What to Expect from Angels Right-Hander Sam Bachman

Sam Bachman of the Los Angeles Angels

In a thick race for an AL Wild Card spot, the Los Angeles Angels have called up a highly-regarded pitching prospect for its bullpen. Former first-round pick Sam Bachman has been called up by the Angels just a little less than two years since he was drafted by the organization. Here’s a closer look at the 23-year-old righty.

Related: An Early Progress Report on the Free Agents from the 2022-23 MLB Offseason (Part I)

A Look at Bachman

Over the past decade, the Los Angeles Angels have struggled in terms of cultivating homegrown arms. Los Angeles began to stockpile pitching in 2020, when the Angels selected standout college lefty Reid Detmers out of Louisville. In the 2021 MLB Draft, Anaheim further bolstered its organization’s pitching depth when the Angels selected a pitcher with every single one of the team’s picks. Former Miami University (OH) hurler Sam Bachman headlined that draft for the Angels.

The ninth overall pick in the 2021 Draft, Bachman garnered plenty of attention from scouts when he struck out 199 batters over 159.1 career innings with Miami. While he did struggle with the walks at times, Bachman showcased premium power stuff in college.

Bachman missed most of 2022 thanks to back and bicep problems, and he was limited to just 43.2 IP over 12 outings as a result. This season with Rocket City (AA), Bachman’s been healthy — but not particularly sharp. Through six starts, Bachman owned a 5.81 ERA and walked 20 over 26.1 IP. However, his 29 strikeouts and .164 opponent’s batting average just shows how good his stuff is when he can hit his spots.

As one could assume from his 2023 numbers, command is Bachman’s biggest issue. Scouting reports indicate that Bachman’s three primary pitches — a hard fastball, slider, and change — could all be weapons. However, consistency will ultimately depend on whether Bachman’s future is in the rotation or in the bullpen.

For now, it looks Bachman will not be in the rotation. Multiple reports indicate that the Angels will move Bachman to the bullpen to begin his MLB career.

Bachman will become the second player from the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft to make the Majors, joining Matt McLain. McLain received his callup a little less than two weeks earlier. The 23-year-old won’t be the first Angel pick from 2021 to make it up, either. Right-hander Chase Silseth, who was the first player from the 2021 Draft to make it up to the bigs, beat him by thirteen months.

A Look at the Angels Rotation and Fantasy Outlook

It makes a lot of sense for the Angels to start Bachman out of the bullpen to start his career. Besides the aforementioned command issues, Anaheim’s bullpen has been rather shaky outside of Carlos Estevez and Matt Moore. RHP Ryan Tepera was DFA’d after he posted a 7.27 ERA over ten outings, while Jimmy Herget has struggled at times. Lefty specialist Aaron Loup gave up at least one run in six of last eight outings, and Tucker Davidson owns a gnarly 6.30 ERA.

Whether Bachman — a supremely talented righty but one with question marks — will be able to be a steady hand remains to be seen.

As far as Bachman’s fantasy value is concerned, the 23-year-old won’t be an option for saves unless Estevez or Moore have either previously been used or are unavailable. Don’t expect from much value from Bachman just yet, although that could change if the Angels want to move into the rotation.

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