LA Angels prospect Andrew Wantz progressing quickly in minors
By David Rice
The LA Angels have a much stronger farm system than they have had in a long-time. Pitching is the biggest need at the major league level & there is hope in the low minors.
LA Angels pitching prospect Andrew Wantz, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 Amateur Draft out of UNC Greensboro. Wantz started his career in 2018 for the Burlington Bees the Low Single-A affiliate of the Angels.
Wantz went 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA in 17 innings striking out 36 batters and walking 12. This season Wantz started out for the Inland Empire 66ers starting seven games and pitching 54 innings with a 3.56 ERA and posting a 5-3 record. Wantz struck out 64 batters while walking only 19.
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Wantz was selected to the represent the Sixers in the Single-A All-Star game, but before he could so he was promoted to Double-A Mobile. So far in Mobile he has made one start going six innings allowing only one run with six strikeouts and walking two batters.
Before he left Inland Empire I was able to catch up with Wantz and talked to him about his experiences so far in the Angels organization.
What was like to be in California compared to growing up in North Carolina?
“It is very different. The climate is different, the landscape is different and the ball tends to fly more here,” Wantz said.
What is the biggest differences between college baseball and the minors?
“The talent is a lot better in pro ball. The coaches are more interested in the development of the individual players than the team’s success,” Wantz said.
What was it like to watch a major league guy pitch like Luis Garcia?
“It was lol to see how he went about his business. He was pretty awesome to watch, he is pretty good,” Wantz said.
What is your main goals for the season?
“I want to decrease my walks a bit and strike out as many as I can,” Wantz said. “I feel more comfortable as a reliever than a starter, but I’m used to coming in after someone has pitched, so this is an adjustment. After the first couple of times I’ve gotten used to it.”
With many pitchers getting promoted quickly in the Angels organization, how does that make you feel?
“Honestly as a pitcher you’ve got to love it that they move pitchers up very fast if they can perform,” Wantz said. “That’s the best thing about this organization, if you are doing well then you’re going to get rewarded for it. It’s just a good organization to be in to get to the big leagues as fast as possible.”
Wantz uses a 91-94 MPH fastball with a slider and a change-up and has been pretty good success. If he can continue it you may see Wantz in Triple-A before the season is over.