Rodriguez was the first to come into the game in the bottom of the third inning and he showed electric stuff on the mound. The right-hander was hitting 96-97 MPH on his fastball, and he looked to be pumping it out with ease as he proceeded to strike out the only two batters he faced. He’s the ninth-best prospect in the Angels farm system, according to FanGraphs. Despite dealing with surgery from a stress reaction in his back, there is still a lot to like with this 22-year old pitcher.
Rodriguez has proven that he can virtually come back from anything and perform to the best of his abilities as he wasn’t able to pitch professionally from 2019-2020 due to the surgery and the shut down of the minor league season.
It has been the moment that many Angels fans have been waiting, as both Reid Detmers and Chris Rodriguez made their spring training debuts.
While he hasn’t pitched professionally for some time, Rodriguez showed no cause for concern on Tuesday as he lit up the radar gun and made quick work of the two batters he faced. FanGraphs projects to be a No. 3 or No.4 starter. The Angels have been in desperate need of young pitching for quite some time.
Reid Detmers was the other top prospect that we got to see on the mound as he looked to have some first-time jitters. He walked the first batter he faced on four straight pitches but then proceeded to get the next three batters out and picked up a strikeout to end the inning. Detmers sat around 93 MPH coming out of the gate, and his stuff looked sharp once he was able to settle down.
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According to FanGraphs, he’s ranked as the Angels third-best prospect, and that’s after being drafted in 2020. This says a lot about where the Halos farm system ranks in terms of prospects, but Detmers looks like the real deal.
There was speculation early on that Detmers could’ve made the Angels roster with minimal time at the alternate site due to no minor league season. The Angels didn’t do that and proceeded to keep developing him as they seem cautious to give him that kind of pressure right away. It’s for good measure as the Angels need Detmers to be a top-level pitcher for the future with the lack of pitching depth they currently have at all levels. It’s easy to see why so many think highly of Detmers. If he continues pitching well, he could find himself on the mound in Anaheim sooner than anticipated.
Both of these pitchers are vastly different in what was seen on Tuesday, as Rodriguez uses his electric fastball to overpower opposing hitters. Meanwhile, Detmers used his ability to locate pitches with devasting movement on his curveball. Both pitchers throw hard in terms of velocity overall, but it’s easy to see how these young arms contrast from one another.
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If Rodriguez and Detmers can live up to the hype and continue to develop well, the Angels might have found a strong one-two punch for years to come.