The next LA Angels pitching prospect to make their MLB debut will be...

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics; Chase Silseth
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics; Chase Silseth / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Following the historic debut performance from LA Angels pitching prospect Chase Silseth (which I 100% called by the way), the entire league has been put on notice that this isn’t the same old Halos with regards to pitching anymore.

Now boasting a farm system with several high-quality arms on the fast track to the majors, it’s only a matter of time before we fully see the next generation of Angels pitchers follow in Silseth’s footsteps and make their mark on the majors. The only question now is who will be the first to make the jump.

#4 LA Angels pitching prospect who may debut in 2022: Davis Daniel

The only pitcher from Triple-A Salt Lake on this list, 24-year-old Davis Daniel represents the safest pick to make his debut for the LA Angels this year. That said, just because he’s less flashy than the others here doesn’t make him any less likely to produce in the majors this year.

Drafted in the seventh round by the Angels in 2019, the fact that Daniel has developed as quickly as he has is a nice surprise. Despite never really wowing while at Auburn, Daniel, now the Angels’ 12th ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, quickly found his stride in High-A Tri-City last year, putting up a 2.31 ERA, 0.986 WHIP and 12.3 K/9 in nine starts. The righty continued this hot streak after being promoted to Double-A Rocket City, where he owned an equally impressive 2.68 ERA, 1.000 WHIP and 12.6 K/9 in nine more starts.

Across his first 18 professional starts, Daniel recorded five starts without allowing a run and five double-digit strikeout performances. And keep in mind, all of this is coming after he was limited to just one start at Auburn in 2019 after he went down with a UCL tear and required Tommy John surgery.

Though Daniel struggled in Triple-A in 2021, getting lit up to the tune of a 10.29 ERA in five appearances, he’s completely turned things around this season. While his 4.60 ERA and 1.261 WHIP aren’t too impressive at first glance, remember that the Pacific Coast League is a notoriously hitter friendly league where almost every pitcher struggles to some extent.

Currently 2/3 of an inning short of qualifying for the leaderboards, his ERA would be the eighth-best in the league and would make him one of only 10 qualified starting pitchers with a sub-5 ERA. Likewise, his WHIP would slot in at seventh and his .239 batting average against would be the sixth best. Even his seemingly awful 1.84 HR/9 is still the 15th best in the league (as of May 18).

Plus, prior to his last start where he was roughed up and surrendered six earned runs, Daniel had a much improved 3.24 ERA through his first five starts.

The only real concern for Daniel is his massive drop in strikeout rate this season. Across all three levels in 2021, he owned an elite 12.1 K/9. This is now down to a lackluster 6.1 K/9 in 2022 as he’s only struck out 20 batters in 29.1 innings.

Scouts have noted that Daniel’s stuff never really jumped off the page, so this may be a case where the more advanced hitters of the PCL aren’t being fooled by his breaking pitches while the movement on his low-90s fastball simply isn’t enough to blow batters away anymore.

Though he still may debut this season as a starter, realistically the long-term outlook for Daniel is that he will need to drop one of his four pitches and convert to a middle reliever if he wants to stick around in the big leagues.