Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

According to a tweet by Keith Law, the Angels have promoted RHP Garrett Richards to make a start against the New York Yankees this week. Welcome to the Major Leagues Garrett Richards!

Drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 draft (42nd overall), Garrett Richards has emerged as the top pitching prospect in the Angels organization. Coming into 2011, AngelsWin.com ranked him as the 6th best prospect overall in the system, and had the following to say about him:

Scouts will tell you that if a pitcher has two plus pitches, he can become a Major League reliever. If he has three plus pitches, he can become a Major League starter. If he has four plus pitches, then he’s Garrett Richards.

Richards throws a mid-90s fastball that can touch 98, a plus curve and slider, and a good changeup. He has the stuff to be a front of the rotation starter. After working out some kinks in his delivery and routine, Richards has not had the control issues that plagued him in college. Richards used his four quality pitches to keep hitters off balance. In 2010, he generated a 1.98 GO/AO ratio. He struck out more than 1 batter per 9 IP.

Richards has been tearing up the Texas League. He leads the league in wins with 12 and innings pitched with 141.0. His 3.06 ERA places him second among qualified starters and his 1.06 WHIP places him at third best in the league. His 100 strikeouts has him at 5th best for the Texas League.

After watching Joel Pineiro struggle again on August 3rd, Mike Scioscia spoke with the press about the possibility of making changes to the rotation. As Scioscia explained, the Angels would look at all options for the spot. I asked him if Garrett Richards would be included in those discussions.

Click below to listen to Mike Scioscia's response. (Note: this audio file has been shortened to remove questions not related to the Angels' starting pitching).


If, indeed, it is true that Garrett Richards has been called up to make his first start against the Yankees, let's all welcome him and wish him luck. It's a tough introduction to the Major Leagues, but hopefully Richards can handle it. Like Chatwood, Walden, Trumbo, Bourjos, and others, Richards will hopefully make himself a fixture in the Angels’ youth movement.
Love to hear what you think!

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