LA Angels Top Prospect Impresses in USA vs. World Game
The LA Angels are known for having a lackluster farm system. However, they keep finding players that can contribute at the big league level. Jaime Barria might be the next big impact prospect for the Halos.
The LA Angels signed Panama native and starting pitcher Jaime Barria back in 2013. Since then, he has pitched in the minor leagues while doubling in the Dominican Summer League.
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He started this year in Single-A Advanced Inland Empire 66ers. After starting 11 games, he had impressed enough to get a call up to the Double-A Mobile Baybears. Throughout his time in Single-A, Barria owned a 4-3 record with a 2.48 ERA. He struck out 57 batters while walking 13. While that strikeout-to-walk ratio is not overly impressive, he showed flashes of how well he was at commanding the strike zone.
After being moved to Double-A, things have only gone up for Barria. Through five games, he has a 1.78 ERA and a 1-1 record. However, after some inconsistency with his command in Single-A, he improved dramatically after his call up. He continued striking batters out at a good rate (7.7 per nine innings) but cut down on his walks (three through five starts).
His strong season earned Barria a chance to represent the World team in the Minor League All Star Game. At the age of 20, this was a major accomplishment for Barria. He made the most of it, as he pitched a scoreless inning. He struck out two batters while walking one.
Barria will return to the Baybears after the break, and will continue his progression towards the big league roster. The time for Barria to join the Halos in Anaheim has always thought to be 2019. However, if he is able to impress in Triple-A next year (or during Spring Training if he earns an invite), he could easily make his way into the Halos’ already dominant (yet old) bullpen.
He could also find himself making a few spot starts next season. The Angels have had bad luck with injuries to their rotation. This could more than likely lead to Barria earning a chance in the bigs, and perhaps even starting a great career.