The Los Angeles Angels have had a frustrating 2021 season.
For years, the narrative surrounding the organization has revolved around how the team needs to get superstar Mike Trout some help.
This season, help arrived in the form of two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.
The 2021 season isn’t Ohtani’s first year with the Angels, but it’s his first year performing at an eye-popping level.
Unfortunately, the would-be duo of Trout and Ohtani hasn’t been on the field together very often.
Trout’s health has gotten in the way.
That’s one of the many reasons LA will likely be watching the postseason from home this year.
But it’s not all bad for the Angels.
The 2021 season has yielded a fair share of bright spots, and starting pitcher Jose Suarez is one of them.
LA has to be happy with what Suarez has shown this season.
He looks like a future ace for the team.
Let’s take a look.
Suarez Has Blown Expectations Out Of The Water In 2021
Suarez was a highly-touted prospect for a long time, but his stock took a major hit after his first two seasons at the MLB level.
In 2019, it was clear that he was not big-league ready.
He made 19 appearances (15 of which were starts), and he got shelled to the tune of a 7.11 ERA, 6.72 FIP, and 1.64 WHIP.
He finished the year with a 1.1 WAR.
In 2020, he made just two starts, and the results were awful again.
He gave up 10 runs over 2.1 innings, giving him an inflated 38.57 ERA on the year.
At that point, some folks thought Suarez wasn’t going to pan out at the big-league level.
But this season, he has proved that notion wrong.
He started the year as a long-innings relief guy, and he was great in that role.
In early July, the Angels moved him back to the rotation, and that’s where he has been ever since.
In total, he has made 16 appearances this season (seven starts), and he has managed a 3.88 ERA, 4.27 FIP, and 1.26 WHIP.
Those numbers are massive improvements over the stats he posted in 2019 and 2020.
José Suarez struck out the side in the first inning. Impressive stuff. pic.twitter.com/N2A4qBcSVs
— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) August 4, 2021
There is still a lot of work to do (going deep into games as a starter has been a struggle at times), but overall, there’s so much to be optimistic about.
jose suarez is the future, he just needs to finish hitters more quickly
— EMBRACE THE TANK (@Bachman4CY) July 20, 2021
The youngster is just getting started.
He Has A Long-Term Future In Los Angeles
The Angels have some really good things going for them when it comes to Suarez.
To state the obvious, he figures to get better and better with each passing season at the pro level.
To state the less obvious, the Angels are going to reap the benefits of his production for a very long time.
Suarez is just 23 years old, and he is under club control until 2027.
That means LA will likely be able to keep this guy around as a rotation anchor for all of his best years.
For a team looking to finally capitalize on the once-in-a-lifetime talents of Trout and Ohtani, having a rising star like Suarez under club control for the foreseeable future is a beautiful thing.
The next step for the Angels will be to bring in a couple of other rotation pieces to complement the core that’s already in place.
Things might finally be coming together for this club.
Keep an eye on this team in the 2022 season.NEXT: Sad Reality Of Shohei Ohtani Dominating On Average Team