Prospects Spotlight: American League West

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Feb 24, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney (28), starting pitcher Nick Tropeano (35) and pitcher Adam Wilk (72) walk to the practice fields during a work out at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels

Andrew Heaney, Starting Pitcher

The Angels have been big spenders in the past several offseasons.

Albert Pujols for 10 years $254 million in 2011 as well as C.J. Wilson for five years.

Josh Hamilton for five seasons and $125 million in 2012.

Photo Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

This cost them three separate high draft picks, something they desperately could have used for a farm system that, according to MLB.com, last had a top 100 ranked prospect in 2013 with Kaleb Cowart, who rolled in at #78.

For your bookkeeping, the compensation picks for their big names turned out to be Michael Wacha (Pujols), Joey Gallo (Wilson) and Travis Demeritte (Hamilton).

Through all of this though, the Angels have always had one of the most underrated double play combos in baseball, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick.

This past winter, they sent Kendrick to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Andrew Heaney, a top pitching prospect who L.A. themselves had just acquired 15 minutes earlier from Miami. Seriously.

Heaney immediately becomes the team’s best prospect, but this says less about the state of their MiLB system and more about Heaney’s super high ceiling as a potential staff ace.

It was thought that Miami would boast young studs Jose Fernandez and Heaney as a 1-2 punch of the future. But Tommy John surgery and the Marlins jumping at the chance to acquire sought after Dee Gordon, that won’t happen.

Heaney, 23, cruised right on through the Minor League system to earn a promotion last June. He struggled mightily in the bigs, but career Minor League numbers –including ERA’s of 0.88 in A and 2.58 in AA– but he was probably rushed through AAA, even though his stats weren’t all that bad, because the Marlins often do that with their young prospects.

Expect Heaney to start the season in AAA, and develop into an elite lefty alongside Tyler Skaggs, Garrett Richards and company going forward for the Angels.

Next: Seattle Mariners

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