A jersey boy on the Angels roster that isn't Mike Trout... or drafted? It's never a bad thing for an undrafted guy to make it to the Major Leagues, or any prospects list. Matt Shoemaker never had his name called after his time at Eastern Michigan University, but something special about him made the Angels like him, and so do we.
"Matt Shoemaker is a guy that isn't going to 'wow' you with his stuff, he isn't going to go out there and throw 95. But, he has a sneaky fastball with a terrific splitter and I think his whole stuff works off each other, he changes speed well, and he's going to throw strikes."
Mike Scioscia wasn't kidding when he told us that. Strikes comes in the plenties as he hardly ever walks guys (career 2.3 BB/9), and his fastball has unique break. When I say unique, I mean it breaks differently almost every time. Sometime it sinks, sometime it breaks like a two-seam, sometimes it cuts, it's a very unique fastball with the same grip each time.
"It is a thing of beauty when a pitch breaks the way you'd expect it to break when it's explained to you. That's what Matt Shoemaker has in his splitter."
A scout (quote above) and Scioscia both see Shoemaker's as something special, and so do we. After seeing it, I would put it with some of the best splitters in the game currently. He has no trouble with commanding it either, or throwing it in any count, but he prefers it as his two-strike pitch.
Sadly, Shoemaker has never had that great of statistics.
Through four seasons below Triple-A ball, Shoemaker combined to have a 3.51 earned run average and 1.214 WHIP, which is right around par for the average minor leaguer.
Shoemaker became a familiar name for Salt Lake Bees fans as he made appearances in four straight seasons in Triple-A, where he progressed each season. In the first two seasons Shoemaker appeared in Triple-A, he made six starts and one relief appearance where he had a combined for a 7.18 earned run average.
In the past two seasons though, Shoemaker developed more and more progressively, and started striking out more batters, and forcing less contact at the plate.
EXPECTED IN THE FUTURE:
Shoemaker has already seen Major League time as he made one spot start when Jered Weaver had some forearm tightness. With the pickups of Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs, you can't imagine that Shoemaker will be forced in to the rotation, but could be a middle reliever in the bullpen. We expect Shoemaker to start near the front of the rotation in Triple-A next season, possibly coming up to start Major League games in injury spot starts, and possibly find himself a full time role in the Angels bullpen.