Righthander Chase Silseth looked like an early candidate for sleeper pick of the Angels’ 2021 draft.
The former Arizona pitcher, who outdueled eventual first-rounder Kumar Rocker of Vanderbilt in last year’s College World Series, somehow slipped to the 11th round.
The Angels didn’t treat him as such, signing the 6-foot, 217-pound Silseth to an over-slot $485,000. He quickly impressed the organization with solid command of a four-pitch mix led by a lively fastball that averages 96 mph and touches 98, a nice bump from the 93 he threw in college.
The 21-year-old Silseth has good feel for two secondary pitches, a slurvy curve with more of a 12-to-6 break that he throws between 78-82 mph and a tighter-breaking 84 mph slider.
Though he gets more whiffs with his curve, both breaking pitches have a chance to be plus. Silseth also keeps hitters off-balance with an 80 mph splitter with good depth.
Silseth is learning how to manipulate his breaking pitches—when to throw them for strikes and how to expand the zone with them and make hitters chase—and the splitter gives him a fourth pitch, which should allow him to remain in the rotation for now.
But his command seems to suffer when he gets tired, an indicator that Silseth might eventually have more success in the bullpen.
“Right now, he’s going to be a starter, with that many weapons,” Angels minor league pitching coordinator Buddy Carlyle said. “There are no issues with the delivery, and he’s picked things up really quickly.”
Silseth began his college career as a reliever at Tennessee in 2019 before transferring to the JC of Southern Nevada, where he made six strong starts in 2020 before the season was lost to the pandemic.
He transferred to Arizona and was the Friday night starter in 2021, going 8-1, 5.55 in 18 games and striking out 105 and walking 29 in 97.1 innings.
Silseth made three brief appearances after signing, logging seven strikeouts and one walk in 5.1 innings.