I have done these posts from time to time over the life of Astros County, where I highlight an unheralded player who's doing a pretty good job in the minors. The last time was 2013, when I did this for Kenny Long, who was released less than a year later, so you can understand my hesitation in my jinxing powers, which are real (Don't believe me? Show me your Houston Astros World Champions shirt). But maybe my powers have eroded.
It's time to talk about Dean Deetz. Deetz was selected in the 11th Round of the 2014 draft out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M College - the first of three players the Astros selected from that school (Ramon Laureano, 16th Round; Brad Antchak, 39th Round) in the 2014 draft. The most successful NEOKAMC, as far as the Majors are concerned, is Jason Dickson whom, I was surprised to learn, was an All-Star in 1997 and finished 3rd in AL Rookie of the Year voting (Nomar Garciaparra was the unanimous AL ROY).
Deetz missed the entire 2013 season to Tommy John surgery but returned to strike out 56 batters in 41.1IP. Though he was ranked 140th on MLB.com's Top 200 Draft Prospects list, they had this to say:
Deetz has an exceptionally quick arm but is still learning to harness it. He has trouble throwing strikes and locating his pitches on a consistent basis.
Not so much anymore. (One sentence paragraph? Check. I'm basically a newspaper columnist at this point).
His first pro season - 2014 - saw mixed results, mostly bad results. 25.1IP, 30H/25ER, 24K:19BB. So that's 6.8 BB/9 with an 8.88 ERA/1.93 WHIP. 2015 was markedly better: 63.2IP between Tri-City and Quad Cities, 39H/12ER, 50K:23BB. Strikeouts took a dip, but he cut his walk rate in half.
2016 saw Deetz start in Lancaster, where he got Lancastered: 93.1IP, 86H/44ER, 86K:45BB. Walks up slightly, but K/9 up from 7.1 in 2015 to 8.3. After having allowed two homers in 89IP to that point, Deetz allowed nine at Lancaster, which is akin to playing on the surface of the moon.
Deetz was promoted to Corpus in 2016, where he made two starts (12IP). In those two starts he allowed 7H/0ER, 17K:2BB. Starting 2017 in Corpus again, so far he has thrown 8.2IP, where he has allowed 2H/1ER, 10K:2BB. So in 20.2IP at Double-A, Deetz has allowed 9H/1ER, 27K:4BB - a 0.44 ERA/0.63 WHIP.
In 2016, Deetz held righty hitters to a .229/.345/.349 slash line - and that's including 23 appearances at Lancaster. Lefties hit .243/.302/.426 - again, Lancaster'd.
I don't know what the future has in store for Deetz, but if he continues anywhere near the success level he's had at Corpus, he should be seeing California again soon.