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MLB draft 2017: Angels farm depth report - Starters: It’s all about the pitching

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Grayson Long and Jaime Barria are probably the 2 most exciting up and coming starters

The MLB draft is about a week away, so we’ll be taking look at the Angels farm system. Where are they strong? Where are they weak? In this edition, let’s take a look at relief pitchers.

Winning game is all about pitching. Unless of course your offense can’t get score any runs, then pitching only gets you so far. But, generally speaking the teams that make the deep playoff runs - the teams that make the World Series - usually have the best rotation. So who do the Angels have in the pipeline?

Hanging out in Salt Lake are some guys like Troy Scribner, Nate Smith, Parker Bridewell, Vicente Campos. All guys who are ready and itching to show they belong in a big league rotation. But do they? It’s a tricky question, and the Angels org is filled with 5th starter type guy. There ARE a few standouts, and you can read about them below.

Big League Guys

Matt Shoemaker, 30, RHP
Contract: Signed through 2017, $3.33 Million, 2018 Arb eligible

Ricky Nolasco, 34, RHP
Contract: Signed through 2017, 4 years/$49 Million, 2018 team option

Jesse Chavez, 33, RHP4
Contract: Signed through 2017, $5.75 Million

Alex Meyer, 27, RHP
Contract: Team control, $535,000, Arb eligible in 2020

JC Ramirez, 28, RHP
Contract: Team control, $550,000, Arb eligible in 2019

Disabled List

Andrew Heaney, 26, LHP
Contract: Signed through 2017, $543,000, 2018 Arb eligible

Garrett Richards, 29, RHP
Contract: Signed through 2017, $6.85 Million, 2018 Arb eligible

Tyler Skaggs, 26, LHP
Contract: Signed through 2017, $555,000, 2018 Arb eligible

Nick Tropeano, 26, RHP
Contract: Team control, $542,500, 2019 Arb eligible

Major League Ready:

Parker Bridwell, 25, RHP
Drafted: 9th Round 2010 (BAIL)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: Been there done that
Eppler grabbed Bridwell from the Orioles for good ole CC (Cash considerations). He immediately landed at #11 on the MLB top prospects list for the Angels (he was #15 in Baltimore who was apparently over him). Bridewell has done really well in the minors this year and even had a good spot start for the Angels. Another key rotation depth pieces that could make some spot starts and get a more regular chance should any injuries happen at the big league level.

Nate Smith, 25, LHP
Drafted: 8th Round 2013
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2017
Top prospect Nate Smith would have already seen big league action last September if an injury didn’t shut him down. He sat out most of spring as well and only pitched on game in Salt Lake before ending up back on the DL. Smith profiles as a #5 starter type and with the rate at which the Angels go through pitchers, it’s only a matter of time before he gets his shot - if he can stay healthy.

Vicente Campos, 24, RHP
Drafted: International free agent 2009 (SEA)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2017/2018
Campos is another top prospect and he has a history of injury issues. The Yankees grew tires of him always being broken so the Angels took a shot. He’s been struggling in Salt Lake so far this year with nearly a walk per inning and just over one hit per inning.

Daniel Wright, 26, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round 2012 (MIL)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: Been there done that
Realistically is mostly a depth piece and spot starter. He was DFA’d and cleared waivers so ended up back in Salt Lake. He doesn’t likley have a future as a regular man in the rotation at the big league level.

Near Future Major League Ready:

Tory Scribner, 25, RHP
Drafted: Undrafted free agent 2013 (Hou)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2017/2018
For an undrafted dude, Scribner sure has made a name for himself. He has a 3.71 ERA in his 4+ years in the minors with a .221 BAA and .123 WHIP. He also has an impressive 455 IKs in 413 IP. His last couple starts in Salt Lake were rough but he’s done a good job since he was bumped up in mid April. He’s more about control rather than having nasty stuff and it remains to be seen how that will translate at the big league level.

Greyson Long, 23, RHP
Drafted: 3rd Round 2015
Current Level: AA
MLB ETA: 2019
Along with Jaime Barria, Long is one of the most exciting pitchers currently in the system. He had a solid college career but still needs a bit more work before he is ready. He has a ceiling of maybe a 3/4 rotation kind of guy with a likely 5th starter floor. He may end up in AAA before the season is over and right now in AAA has a 3.21 ERA witha .222 BAA and 1.14 WHIP. On May 26th, Long took a no-hitter into the 6th inning and worked into the 7th inning for the first time in his career.

Jaime Barria, 20, RHP
Drafted: International free agent 2015
Current Level: AA
MLB ETA: 2018(late)/2019
Barria has been super impressive as he has (quickly) moved through the system, often pitching to guys several years older and several years further ahead in their development (he’s 4 year under the average age in AA). Barria has a low 90s fastball that could get better as he matures, and has an above average changeup and plus control. Barria blew through the hitter friendly Cal League so the Angels moved him up to Mobile where he took on the challenge and allowed only 1 run in his first start of 5 innings while striking out 5. Keep an eye on this kid because he cold land in Salt Lake at the age of 21 (he turns 21 in July).

Probably Major League Some Day:

Alex Blackford, 26, RHP
Drafted: 37th Round 2013
Current Level: AA
MLB ETA: 2018/2019
Blackford took a step back after struggling in Salt Lake this year and was recently send back to AA. He was one of the best pitchers in the org last year (maybe second to Kipper) with his 3.07 ERA and .189 BAA in AA. He’s done well for being such a late round pick but probably has a ceiling as a 5th starter or spot starter and AAA depth.

Osmer Morales, 24, RHP
Drafted: International free agent 2010 (SEA)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2019
Think Jered Weaver here as Morales only throws in the upper 80s but his best assets are his deception, good off speed pitches, and pretty solid control. He’s off to a good start in Mobile this year and the could make an appearance in some shape of form on the Angels roster in 2019.

Jake Jewell, 24, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round 2014
Current Level: AA
MLB ETA: 2019?
Still a top prospect, but Jewell has dropped of a bit with some of the new additions and after being beat up in the non pitcher friendly California league last year. With improved command and a better changeup, he could have a ceiling as a middle of the rotation kind of guy but he could also end up in the bullpen in the future.

Tyler Carpenter, 25, RHP
Drafted: 25th Round 2014
Current Level: AA
MLB ETA: 2019?
A late round pick who has been impressive as he’s moved through the system. Carpenter has great command and control and has allowed only 1.3 BB/9 over the past two seasons. His ceiling is probably as a 5th starter our long reliever.

Too soon to know / Questionable:

Jesus Castillo, 21, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2011 (ARI)
Current Level: A+
Castillo came over in the Joe Smith trade and instantly become a top prospect in the Angels system (on the lower end). He has a low 90s fastball and a curve and changeup that need some work. Given his age, his fastball may even hit mid 90s as he matures. Castillo was basically a lottery ticket but has performed well to date. He had a strong second half in Burlington last year and sports a 3.78 ERA so far in high A ball. Despite his good ERA, he has a rather high 1.44 WHIP and .286 BAA.

Luis Pena, 21, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2013
Current Level: A+
Pena is a bit of a long spot for a future starting role and has some growth to do. He could end up as a long man out of the bullpen in the future.

Jose Rodriguez, 21, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2013
Current Level: A+
Rodriguez has good control of his 90ish MPH fastball and his changeup which generates a lot of weak contact. His not outstanding in any tool and profiles at best as a back end rotation guy. His 3.95 ERA in the Cal league this year is respectable, as are his 64 Ks in 66 IP.

Jeremy Rhoades, 24, RHP
Drafted: 4th round 2014
Current Level: A+
Once a top prospect, Rhoades has fallen off the list. His unusual delivery may land him in the bullpen in the future. He also is mainly a two pitch guy with a pretty weak changeup but solid fastball and slider. He probably has a ceiling or middle inning bullpen arm.

Joe Gatto, 21, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round 2014
Current Level: A
Gatto is a top prospect who is back in A ball for a second year after posting a 7.03 ERA in 2016 with a 1.89 WHP. Throughout his career, he’s walked a batter on average of every other inning. Gatto has a solid fastball and control, but doesn’t command his off speed pitches all that well. According to Baseball American, he has the best curveball in the system.

Oliver Ortega, 20, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2015
Current Level: ROK
Not much info on Ortega other than he had a huge turnaround in performance from his rookie year to 2016 (and his rookie year was decent). Last year for the AZL Angels, he put up a 2.83 ERA, .156 BAA, and 0.87 WHIP, which even in rookie ball is super impressive.

Cole Duensing, 18, RHP
Drafted: 6th round 2016
Current Level: ROK
The Angels went young in day of the 2016 draft that that included Duensing. He needs to grow a bit, and he will at his age and currently can throw a low 90s fastball. he has a huge upside but needs to add weight (only 175# at 6’4”) and work on his secondary pitches.

Chris Rodriguez, 18, RHP
Drafted: 4th round 2016
Current Level: ROK
High upsides from this prep arm who could be a middle of the rotation guy or a back end reliever. He has a solid fastball with good movement, a slider, and a cutter - all that he can throw for strikes. He only threw 11.1 innings last year so he’ll be one to keep an eye on in 2017.

Elvin Rodriguez, 19, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2015
Current Level: ROK
Two years in rookie ball and Rodriguez has a 2.95 ERA, .203 BAA< and 1.03 WHIP though 109 IP. He’s only 160# so has a lot of room to fill out if he is to stick in a starter role. Rodriguez came out of the Angels Dominican Academy and has a lot of upside.

Hector Yan 18, LHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2015
Current Level: ROK
One of the few standout lefties in the lower levels of the system. Yan allowed only 3 runs in 30 innings his debut season while striking out 33. Yan pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2016 so will be watched to see how he progressing to pitching in Arizona.

Jose Soriano, 18, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2016
Current Level: ROK
Soriano had an impressive first pro season with a 1.58 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and .187 BAA in 75 IP. He walked a pretty high number at 30, and struck out 45.