Just recently, the LA Angels made a controversial move in sending beloved catcher and supreme defensive talent Martin Maldonado to inter-divisional rivals, the Houston Astros. In return, the Angels landed the talents of LHP Patrick Sandoval, a 21-year-old strikeout machine. Sandoval just made his first start as an Angel, taking the mound with the High A squad, the 66ers, and shone with pure dominance.
Patrick Sandoval has made his first start within the LA Angels organization and is already proving himself the top pitching prospect within the Angels, next to Griffin Canning of course. Taking the mound with the Class A Advanced team, the Inland Empire 66ers, Sandoval pitched an absolute gem. In 4.2 innings of work Sandoval struck out 9 while allowing 3 hits (none for extra bases) and 2 walks.
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This debut highlights the talents of Patrick Sandoval that made him desirable to the Angels and prompted the trade. Not only is Sandoval a dominate lefty-starter, his ability to strike out opposing hitters at a consistent rate is the cream of what we’ve seen among the Angels current crop of prospects to date. As of today, his K/9 rate sits at a 10.3 on the season, Sandoval averaging a K/9 rate of 10 within the Astros Single A and High A squads.
Sandoval currently holds 106 strikeouts to 17 walks. It isn’t just his ability to fan hitters at a ridiculous rate, it’s his ability to limit walks that truly displays his command of both his pitches and strike zone at large. While he is still a developing talent he has shown a consistency in maintaining his strikeout ability throughout all levels of MiLB he’s seen to date.
Opposing hitters currently hold a .212/.249/.307 slash line in 366 plate appearances against Patrick Sandoval on the season. Another trend of his that fits perfectly into the Angels current system is his ability to neutralize stolen bases. Opposing base-runners have taken him for zero bases with only two actual attempts on the season. It’s no wonder the Angels coveted his talent enough to swing an inter-divisional trade for the young talent. This makes sense, given the Astros greatly swelling reputation for developing prospects.
Patrick Sandoval spoke on the matter of the Astros development process during his time with the organization, [quoted by AstrosFuture.com writer Jimmy Price] “The way the Astros use all this technology to develop players, in my opinion, is absolutely incredible. I don’t think I would be half the pitcher I am now without the help of our staff and the way they integrate the data into our development. I’ve seen it translate into games with softer contact and a lot more pitches missing barrels.”
Patrick Sandoval will make his next start this weekend at home with the 66ers against the Modesto Nuts.