The Angels wouldn't have run Garrett Richards out there for their most important game of the season (so far) if they didn't have a pretty good idea good things could be on the way from the 23-year-old right-hander.
Going into Richards' second major-league game tonight vs. the first-place Texas Rangers, I asked ex-Angels scouting director Eddie Bane to give his scouting report. Here it is:
He will be back on the mound for sure and, when he gets his feet planted, he is going to be good. Fastball gets to the high 90's and he has games where he sits in the 94-95 range. Can throw both curve and slider and get them over, which is highly unusual. Change needs to improve and he needs to get used to the speed of the big leagues, but I have no doubt that he will.
Garrett would be the first to admit that he struggled at Oklahoma and was then removed from their rotation. We did not care. Arnold Braithwaite (area guy at the time) and Ron Marigny (Midwest supervisor) kept after Garrett and told me how he would do when he pitched the midweek game against Southwest North Texas State. His ERA was 6.50, but his stuff was lights out.
His stuff was high to mid first round stuff, but the results were not. We (Arnold and I) talked with Garrett and came away impressed. We just thought stuff is stuff as the saying goes. Chatwood is 5-foot-10 and Richards had a 6.50 ERA, but the baseball doesn't know that when those guys throw, so the saying 'stuff if stuff,' holds up.