Chicago Cubs: Angels looking for more homegrown talent
Pitching has been the issue for the Angels for a couple of years now. To their credit, they went out and signed two-way prodigy Shohei Ohtani ahead of last season. But he needed Tommy John surgery and will be limited to DH duties this year.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
Los Angeles will need to develop some guys if they want to contend with the likes of the Houston Astros in the shockingly solid American League West.
Q: Will Los Angeles ever develop in-house quality pitching? Or is that a dream?
A: Similar to how Theo Epstein was able to build the Cubs’ offense from within, Angels GM Billy Eppler is taking a similar approach. While the Angels don’t have an ace level prospect in their system, they have a few names within that have a lot of potential.
The first is Griffin Canning, who was a second rounder in 2017. He has a lot of swing-and-miss to his game and blazed through the minor league levels last year. He has impressed early in Triple-A this season and could make his debut for the Angels within two months.
Behind him are Jose Suarez and Chris Rodriguez. Suarez caught a lot of attention last year after posting a K/9 of 10.9 and showing exceptional command on the mound. Rodriguez missed all of last season with a back injury but has the most potential for any pitching prospect in the Angels’ organization. He has an impressive repertoire, including four pitches that grade as above.
Even given these names, it would be very surprising if the Angels pass on starting pitching in the first round of the MLB Draft this year, especially with the number of college arms that could be available.
Well, there you have it. The Angels front office is likely focused on arms, which makes sense given some of the young position players they’ve got ready to break onto the scene alongside franchise icon Mike Trout. For now, it’s about the next two games, as they’ll look to first even the series up at a game apiece on Saturday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs.