The Angels announced they’re planning to promote pitching prospect Chase Silseth to start tomorrow night’s game against the A’s. The team will need to make a 40-man roster move before the contest to officially accommodate his selection.
It’s a remarkably quick ascent for Silseth, who was still pitching at the University of Arizona less than a year ago. Anaheim selected him in the 11th round of last year’s draft, going overslot with a $485K bonus to lure him away from Tucson. Silseth started 18 games for the Wildcats but posted just a 5.55 ERA in a hitter-friendly environment, battling control inconsistency along the way. Nevertheless, his power arsenal — a mid-90s fastball, pair of promising breaking balls and split-changeup — made him the #145 prospect in the draft class, according to Baseball America.
Over the offseason, BA named Silseth the #12 minor leaguer in the Angels’ system. The outlet suggested his long-term home might be in the bullpen, as did FanGraphs’ Brendan Gawlowski and Eric Longenhagen in naming him the organization’s #28 prospect. The Angels quickly pushed him to Double-A Rocket City as a starter, though, and he’s impressed over five outings. The 21-year-old (22 next week) has a 1.73 ERA with a massive 37.4% strikeout rate in 26 innings. He’s only walked 7.1% of batters faced, and the front office clearly feels he’s capable of holding his own against big league hitters immediately.
Whether the forthcoming MLB stint will prove more lasting than a spot start is to be determined, but Silseth has quickly put himself on the map as a near-term depth option for the Halos. He’ll also earn the distinction of being the first player from his draft class to reach the majors after an excellent beginning to his pro career.