Los Angeles Angels under the radar pitching prospects
By David Rice
In my last article I focused on the under the radar hitting prospects that the Los Angeles Angels have in their minor league system. These hitters were players the Angels recently acquired through trades, waiver claims, or the Rule 5 draft. Now it’s time to take a look at the pitching prospects that are not in the top 10 in the Angels system, many of which you saw do well in Spring Training. How are they doing so far in the Angels minor league system in 2016?
Ramon Martinez – 2-0 1.64 ERA, 0.64 WHIP
Ramon Martinez has been up and down in from minors to the majors more than 20 times during his 13-year baseball career. He has pitched in the majors for parts of nine of those 13 seasons playing for seven different major league teams. Martinez has only pitched in 6.2 innings in the majors since 2013. He is hoping for at least one more shot to pitch in big leagues and so far he has not done anything to hurt his chances.
Martinez had a solid Spring for the Angels and so far Salt Lake City, the Los Angeles Angels Triple-A affiliate he has pitched in five games and a total of 11 innings only two runs while striking out nine batters. He has a record of 2-0 and a stellar 1.64 ERA and a even better WHIP of 0.64. Unfortunately for Martinez the Angels bullpen is crowded and so a call-up to the majors may not be in the cards for quite awhile. All Martinez can do is continue to impress in the minors and hope he gets an opportunity, if not with the Angels, maybe with another major league franchise.
A.J. Achter 1-0 3.00 ERA 0.89 WHIP
A.J. Achter is another journeyman reliever the Angels claimed in the off-season this Winter from the Minnesota Twins. He is a hard-throwing right-handed reliever. Unfortunately the Angels have a plethora of these type of pitchers in their system as well as on the major league roster.
Achter was called up for three days early this month and made one appearance against Texas pitching a perfect 9th inning with one strikeout, but he was sent down two days later in favor of lefty Greg Mahle. Achter doesn’t have as extensive of amount of major league service as Ramon Martinez only pitching 24.2 innings in parts of two season with the Twins. Acther is hoping his next major league stint with the Angels is a more permanent one, but just as with Martinez, there is a line of pitchers that are in this mix.
So far in four appearances for Salt Lake City Achter has given up three runs in nine innings with a 1-0 record and 3.00 ERA. Not bad numbers, but they don’t make Achter standout of a crowded bullpen mix. He is hoping that will change soon.
Cam Bedrosian – 1-0 1.42 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
Cam Bedrosian knows the road from Salt Lake City to Anaheim very well as he has travelled it numerous times in the past two seasons which saw him pitch 52.2 with the Angels with only marginal success posting a 6.00 + ERA during that time. Bedrosian started the 2016 with the Los Angeles Angels but only last five days pitching two innings and giving up two hits and two runs walking two batters. Bedrosian’s career has been met with a struggle to throw strikes. So far in the minors this season Bedrosian has walked four batters in 8.1 innings striking out 14 batters with a 3.24 ERA, but his WHIP of 1.32 is the issue that Bedrosian must conquer if he hopes to get another return trip to Anaheim.
Javy Guerra – 1-0 0.96 ERA 1.39 WHIP
Javy Guerra has been a closer in the major leagues before saving 21 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 and then 8 more in 2012 before getting hurt. Since then he has struggled to stay in the majors. His biggest issues is control. Guerra walked 68 batters in 150 big league innings and sports a 1.38 career WHIP. In his minor league career Guerra has even worse numbers walking 280 batters in 510 innings and has a WHIP of 1.55. However, he seems to be a Houdini as he has sorted a 2.87 ERA in the majors which means he is able to work out of trouble that he created.
This season in the minors Guerra has a 0.96 ERA, but 1.39 WHIP is not good as Guerra has walked eight batter in 9.1 innings of work. If Guerra can get his control under control you may see him in Anaheim soon, especially with Huston Street likely going on the DL.
Al Albuquerque 0-0 3.00 ERA, 3 saves, 1.67 WHIP
Another hard-throwing arm the Angels added to their bullpen in the off-season. Albuquerque surprisingly didn’t make the team out of Spring Training after struggling with control as well.
He has not been able to fix this issue in the minors so far as he has five walks in six innings giving him a WHIP of 1.67. If Albuquerque can find his control he will be in Anaheim quickly as the Angels could use his power arm in their bullpen.
Neal Cotts 1-0 1.42 ERA 0.79 WHIP
Cotts is a wild-card in the bullpen mix that is worth mentioning as he is left-handed with major league experience. He is 21-24 with a 3.96 ERA in 443.1 major league innings with five teams. The downside is Cotts is 36 years old so who knows how much is left in the tank.
However, Cotts has been impressive thus far striking out nine batters in 6.1 innings and only walking one with a 0.79 WHIP and 1.42 ERA. If he continues to pitch well he could make another trip to the big leagues.
Yunesky Maya 2-2 4.58 ERA , 1.73 WHIP
Maya pitched very well in the Spring for the Los Angeles Angels, but has not been able to follow it up in the minors. Maya’s biggest problem is giving up the long ball as he has given up four home runs in 19.2 innings. He does have 14 strike outs, but his 1.73 WHIP is a glaring stat as well.
Maya needs to pitch better if he hopes to be in the majors any time soon.
Cody Satterwhite 1-0 0.00 ERA , 0.44 WHIP
The most effective arm out of the bullpen so far in Salt Lake has been Cody Satterwhite. Satterwhite also pitched well during Spring Training. So far in seven appearances he has yet to allow an earned run and he has struck out nine batters in nine innings with only two walks. If Satterwhite keeps this up he will get notice.
Tyler Skaggs – 0-1 2.79 ERA 1.24 WHIP
Skaggs’ progress has been a hot topic in Anaheim especially with C.J. Wilson and Andrew Heaney on the DL and Matt Shoemaker’s inconsistency. Skaggs has looked good in his three starts so far for the Bees, but a minor set back has put his next start up in the air. The Angels are hoping Skaggs can get back to the majors by Mid-May but that remains to be seen.
However when has pitched Skaggs has looked good going 9.2 inning with 10 strikeouts. As soon as he is able to build up his stamina look for Skaggs to be added to the Los Angeles Angels roster.
Kyle Kendrick 1-0, 6.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Kendrick was signed late in Spring Training and has an 81-81 record in 10 major seasons. He has a career 1.38 WHIP and a 4.63 ERA with the Phillies and Rockies. He is an insurance policy in case anyone else goes down in the Angels rotation. So far Kendrick has only pitched in one game giving up four runs in six innings with 1.17 WHIP. If Shoemaker continues to struggle you could see Kendrick get a shot.
Nate Smith – 2-0 1.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
Smith has by far been the most effective starting pitcher for the Bees. Smith has four starts and has struck out 24 batters in 25.2 innings pitched. He has also only walked five batters during that time. Smith may be the emergency starter the Angels could call up to replace an injured starter or if he continues to pitch well and Shoemaker doesn’t he could find himself in the 5th starter spot until Skaggs, Wilson, and Heaney get healthy. Definitely one of the best arms down on the farm.
There are other pitchers that could be mentioned, but for now this the Los Angeles Angels top 10 pitchers down on the farm.