Will Patrick Sandoval Contribute for LA Angels in 2019?

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 30: Jered Weaver #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 30, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 30: Jered Weaver #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 30, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /

This offseason has been moving slowly for the LA Angels on the pitching front with the team missing out on big time starters such as Patrick Corbin.

This doesn’t necessitate panic, but it does bring forth the question of what the LA Angels will do should they fail to find significant pitching depth this off-season. It seems the answer to this predicament would be internal options, and on that note there is one recent addition to the Angels who looks to earn his keep this upcoming Spring Training.

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Do you remember when the Angels traded catcher Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros a little bit before the 2018 playoffs ? At the time it seemed like a sellers move with the Angels shipping off Maldonado for whatever they could get. The truth behind that move is a lot deeper with the Angels essentially working over a divisional rival at that for a prime-prospect. The Angels received starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval in that trade, who had not pitched above Class A Advance MiLB at that point in time, though he dominated with a sub 3 ERA in his 2018 with the Astros farm . There wasn’t too much fan-fare for this move despite the Angels moving a would be a free agent after the 2018 season for a very promising prospect from hands-down the best development system in the MLB.

Patrick Sandoval was with the Astros developmental system for almost four seasons before finishing his fourth with the Angels, and though his first 3 years showed a learning curve for Sandoval he began showing a greater feel for pitching in 2018 with sub 3 ERAs in Class A and Class A Advanced. Looking at his numbers lets you know exactly why Angels GM Billy Eppler pursued him, he has all the strikeout peripherals that Eppler is in love with. High strikeout rates and low home run rates alongside the stamina to carry these talents across an entire season offers a world of potential for Sandoval. He is 22 years old with 4 MiLB years and given his developmental experience, success, and overall talents seeing Sandoval win a job as soon as Spring Training is a possibility.

Patrick Sandoval, across 2018 with both the Angels and Astros system, posted an overall 2.06 ERA through Single A to Double A, while carrying a 10.7 K/9 rate and 0.4 HR/9. In total he struck out 145 while walking only 29 across 122.1 IP. Even though Sandoval seemed to have already taken a leap forward with the Astros he went and surprised everyone by taking another big step forward developmentally after landing with the Angels.

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After coming to the Angels Class A Advanced squad, the Inland Empire 66ers, Sandoval posted a 0 ERA across 3 starts that total 14.2 IP. He struck out 21 and walked 4 total with the 66ers and after jumping to Double A he pitches even better. Across 19.2 IP Sandoval had struck out 27 and walked 8 while maintaining a 1.37 ERA while in Double. While we do need to see how he fares in Triple A so far it doesn’t seem like there is any other pitcher as ready for the big break as Sandoval is.

It’s no surprise to see players warm up when playing on their hometown team, and with Patrick Sandoval being a Southern California native it was fun to see him come home for baseball. Here at Halo Hangout we met with Sandoval over the course of couple starts to get to know the young pitcher. Some of the things he had to say built a strong confidence in his ability to break through as a Major Leaguer very soon.

Sandoval has stated to us that pitching with the Angels is a dream come true and in turn you can see him pitching his head off on the mound. Seeing Sandoval take these big steps in such short periods of time offers a whole heap of confidence regarding his future development and ability to make an impact with the Angels big league club. Each time we’ve seen Sandoval enter the next phase of his career, whether it be a promotion or a move to a new club, he’s responded by showing how ready he is. Ready not just for the new level he is experiencing, but readiness in making that next leap forward. Of course he still has Triple A to run through, but should all of this carry over smoothly into Triple A it would be suffice to say Sandoval’s ticket to the Majors would be soon.

Interestingly enough, Patrick Sandoval recently uploaded a photo he made himself to his Instagram, this image being a picture of Sandoval pitching in a clearly photoshopped Angels jersey. Obviously done for comical effect, but at the same time Sandoval states his eagerness for Spring Training. I mentioned a paragraph earlier how Sandoval is always looking for the next step and from this it wouldn’t be crazy to think that Sandoval is already looking to show the Angels that they need to be starting him come this Spring.

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The 2019 Angels will be an exciting team to watch; aside from all the hopes we have for the current roster there will be a plenty of rookies making their way through the squad all year long. Not just any Minor League ball players, but actual prospects. Not just stopgaps, but the future of the Angels. Patrick Sandoval may just be one of the first prospects to hit the big leagues and based on his personal suggestions we can see that he wants to attack this opportunity as soon as Spring Training. With that kind of attitude it won’t be longer until we see Sandoval making a statement with the big league Angels