The Los Angeles Angels used to have the worst farm system in Major League Baseball, but that is not the case anymore. In the past week two Angel minor league teams have thrown combined no-hitters.
Last Friday night Los Angeles Angels 2017 second round draft pick Griffin Canning who has only pitched five professional games and has already been promoted to Double-A Mobile, combined with two relievers to throw a no-hitter against the Montgomery Biscuits.
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Canning pitched only five innings allowing no hits, but walking six batters. Matt Custred relieved Canning and threw three more no hit innings walking one batter and striking one. Ryan Clark closed the Biscuits out pitching a perfect ninth inning striking out two batters to close out the 1-0 victory and get the combined no-hitter.
Although Canning has not been quite as dominant as he was in Inland Empire as his ERA was 0.00 in Inland Empire in 8.2 innings. In Mobile, Canning has struggled with his control walking eight batters in only 13 innings striking out eight and posting a 3.46 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Canning has also allowed two home runs already. The combined no hitter was his first professional victory and also the first time he pitched enough to qualify for a victory.
Canning will most likely improve his control as the year goes on, but for right now he is struggling with it.
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Fast forward to Wednesday night as the Inland Empire 66’ers hosted the Lake Elsinore Storm. Jason Alexander started the game and pitched seven strong inning allowing only three walks with eight strikeouts. Zac Ryan relieved him and pitched a scoreless eighth despite walking two batters, but he also struck out two batters. Sean Isaac closed it out with a hitless ninth walking one batter and striking out two.
All total 66’ers pitchers walked six batters and struck out 12 in completing the second no hitter in the week for Angel minor league prospects. There is more encouraging news in Double-A for the Angels as some of the Angels top prospects are fairing well.
Greg Mahle, who pitched for the Angels in 2016 has a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings of work with nine strikeouts and he is 2-0. 2016 First round pick Matt Thaiss is batting .276 with three homers and driving in 16 runs in 98 at-bats. 2015 top pick Taylor Ward is flourishing at his new position of third base. He is hitting .383 with three homers and 17 RBIs and also has a .495 OBP and a OPS of 1.038.
Hopefully they will continue to do well and move on up the ladder. This is an exciting time for the Angel minor league system and hopefully it will continue.