When the Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks made their three team trade back on December 10th, Tyler Skaggs was considered to be the prized acquisition for the Angels. One of the top pitching prospects in baseball over the past three seasons, Skaggs was expected to be a part of the future for the Angels, a player who could eventually step in and become a top starter in the rotation.
This season, it was hoped that Skaggs would be able to help solidify the back of the Angels rotation, which appeared to be littered with question marks heading into the year. Skaggs himself came with questions, particularly with his control. In his previous stints in the majors, Skaggs had walked 28 batters in 68 innings while allowing 13 home runs. At only 22 years of age, it would be fair to wonder if Skaggs was ready for to face major league hitters.
Thus far, in the early going, Tyler Skaggs appears to be ready. While Skaggs was not as sharp last night as he was in his Angels debut, he still set down 11 of the final 13 batters he faced following Josh Satin‘s two run double in the fourth. Instead of having the game fall apart, he was able to keep the New York Mets off the scoreboard, giving the Angels the chance to comeback and get a walkoff victory.
That difference can even be seen statistically. While two games is an extremely small sample size, Skaggs has walked just one batter in his 15 innings. What has been truly impressive is that Skaggs has had his sinker working quite well in the early going, as Skaggs has a 3.11 groundball to flyball rate.
While it is unlikely that Tyler Skaggs can continue that groundball rate, his ability to limit his walks and generate ground balls that frequently is certainly a great sign. His sinker, which has been used to great effect thus far, is working as well as it has been in his time in the majors. In fact, Skaggs, thus far, truly looks as if he is ready to be an important part of a major league rotation.
Tyler Skaggs was one of the Angels question marks entering the season. Thus far, he looks like he could be one of the answers.