If you know the LA Angels up and coming farm system very well you will know names lik Adell, Marsh, Thaiss, Canning, Suarez, and maybe even Adams. However most of you have probably never heard of Jose Soriano.
The LA Angels have done a great job of finding those hidden gems that many scouts overlook. One of those hidden gems the Angels found in March of 2016 is Dominican pitcher Jose Soriano. The Angels scouts found Soriano as a 17-year old and signed him to a free agent minor league contract.
Now three years later Soriano has risen up from the rookie league to low Single-A Burlington. What has helped Soriano rise up in the Angels system is his high 90’s fastball which has been clocked as high as 99 miles per hour. He also has a good curve ball to complement his fastball. His record may not look very impressive as he is a career 6-14, but his overall ERA is impressive at 2.94. He has 132 strikeouts in 162.1 innings of work with a 1.33 WHIP.
Soriano’s major issue that has held him back somewhat is what befalls many power pitchers: Control. In that same 162.1 innings Soriano has walked 89 batters which has led to his high WHIP. He has only allowed 127 hits and only six have left the yard which are both outstanding numbers, but the 89 walks have definitely hampered Soriano’s efforts.
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So far in Burlington this season Soriano’s control has been a little to be desired with six walks in 6.2 innings of work with six strikeouts as well in two starts. Not very impressive, but again it takes time to learn how to pitch and not be just a thrower, and Soriano still needs to do so.
If this all doesn’t impress you much its understandable, but this Spring in a minor league game during Spring Training Soriano had one game with nine strikeouts in only four innings of work which shows the dominant force he can be. This season most likely you will only see Soriano make the climb to high Single-A Inland Empire, but if he can improve his control you will no doubt see him in the majors in two to three years.
Some people compare him to the Angels Justin Anderson who mired around in the low minors for a couple of seasons before being converted to a reliever and developing an out pitch in his slider. Soriano could take the same route if the Angels don’t think he is making enough progress as a starter.
For now keep an eye on Jose Soriano as he could be the Angels next Diamond in the Rough.