How did he get here?: Undrafted free agent, signed August 2009
Stats: 6'4", 175 lbs, Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 19
Birthplace/Hometown: La Joya, TX
Men of the Match: 5
Alaniz signed with the Astros in August 2009 after graduating from Juarez-Lincoln High School in La Joya, Texas. Scout Rusty Pendergrass thinks Alaniz can develop into a Major-League starter, and reported to the GCL Astros in August, but did not pitch in 2009.
He led the Gastros in wins (6), strikeouts (42), and fewest walks by a starter (10). His four losses came in successive starts (July 17/22 and Aug 1/8), but he only allowed 2ER in his last 17.2IP.
What went right?
Throwing at lefties. Even though LHBs hit him for a higher average (.303), Alaniz held LHBs to 7ER, for a 2.66 ERA, as opposed to 5.29 against RHBs. He also allowed five homers in 2010 - all to RHBs.
Road games. Alaniz' ERA was over half a run lower on the road than at home (3.94, as opposed to 4.50), and he got a right-side-up GB/FB ratio of 1.31, against 0.72 at home.
August. In five August starts, Alaniz allowed 9ER - 4ER in one start against Johnson City - and posted a 1.09 WHIP. He also only walked three batters in 28.1 August IP.
What went wrong?
July. Alaniz lost his way a little bit in his 3rd-7th starts, allowing 18ER in 19.1IP with 30H/6BB. This was affected by a 2.2IP, 12H/10ER start at Bluefield. So let's take it for what it is.
Runners on. With the bases empty, Alaniz allowed a .252 BAA, and a 1.23 WHIP. With runners on, that jumped to a .323 BAA, four of the five homers, and a 1.40 WHIP.
Appy Astros says:
Alaniz's adjusted ERA being over one point lower than his actual tells me he was also a victim of a bad outing. Alaniz should and could make the jump to Lexington but I suspect he might wind up in Tri Cities due to lack of spots.
Can't argue with that. As long as he keeps that walk rate low, and the ball on the ground, he should be able to go pretty far.