Baseball America released their annual preseason prospect rankings on Wednesday morning, and the lone Angels farmhand to crack their top 100 was starting pitcher Reid Detmers, who came in ranked at No. 28 overall.
Detmers made his major league debut last August just 14 months after being selected with the No. 10 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, but a bout with COVID-19 limited him to just five starts in the bigs, where he posted a 7.40 ERA in 20.2 innings. Prior to his callup, though, the young lefty dominated the minors to a tune of a 3.19 ERA in 14 starts between Double-A Rocket City and Triple-A Salt Lake, including a whopping 108 strikeouts in just 62 innings.
It was this performance—along with the velocity jump that his fastball underwent and the rapid development of his new slider—that kept BA’s opinion of Detmers high even despite his struggles in the majors, which you can see outlined in their scouting report of him:
Detmers has a compact, easy-to-repeat delivery that should ward off most mechanical issues and good feel for and command of his four-pitch mix. He moves the ball around the strike zone with above-average control and mixes and matches his pitches to keep hitters guessing.
Detmers was just beginning to understand how his pitches work and how best to set hitters up before his 2021 season was derailed by Covid-19. He could eventually pitch his way into a frontline role, especially if he gains more strength and adds velocity, but because he lacks an overpowering fastball, most project him as a No. 3 or 4 starter. Detmers should contend for an Angels rotation spot in 2022.
Detmers turned out to be one of the highest risers in BA’s rankings when compared to last year, as he was not even ranked in their top 100 list made prior to the 2021 season. Two guys that were on last year’s list were outfielders Jo Adell (13th) and Brandon Marsh (38th), but because they both exceeded their rookie limits in 2021, they were not eligible to be ranked as prospects this time around.
Even with this high ranking, though, it is still unclear what kind of role Detmers will play for the Angels in 2022. He could theoretically compete for a spot in the club’s six-man rotation behind Shohei Ohtani, Noah Syndergaard, Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez and Michael Lorenzen, but if they add another starter once the ongoing lockout ends like many expect them to, he might end up being the odd man out of that group. The more likely scenario for Detmers is starting in Triple-A and picking up some much-needed experience down there to begin the year, with the possibility of another callup waiting in the wings if he starts to dominate the minors once again.