Baseball

2021 Los Angeles Angels Off To Strong Start in Spring Training

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Whether you are into spring training and the hype and games that surround it, there are bound to be some good baseball storylines that emerge as it progresses and the regular season starts. 

For the 2021 Los Angeles Angels like any other MLB team, spring training is a time of optimism where every team can dream about winning the World Series.

Whether they actually get there or not is another matter. If you strictly listened to social media, fans are upset the GM Perry Minasian hasn’t made enough moves regarding the teams pitching staff or he has wasted time on players like Alex Cobb.

Acquiring Dexter Fowler and promoting the likes of Jared Walsh also was not seen as good enough for a fanbase that hasn’t seen a World Series win since 2002. The 2021 Los Angeles Angels are aiming to prove they can make a dent in the American League West.

Ohtani Has Positive Start to Spring Training

Shohei Ohtani is someone we have written at length about and it’s no secret what his potential is as a pitcher and hitter. He started spring training with a bang hitting a monster home run against the Texas Rangers that went 468 feet and over the center-field wall. The Angels won the game 6-2. Ohtani is 3-for-5 with the home run, two RBI, and one walk.

His pitching workouts have also garnered some attention as he threw over 100 MPH in a bullpen workout and simulated games. He pitched Friday for the Angels and looked impressive with pitches clocked at 100 MPH and five strikeouts. He allowed one run on three hits and walked two in 1.2 innings of work on 41 pitches. 

Ohtani has to clear some big hurdles too though and we really have to wait and see what will materialize this season. He seems to have overcome his Tommy John surgery in 2018 and his left knee surgery in 2019. The injuries affected both his hitting and pitching in 2020 and that caused him to adjust how he threw and hit the ball. He is slated to be sixth in the Angels starting rotation this season as well which could.

2021 Los Angeles Angels Prospects Detmers and Rodriguez Show Potential On The Mound 

Reid Detmers, the 2021 Los Angeles Angels’ top draft pick in 2020, took to the mound on Tuesday, March 2nd in the Angels 7-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. 

Detmers walked the first batter he faced on four straight pitches but then proceeded to get the next three batters out. He picked up a strikeout to end the inning. Detmers has pinpoint accuracy in locating his curveball with high velocity overall, but differs greatly from Chris Rodriguez, the other Angels pitcher who made his spring training debut.

Rodriguez was hitting 96-97 MPH on his fastball, and struck out the only two batters he faced. He’s the ninth-best prospect in the Angels farm system, according to FanGraphs.

He was not able to participate in 2019-2020 seasons due to surgery and the shut down of the minor league season. The 2021 Los Angeles Angels could use him even out of the bullpen in spot relief situations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ92b2fhSj8

It’s premature to think that either of these guys will see any action beyond spring training but it’s early yet. Detmers could have seen action in 2020 despite being chosen 10th overall in June. The Angels that thought to leave him with the alternate site with no minor league season going but they opted instead to keep working on his development. 

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Ben has been closely following sports since the late 1980s and began writing about them in the 90s. Armed with a BA, an associate certificate, and a diploma, he brings a highly educated perspective to sports betting. Specializing in hockey, baseball, and tech, Ben has contributed many outlets and is a frequent contributor to the CKNW radio station.