On May 30th the Los Angeles Angels promoted rookie right-hander Parker Bridwell to the major league roster. He started that day’s game against the Atlanta Braves and performed pretty well, giving up three runs in six innings on six hits, walking one and fanning four.
He was sent back down to the minors after the game but he’s having a fine year in Triple-A and will no doubt be back to the Show later this year. Here’s a quick take.
Parker Briwell was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth round in 2010 from high school in Hereford, Texas. A multi-sport star in high school, his development was rather slow but steady in the minors, featuring good strikeout rates but problems with command, mechanics, and general consistency.
He reached Double-A in 2015 then converted to the bullpen in 2016, posting a 3.87 ERA in 77 innings with a 63/32 K/BB in Double-A and Triple-A. He also pitched 3.2 innings in the majors last summer and was hit hard, giving up five runs.
The Angels acquired Bridwell on April 17th, 2017 for an undisclosed cash payment. Bridwell was rated as a Grade C prospect pre-season, listed but unranked among the Top 20 Baltimore Orioles prospects for 2017 before the transaction that brought him to the West Coast.
Listed at 6-4, 190, Bridwell is a right-handed hitter and thrower born August 2nd, 1991. His control has massively improved since leaving the Orioles: he had a 32/4 K/BB in 33 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake with a 3.31 ERA.
If he maintains this improved command Bridwell could be quite impressive indeed, for there’s nothing wrong with his stuff. His fastball is generally average at 90-94 MPH, averaging 92, but it plays up due to a very good change-up. He’s made enough progress with his previously erratic breaking stuff for the Angels to move him back to starting. The Orioles had given up on him in that role but his progress with the Angels has been rapid.
It is possible that Bridwell just needed a change of scenery and right now it looks like he could be a fine number four starter.
Here’s some Arizona Fall League video from Aaron Thorn