On the Farm: RHP Mike Foltynewicz rises through Astros' system

By Griffin Phelps

As a senior at Minooka HS in 2010, RHP Mike Foltynewicz was ranked by Prep Baseball Report as No. 1 overall prospect in Illinois.  After his showing at the Super 60 Pro Showcase, it was easy to understand why. 

Foltynewicz commanded a 91-93 mph range, along with an electric slider.  Later that spring, he impressed MLB scouts with a fastball that began flashing 96 and parlayed his talents into a first-round pick, going 19th overall to the Houston Astros in that June’s MLB Amateur Draft.  For obvious reasons, Foltynewicz decided to forgo playing baseball at the University of Texas and begin his career as a professional. 

So where is he now?

Entering the 2012 season, Foltynewicz is earmarked as one of the Houston Astros’ prized prospects. He just finished up his third professional season, pitching for the Lexington Legends in the South Atlantic League.  Foltynewicz’s third season was easily his best.  He compiled a 14-4 record, striking out 125 batters in 152 innings along the way.  Pair those stats with a 3.14 ERA and it’s no wonder he was named the Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012. Along with his Pitcher of the Year honor, Foltynewicz earned a spot in the Sally League All-Star Game.

After a strong 2012 campaign, where does Mike Foltynewicz go from here?

According to Zachary Levine, former Astros writer for the Houston Chronicle, the Astros front office has hinted that Foltynewicz will skip class Hi-A and begin next season with their AA club, the Corpus Christi Hooks.  A strong showing in the Texas League next year would only further improve his stock, and Foltynewicz, who just turned 21 this October, could find himself with the big club sooner than later.

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