considered a tough competitor, and he's had no problems yet with professional competition. As mentioned above, since returning from the elbow problem he's thrived, pitching well in both college and pro ball.
As always with college guys in the low minors, we need to see how he holds up at higher levels, but the basics are here and he needs to be tracked as we enter 2013. I think this was a good pick by the Astros.