LA Angels prospect Matt Ball wins Cal League Award
By Ryan Falla
One of the LA Angels Rule 5 Draft picks from last season, Matt Ball, has been finding success within the Angels system. During his time with the Angels Class A Advanced squad, the Inland Empire 66ers, Ball has found himself settling into a strong groove. With Ball coming into form this season it’s no surprise he found himself honored with a Cal League Pitcher of the Week Award.
LA Angels right handed pitching prospect, Matt Ball, the young starter native to Southern California, recently received a Cal League Pitcher of the Week Award for his start on July 18th. On that day, Matt Ball threw 5 innings of one hit ball while striking out 3 on just 65 pitches.
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Ball has recently begun to settle into his burgeoning role as a starting pitcher after coming to the Angels organization as a Rule 5 Draft pick in 2017. On the season, Ball holds a 3.35 ERA in 10 starts while holding hitters to a paltry .199 batting average and sub .400 slugging.
Ball was drafed by the White Sox in 2013 before seeing time with the Texas Rangers organization, and after rehabbing from injury last season Ball is beginning to find a serious groove within the Angels ranks.
Opposing Hitters Slash Line: .199/.274/.340
H.H: How does receiving an award for you performance on the mound impact your confidence, if it does at all?
Ball: It’s always nice to be recognized for the work I’ve put in, especially coming off a long time in rehab. It’s nice to be back healthy and then be able to string a couple good games together and get recognized for it. It’s always nice, but at the end of the day I still gotta get out there and pitch. I can’t let it affect my next game, I just gotta go out there and keep at it.
H.H: During your 5 IP start last week did you feel any more locked in than usual?
Ball: I honestly felt better the following start [4IP 2ER 4K]. The guys play good defense behind me and I had a little bit of batted ball luck. I made some really good pitches; it’s just the same thing I’ve been doing, getting in a groove.
H.H: How have you felt regarding your development with the 66ers this season.
Ball: I feel like I’m improving every game out, every game I feel better. Even though it’s later in the season I feel like I’m still finding ways to improve start to start. I’m continuing to get better
H.H: With the offseason coming up, what plans do you have for your offseason regimen?
Ball: This offseason I’m going to try to make up the lost time I had in rehab, where I was kind of restricted and not doing much. Trying to make up for it in the weight room, my conditioning, and be in the best shape I can be next Spring Training and try to follow-up on what I’ve done this year.
BAbip (Batting Average on Balls in Play): .245
Matt Ball has been a great piece for both the Angels Class A Advanced squad, the Inland Empire 66ers, and the organization as a whole. With Ball performing at the rate he is [40 IP, 3.35 ERA, .614 OPS allowed], in a rehabbing season to boot, there hangs plenty of excitement in his development beyond this season.
The 2018 season has been Ball getting back into form after losing time to injury, in fact he only started pitching mid-May and hasn’t received a full seasons work. With a looming 2019 season promising a fully resurgent Matt Ball one can only imagines the strides he’ll take from his strong 2018. The Angels have an exciting future ahead of them, and one of the many pieces that make it so bright is the resurgent Matt Ball.