Angels Release List of 20 Non-Roster Invitees
Nate Smith – @Smithsonian15
This Furman University alum was thoroughly impressive in 2014. Smith split his time between the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League and the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. Smith made 10 starts for the 66ers, going 6-3 and posting a 3.07 ERA. Remarkably, Smith pitched even more effectively after getting promoted to the Travelers. Smith went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA across 62.1 innings of work. Smith averaged 9.7 strikeouts per 9 innings in double-A. The 23-year-old did a great job keeping the ball in the yard, allowing just 0.4 home runs per 9 innings as a member of the Travelers.
Nate Smith is currently ranked as the Angels 20th best prospect, but that has to be a misprint because he was nearly flawless in 2014. The young southpaw is one of the most deserving players on this list, and perhaps has the best chance among the pitchers of contributing in 2015. The Angels sent Smith to the Arizona Fall League to see how he would fare against the best youngsters in the game. Smith was very impressive, going 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA across 6 outings for the Mesa Solar Sox.
The Angels will likely send Smith down to the Salt Lake City Bees to begin 2015. If Smith is able to impress in Salt Lake it is conceivable he could see time with the Angels in 2015, but more likely than not he will don a Halos uniform in 2016.
Next: Alex Yarbrough