LA Angels top pitchng prospect Kenyan Middleton could be in Anaheim soon.
The LA Angels have been bashed by the media, scouting services, and even other professional teams for having the worst farm system in baseball. Times they are a changing as the Angels have a few prospects that are turning heads.
The LA Angels success from 2002-2009 which saw them win a World Series and five AL West titles was due to many things, but the one constant was the Angels bullpen. Names like Troy Percival, Scot Shields, Francisco Rodriguez, Brendan Donnelly were key contributors to the Angels success.
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However, since 2010 the Angels bullpen has had its ups and downs which has been one of the reasons the team has not been nearly as successful since then. With Joe Smith gone and Huston Street showing signs of age the Angels bullpen is in dire need of a facelift. Cam Bedrosian provided a major lift last season as a 7th/8th pitcher going 2-0 with 1.12 ERA striking out 51 batters in 40.1 innings.
Andrew Bailey an eight-year veteran trying to resurrect his career also pitched well in the last two months of the season, but the Angels need some arms for the future which Bedrosian can provide, but they would like to have more.
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The Angels need to look no further than 23-year old Keynan Middleton. Middleton has a fastball in the high 90’s and also has good control of it. In 2016 Middleton started out in Single-A Inland Empire to begin the season, but by season’s end he was in Triple-A Salt Lake City.
This is quite a meteoric rise, but if you see his stuff (I have three times) you will know Middleton has skyrocketed up through the Angels system so quickly. In 2016 Middleton pitched 66 innings giving up 47 hits while walking 28 batters. On the flip side Middleton had 88 strikeouts and opponents only batted .196 against him.
Middleton was added to the Angels 40-man roster at the end of the 2016 season. This means the Angels think highly enough of him to protect him from other teams by adding him to this roster. Middleton will also be invited to 2017 Spring Training to compete for a bullpen spot for the Angels. He may not get one out of Spring Training, but mark my word you will season him in the majors before the 2017 season is over.
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Is Keynan Middleton the savior for the Angels bullpen? No, but he will be a key piece over the next five to 10 years as long as he is not traded. So watch out Angels fans there is a new sheriff in town.