Andrew Thurman was seemingly an afterthought when he was packaged up with Mike Foltynewicz and Rio Ruiz in the trade that sent Evan Gattis to Houston. However, Thurman is a nice prospect in his own right. A second round pick just two years ago, Thurman still has a lot of upside and is one of the most underrated prospects in the farm system. He arguably had the best 2015 of the trio, as well.
Thurman had mixed results in his two seasons in the Astros’ farm system, but his peripheral stats were pretty good with high strikeout totals and a low issued walk rate. The 23-year old began the season for the Carolina Mudcats, where he pitched very well. Though his strikeout totals decreased a bit, he only issued 1.7 walks per nine innings and posted a 3.38 ERA in 11 starts. However, things took a turn for the worse when he was promoted to AA Mississippi. In five starts, he walked more batters (16) than he struck out (14).
Thurman’s season did not end up being anything to write home about, but he was solid despite being injured in the Mudcats’ bus crash in June. This was the second DL stint of the year for Thurman. Thus, I’m giving the UC Irvine product a bit of a free pass regarding his 2015 campaign. I’m looking forward to seeing Thurman start full-time for Mississippi now that he’s gotten a taste for AA. Adjusting levels is never easy and I’m not terribly concerned with his ability so much as him staying healthy. However, the real test now begins: he must prove himself in the higher ranks of the minor leagues.
Thurman is a right-hander, and his arsenal includes a fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. His fastball is his best pitch, with his changeup being his strongest secondary pitch. Scouts feel that he must work on his command, but if he puts it together his four-pitch arsenal can be very effective for a starter.
I think Thurman has the potential to be a low-to-mid rotation starter, or perhaps he will end up making a move to the bullpen with our plethora of starting pitching in our farm system. Either way, he’s one of the biggest sleepers in the system. We have Thurman ranked as the Braves’ 23rd best prospect.
With the final series of the season starting this evening, this will conclude the 2015 season’s series of prospect profiles. We hope that you have been able to get a better feel for the guys we have in our system, as these guys are crucial for the franchise’s future success.