LA Angels spring training guide: 5 prospects to keep an eye on

Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels
Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels /
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Los Angeles Angels
Frank Tanana, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by: 1978 SPX/Diamond Images via Getty Images) /

Hector Yan-LHP

Looking at the above picture, you might wonder why there is no picture of Angels pitching prospect Hector Yan. There is a two-part reason for this. Since Yan was not a college prospect and has never pitched in the majors not even moving past low Single-A in 2019, there aren’t any pictures of him available to us.

However, the other reason is that being an old, very old Angel fan like me, I remember the fireballing Tanana, who was the perfect complement to Nolan Ryan. Tanana had a mid-90s fastball and a sweeping 12-6 curveball that helped him become one of the Angels All-Time leaders in strikeouts and wins in team history, ranking fifth in both categories.

Hector Yan is a left-handed weapon who will light up the radar gun for the Angels.

Hector Yan has that kind of stuff and potential and is also a lefty. Yan can reach up to 99 miles per hour on the radar gun. But what sets him apart is that he has three other pitches to go along with his powerful fastball. This includes an excellent curveball, an improving change-up, and a screwball/slider that has a good break to it.

If he can continue to harness his change-up and curveball, Yan could quickly rise from Double-A to the majors. Yan will probably end up spending most of the season in Double or Triple-A. Still, he could end up in Anaheim this September or even sooner if he can put it altogether. If Angels have a pitching crisis due to injuries and ineffectiveness like they have had the past few seasons, Yan could find himself in the big leagues.

I saw him pitch live in the summer of 2019 for Single-A Burlington, and he was special. He is also has a great personality despite speaking limited English. His confidence and swagger could help Yan make a quick climb to the majors in 2021. Could he be the next Frank Tanana for the Angels? We will have to wait and see.