The LA Angels invested a second round pick in UCLA standout Griffin Canning in the past draft. What can Halo fans expect of the righty in his first professional season?
After the LA Angels selected Griffin Canning in the second round, it was deemed a risky pick. There were injury concerns around Canning, which was the sole reason he fell to the Halos in the second round. That makes Canning a potential steal for a farm system that desperately needs quality arms.
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Canning had a stellar career at UCLA. His final season was his best, as he went 7-4 in 17 starts. He held a 2.34 ERA on the season, striking out 140 (!!) batters while walking only 32. He has four pitches that project to be at least average in the MLB. His fastball and changeup both grade out as above-average, while his curveball and slider will good weapons as well.
Since Canning pitched an entire season of college ball, the Halos promptly shut him down for 2017. With the injury epidemic that hit their starting rotation this season, caution was the smart choice. Canning was sent to a training facility in Arizona once he signed. He worked on conditioning as the Angels are hopeful he can move quickly through the farm system.
He is scheduled to start a throwing program in December, and that is when things will really pick up for the prospect. Canning is likely to start the 2018 season with the Class A Burlington Bees or the Single-A Advanced Inland Empire 66ers. However, no matter where he starts, signs point to him being ready as he was one of the more polished pitchers in his draft class.
If Canning can end the season in Double-A, then fans and the Halos organization should be thrilled. He could be in line for a 2019 roster spot if he can put together a solid season next year. While he is not viewed as an ace, Canning can be a mid-rotation arm or even a #2 option in The Show.
Whether he arrives in 2019 or 2020, Canning will definitely be worth the wait.