Found November 11, 2011 on Monkey with a Halo:

Up next in our prospect countdown, quite possibly the breakout star of not only the Angel farm system, but maybe all of minor league baseball, pitcher Matt Shoemaker.  From undrafted to Texas League Pitcher of the Year, is his big season for real and, if so, what can Halo fans expect from him?

Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker 
Position: Starting Pitcher  Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right  Height: 6'2" Weight: 225 lbs.
Age: 
24  Born: September 27, 1986

2011 Season Stats (AA): 12-5, 156.1 IP, 2.48 ERA, 132 H, 17 HR, 35 BB, 129 K, 3.79 FIP, .261 BABIP, 0.80 GO/AO

2011 Season Stats (AAA): 0-2, 21.0 IP, 8.14 ERA, 28 H, 3 HR, 12 BB, 12 K, 5.77 FIP, .347 BABIP, 1.14 GO/AO

 

Fastball – B-. It’s a straight 91 mph fastball, nothing fancy. It’s effective because he spots it.

Breaking Ball – B. His slider is good in AA, but doesn’t grade a plus pitch in the majors.

Change up – A. He uses a splitter as his change. Great speed differential and diving action.

Performance – A. Angels minor league pitcher of the year.

Projection – 5th starter or effective swing man.

Comp – Floor: Trevor Bell.  Ceiling: Derek Lowe.

Video - Matt Shoemaker Interview at 31:35.

Estimated MLB Arrival Date: Possibly mid-2012, more likely 2013

 

Season Summary: Shoemaker came out of nowhere to become a top pitcher in the Texas League and all but forced his way onto this prospect list.  After a fairly non-descript season in High-A ball the year before, Shoemaker got the promotion to Double-A and absolutely dominated the Texas League, leading the the league both in ERA and strikeouts.  That was good enough to earn him an All-Star nod, Texas League Pitcher of the Year and a spot on this year's USA Baseball team.  Not too bad for a guy who wasn't even drafted out of college.

The big thing to worry about with any Traveler pitcher is whether or not his stats are artificially improved by playing in the spacious confines of Dickey-Stephens Park.  That wasn't the case at all for Shoemaker though as his home-road splits were nearly identical.  If anything, Shoemaker was better away from Little Rock with a road ERA of 2.33 and BAA of .210.  Whatever the reason for his breakout season, those splits certainly indicate that it is for real.  That being said, Shoemaker is not as good as his numbers.  His 3.79 FIP with the Travs strongly suggests that a fair amount of luck was involved.  That doesn't mean he didn't have a nice season, just that his level of dominance is probably not going to be sustainable.

There is one red flag for Shoemaker though.  At the beginning of the season, he actually started in Triple-A, making four starts for the Bees, getting shelled in the process.  He returned to Double-A after posting an 8.14 ERA in Salt Lake.  That could easily be explained away as him not being able to make such a big jump so fast, but it also might be an early warning sign that his stuff just isn't going to work at that level of competition or in the hitter-friendly environments of the Pacific Coast League.

What to Expect in 2012: Fully expect Shoemaker and his awesome 'stache to start the season in Triple-A.  The thin air in Salt Lake should be a true test of whether or not Shoemaker's new found ability to not allow hits was a one year fluke or not.  If he reverts to his pre-2011 form, Shoemaker could disappear from the prospect radar just as fast as he got on it.  Of course, if he can continue to limit base hits, his strikeout and walk rates should allow him to have decent success and possibly even make him a candidate for the Angels' major league rotation in 2013.

The guess here, in a word, is "regression."  Shoemaker has always managed to miss bats at a good rate, but his flyball tendencies and hittability are not going to make for a fun time in the PCL.  Hopefully he won't get bombed all the way back to Double-A, but it seems unlikely that he will be much more than an average to above average performer.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A,

The November 10th, 2011 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including DiPoto says not to rule out the Angels on big name free agents, he also hints at adding a closer, Trout likely to start 2012 season at Triple-A and much ...

Tory Hernandez out as Angels front-office shake-up continues

Tory Hernandez, who as manager of baseball operations helped run a bare-bones Angels front office while the team searched for a general manager in October, was informed by new GM Jerry Dipoto on Thursday that he will not be offered a contract for 2012. Hernandez, 33, was with the team for seven years, the first three as a player performance analyst and the last four as manager of...

Movember MLB Mustache Madness: Wild Card, Round 2 - Moreno vs. Williams

In our next Movember MLB Mustache Madness Wild Card second round showdown, we see what happens when the guy that signs the checks is forced to go whisker-to-whisker with the guy that spends the money. Arte Moreno His team can't win their own division anymore, but maybe his 83% of the vote victory in the first round will help him get over spending $140 million to finish...

Angels Fire Baseball Operations Chief Tony Hernandez

Jerry Dipoto told him he won't be back for 2012. Circle of life and all that.

Angels Notes: Wilson, Bullpen, Coaches

Here's the latest on the Halos.... General manager Jerry Dipoto has "reached out" to C.J. Wilson's representation, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), though DiPoto added it's "very early in the courting period."  In his Offseason Outlook piece about the Angels, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith estimated the...

A Cheap Jered Weaver Autograph Makes Two Dirtbags Down, One To Go

When I decided to collect hits of the three best Long Beach State Dirtbags to ever lace 'em up, I mainly had my sights set on an autograph from each of those three gentlemen: Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria, and Jered Weaver. I knew they wouldn't be cheap, but I had no intention of breaking the bank to begin with. I was fortunate enough to swing a deal for Tulo's signature...

Trumbo for Rookie of the Year

When Spring Training began, Mark Trumbo thought he would have another year at the AAA level or at best, be a part-time player for the Angels with incumbent middle of the order presence Kendrys Morales returning from injury and entrenched at first base. Instead, Morales was unable to play this season, opening the door for Trumbo...and Trumbo took advantage putting together a season...

Angels Notes: Wilson, Pujols, Fielder, Dipoto

In yesterday's collection of Angels notes, we heard that the team has touched base with C.J. Wilson. GM Jerry Dipoto said his club is "intrigued" by the possibility of signing the left-hander away from the rival Rangers, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. Let's round up a few more Angels-related links.... Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio tweets that...

10 Photos - The Ultimate Finale

Today's POTD looks back at the final home game of 2011 for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Los Angeles Angels September 22.Angels catcher Bobby Wilson gets ready to go to work in the bullpen. Angels starter Ervin Santana was looking to improve on his 6-4 lifetime record against the Blue Jays that included three complete game efforts. Santana allowed five hits and five walks...

Big contracts make it tough for new Angels general manager

The Angels probably would have preferred the Texas Rangers to be hung over, particularly given the recent history...

Great News!

http://eye-on-baseball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/33247619 The Angels said they won't aggressively pursue Fielder or Pujols. It's going to take an aggressive bid to take Pujols from St. Louis and I believe that the Angels were the biggest threat. In different news the Marlins gave Pujols a substantial offer (according to Ken R.'s tweet). Pujols may...
Angels News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.