The LA Angels missing ingredient over the past five seasons has been consistent starting pitching. This year has been no different as the starting rotation is a shell of what it was to start the 2019 season.
Believe when I say this though, help is on the horizon for the pitching-starved LA Angels. Two of the top Angels pitching prospects have been toiling all season in Low Single-A Burlington. The righty-lefty combination of #10 prospect Jose Soriano and #17 prospect Hector Yan have been nasty all season for the Bees and people are starting to take notice on them.
Jose Soriano has a 2.57 ERA in16 games this season pitching 73.2 innings and striking out 81 batters with 46 walks. His opponents batting average is .186 and his stuff is just plain nasty. Soriano possesses a 96-99 MPH fastball with a slider and a change-up to boot. He has had many nights where he is just unhittable.
Hector Yan is not as highly touted, but is just as good if not better than Soriano. Yan throws between 94 and 97 MPH, but he also possesses a change-up, slider, and a split-fingered fastball. Despite having a higher ERA than Soriano, Yan’s numbers look much better overall. He pitched 106 innings with a 3.48 ERA striking out a whopping 144 batters and only walking 50 which is a stellar 3 to 1 ratio of strikeouts to walks. Yan also has a WHIP of 1.17 compared to 1.29 for Soriano.
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Normally the two pitch on back-to-back days not In the same game. Bees manager Jack Howell decided to switch it up and pitched the pair in the same game on Tuesday night and the results spectacular. The two top prospects pitched 6.2 innings of hitless baseball against the visiting Beloit Snappers. They were followed by relievers Parker Joe Robinson and Chad Sykes who kept the no-no intact for the next 3.1 innings. The problem was as it has been all year for the Bees, they can’t score any runs. For the second night in a row the Bees and Snappers were locked in scoreless tie going into the 10th inning.
As part of the minor league extra inning format a runner is placed on second base to start the inning to increase the chance of scoring, thankfully for the Bees. The Bees final reliever Chad Sykes was up to the challenge, stranding the Snapper base runner to give the Bees another chance for a walk-off hit. This time Nonie Williams came through with a walk-off single to left driving in Livan Soto from second base with two outs in the 10th. The previous night saw Soto come through with a sacrifice fly to drive in Ryan Vega for the walk-off victory on Monday night.
Both Parker Joe Robinson and Chad Sykes have done a great job out of the bullpen. Robinson has an ERA of just over 4 (4.02) and Sykes has a stellar 1.50 ERA and got the win in relief for the Bees. The Angels are no strangers to combined to combined no-hitters as they have thrown one in the majors this year and a couple in the minors last season.
Although Soriano and Yan are not ready for big league action just yet, they are well on their way and should be kept an eye on in the future. Congratulations gentlemen keep up the great work.