When it comes to which prospect could make the biggest impact for the Angels this year, Griffin Canning is the man. The right-handed pitcher out of UCLA made his debut season in 2018, as he sat out 2017 for rest after pitching an entire collegiate season.
Much like Rengifo, Canning worked his way through all three levels of the Angels’ system last year, ultimately finishing the year in Triple-A with the Salt Lake Bees. Like Rengifo, Canning was dominant until reaching Triple-A.
Canning, however, struggled mightily for the Bees. In 13 starts, he had a 5.49 ERA, but that number can be somewhat misleading. 14 of the 36 runs Canning gave up came in two back-to-back games, where he allowed seven runs apiece. If you take those two games out, Canning’s ERA drops to 3.86.
Those two games were his second and third in AAA, so it was obvious Canning was able to adjust to the uber-talented hitters in the Pacific Coast league. He was by no means dominant, but his adjustments throughout his 13 games were very noteworthy and impressive.
Canning is a dark horse to be apart of the Opening Day rotation. However, like Rengifo, a lot of that will depend on free agency, as the Angels could sign a number of pitchers to their staff. Even if he doesn’t start the season in the bigs, there are few things that will stop the #2 prospect for the Angels from contributing in 2019.