It’s good to see the Angels have a smooth Spring exhibition after a rough split squad day yesterday. The pitching came back strong and a couple of deeper prospects showed some skill in a game that resulted in an optimistic win for the Angels.
My favorite thing about this Spring Training is the youth that is rushing into the squad after such a long span of no notable prospects within the system. We got to see Roberto Baldoquin continue to move past his early career struggles in the Minors. There was the familiar Felix Pena coming out stronger than he’s ever looked as well as a strong handful of deeper pitching and hitting prospects.
But most interesting was the former Giants journeyman Jarrett Parker.
Angels 4, Brewers 3
Winning Pitcher: Felix Pena (RHP): 3 IP, 1 Hit, 3 K’s
Losing Pitcher: Jon Olczak (RHP): 1 IP, 2 Hits, 3 Runs, 1 Walk, 2 K’s, 1 HR
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The Angels saw a home run out of journeyman outfielder Jarrett Parker, who is competing for a spot as a depth option after having not appeared in the MLB since 2017. If he can continue showing the plate discipline, awareness, fire, and talent that he did today he will get some serious nods towards a spot on the MLB roster.
Today he collected 2 walks with two runs scored, an RBI, and 1 base hit. On top of that he showed ability in the outfield, so far he’s looking to be a very serious and valuable option for 2019.
Jaime Barria, the standout rookie pitcher from 2018, appeared in this game for 2 innings. Despite giving up a home run he allowed just one other hit and kept it to one run allowed. He also pulled in a strikeout, all in all it was a solid first showing for Jaime
There was a lot of great work all around from deeper prospects in the Angels system such as Julian Leon, Roberto Baldoquin, Jeremy Rhoades, Connor Justus and more. That within itself is a huge victory for the Angels with the fact that they’re loaded with so much talented youth that is knocking on the big league door.
This game was both a moral victory and an actual victory. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Felix Pena is the biggest stand out of the day. Not only did he collect the win, he did so in dominant fashion. He didn’t just look good for Spring Training, he looked good. With 3 K’s on the day you can see he was feeling strong, but the fact that he pulled three innings of one hit ball was outstanding. If Pena can maintain this strength through the Spring and take it into the regular season the Angels starting staff will be in a very, very good spot.
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Jarrett Parker doesn’t want to be a journeyman option and you can see that in the way he carried himself throughout this game. He spent all of 2018 in the Minors after seeing 382 Plate Appearances with the Giants across 2015-2017.
His offensive showing was delightful as he smacked a big solo shot on top of two walks and 2 runs scored. Angels GM Billy Eppler brought him along as a reclamation project and so far it’s looking good. If he can keep it up there’s no doubt that he’ll find himself riding with the big league squad in 2019.
Julian Leon is a 23-year-old catching prospect who is seeing Spring Training time thanks to his excellent defensive ability. In 2018, across Class A Advanced to Triple A, Julian Leon caught baserunners stealing at a 40% rate.
Today he showed off how strong his arm can be by catching Corey Ray with an absolute bullet to 2nd base. Not only did he show off excellent defense, he flashed some offensive skill as well with 2 RBI’s off a double. The Angels MLB catching consists of Jonathan Lucroy so there is very much an open backup spot for competition. This could be an interesting Spring between prospective catchers Julian Leon and Jack Kruger.
The Angels will return to your televisions tomorrow at 12:05 PM PT versus the Oakland Athletics, viewable on Prime Ticket.