Born on August 29, 1977 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Roy Oswalt (Roy Edward Oswalt) played for the Houston Astros for his entire 6 year career. Oswalt broke into the bigs on May 6, 2001 with the Houston Astros, and put up a 2.73 ERA in 141.2 innings pitched in 2001, his rookie year.
There is some disagreement on what was Roy Oswalt's most productive season. Some believe that it was 2002, when he posted a 3.01 ERA, won 19 games and struck out 208 batters. However, others believe that it was 2005, when he posted a 2.94 ERA, won 20 games and struck out 184 batters.
Oswalt is an aggressive pitcher who won't back down from any hitter in the league. For his career he averages right at two walks per nine innings, indicating that he would rather challenge hitters than pitch around them. While he's progressed as a pitcher his strike out totals have gone down as he's learned to pitch, evidenced by the fact that his ground ball/fly ball ratio has gotten progressively better since his rookie season.
Oswalt's repertoire consists of a fastball, slider, curveball and a changeup. His fastball tops out at 98 MPH, but normally sits at 93-96 with good sinking movement. He works off his fastball and has had games in the past where he's dominated almost exclusively with it. Oswalt's next best pitch is his curve, which sits around 69 MPH with tremendous 12-6 movement. The sheer speed difference between his heater and his curve is usually enough to throw off most hitters in baseball. He also features a decent slider that hits 85-86 MPH and a rarely-used but effective change, which he consistently throws around 82 MPH.
Hitting and Defense
Oswalt is a decent hitter as far as pitchers go and an excellent bunter. He's essentially a non-factor on the bases on the occasion he does reach.
He has always been a very good defensive pitcher, able to make all the throws he needs to make and rarely missing an assignment, such as covering first or backing up a play at the plate. He's an instinctive defender and doesn't do anything in the field poorly.
Oswalt is one of the premier pitches in all of baseball and, aside from a bumpy 2004 season, has been consistently great throughout his career. His pure stuff and mindset on the mound are good enough to get him through the times he doesn't have his best command and this lends itself to a long and successful career. With his willingness to bust hitters inside, the diminutive right-hander has solidified himself as one of the more feared pitchers in the game today.
- Selected by the Houston Astros in the 23rd round of the free-agent draft on June 4, 1996 - signed on May 18, 1997.