Astros Make Trade for Hometown Pitcher

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow swung a rather under-the-radar deal for Houston native Austin Pruitt.
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow swung a rather under-the-radar deal for Houston native Austin Pruitt. Photo by Jack Gorman
On Thursday, the Astros announced they had acquired pitcher Austin Pruitt from the Tampa Bay Rays for minor leaguers, pitcher Peyton Battenfield and outfielder Cal Stevenson. Pruitt is from Houston. He played at College Park High School in The Woodlands before going to University of Houston. The 30-year-old right hander is out of options, so he is expected to be on the major league roster in 2020 competing for a starter spot at the back of the rotation or as a long middle reliever.

The Astros have had their eye on Pruitt a bit, most likely in part because he has a well above average spin rate on his breaking pitches, something the Astros value quite highly.

The departures of a number of pitchers including Gerrit Cole and reliever Will Harris have left some holes in the Astros pitching roster and their existing salaries leave them rather strapped for salary space, so moves like this one that come with a relatively low risk but potentially high reward are to be expected.

Pruitt was drafted by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2013 draft. He has posted a career record of 12-8 with a 4.87 ERA in 67 games including 10 starts.

To make room for Pruitt on the 40-man roster, pitcher Dan Deetz was designated for assignment.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke