LA Angels Renew Contract With AAA Salt Lake

LA Angels pitcher Garrett Richards is one of many Angels to pass through Salt Lake City. Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
LA Angels pitcher Garrett Richards is one of many Angels to pass through Salt Lake City. Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports /

As everyone knows, winning baseball games all starts in minor leagues. The Triple-A Salt Lake Bees have been affiliated with the LA Angels since 2001. Thanks to a renewed deal, this relationship will stay through 2020.

For the LA Angels having a great ballpark with your Triple-A affiliate is a big bonus for a major league club. It means their young players get a better feeling of playing on the big stage, in high pressure situations.

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The home ballpark for the Bees is Smith’s Ballpark, or better known by its fan nickname The Apiary. For those of you like myself who haven’t a single clue what an apiary is, it is a place where beehives are kept and farmed. The Apiary is the biggest stadium in the entire Pacific Coast League. It holds 15,411 fans on any given night.

The stadium also gives the Angels’ minor leaguers or rehabbing pros a beautiful spot to play. Standing on home plate, one can see the Rocky Mountains in the distance. While the Angels have their own beautiful landscape in the outfield, nothing beats a moonshot headed straight for the Rocky Mountains.

The Salt Lake City Bees success has been limited since they have joined the Angels system. Since becoming affiliated with the Angels, they have reached the playoffs five times. Of those five trips, they made it to the finals twice, including their last playoff berth in 2013. However, they have yet to win the championship, but their hopes are set high this season despite the lack of big name prospects.

The Bees have groomed a ton of future Angels stars. Their coaching staff, led by manager Keith Johnson, who has been in the Angels’ system since 2008, does an amazing job of turning these players into guys who can contribute at the top level. Not everyone becomes a star like John Lackey did in his rookie season. However, it is about the team around the stars that decide whether you have a playoff team or World Series contender.

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The key to being a contender instead of a pretender is your minor league system. Most importantly your Triple-A team. In Triple-A, players realize what their career is going to be. For the Angels, they were able to keep their Salt Lake Bees and the staff and landscape around it.