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What to expect from Angels rookie Greg Mahle

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The Los Angeles Angels made a roster move yesterday, sending reliever A.J. Achter down to the minors and recalling lefty Greg Mahle to take his spot. Mahle is an actual prospect developed (and developed quickly) by the otherwise arid Angels farm system. Let's take a look.

From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:

Greg Mahle, LHP, Los Angeles Angels
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-2 WT: 230 DOB: April 17, 1993

2015: Grade C

The Angels drafted Mahle in the 15th round in 2014 from UC Santa Barbara. On the surface he is a generic strike-throwing minor league reliever, featuring a 90-91 MPH fastball along with a curve, slider, and change-up. None of his pitches are plus, but he keeps the ball down and doesn’t beat himself. There’s something about Mahle that makes me think he could be more than just a LOOGY though. He’ll do unusual things like vary his arm angles without losing his command, which helps everything play up. This seems to mess up right-handed hitters as well as lefties and his platoon splits are even. He could have a long career as a middle reliever. Grade C.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Mahle has 97 innings in the minors posting a 2.97 ERA with a 116/29 K/BB and 86 hits allowed. He also has 27 saves in 33 opportunities and has had no trouble with competition in the high minors. He was likewise effective in major league spring training, with a 1.46 ERA in 12/1 innings, 8/3 K/BB.

Mahle's change-up is his best pitch but the whole is larger than the sum of the parts here due to his command and his funk on the mound. As noted his platoon splits are even and he's been effective against right-handers as well as lefties, so long-term relegation to the LOOGY role is not inevitable. It took him less than two years to get from college to the minors and I would not underestimate him.

Even if he is confined to small-scale outings, getting a useful bullpen part in the 15th round is a win for the scouts, the coaches, and certainly the player.