3) Angels player who deserves an A grade: Patrick Sandoval
For years the Angels have been searching for pitching. Even this season they had guys like Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen, guys who could boom or bust, in their rotation, and neither panned out like the Angels hoped.
In his first full season as a member of the Angels rotation, Patrick Sandoval solidified himself as a future piece of the staff.
The 25-year-old went 6-9 with a 2.91 ERA in 27 starts. His 3.09 FIP suggests that his low ERA was not a fluke. What was so impressive about his season was the lack of home runs allowed. Sandoval allowed just eight home runs in 148.2 innings pitched (0.5 HR/9) and that really helped him out.
Sandoval does have one big flaw. His 3.6 BB/9 is a number that has to get better for him to take the next jump into an elite starting pitcher. But for his first full MLB season, he was so much better than I expected.
Sandoval had a 138 ERA+ this season which if he had enough innings to qualify, would be the sixth-highest mark in the AL. That's ahead of guys like Framber Valdez, Shane Bieber, and Kevin Gausman.
Sandoval being so young with four more years of team control is a great thing for Los Angeles. The southpaw can be considered a key piece to the core that is slowly coming together.