Angels 2015 In-House Rotation Options
One name to keep an eye on next spring is Nate Smith, the Angels 8th round selection in the 2013 MLB draft. Smith is currently the club’s 18th best prospect according to MLB.com, and figures to join the Angels at some point in 2015.
Smith is known in baseball circles as a crafty southpaw, who mixes an unremarkable fastball with solid curveball and change up. While he may not wow fans, he has found success in the minor leagues and is advancing through the system at a blistering pace. Nate started 2014 with the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League. Smith went 6-3 with a 3.07 ERA, while holding opposing hitters to a .201 batting average. Obviously, those numbers prompted a promotion. Smith excelled at Double-A Arkansas, finishing the season with a 5-3 record and posting an impressive 2.89 ERA.
The Angels were intrigued enough by Smith that they sent him to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Down in the desert Smith went 1-0 with a 4.40 ERA against some of the best prospects in the game.
Although the Furman graduate does not possess a top tier arm, he still managed to average a strikeout per inning in 2014. Smith knows how to pitch, and as Jamie Moyer proved, there is always a place in baseball for a cerebral southpaw.