LA Angels: Underrated Prospects Who Could Breakout in 2019
By Ryan Falla
Brett Hanewich, RHP
Brett Hanewich is probably the least likely, though he still has the potential to make a late season break into the bullpen. Hanewich sports a 100mph fastball which he showed off during the latest fall league. Hanewich began growing into himself with the Angels Class A Advanced organization after throwing 42.2 innings of 1.90 ERA baseball. 2018 was a huge breakout for Hanewich in terms of realizing current talents as well as crafting a clearer vision of his future ability.
Hanewich started the season with the Burlington Bees in Low-A Ball where he posted a 3.76 ERA. His jump to the next level of performance on the mound after being promoted to Class A Advanced, where he pitched to a 1.90 ERA, came from a boosted confidence after evolving his pitching mentality from the college level to the professional level.
As a Stanford graduate it is no surprise to see Hanewich take a highly cerebral approach to pitching. When coming into the Angels organization Hanewich admits that he was up on the mound throwing without much of a game plan. What’s important is his quick adjustment to the talent and landscape within the MiLB; a higher focus on first pitch strikes and bearing down on every single pitch elevated Hanewich from his 3.76 ERA with Low A (26. IP) to a 1.90 ERA in Class A Advanced (42.2 IP). With how fast Hanewich adjusted to a higher level of talent it isn’t out there to believe his ability to adjust will continue to translate all the way through Triple A.
While Hanewich practically doubled his effectiveness after the Low A to Class A jump there is still the need for Hanewich to improve his effectiveness with walks. Despite his 9.7 K/9 ratio (74 Ks/69 IP) there was still a lot of action on the base paths given his 6.0 BB/9 ratio (46 BB’s/69IP). This is a big improvement that needs to be made, but should Hanewich get a handle on his BB effectiveness there is little reason to doubt his future as an Angels bullpen stalwart.
Should Hanewich continue his current development path, we could see him joining the Angels big league bullpen near the back-end of the 2019 season, the earliest being after the All-Star break.