The 2022 season for Patrick Sandoval was the best of his career in Major League Baseball, and since joining the Los Angeles Angels, he’s done nothing but improve.
The 26-year-old was originally drafted in the 11th round by the Houston Astros in the 2015 Amateur Draft when they signed him for a record value for the slot he was selected. The Astros understood his value and deterred him from committing to a Division I college. This past season was the best representation of his path to MLB.
Across 27 starts, he posted a 2.91 ERA, 3.09 FIP and reduced his home run rate from 1.14 per nine innings in 2021 to 0.48 in 2022. Sandoval’s slider graded out with a -9 run value, which ranked as the 25th-best in all of MLB. He increased its usage by about 12%, and it has become his primary pitch, for good reason.
A great indicator of future success is based on how he finished the year. In his final 10 starts, Sandoval went 3-2, with a 1.83 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and allowed just four home runs across 59 innings. His performance became a rock for manager Phil Nevin and a glimpse of what to expect if his upward trajectory remains the same.
Following his breakout season, Sandoval announced his intentions to join Team Mexico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, alongside Julio Urías of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The struggles that he encountered were admittedly ‘all mental’, but he overall believed when the moment called for him to make a big pitch in a tough spot, he was able to work around traffic. His slightly-elevated WHIP did mean he allowed more baserunners than desired, but his overall results are a testament to him and possibly some good luck.
Patrick Sandoval 2022 highlight
On August 19, Sandoval pitched the game of his Major League career against the Detroit Tigers by tossing his first complete game shutout. He faced four batters in the first inning, but after that, he faced the minimum the rest of the game while requiring just 97 pitches to do so.
He didn’t allow a runner to reach second base, and of the four hits he allowed, three were erased via the double play.
Sandoval will continue to develop within the Angels organization, and after an overwhelmingly positive year, the data on his altered usage showed a greater sample of how he can be successful while using his slider as a primary pitch.
With the general manager Perry Minasian signing veteran lefty Tyler Anderson, another southpaw in the room can do nothing but benefit a young starter coming into his own. He projects as the Angels No. 2 starter and will be an important piece to their success in 2023.
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