ANAHEIM -- Jaime Barria's steep rise from Class-A Advanced Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake this season cemented his status as one of the brightest pitching talents in the Angels' improving farm system. His stock was further validated after he was named the organization's Pitching Prospect of the Year by
ANAHEIM -- Jaime Barria's steep rise from Class-A Advanced Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake this season cemented his status as one of the brightest pitching talents in the Angels' improving farm system. His stock was further validated after he was named the organization's Pitching Prospect of the Year by MLBPipeline.com for the second consecutive year.
Jahmai Jones earned Hitting Prospect of the Year honors for the Angels.
Barria, a 21-year-old right-hander, logged a 2.80 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP over 141 2/3 innings across three Minor League levels in 2017. He finished the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.45 ERA in 14 2/3 innings with three walks and 13 strikeouts. Barria, who is ranked the club's No. 8 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is now on the cusp of the Majors and could serve as rotation depth for the Angels as early as next season.
Angels' Prospects of the Year
Signed for $60,000 out of Panama in 2013, Barria has a repertoire that includes a low-90s fastball, a changeup and a curveball. Earlier this year, he credited his success this season to his improved breaking ball.
"My curveball has helped me a lot," said Barria, who represented the Angels at the 2017 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Miami. "My problem used to be when I had to throw the curveball for a strike, but now I can command it. That's why I've struck out a lot of hitters this year."
Jones, a 20-year-old center fielder, batted .282 with a .794 OPS, 29 doubles, seven triples, 14 home runs, 47 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 127 games between Class A Burlington and Class-A Advanced Inland Empire. Jones, whose father and brother played in the NFL, possesses plus athleticism and has shown improved power and defense, making him the club's No. 2 prospect.
The Angels selected Jones in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Wesleyan High School in Georgia.
Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLBPipeline.com staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors, appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list and played the entire year in the organization.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.