After Keith Morris became the latest (and possibly harshest, outside of us Halos Heaven crazies) baseball writer to dig into the Angels' ugly farm system situation today, we could all use a little injection of positivity regarding some of our youngsters. Well, USA Today is throwing us a bone, because they've got Nick Tropeano and Jett Bandy listed in their 100 Names You Need To Know In 2016 column. We're saved! Okay, maybe not...but after today's Angels prospect haranguing, i'll take what I can get, even if it's practically breadcrumbs.
NiTro is first up, at #50...what, you thought they'd be up towards the top of the list?! Nah. But it's still nice to see Tropeano being shown some love by the media.
Tropeano arrived in a November 2014 trade as part of then-general manager Jerry Dipoto’s efforts to bolster the organization’s pitching depth. Tropeano, 25, did not get an extended look until he made four September starts. Tropeano, one of a handful of candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation, uses a fastball that hovers just above 90 mph to set up an excellent changeup, his signature pitch against lefties and righties.
I've said before that the rotation is probably the one aspect of the 2016 team that i'm most excited for. I've also said there are a lot of question marks, but i'm optimistic that this group of possible starters will not only do well, but the sheer amount of options they'll have for the rotation will be a big plus, too. Not to mention possible trade bait, if all goes well. NiTro figures to be a big part of that.
Next up, if you scroll damn near to the end of the article to #96, you'll see AAA catcher Jett Bandy, he of the amazing name and possible nicknames to go along with it (just like when I saw him play in Las Vegas last year, I am looking for any reason to scream "the Bandy man can!").
The Angels made a nice find last season with Carlos Perez, who started half their games behind the plate as a rookie after spending seven years in the minors. Bandy, a 31st-round pick out of the University of Arizona in 2011, might follow a similar path. At 6-4, 235 pounds, the 25-year-old provides a big target behind the plate and handles pitchers well. He also has reached double digits in home runs the last two years.
Bandy just came up recently when I was discussing Baseball Prospectus' summation of the Angels possible roster, and I believe that an aging Geovany Soto is going to open lots of doors for him to get some playing time with the big league club. A battery of Carlos Perez and Jett Bandy sounds super to me, now we just have to cross our fingers that he brings his A game.
All in all, a couple names out of 100 isn't getting me to pencil them into the World Series, but it is a start in washing the rancid flavor of Keith Law's rankings out of my mouth.