LA Angels Biggest Surprise of 2017: #1

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 26: Relief pitcher Blake Parker records the save against the Houston Astros
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 26: Relief pitcher Blake Parker records the save against the Houston Astros /

The LA Angels were one of the most surprising teams in 2017. With such a title, they were bound to have countless surprise players on their roster. As we have listed off four surprises and an honorable mention, it is time to crown the king.

The story of the LA Angels biggest surprise begins in a trailer. Blake Parker spent his time off inside his luxurious home. He was anticipating a season filled with long drives between Anaheim and Salt Lake City, home of the Angels Triple-A affiliate. However, as we all know, he could not have expected anything for opposite than his eventual reality.

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Instead, Parker would pitch no games in Salt Lake. All 71 games Parker would pitch in would be for a major league ball club, a career high. Not only would he stay in Anaheim all season, but he way as well swap that mobile home in for an apartment, because the Halos won’t want him leaving any time soon.

Parker would go on to be a Swiss Army knife in the Angels bullpen. He would close games, pitch multiple innings, be a strikeout specialist. Whatever Mike Scioscia asked of him, Parker delivered. And he did it on his way to a 2.54 ERA.

When the Angels bullpen (and Bud Norris) was falling apart after the All-Star break, Blake Parker saved the season. In desperate need of a closer, Parker converted eight saves for the Angels this year. Prior to this year he had two saves on his career.

The big factor to Parker’s comeback season was his control. He was able to command the strike zone and force hitters to swing. His deceptiveness with his pitches caused too many swings and misses for opponents to put together any kind of momentum against Parker. His control and command led him to 5.38 strikeouts per walk.

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Blake Parker was a hero for the Angels in 2017. He teamed up with Yusmeiro Petit to become one of the most dominant duos in a major league bullpen. In 2018, the Angels can hope for more of the same from their best surprise in 2017.