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LA Angels Prospects

Southpaws Hailed as Angels’ Top Prospects

treyhannula
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Over the past week or so, MLB.com has begun unveiling the top league prospects at every position. In the left-handed pitcher category, the Angels have two of the best 10 southpaw prospects in the sport. Coming in at number 5 and 9 on the list are newly acquired Andrew Heaney and 2014 1st round pick Sean Newcomb, respectively.

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Andrew Heaney headed to the Angels in the Howie Kendrick deal and immediately became the team’s top prospect. After being drafted 9th overall in 2012 by the Marlins, Heaney rocketed through the minors and even got a cup of coffee with Miami in 2014, appearing in seven games. His minor league track record is strong, posting a 2.77 ERA in 259.2 innings across five levels and ceding a stellar 1.14 WHIP. His career 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.85 K/BB ratio indicate that he dominates his competition and his game should translate well to the majors. Although Heaney got rocked to a 5.81 ERA in his first 29.1 major league innings, his past history should be a better representation of what’s to come in the future. Expect Heaney to get a fair share of starts this season with the Halos and become a staple in the rotation as soon as 2016.

Sean Newcomb was Angels’ general manager Jerry Dipoto’s first ever first round pick during his tenure and was selected 15th overall out of the University of Hartford. After pitching well in the Cape Cod League and shattering many of his alumni’s pitching records, Newcomb signed for a hefty bonus and began his pro career in Arizona with the Angels’ rookie ball team. Two starts later, Newcomb was promoted to Class-A Burlington and pitched in four games for the Bees. All told, the 6’5” lefty pitched to a 6.28 ERA in 14.1 innings, hardly inspiring numbers. Even though he did not pitch up to his ability, Newcomb should start the 2015 season in Burlington and could end up in Double-A by the end of the year. The small sample size of innings shouldn’t concern the Angels’ front office and Newcomb still projects to be a front of the line starter. It may not be until 2016 or 2017 that we see the Massachusetts native in an Angels uniform, but rest assured he will be with the team eventually. Hopefully for Angels’ fans, Newcomb and Heaney will form a dynamic one-two punch at the top of the rotation for years to come.

Maybe this ranking doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as Dipoto seems to have an affinity towards left-handed pitching. During his reign as Angels’ GM, Dipoto has acquired and developed a numerous number of lefties, in what seems to be an above average quantity. Some standouts include MLB regulars C.J. Wilson, Hector Santiago, Tyler Skaggs, Sean Burnett, and Jason Vargas while prospects Hunter Green, Jose Alvarez, Nate Smith, Tyler DeLoach, and the aforementioned Heaney and Newcomb represent some of the strongest arms in the Angels’ farm system, all lefties.

Last night, MLB.com released their Top 100 prospects list in which Heaney (#25) and Newcomb (#67) were the only two Angels featured. This is a significant upgrade over last year’s list that featured zero Halo prospects. With Dipoto’s new emphasis on rebuilding the farm system and not surrendering draft picks freely, it’s only a matter of time before the Angels will have three or four prospects back on the Top 100 list.

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