As the Los Angeles Angels head into the 2014 spring training with questions at the bottom of their starting rotation, Mark Sappington has the opportunity to throw his name in the mix.
Since being selected in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft, the 23-year-old right hander has quickly risen through the Halos’ minor league system as he played at the Double-A level last season.
After initially struggling in Rookie level as he posted a 5.15 ERA in 12 starts, he improved in the Class A-Advanced level as he had a 11-4 record to with a 3.38 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 130.2 innings pitched.
Sappington’s uptick in his performance earned him a call-up to Double-A level with the Arkansas Travelers where he started five games with a 1-1 record to go along with a 3.86 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25.2 innings pitched.
His progress over the last two seasons has been remarkable which has rightfully earned him an invite to this year’s spring training. This opportunity will give Sappington the chance to show he can pitch against major league hitters and that he is ready to play in the majors or at the very least the Triple-A level.
With that said, Spring training will also allow Sappington to show that he has worked on improving his command as he walked 98 batters in 193.0 innings pitched in the minors up to this point.
Nonetheless, the 23-year-old has demonstrated that he is a player with promising talent, and a solid 2014 spring training could a long way in his hopes of making the majors with Angels.