Werner Blakely’s first season of affiliate ball within the Angels’ system was interrupted twice by damage and noticed the 20-year-old shift over to 3rd base, a comparatively new place.
Regardless of the obstacles, Blakely, who performed simply 55 video games for Single-A Inland Empire, earned a name to hitch the Scottsdale Scorpions in the course of the Arizona Fall League, the place he’s set to face an elevated degree of competitors.
“It undoubtedly was a shock, however I put in a whole lot of work,” Blakely, the membership’s No. 15-ranked prospect, mentioned. “I work onerous and I imagine that the Angels imagine in me. Choosing me right here to the Fall League, that was nice to listen to. However now the actual work begins.”
In restricted motion this yr, the lefty batter slashed .297/.447/.470 with 20 extra-base hits and 40 RBIs. Whereas his stroll fee sat at 19.1%, his swing-and-miss considerations reared their head, as he whiffed at a 29.8% clip. Whereas that point sidelined saved Blakely from garnering key in-game reps, he finally views the expertise as a constructive one.
“I used to be actually in a position to keep locked in on my day without work, and I really feel that point off helped me rather a lot as a participant,” Blakely mentioned. “I used to be in a position to be taught a bunch of issues and apply them on the sector once I got here again, so it was a plus for me.”
The Angels like Blakely’s uncooked instruments, considered one of which is his pace. By means of his first 44 video games with the 66ers, he swiped 19 luggage and was caught simply as soon as. To this point in his professional profession, he has amassed 40 stolen bases to simply 5 occasions caught stealing.
Chosen by Los Angeles within the fourth spherical of the 2020 Draft out of a Detroit highschool, Blakely seems to hold the flag and make a distinction for these in his neighborhood.
“I take a whole lot of pleasure in coming from town of Detroit,” Blakely mentioned. “It’s undoubtedly not a scorching mattress of baseball popping out of there. However one factor we have now received is that we’re hungry and able to play. We have now a whole lot of expertise up there.
“I used to be blessed sufficient to be on the proper place on the proper time and get my title on the market and I simply wish to be a trailblazer for different children – particularly the black neighborhood, attempting to get extra of us enjoying the sport.”
Angels hitters within the Fall League
Kyren Paris, SS/2B (No. 20): Whereas accidents sidetracked the opening act of Paris’ professional profession in 2019 and ‘21, he was in a position to ascend as excessive as Double-A for the ultimate month of his age-20 marketing campaign this yr. Considered a plus runner, the membership’s second-round alternative from the 2019 Draft swiped 33 luggage in 37 tries throughout 105 video games in ‘22. By means of 671 professional plate appearances, he has posted a .373 on-base share
Bryce Teodosio, OF: The Fall League will function a proving floor for Teodosio, who scuffled to the tune of a .192 common in his first style of Double-A. Stealing luggage has been his Most worthy weapon, racking up 28 steals in 112 video games for the Trash Pandas. An undrafted free agent out of Clemson, the 23-year-old spent the vast majority of his regular-season motion in middle area.
Angels pitchers within the Fall League
Connor Van Scoyoc, RHP: No Angels hurler amassed extra strikeouts (140) at a single degree in 2022 than Van Scoyoc did with Single-A Inland Empire. The 6-foot-6 right-hander racked up 10.5 Ok/9 IP, heating up alongside the climate with a 9-0 document and 1.93 ERA throughout 13 begins from June 9-Sept. 3. He shows a three-pitch combine, with a pointy curveball that serves as his major putaway pitch.
Ivan Armstrong, RHP: Acquired from the Giants on the Commerce Deadline in 2021, the 22-year-old dominated with 11 scoreless frames over a month on the Arizona Complicated League. Upon a callup to Excessive-A Tri-Metropolis, the Dominican Republic native tied for the membership lead with six saves and was considered one of 5 gamers on the membership to common higher than 12 strikeouts per 9.
Jack Kochanowicz, RHP: The Angels will deploy much more top on the hill for Scottsdale in the course of the AFL, with the 6-foot-6 Kochanowicz set to proceed logging innings. A 3rd-round choice within the 2019 Draft, the righty’s season debut was delayed till June resulting from an indirect pressure. After opening the yr as a starter with Inland Empire, a shift to the bullpen did wonders, as he posted a 1.62 ERA and held opposing batters to a .492 OPS over his remaining seven appearances.
Kelvin Caceres, RHP: One other 66er hurler who compiled strikeouts in bunches, Caceres whiffed 117 batters in 77 1/3 frames. Serving primarily as a bulk-inning aid arm, the 22-year-old held opposing batters to a .170 common throughout 36 appearances, however he did stroll 54 in that span. His greatest secondary providing is a biting breaking pitch; on June 5, he struck out 9 over 4 frames, all of which got here on his curve.