Houston Astros pitching prospect J.P. France has achieved his dream of being promoted to the Major Leagues for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old righty is expected to start Saturday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, according to Chandler Rome of The Athletic. France was selected by the Houston Astros in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, signing for a $1,000 bonus. He has been solid in Triple-A this season, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.33 ERA with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. Throughout his five-year career at various Minor League levels, J.P. France has been a solid contributor to his clubs. During that time, France has a 20-17 record with a 3.73 ERA, while also racking up 447 strikeouts. He has also recorded five saves in the Minors, proving that he can not only start games but close them out.
France is known for his mid-90s fastball, slow curve, and deceptive delivery that leads to plus strikeout stuff. This will be his MLB debut. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 4, 1995, France attended Mississippi State University, as well as Tulane University in his hometown of New Orleans. His college career mirrored that of his professional career so far, posting an 18-17 with a 3.95 ERA and 241 strikeouts.
J.P. France’s call-up is a reflection of the Houston Astros’ pitching rotation right now. While the reigning World Series champions said goodbye to future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander in free agency, many believed that the Houston Astros would enter the 2023 campaign with one of the better rotations in the MLB. However, just one month into the season, the Astros’ pitching rotation has been ravaged by injuries. Lance McCullers Jr. was shut down in the spring with arm soreness and has not begun a rehab assignment yet. Luis Garcia left the game in the 1st inning with an apparent injury. As if the absence of McCullers Jr. wasn’t enough, in the last week, the Astros have placed both Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy on the IL, further depleting the rotation’s depth. While injury news is never something people want to hear, it did open the door for J.P. France to make his Major League debut this weekend.
It remains to be seen if France will remain with the big club following his start this weekend. Still, the fact that he made it to the MLB after all these years is enough for celebration. France’s promotion to the Major Leagues is a testament to his hard work and dedication to his craft. He has been a solid contributor to his clubs throughout his five-year career at various Minor League levels, posting a 20-17 record with a 3.73 ERA, while also racking up 447 strikeouts. He has also recorded five saves in the Minors, proving that he can not only start games but close them out.
France’s debut will be closely watched by both Astros fans and baseball fans alike. With the Astros’ pitching rotation in a state of flux due to injuries, France will have the opportunity to prove himself as a valuable asset to the team. While he may face some challenges in his first Major League start, France’s talent and dedication to his craft suggest that he has what it takes to succeed at the highest level of professional baseball.
In conclusion, J.P. France’s promotion to the Major Leagues is a significant achievement for the young pitcher. His hard work and dedication to his craft have paid off, and he will have the opportunity to prove himself as a valuable asset to the Houston Astros. While the team’s pitching rotation has been hit hard by injuries, France’s debut represents a glimmer of hope for Astros fans. We wish France all the best in his Major League debut and beyond.