On Monday the Houston Astros promoted right-handed pitcher Jordan Jankowski from Triple-A Fresno to the major league roster. Jankowski has been a fixture in the Fresno bullpen for more than two seasons. While an older prospect at age 28, he could still be a useful contributor going forward. Here’s a quick take.
Jordan Jankowski grew up in McMurray, Pennsylvania. He was known to scouts in high school and was drafted in the 34th round in 2008 by the Houston Astros, but choose to go to college at the University of Miami-Ohio. After being used in the bullpen for two seasons he transferred to Catawba College. He moved into the starting rotation there, posting a 2.95 ERA in 98 innings as a junior then a 3.79 ERA in 90 innings as a senior with an excellent 126/24 K/BB.
The Astros were still interested and selected him in the 34th round (again) of the 2012 draft. He was used in the tandem-starter role by the Astros in the lower minors and performed well, then moved into the bullpen full-time at Triple-A Fresno in 2015. In 400 minor league innings he has a 3.20 ERA with an excellent 478/131 K/BB ratio.
Jankowski was rated as a Grade C+ pre-season, although he didn’t make the Top 20 Houston Astros prospects list for 2017. He would have ranked in the 25-30 range. He had a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings for Fresno this year before the promotion, with a 22/9 K/BB.
Listed at 6-1, 225, Jankowski is a right-handed hitter and thrower born May 17, 1989. His fastball isn’t elite, generally right at 90-91 MPH, but he can mix in a decent slider and has developed a splitter since reaching the high minors.
He’s maintained high strikeout rates and has shown he can manage the difficult Pacific Coast League. Overall he projects as a useful middle reliever.
This video is three years old but gives the general idea.