Minor League Prospect Note: Nick Maronde, LHP, Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels pitching prospect Nick Maronde had a great start last night for Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League, throwing eight shutout innings against Corpus Christi, fanning five, walking one, and allowing four hits. This was his second start for the Travelers, and much better than the first one (4.2 innings, eight hits, five runs on August 2nd). Before his promotion, he had a 1.82 ERA in 10 starts for High-A Inland Empire in the California League, with a 60/14 K/BB in 59 innings and just 40 hits allowed.
All told, between High-A, Double-A, and two rookie-level rehab starts, Maronde has a 2.03 ERA with a 78/18 K/BB in 80 innings this year, 55 hits and four homers allowed. He lost time earlier this year with a lat strain, but seems fine now.
Maronde is a 6-3, 205 pound lefty, born September 5th, 1989. He began his college career as a starter at the University of Florida in 2009, but moved to the bullpen in '10 and struggled. He made huge improvements in his control in '11, posting a 2.09 ERA with a 55/9 K/BB in 43 innings with 27 hits allowed, which was enough to get drafted in the third round last June. The Angels returned him to starting and so far he's handling the workload well, strained lat aside.
He works with a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a plus slider, and a changeup that has improved over the last year. He's got ideal pitcher size, throws strikes, and deserves a lot more attention than he's received.
I had him rated as a B- pre-season but he's a solid Grade B at least now, and can be a B+ if he finishes strong. I like him a lot and people need to track him closely.