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 Cole Duensing.
The LA Angels selected pitcher Cole Duensing in the sixth round of the 2016 Amateur Draft. Straight out of high school, the right-handed prospect did not have much polish to his game. However, he had a phenomenal first season in the Arizona Fall League
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In Rookie ball, Duensing threw in eight games (four starts). He threw 13 innings of work. He gave up 13 hits, a number that definitely needs to go down, but also struck out 11 and only gave up two runs. While it is a small sample size, that comes out to a 1.38 ERA. That is definitely a number that Duensing can build off of once the 2017 season starts for him.
Duensing consistently uses three pitches, a fastball, curveball, and changeup. His fastball, while only 91 MPH at top speed, is his best pitch and has a lot of movement which produces weak contact and misses. His curveball has potential to be a great second pitch, but Duensing uses it inconsistently. There were instances where his changeup looked like a solid pitch as well, but he did not always have the control he needed to use it effectively.
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Duensing’s biggest focus should be on his weight. While he stands at 6’ 4”, he weighs only 175 pounds. If he is able to put on weight, we will be able to add velocity to his pitches while also building on his stamina (13 innings in eight appearances).
Duensing is set for another season, or possibly two, of the Arizona Fall League. The Angels have time to develop him thanks to his young age. They should be wise and not rush things.
Duensing is still only 18, which leaves a lot of time for him to bulk up and fill out his frame. He is one of the Angels’ prospects who needs the most development, but he also boasts a very high ceiling for his career. If all goes well, Duensing could be making his debut in 2020 at the age of 20 or 21, depending on when he is called up. He has the stuff to be a number two starter, but he likely will fall into the back end of the rotation. Duensing is a name Halo fans will definitely want to remember.