Introducing Andrew Heaney, Future Angels’ Ace


The Angels pulled the trigger on what can only be described as a blockbuster trade earlier this week when they traded All-Star second baseman, Howie Kendrick, to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for top prospect, Andrew Heaney. Kendrick was a fan favorite in the Big A, and the trade sparked bittersweet feelings amongst fans that can only be paralleled by a One Direction ballad. On the one hand, the Halos gave up one of their best players over the past 9 seasons, to the cross-town rival Dodgers no less, but the Angels also received one of the top young left-handers in all of baseball.

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Andrew Heaney’s tenure with the Dodgers was rather short, as he was acquired earlier in same day he was sent to the Angels. The Miami Marlins traded Heaney to the Dodgers as part of the package for second baseman, Dee Gordon. The awkward situation prompted this hilarious tweet from Heaney. Make no mistake, the 23-year-old southpaw from Oklahoma City has future All-Star written all over him, and was a great return for a 31-year-old second baseman entering the final year of his contract.

The Marlins drafted Heaney in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Oklahoma State University. Heaney entered last season as top-30 prospect in all of baseball according to Heaney is currently ranked as the number 18 overall prospect, and the number two left-handed pitcher. Upon being acquired by the Halos, Heaney immediately ascended to the top prospect within the organization.

Sep 21, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws the ball in the seventh inning in a game against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Ballpark. The Nationals won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Heaney is a lanky young man, measuring 6’2 and weighing 185 lbs. Heaney will likely fill out more as he ages, which would certainly add to his durability. Heaney utilizes an impressive three-pitch arsenal highlighted by a mid-90’s fastball, a slider that gives opposing hitters fits, and an improving changeup. While it is suggested by scouts that Heaney’s slider is his best pitch, his fastball is not far behind.

Heaney has excelled at every level of the minor leagues, but really made a name for himself with the Marlins double-A affiliate in Jacksonville. Heaney finished the 2013 season with the Jacksonville Suns, and he impressed going 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA. The Marlins opted to send him back to Jacksonville to start the 2014 season, but after going 4-2 and posting a 2.35 ERA, it was obvious Heaney deserved a promotion. Not much changed for Heaney in triple-A, as he posted an ERA of 3.87, and struck out 9.8 batters per 9 innings across 15 starts.

Heaney finished his minor league career with a record of 19-11, and posted a 2.77 ERA across 47 outings. Heaney averaged 9.1 strikeouts per 9 innings, and allowed just 2.4 walks per 9 innings. These numbers led to an impressive 3.85 strikeout to walk ratio. Heaney did a fabulous job keeping the ball in the yard, as he allowed just 0.5 home runs per 9 innings throughout his minor league career.

After earning a June call-up to the Marlins, Heaney experienced inconsistent results. Heaney made four starts for the Marlins between June 19th and July 5th, going 0-3 and posting a 6.53 ERA. His poor performance made the decision to send him back to New Orleans for more seasoning an easy one. After getting called up again in September, Heaney looked a little more comfortable. Heaney appeared in three games, making one start, and posted an ERA of 4.15. While it was not the rookie season Heaney dreamt about, he did show signs of promise. Heaney allowed just 2.1 walks per 9 innings, and his strikeout to walk ratio was not bad at 2.86.

Angels’ general manager, Jerry Dipoto, has done an incredible job this offseason replenishing the Halos system with quality young arms. With Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson’s age and contact status likely to cause problems in the near future, it was critical to add to the core of Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Richards. The Angels now have a bevy of young arms ready to make an impact at the big league level in 2015.

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The Angels 2015 starting rotation currently has the familiar look of Weaver, Wilson, and Shoemaker at the top. Richards is working his way back from knee surgery and will likely rejoin the staff sometime in May or June, leaving plenty of opportunities for the youngsters. Andrew Heaney is a good bet to earn a spot in the rotation next spring in Tempe. This would leave Hector Santiago, Nick Tropeano, and, Cory Rasmus, to battle for number five job.

At just 23-years of age, Andrew Heaney is a talented young southpaw the Angels can build around for years to come.

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