LA Angels Lose Nate Smith for 2018 Season
It is a well-known fact that the LA Angels don’t have the strongest farm system. With such a thin list of prospects, any time a top ten player goes down, it hurts the Halos. Especially when it’s their top left-handed pitcher prospect in Nate Smith.
The LA Angels lost Smith for the 2018 season due to anterior capsule surgery. Smith had the surgery in September, but it was just made public on Friday. The expected timetable for a return 12 to 14 months. However, Smith is optimistic about his return. He is even hoping to make his return early and pitch in 2018, much like Andrew Heaney did following his Tommy John surgery.
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This surgery follows a 2017 season to forget for Nate Smith. He only pitched a total of 15 innings across Rookie ball and Triple-A. His season was decimated by constant injuries, which ultimately led to him and the Angels shutting him down.
When Smith did pitch last season, he showed a lot of promise.The Angels #9 prospect allowed no runs in the 15 innings he pitched, while striking out 14 batters throughout that stretch. His control was finally improving after seasons of question marks, proven by his two walks in 15 innings along with only one wild pitch.
However, now Smith will have to be focused on getting back to 100% before focusing on improving. While the injury could not have come at a worse time for the lefty, it does not mean his development is in danger. By the time he recovers fully, it will be around his 27th birthday. Smith will be entering the prime of his career along with being hungry for success.
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The Angels have had Smith in their organization since drafting him in 2013. They have invested so much time in his development, and will be anxious for him to make his big league debut when he returns from this injury. It will be easy to forget his name over the next year, but he’ll make you remember it when he returns.