Our countdown continues, recorded live the day before the 2011 season began, our minor league analyst Ryan Ghan talks here about keeping hope alive for Last Season's #3 Top Angels Prospect...
REV HALOFAN: All right, moving to probably a great number in the Angel who wore number 15, who is number 15 on our Prospect Countdown?
RYAN GHAN: Oh, it makes me so sad -- this guy slipped further and further the longer the 2010 season went on. I've got Trevor Reckling there.
His velocity is supposedly down. There are a lot of reports saying that he's at 86 to 90 as opposed to 90 to 91 like last year, and that's a pretty substantial drop. It's going to make it a lot harder for him to stay in the rotation. But yeah, you know, things have just gone from bad to worse with this guy. Now, I do want to say that, I am fundamentally a big believer. I like him a lot. I think that there is a good possibility that he turns it around. I am just not sure it's going to be this year or even next year. I think he might be one of those guys that end up bouncing around a little bit and then finally figure something out. I don't think it was an injury last year. I think it's probably because the coaches are tweaking his mechanics a little bit. They're trying to improve his control and I think it's probably having an impact on velocity.
REVHF: Oh, that's tragic, because wasn't he at one point like number two?
RGHAN: Yeah. I think that he was put in number three or number four last year. Some other well-respected people put him in number one.
JIM GARDNER: And you haven't heard anything about any injuries or anything?
RGHAN: This happens pretty frequently with young pitchers. A pitcher is the most delicate instrument in the entire world. I mean, one little thing goes wrong, something in their mechanics changes, and a guy can wake up one day and not be able to do what they were able to do the day before. I think the most stunning example of this is Dontrelle Willis. He just suddenly was not the pitcher he once was.
REVHF: No. Well, let's hope things can happen because I hear people comparing Trevor Reckling to, you know, calling him the... like you're going to have the career of that Al Downing had at the major leaguer years back. So it was like, you know, "Wow, here we go!" And then...
RGHAN: You know, he's got those funky mechanics. He kind of windmills the ball towards home. He has this shoulder tilt where he tilts back towards the second base and then brings his arm and shoulders in this giant circle. It gives him a high release point, a lot of deception, and he is able to get some momentum on his pitch; but it makes command difficult and I know the Angels are trying to smooth that out and I just do not know how is that going to shake out. Those mechanics are why he can do what he does. That is why his curve ball and his changeup have a lot of deception, a lot of movement on them. There is a really good angle on all of his pitches. The mechanics help him to get those groundballs even though he is not that tall of a guy... But the mechanics are a double-bladed sword.
REVHF: Well, let us hope for the best, right?
As of June 14 in 12 Starts for AA Arkansas this season (his second go-round there after a disastrous jump to AAA in 2010), Reckling has a 3.86 ERA with 50 Ks in 70 IP. He has allowed 69 hits, walked 24, given up 9 HR and pitched a shutout in one of his 2 complete games. He turned 22 on May 22.