Recently, the Angels’ Minor League Field Coordinator Jack Howell (who was also a former Angel by the way, if anyone was keeping score) joined MLB Now for a phone interview in which he touched briefly on Billy Eppler and his farm system strategy, Matt Thaiss, Jahmai Jones, Alex Meyer, and others.
Here are a few interesting nuggets from that conversation.
On the farm system:
...It was a great draft...We’ve got some good, young talent and we’re really positive in the ways things are going, really expecting some of these guys to move fast.
On Jahmai Jones:
I don’t what will happen, but I assume he’ll start at Burlington (A) as a 19-20 year old...the thing that people don’t realize [about him] is that he loves the game, he wants to be educated in all aspects of the game, and is a great individual...
We definitely feel that in a short period of time that he’s going to blossom.
On Matt Thaiss:
Billy Eppler’s goal for our draft and what he wants our guys to be about are guys that don’t chase, guys that have high exit velocity, and guys who know their red zone. And he is the epitome of that...great plate discipline.
There are some that are like that, that make an adjustment with his hands or his feet and he just catches on right away, and he’s that type of player...I think he’ll really light up some eyes.
On Alex Meyer:
I think it’s just the same thing with our pitchers, the ability to throw strikes and strike people out. Just come in and try to be relaxed and go right after it...I think he’s going to be a great addition at the big league level. I think he’s going to add some good depth.
So there you have it. Howell wasn’t too shabby in his tenure with the Angels as a player and hopefully won’t be too shabby as a minor league field coordinator either. Some good nuggets here, and the excitement over guys like Jahmai and Thaiss by him show that our excitement is more than just homerism.