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2021 Angels Player Review: Cooper Criswell

Criswell was one of the many pitchers the Angels sampled on their pitching staff last season and he made one start with the major league club

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Cooper Criswell was drafted by the Angels in the 13th round of the 2018 MLB draft and has since worked his way up through the teams minor league system. He spent his season with the Tri-City Dust Devils and then was assigned to Rocket City. On July 31st, he was promoted to the Salt Lake Bees from Rocket City, and after four starts, going 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA, he was called up to make his major league debut.

He was called up on August 27th in a game against the Padres, and he was named that night’s starter. He pitched 1.1 innings and allowed three runs before being pulled, in what ended up being a 5-0 Angels loss. It was not the debut he hoped for, and the next day he was optioned back to AAA.

Criswell was called up again with the major league team for a two day period at the end of September, from the 18th to the 20th, but did not have any playing time. He finished the season with the Salt Lake Bees, and across the two minor league teams he played for he had a 4.83 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 117.1 innings pitched, which exactly matched his total innings from his 2019 MiLB season.

2021 Stats:

0 Wins / 1 Losses / 20.25 ERA / 1 Games / 1 Games Started / 1.1 Innings Pitched / 0 Strikeouts / 0 Walks / 4.50 WHIP / -0.2 WAR / 6 Hits Allowed / 3 Runs Allowed / 0 Home Runs Allowed

Best Performance of the Year:

Criswell’s best performance of the season did not come at the major league level. He performed best on June 16th for the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas where he struck out 14 of the Biloxi Shuckers (AA affiliate of the Brewers) and threw 6.2 scoreless innings and only allowed 3 hits. His strong start was followed up by scoreless outings by two relievers, Almedia and Bates, and led to a Trash Pandas win, 3-0. This same week, on the 20th, he was awarded the AA South Pitcher of the Week.

Roster Status:

On October 5, Criswell was recalled by the Angels from the Bees and remains on the roster. MLB.com currently ranks him as the teams 28th prospect and if he remains with the team, after further development, he could find himself a place on their pitching staff. He could also be a candidate to use in a trade, but if the Angels decide to pursue this route, it will have to wait until after the end of the lockout.

2021 Overall Grade: C-