On Saturday morning the Angels promoted LHP Michael Roth from AA Arkansas. Who, you might ask is Michael Roth and why should we care? A few reasons. It isn't as if Roth is a special prospect, in fact in terms of projectibility he may be as "run of the mill" as they come. Roth is an interesting prospect because of the circumstances surrounding the promotion and his past.
Roth led the South Carolina Gamecocks to three consecutive College World Series appearances. He was one of the more decorated collegiate pitchers around, garnering an All-American selection his junior year and several other league and tournament awards. You would think given the huge amount of success he's experienced that Roth would be a highly sought after pitcher, however, the Angels were able to scoop up Michael Roth in the 9th round of last season's draft and gave him a bonus below slot level.
Roth was a senior at South Carolina, so it isn't as if he had a ton of negotiating leverage in his signing, and as far as his "stuff" goes, he has a fastball that sits in the mid to upper 80's, a very good change up and a "get me over" slider/curve. Clearly, not the makings of an ace. But what makes Roth particularly interesting is that aside from a few appearances in Rookie Ball in which he was told to take it easy following a strenuous college season, Roth has made all of one start in the minor leagues; last week in AA. It is rare that a prospect is called up to the major leagues the season after he was drafted. It is even more rare for that prospect to have made only one start. Most Angel-prospect enthusiasts didn't even think Roth would be making the jump to AA in his first season as a pro, let alone making it to the Major Leagues.
Another reason why you're currently reading about Michael Roth, he was also a potential victim of "catfishing", the same scam we heard so much about during the Manti Te'o investigation. The Outside Corner's own Garrett Wilson covered the story back in January. Luckily for Roth, he seemed to use his head a bit more than the Notre Dame star football player, and college baseball seems to have a bit let media attention than its gridiron brother. For more information about Michael Roth check out his scouting report over at Monkeywithahalo.com by yours truly and the aforementioned Garrett Wilson.
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