The LA Angels need pitching badly, and help is on the way thanks to the strong pitching prospects in the lower minors. One pitcher who is on the rise is righty Robinson Pina from the Dominican Republic.
When the season started Pina wasn’t even on the LA Angels top prospect radar, but the way he has pitched this season has changed all that. Pina went from not even being in the top 50 prospects, to #26 best prospect for the Angels. The Angels have a plethora of pitching talent in Low Single-A Burlington. They are three pitchers in the top 30 prospect list that are on the Bees roster, Hector Yan, Jose Soriano and now you can add Robinson Pina’s name to that list.
With having both Yan and Soriano on the team it has helped Pina immensely being that they all three hail from the Dominican Republic.
“Whenever I’m struggling or need any kind of help Yan and Soriano are there for me,” Pina said. “They pick me up when I am down, they help me by giving me advice about facing certain hitters. We can also laugh together about things which makes me feel a lot more comfortable being here in America.”
The 20-year old Pina has had his moments both good and bad this season. His latest start was amazing. He pitched 3.2 innings and struck out nine walking only one and allowing just three hits. Pina relies on a 94-96 MPH fastball to go along with a good curve ball. He is trying to develop a third pitch either a change-up or a slider.
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So far this season Pina has shown a lot of promise going 4-7 with an ERA of 3.97 striking out 127 batters in only 94.2 innings of work. He has walked 52 batters which is a little more than you would like to see, but at least it is stilll a 2 to 1 strikeouts to walk ratio. His WHIP is a little high at 1.35, but his opponents are only hitting .217 against him. Pina has already made 18 starts in 2019 which is the most of his young career. In 2018 Pina only appeared out of the bullpen in both the Arizona Rookie League and in Orem.
“I will feel be very proud to make it to the majors. It has been a goal since I was young and growing up in the Dominican Republic,” Pina said. “I’m going to continue to work as hard as I can to reach my goal. It will be very emotional for me when I make it, but at the same time it will be cool to play with Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Albert Pujols, because they could help teach me things that i need to do to be successful in the majors.”
Pina says besides those three he also looks up to Luis Castillo of the Reds Reynaldo Lopez of the White Sox and Dominican royalty Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. Pina feels that he was blessed to be a part of the Angels organization and only wants to get better.
“I want to continue to strike guys out this year and stay healthy the rest of the season improving on my consistency on the mound,” Pina said. “If I get the favor of God and am blessed I hope to finish the season at the next level (High Single-A).”
No matter how you look at it the Angels have some good arms in Low Single-A and in a few years you could see them helping out in the majors which will be a God-send for an Angel pitching staff that has struggled the past couple of seasons.