The Los Angeles Angels had another underwhelming year in 2021.
Although the team made many headlines throughout the regular season thanks in large part to the emergence of Shohei Ohtani, the overall results of L.A.’s campaign were lousy.
When all was said and done, the Angels finished with a 77-85 record and missed the playoffs for the seventh straight season.
But the year wasn’t all bad for L.A.
In addition to Ohtani’s emergence, some other players established themselves as rising stars.
And Patrick Sandoval was one of them.
Sandoval Had A Career Year In 2021
The 2021 season was Sandoval’s third at the MLB level.
The lefty made his big-league debut in 2019 and also saw action during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, but the 2021 season was the first year in which he appeared in more than 10 games.
He totaled 17 outings and 14 starts in 2021, and the results were very encouraging.
He pitched to a 3.62 ERA, 124 ERA+, 4.03 FIP, and 1.21 WHIP.
As a starter, he posted a 3.39 ERA and 3.63 FIP.
He allowed three runs or fewer in all but two of his starts.
Here’s my best @PitchingNinja impression
Patrick Sandoval Nasty 84 MPH Changeup with Sword and K Strut🤮⚔️ pic.twitter.com/TLnssYf1Vl
— Tristan (@FletchWRLD) May 23, 2021
Virtually all of his numbers in 2021 were massive improvements over the stats he put up in 2019 and 2020 (he had a 5.33 ERA over the first two years of his career).
In a lost year for the Angels, the 25-year-old gave fans a reason to tune in throughout the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, part of Sandoval’s year was lost due to an injury, but that doesn’t diminish what he accomplished.
Moreover, he should be fine to take the mound in 2022 at full strength.
Sandoval was selected in the 11th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
He struggled for many years at the minor-league level, and he wasn’t often described as a future star.
But in 2018, he started to turn things around in the minors.
That success opened the door for the youngster to get a chance at the MLB level, and he broke into the big leagues in 2019 as previously mentioned.
Again, it took him a while to land on his feet in the majors, but in 2021, everything started to come together for him.
Sandoval, a guy who was once overlooked as a prospect, successfully proved in 2021 that he’s deserving of respect.
Patrick Sandoval turning into a legit starting pitcher is arguably the biggest development for the Angels this season.
— C-Rod SZN (@JoAdellszn) July 25, 2021
This is just the beginning for him, and he’s going to get a chance to establish himself as a legit star in 2022 and beyond.
The Angels Have Sandoval Under Club Control For Several Years
The Angels are going to be the beneficiaries of Sandoval’s growth for years to come.
The club has him under club control until 2027, so he figures to be a key part of the organization’s rotation for a long time.
Obviously, that’s a massive win for L.A.
If Sandoval continues to produce at the MLB level, then he could find himself being a crucial part of some contending Angels teams in the future.
For the sake of Angels fans, let’s just hope that the “future” comes sooner than later.
Los Angeles desperately needs to put a contending product on the field.