ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 07: Closer Jordan Walden #51 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch in the ninth inning on his way to getting the save against the Seattle Mariners on August 7, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Angels won 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
We continue our countdown of the Angels Top 20 Minor League Prospects as discussed live on the March 29, 2011 episode of our LunchTime HaloTalk internet radio show with minor league analyst Ryan Ghan.
Ryan Ghan: At Number Four, we have a guy who everybody has now seen and hopefully is very excited about:Jordan Walden.Good spring. Even better at the end of last year. Hits the triple digits a lot. Looks like his velocity is just as good this year. He has not hit triple digits yet in spring training, but he was sitting in the high 90s. Oh, he's going to be a very good closer. I just couldn't be more excited about him.
Rev Halofan: I'm thinking he's closing in June, what do you think? How many blows and saves does Fernando Rodney choke up until Jordan Walden is our closer?
Jim Gardner: Hopefully not a lot.
RevHF: Oh, man. I'm very excited about it. I'm a big Jordan Walden booster. I'm very excited about him and I'm great -- glad to hear that he is a number four with you. Are there any other concerns about Jordan Walden?
Ryan Ghan: Well, it seems that every other year he gets hit with some sort of injury that hinders what he is able to do... And this would be that year if the pattern holds. You know, at least there's less of a chance that it will happen now that he is in the bullpen; but he's got this extremely high effort delivery. I mean, he throws himself forward off the mound. He cocks his arm back in this awkward, kind of terrible angle before he unleashes the baseball. But his success is tied up in that delivery. So again, you know, you couldn't cure...you couldn't cure those issues without destroying what's great there. So we'll see.
Jordan Walden was named the closer after the first weekend of the season. Despite 7 Blown Saves, he has established a new rookie Saves record in Angels franchise history, currently at 25. He made the AL All Star Team and pitched an inning in the game. He is 3-3 with 48 K in 45 IP, adding up to an ERA+ of 134 after play on August 7.