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‘Persevered and just determined’: Jimmy Endersby excels in move to bullpen

Houston Astros' Jimmy Endersby
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 MLB Draft was unlike any other. Going into the season, everyone thought it would be a 40 round draft like normal. Fast forward a few months and COVID ended up throwing a wrench in the draft and the season. The MLB Draft ended up being just five rounds, which means the UDFA crowd would be stronger than normal. One pitcher the Astros signed following the draft was Jimmy Endersby.

Endersby pitched a couple seasons as Cal State Fullerton before pitching at Concordia in 2020. He posted a 1.88 ERA with 37 K in 28.2 innings before the season was cancelled. But he showed enough that the Astros quickly moved into sign him following the draft.

Enderbsy had a strong first full season posting a 3.90 ERA with 110 K in 97 innings. The next year he made it up to Triple-A, but had some struggles. Despite his previous success, this season didn’t start out well either which led Endersby to end up on the development list in May, though he took it in stride.

“I just persevered and just determined to get through it. I stayed optimistic and positive for the most part. I was like I am going to make some changes and we will go from there,” Endersby said.

Going on the development list and struggling in Triple-A put that thought in his mind that maybe this was it for his baseball career. “I thought about. It was a tough time,” Endersby said.

He ended up on the development list two more times in June and another time in July to continue to work through some issues.

“I just went back to what I used to do. We wanted to change a few things and I didn’t feel comfortable with it. So I just looked at videos from past years and thought ‘why don’t I go back to what I was good at’ and that’s what I ended up doing,” Endersby said.

This season, Endersby has also made a permanent move to the bullpen. This transition is not always easy and while some have immediate success, some prospects can struggle with the change.

“Transition early was hard, it was discouraging for the most part,” Endersby said “But then you get to realize that’s a role you have to do and if that gets me to the big leagues then it does. So I ran with it,” Endersby added.

Endersby has had success in the bullpen since coming off the development list. Going back to June 14th, a span of 17 games, Endersby has a 2.22 ERA with 28 K in 28.1 innings.

On top of the good numbers he has posted, Endersby has also seen his pitches play up now pitching in just an inning or two a game.

“I’ve seen my velo go up. My pitches play a little better I think,” Endersby said.

While the transition was hard, Endersby had guys to lean on and other pitchers that helped support him.

“The guys in the pen. When I was on the development list I just went to the dudes in the pen because that’s when I became a reliever… and then from there just pick brains,” Endersby said.

While he started in college and was a starter when he first came into the professional game, his recent success in the bullpen makes it appear his best chance to make the big leagues will be in the pen… and as we all know, teams needs more relievers than starters throughout the season.

If he can continue this success, he could be another pitcher to debut for Houston.

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