With their sixth round (192nd overall) pick, the Houston Astros have selected RHP RJ Freure.
Hometown: Burlington, Ont.
Height/Weight: 6’ 1” 205 lbs.
Teams: Pitt University, Chatham Anglers
Coaches: Joe Jordano, Jerry Oakes
Past Teams: Ontario Blue Jays, Canadian Junior National Team, Burlington Bulls.
Past Coaches: Mike Steed, Dan Bleiwas, Dino Roumel, Greg Hamilton, Dave Bedford.
Twitter Handle: @rjfreure33
Slot Money: $237,600
A draft-eligible sophomore this June, Freure has been a critical piece out of the Panthers’ bullpen as he has made a team-high 25 appearances which have spanned 55 innings, showing his durability and stamina. Freure, who is strongly built with a power reliever’s profile at 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, has been just that for Pitt in 2018 with a fastball/curveball combo that he has used to collect 90 punchouts on the year while limiting opponents to a .230 average. While Freure has been used almost exclusively out of the bullpen this spring, his delivery isn’t an up-tempo, high effort type often associated with power-armed relievers, and in fact he has just the opposite with a simple, balanced delivery that you’d be more likely to find in a starting arm. The velocity comes easy for Freure as he’ll work in the 92-95 mph range with his heater and he holds it well over his multiple inning stints. A separator for Freure from other hard throwing bullpen pieces in the ACC however is his plus curveball, a hammer of a pitch that offers 12-to-6 shape and late bite.
2018 season as a sophomore at Pitt: 4-1, 4.30 ERA, with one save in 27 games, making one start ... Walked 35 and struck out 95 in 58 2/3 innings ... Opponents batting .227 ... Worked 1 2/3 innings against North Carolina in ACC tourney, allowing one run on one hit and four walks, while striking out a pair ... Two scoreless allowing one hit and striking out three against Georgia Tech ... Worked one inning allowing a run against Clemson, fanning three ... Allowed one run on two walks and a hit in 2/3 of an inning facing Clemson ... Scoreless outing against Louisville allowing one hit, fanning one ... Gave up two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings facing Louisville ... Allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings, while striking out three facing Notre Dame ... Gave up two runs on two hits and two walks, while whiffing five in two innings ... Worked 1 2/3 scoreless against LIU Brooklyn with five strikeouts ... Pitched another 1 2/3 scoreless giving up two hits and a walk, as he fanned four facing Brooklyn ... Facing Miami turned in 2 1/3 scoreless allowing three hits, striking out one ... Turned in 1 1/3 scoreless facing Kent State allowing two base runners (a walks, a hit) while striking out a pair ... Turned in 5 2/3 scoreless allowing six base runners (three hits, three walks) as he struck out 11 ... Allowed three runs to West Virginia giving up two hits and three walks, as he fanned three ... Tossed 4 1/3 against Boston College giving up two runs on a base hit and three walks, as he fanned four ... Had two scoreless against Youngstown State allowing a hit and a walk as he whiffed five ... Allowed four runs on four hits and three walks against Virginia as he struck out two ... Tossed five against Duke allowing three hits and two walks, while whiffing eight ... Tossed 1 1/3 scoreless giving up two hits and striking out a pair ... Had a rough one against North Carolina allowing seven runs -- six earned -- on four hits and three walks, as he struck out one in 2/3 of an inning against North Carolina ... Pitched three innings giving up two runs as he was touched for one hit and two walks in two innings as he fanned a pair against Virginia Tech ... Had 1 1/3 scoreless giving up one hit and striking out a pair ... A scoreless inning facing Saint Peter’s, striking out one ... Tossed four scoreless against UMass giving up a hit and a walk, as he struck out nine ... Another scoreless inning against USC Upstate allowing a hit and two walks, as he struck out a pair ... Five scoreless against Oakland, allowing two hits, while fanning nine ... In his debut he pitched 1 2/3 innings against Saint Louis as he gave up two hits and a walk, while he struck out four.
2017 summer with Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League: 2-2, 4.41 in 12 games ... Walked 10, struck out 18 in 18 1/3 innings.
2017 season as a freshman at Pitt: Was 4-1 with a 4.74 ERA in 21 appearances pitching 38 innings … Led the pen with 46 strikeouts … Held opponents to a .250 average … Made collegiate debut in Sunshine State Classic against Delaware with a scoreless inning of relief, striking out one on the way to his first collegiate win … Went to 2-0 against Siena, pitching three scoreless, allowing one hit and one walk, fanning four … He fanned a career-high six batters in Pitt’s win over Notre Dame after tossing four scoreless, allowing one hit and one walk, capturing the win to improve to 3-1 … Recorded Pitt’s first ever win over Miami with three scoreless against SIU Edwardsville … Tossed two innings against West Virginia.
2018 Honours: Earned Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s National Player of the Week, after two outings in Sunshine State Series, tossing 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run off four hits. He walked just one batter, while fanning 13 against Saint Louis (1 2/3 of relief) and five innings against Oakland, setting down 10 straight. The 13 strikeouts, gave him the NCAA lead.
2016 Honours: Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American (Canada/Puerto Rico - All Region 1st Team) ... Ranked among Top 10 fastballs (4th of 10th) at National Pre-Draft Showcase.
2015 Honours: Preseason All American Canada/Puerto Rico-All Region 1st Team ... MVP of 18u Perfect Game BCS Final PG national championship with a 4-2 with over Next Level (Tallahassee, Fla.) as the Ontario Blue Jays became the first elite travel team based in Canada to win a Perfect Game tournament championship in PG’s 20-year history ... All Tournament Team 18U BCS Finals ... All Tournament Team WWBA World Championship.