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Houston Astros recall prized pitcher Hunter Brown

Mar 25, 2022; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Hunter Brown (68) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the game against the New York Mets during spring training at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros on Thursday recalled right-hander Hunter Brown, their No. 1 prospect.

Brown, who turned 24 on Monday, will be available out of the bullpen for Friday’s game against the host Los Angeles Angels.

Brown, a fifth-round pick in 2019, went 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 23 appearances (14 starts) at Triple-A Sugar Land this season. He struck out 134 in 106 innings and allowed just 70 hits.

“Just happy and excited,” Brown told reporters about reaching the big leagues. “There was a lot of work, even back to high school and college, especially this year and last year in the minor leagues and stuff like that.”

Brown is projected as a starter but he could be a valuable reliever in the postseason since batters are unfamiliar with him.

“He has the stuff,” Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters. “It’s just a matter of, ‘Can he command the strike zone?’ — which is always the question with young pitchers.”

Houston also recalled catcher Yainer Diaz from Sugar Land and designated infielder Niko Goodrum and right-hander Peter Solomon for assignment.

Diaz, 23, batted .306 with 25 homers and 96 RBIs in 105 minor league games between two levels this season. He had nine homers in 57 games at Double-A Corpus Christi before slugging 16 in just 48 games for Sugar Land.

Goodrum, 30, batted .116 (5-for-43) in 15 games with the Astros this season.

Solomon, 26, spent time in the big leagues last season but only pitched for Sugar Land this year. He was 8-6 with a 5.20 ERA in 23 appearances (18 starts).

–Field Level Media