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Garrett Richards Angels Top Prospect #6

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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 Six I have Garrett Richards.  Pitcher, 2009 draft, first supplemental round; one of Eddie Bane's parting gifts to us.

A guy who a lot of people saw as a frontline starter a year ago.  They said he had a chance of being a dominant number one or a really, really good number two.  You know, he might not be that.  I think he might have a ceiling as a number three.  He's got good stuff.  His fastball sits in the mid-90s, really good slider. There has been some speculation that his mechanics and arm action change when he throws his curveball and his change-up, meaning he tips those pitches.  That would be a very good explanation of why he has never quite seen the success that the quality of his raw stuff suggests he should have.  You know, he is a guy we've talked about for a couple of years now.  A guy who has gotten a lot of publicity and a guy who should put up ridiculously good numbers in Double-A in the beginning of 2011.  That's a good park for him.

Rev Halofan: Yeah.  Arkansas plays in a park that has been a pitcher's paradise.  Does that skew things and maybe make us too confident about a pitcher especially relative to how we get confident about hitters in Salt Lake?

Ryan Ghan: I think it might.  I mean, that would be a very good explanation for why the Angles pushed Trevor Reckling as quickly as they did.  You know, they looked at his numbers in Double-A in the previous year and saw that his walk rate was high, his strikeout rate wasn't great, but he had that beautiful tiny homerun rate and good overall success.  But that's at a park where fly balls go to die.  It's one of the most extreme pitchers' parks in the minors and the Angels brass may not have accounted for that as much as they should have. But if they weren't accounting for it properly before, I'm sure that post-Reckling, they've learned their lesson now.

Ryan called it as Garret Richards has stayed in AA despite an amazing season. He is 11-1 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and has allowed only 107 hits in 128 Innings Pitched this year for the Arkansas Travellers.