The organization’s best pitching prospects are either knocking at the door, like Triple-A Fresno righthander Francis Martes, or a long way from Houston, like high Class A Buies Creek righty Franklin Perez.
But while Double-A Corpus Christi starter Dean Deetz is not regarded as a top prospect, the Astros also see major league upside in the 23-year-old righthander.
Deetz recorded a 0.66 ERA through three games (two starts) in April, while striking out 13 and walking three in 13.2 innings. He allowed just four hits, including no home runs.
“He’s one of our sleepers, really,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He’s a guy who not many people have talked about.”
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Deetz throws his fastball in the 93-94 mph range and has dialed it up to 97. His slider is his best secondary pitch. He also throws a changeup that he’s still developing.
Deetz spent most of last season at hitter-friendly high Class A Lancaster, where he recorded a 4.24 ERA in 93.1 innings. The Astros promoted him to Double-A toward the end of the season, where he logged 12 scoreless innings in which he struck out 17.
The Astros selected Deetz in the 11th round of the 2014 draft, plucking him out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M JC, the same two-year program (and same draft class) where they found outfield prospect Ramon Laureano, Deetz’s teammate with Corpus Christi.
Deetz enrolled at the junior college after having missed significant time at Nixa (Mo.) High because he had Tommy John surgery.
After signing Deetz began his pro career in 2014 at Rookie-level Greeneville of the Appalachian League. He has steadily climbed the ladder ever since.
“We like him,” Luhnow said. “(He’s) definitely a guy who continues to progress and do well.”
— Jake Kaplan covers the Astros for the Houston Chronicle