The Los Angeles Angels continue to fill out their 60-man player pool, this time adding their 2019 fifth-round pick to their growing stockpile of arms.
The Los Angeles Angels drafted Garrett Stallings in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB Draft, but due to an injury, he was never able to step foot on a mound last season. Now with Summer Camp underway, the Halos will get their first look at the right-hander.
The Angels announced on Saturday that Stallings will join the team in Anaheim as the latest addition to the team’s 60-man player pool. After missing the 2019 campaign, Stalling likely won’t be considered an option in 2020, but by adding the former University of Tennessee starter, the Angels assure that he won’t miss two seasons of development time.
After experiencing ups and downs during his first two seasons at Tennessee, Stallings vastly improved his draft stock in 2019, when he grew his strikeout rate from 4.2 to 9.3 K/9. During his penultimate season with the Volunteers, Stallings went 8-5 over 102.2 innings of work, tossed a pair of shutouts, was a two-time SEC pitcher of the week, and won the 2019 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
According to 247Sports, Stallings’ transformation was keyed by incorporating a wipeout curveball. That finally gave him a swing-and-miss pitch to pair with his low-90s fastball (tops out at 93mph) and change-up combo. Coupled with excellent control, the right-hander is another strike-thrower in the Angels’ arsenal and currently ranks 20th among the team’s top prospects, according to MLB.com.
The team originally had 55 players in camp, but have slowly added pitchers to the mix, including 2020 draft picks Reid Detmers and Adam Seminaris, minor league right-hander Adrian De Horta, and the recently claimed Jacob Rhame. Now with Stallings added, the team appears to have a full 60-man pool with just 11 days left in summer camp.
As previously noted, if some of the players previously added to the injured list are there due to COVID-19 reasons, then they do not count toward that player pool. However, in order to activate those players, the Angels will need to then expose someone to waivers to open a spot in the player pool.
Regardless, it will be an interesting storyline to watch as the team inches closer to Opening Day. The Angels are set to travel to Oakland for a July 24th match-up to start the season, they fourth-straight season opening up in the bay area.