LA Angels Top Prospect Countdown: #23 Brooks Pounders

Sep 29, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Brooks Pounders (62) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Minnesota won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Brooks Pounders (62) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Minnesota won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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The LA Angels have one of the worst farm systems in baseball. However, they have a good mix of prospects who will help soon and some with star potential down the road. In this series, we will evaluate each of the Angels Top 30 prospects. Today, it’s pitcher Brooks Pounders.  

The LA Angels traded for right-handed pitcher Brooks Pounders, 26, last December. He was selected in the second round of the 2009 Amateur Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was mostly used as a relief pitcher in his first three seasons, reaching Single-A by the end of his third season.

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Pounders was then traded to the Kansas City Royals

. They were determined to make him a starting pitcher, and he was able to move up to Double-A rather quickly. However, he suffered an injury that required Tommy John surgery. Due to this and a lat injury, he missed most of his next two seasons.

He was coming out of the bullpen one again in 2016. In Triple-A, he owned a 3.14 ERA in 80.1 innings pitched. This earned him a trip to the big leagues, where he struggled his way to a 9.24 ERA over 13 appearances.

The Angels traded for the Riverside native in hopes of turning Pounders back into a starting pitcher. He has a solid fastball, even touching 97 mph at some points. He has a plus slider while also using a curveball and changeup effectively.

Pounders’ has seen some major league action this season, albeit with little success. Pounders was invited to the big leagues after posting a 1.38 ERA through six appearances in Triple-A. In four major league appearances, he has a 9.82 ERA over 3.2 innings. He just can’t get batters out, allowing 17.2 hits per nine innings. 

Next: A look in on the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees

The Angels have a good history of cleaning up pitchers and turning them into productive players in The Show. However, Pounders has not been able to make the jump to being a successful relief pitcher in the major leagues yet. However, this experience is showing how much work he has to reach that mark. He has the stuff, and if he works hard enough, Pounders can be an Angels reliever for years to come.