Sam Bachman was at one point a pitcher that had the ability to hit triple digits with his fastball. That top-tier velocity helped Bachman get selected ninth overall by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2021 draft. Things haven't gone too swimmingly since.
Bachman dealt with two back injuries and according to Sam Blum of The Athletic (subscription required), the injuries hurt his mechanics and ability to throw hard.
With pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training, Bachman's velocity is apparently on the rise. It's not where it was, but it's getting there. That's a good sign for the Angels and the right-hander.
Angels prospect Sam Bachman's increase in velocity gives the club hope in his future
Bachman's velocity, which was once a defining feature for him, was gone at the end of this season. He was topping out at 93 with his fastball and was sitting in the low 90's in his final start of the year in Rocket City. This was because of the back issues he was dealing with. Now healthy, things have changed for the better.
Bachman has hit 98 mph with his fastball this spring. He's hit 95-96 mph with that pitch consistently. While that's not the upper 90's-triple digits fastball he was drafted with, it's most definitely a good sign as lower velocity hurt his production in 2022.
In the 12 starts he did make in AA, Bachman threw just 43.2 innings and had a 3.95 ERA. In those innings, he walked 25 batters (5.2 BB/9) while striking out just 30 (6.2 K/9). Bachman walked 2.5/9 while striking out 9.4/9. This was only in five starts, but the difference is stark.
If Bachman can stay healthy and continue to hit the upper 90's with his fastball, we can see the reason why the Angels drafted him with the ninth overall pick. The 23-year-old would have a shot at being a late-season call-up if both of these things come to fruition.