LA Angels prospect Brandon Sanger returns to Double A

General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

Halo Hangoout recently stopped by the home of LA Angels MiLB squad, The Inland Empire 66ers, to speak with Angels prospect Brendon Sanger. The young outfielder recently took a trip to the Class A Advanced 66ers after spending most of the 2018 season in Double A. After a quick 13 games stint Sanger has returned to Double A with a fresh swing and a retooled approach.

LA Angels prospect Brendon Sanger spent just thirteen games with the 66ers, coming down from Double A Mobile at the beginning of August for his short stint. Most of Sangers 2018 season has been spent at Double A, but after a challenging stretch Sanger was brought down to the Class A Advanced 66ers to work on adjusting his swing to the higher levels of the game.

It took little time for Sanger to find success with his recrafted swing. His first game back with the Inland Empire 66ers was a 2 hit affair in which he collected a double alongside a run and a walk. After that game Sanger went on a 5 game hit streak that saw him tally together 9 hits with a homerun. The adjustments Sanger made with his swing clicked immediately, and the fact that he got called up after only two weeks shows how well put together his new approach is.

Overall Sanger hit .319/.439/.553 with the 66ers with 5 extra base hits and 9 walks in the thirteen games he spent with the team. A few of those games were big offensive showings for the outfielder, in two games Sanger took multiple walks with no strikeouts and in total saw four multi-hit affairs. Sanger will get the chance to really test his swing as he returns to the Double A Mobile Baybears to finish off the last weeks of the season.

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Brendon Sanger #2

H.H: How have you been feeling since rejoining the 66ers?

Sanger: I feel good. One of the reasons for coming down here was trying to fix my swing, I feel like me and Brain Betancourth, the hitting coach, have really made strides to fix that. It’s showing off right now.

H.H: You’ve had only one hitless game with the 66ers so far [two total]. How do you keep your bat that consistent?

Sanger: It’s just trying to recognize good pitches to hit. Even if they flip that 0-0 curveball in the zone if I’m ready to hit the fastball I can react to the curveball and hit that pitch. Just putting good swings on the ball. Seeing pitches in my zone and trying to put good swings every time.

H.H: You have three multi-walk games and struck out zero times in two of those games. How comfortable are you with your plate discipline?

Sanger: I’m really comfortable with my plate discipline. I pride myself on knowing the strike-zone and taking balls. That’s how I grew up, trying to stay consistent to my zone and a pitch I can hit. If they’re not there they’re usually balls.

H.H: What aspects of your game are you working on as the season comes to a close?

Fecteau: Definitely being consistent with this new swing. It’s a little different from what I’m used to, just working on trying to hit the ball as hard as I can, not as far as I can. Just trying to hit it with exit velocity, we preach a lot about that.

On the defensive side just getting better every day. Getting good jumps, getting to balls that I usually couldn’t during the middle of the season. That’s what I’m working on.

Draft Class of 2015

Class A Advanced Slash Line: .319/.439/.553

OPS: .992

H.H: In the last month you’ve posted an OPS over .900. How is your power stroke feeling?

Sanger: It’s feeling good, my approach is like trying to hit the ball through center field. If the balls inside hopefully I can hit the ball to right-center, if the balls outside hit it to left-center. Balls are elevated more here, with this swing the ball flies.

H.H: Last year you played the majority of your defense at 2nd base, this season you’re strictly an outfielder. How have you adjusted to the transition?

Sanger: Pretty well. I played shortstop all throughout high school and little league, then I went to college and played right field. Two years ago they put me at infield. They’ve put me back to outfield this year which really wasn’t that big of a transition.

H.H: What are the biggest aspects of your development you’ve focused on improving this season?

Sanger: I really want to hit for more power. It hasn’t really come, I’ve struggled a lot this season, but I flash power every now and then. That’s one thing I really want to be more consistent with. Especially since power comes with more strike-outs, that’s also one thing I want to cut down on. Just being more consistent in making contact

H.H: What kind of training do you have waiting for you this offseason?

Sanger: I go home and train with a group of guys, a couple guys have been in the Major Leagues. A couple guys are in the Major Leagues right now, I work out with them and it’s a really good environment. [Dan Vogelbach, Kyle Waldrop, David Holmberg]

They’re “there” [in the big leagues], that work ethic pays off with me cause I see how they work out and that’s what I want to be.

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Brendon Sanger #2

If Brendon Sanger looks to continually surround himself with excellence en route to discovery of his own, then the Angels organization may be the best place for him. With the 66ers Sanger was teammates with top prospects such as Brandon Marsh and Patrick Sandoval among many others, and with the Double A Mobile Baybears Sanger shares the field with Jo Adell and Jahmai Jones. Being surrounded by that kind of next-level work ethic seems to have affected Sanger in the best ways possible. He spent only two weeks with the 66ers in which he was tasked with retooling his swing.

It’s not wildly out of the ordinary to see a player readjust to the game at a quick pace such as this, however, those players that are able to adjust at this level are the players who are able to cultivate and maintain MLB success. It’ll be a big test to see how Sanger finishes off the MiLB season now that he’s returned to Double A with a fresh swing.

Next. Torii Hunter Jr. Moves up to Inland Empire

With the ability and talent flashed by Sanger in his short time with the 66ers there’s little doubt that Sanger will be able to topple any challenge presented to him by the game of baseball. It’s a long way to the top, but with ability such as what Sanger possesses that trip becomes far shorter.