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Roster Moves: Ryan Langford and Andy Blake: Rising Stars in the Angels' Minor League System now in Tri-Cities


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This week, the Dust Devils were joined by some Bees, making the journey upwards geographically and downwards organizationally from AAA SLC to High-A Tri-Cities The Los Angeles Angels' minor league roster is teeming with talent that promises to invigorate the team's future. Among these emerging stars are Ryan Langford, a tactical relief pitcher, and Andy Blake, a versatile infielder. Each brings distinct skills and notable dedication to the sport. Their journeys through the ranks offer insights into the depth of talent nurtured within the Angels' system, setting the stage for exciting career developments.


Ryan Langford: Precision on the Mound

Born on August 31, 1999, in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Ryan Langford has carved a niche for himself as a relief pitcher known for his precision and consistency. Standing 6 feet tall and weighing 160 pounds, Langford's lean frame belies the power and control he commands from the mound. During his collegiate days at Florida Southern College, she provided him with a solid foundation in competitive baseball, honing his skills and preparing him for the challenges of professional play.


As a right-handed pitcher who also bats right, Langford's approach is characterized by his sharp focus and strategic use of pitches to outmaneuver hitters. His progression through the minors has been marked by steady improvements and a growing reputation as a pitcher who can be relied upon in high-pressure situations. Langford's role in the bullpen is crucial, and his ability to maintain composure and deliver precise pitches makes him an invaluable asset to the Angels' minor league teams.

Analysis of RHP Ryan Langford's Career Progression

Strengths:

Strong Relief Performances:

Langford has shown solid capabilities as a reliever, particularly highlighted by his successful stints in the Summer League (FCBL) and at the collegiate level. His performances in 2021 in the FCBL where he held a 2.27 ERA and a remarkable 15.9 SO9 (strikeouts per 9 innings) indicate his potential to dominate in short relief appearances. These stints show his ability to effectively strike out batters, a crucial skill for late-game situations.

Excellent Strikeout Rates:

Across various levels, Langford consistently registered high strikeout rates. Notably, during his time in the summer leagues, he achieved an SO9 of over 12 on multiple occasions, reaching as high as 17.2 in the MLB Draft League. This skill is a significant asset, suggesting he can overpower hitters and has compelling pitches that can miss bats.

Good WHIP and ERA at Higher Levels:

In the minors, particularly at higher levels like Class A Advanced (A+) and briefly in Triple-A (AAA), he managed to maintain a low WHIP (Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched), such as 1.145 in Class A and 1.750 in Triple-A, indicating effective control and the ability to limit base runners, which is fundamental for success at higher levels.

Areas for Improvement:

Control and Command:

Langford's progression shows intermittent struggles with control, as evidenced by his high BB9 (walks per 9 innings) rates at various points, particularly during his 2021 NCAA season, when he had a BB9 of 19.3. Reducing walks will stabilize his performance and make him a reliable option in higher-pressure situations.

Consistency Across Longer Outings:

While he has excelled in shorter relief appearances, Langford's performances as a starter or in longer outings have been mixed, with higher ERA and WHIP in these situations. This indicates a need to develop stamina or adjust his approach when facing hitters multiple times in a game, which could involve improving his pitch mix or working on pitch efficiency to manage his energy throughout more extended appearances. Andy Blake: Flexibility in the Field

Andrew Thomas Blake, better known as Andy Blake, was born on August 15, 2000, in Hopewell, New Jersey. His background is as diverse as his skill set, with an impressive educational journey from The Hun School of Princeton to Columbia University in New York, where he balanced rigorous academic pursuits with high-level baseball. Blake's physical presence is significant at 6 feet 4 inches and 200 pounds, whether he's playing at shortstop, third base, or second base.


Blake's ability to adapt and excel at multiple infield positions is a testament to his versatility and high baseball IQ. His right-handed batting and throwing further complement his all-around gameplay, making him a flexible and strategic player within the Angels' farm system. After a notable stint returning to Tri-City, Blake's performance continues to highlight his growth and readiness to contribute at higher levels of play. Analysis of INF Andy Blake

Strengths:

Power Hitting: