Angels News: Caden Dana Fights Through Nerves In First Spring Training Start
MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels
oe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While the top 30 prospects for the Los Angeles Angels organization in 2024 have not yet been revealed by MLB Pipeline, it’s safe to assume that towering right-hander Caden Dana will be at the top of the list. He ended 2023 as the team’s No. 2 overall prospect behind Nolan Schanuel and got an invite to join Major League Spring Training in 2024.

The 20-year-old features a power mid-90’s fastball and impressed in Low-A Inland Empire and High-A Tri-City last season. He was an 11th-round pick in 2022 that the Angels paid significantly over slot value to ensure that he would sign with the organization. That was their level of belief in Dana, and the very early returns show promise.

The Angels gave him an opportunity to make his first ever Spring Training start on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. After allowing a leadoff walk, Dana settled in to strike out two batters over two scoreless innings that required only 25 pitches (18 strikes). It adds to another scoreless two innings he threw out of the bullpen earlier in the spring.

Dana reflected on his start and what allowed him to settle in after nerves led to a four-pitch walk to leadoff batter Nicky Lopez, according to Rhett Bollinger of

“It’s simple. I just cleared my mind, and it never happened,” Dana said. “Obviously, I have to control the running game, but it’s about clearing my mind and going after the next guy. I just tried to focus on pitch-by-pitch and getting ahead.”

While Dana is unlikely to get to the big league club this season, even with the Angels’ noted prospect aggression, he certainly already has a supporter in manager Ron Washington.

“I love his mound presence,” Washington said. “I love his confidence in what he’s trying to execute. He’s young and he’s very absorbent, meaning that he’s absorbing every bit of knowledge that he can get. And he’s trying to apply it. The one thing about this organization is that age and your experience don’t matter. If you’re able to get outs, that’s what matters.”

Dana looks to be the part of a serious contributor in 2025 given the fact that he is already finding success in Spring Training at 20 years old. And for the Angels, who have been searching for pitching depth within their organization, having someone like Dana is a huge relief.

Angels stretching Jose Soriano out as starter

Jose Soriano has had a long path within the Los Angeles Angels organization to get where he is today. Between 2020 and when the Angels called him up to the Majors in 2023, he had pitched a total of 40 professional innings. So the Angels chose to use the former starter as a reliever last season. He made 38 appearances out of the pen for 42 innings in 2023. He held a 3.64 ERA, 1.333 WHIP and struck out an impressive 12 batters per nine innings.

He was a relatively reliable option in a bullpen that was lacking in options for most of last season. And this year, the Angels and new manager Ron Washington are rewarding him for the work he did in 2023. The plan for Soriano this spring is to be stretched out as a starter.

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