Jordan Piché, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'1
WT : 180 lb
DOB : September 3, 1991, Denver, Colorado
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas)
Acquired : Drafted 28th round (839th overall) in 2014 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Was drafted two picks after Johnny Manziel (Padres, 837th overall) / Was drafted while attending his brother's wedding / Smiling 24/7
Find a time that Jordan Piché isn't smiling, we dare you! Maybe the biggest smile he had was the day he got drafted. Oh, by the way, he was getting dressed for his brother's wedding at that moment.
A man used to adjustments (such as hearing his name called while getting dressed for a wedding), has had to make major adjustments to get where he is today. Being passed up in high school, going from Junior College to the Big 12, going from a closer to a starter. Piché has made some serious career adjustments and for that reason, Piché is leading off our countdown as the #100 prospect in the Angels farm system.
It wasn't until Junior College where Piché, "came alive," according to his old high school coach. Possibly his strongest asset is adapting to a new environment, going from level to level in his baseball career.
Piché had to make a large adjustment halfway through his senior season at the University of Kansas, going from a closing role to an ace role drastically. Wes Benjamin, the Jayhawks original ace, went down with a UCL injury, and Piché had to learn how to pitch from what can be considered a new position.
Once he became a starter, Piché learned to pitch to contact as opposed to his initial aggressive approach on the mound. Piché now has the ability to do both and has a mental side of the game years ahead of the curve.
Speaking of curve, he doesn't have one. Piché's arsenal consist of a standard four-seam, slider, and developing changeup.
Piché's fastball sits anywhere in the 88-91 MPH range on any given day. It moves well, and both speed and movement could pick up as he grows steadily into his body and gets a little more experience moving forward.
When it comes to off-speed stuff, Piché has a mid 70's slider and changeup. His slider is his primary "out pitch," and according to his old coaches, it is "outstanding." Piché has used his slider as a solid two-strike pitch, getting batters off balance and on their front foot even if they do make contact. It has a late break with heavy tilt and could be one of the highlight pitches of the 2014 draft for the Angels.
His changeup, as goes for many young pitchers, is still in the works and is something he'll need to improve on to take that next step forward. He used it often during his senior season once becoming a starter, but has shyed away from it since becoming a professional.
Piché comes with smooth mechanics, with a hip turn, toe pointed down, and fluid follow through from shoulders to legs, all while keeping a consistent arm slot, making him hard to read at the plate. What hasn't come to our attention is how well Piché hides the ball.
Piché has average command of all three of his pitches, keeping his walk rates low and doing a good job of keeping the ball low. If any are questionable, it's his changeup, which should be expected as mentioned above.
With being a first year player right out of the draft, there aren't many statistics to breakdown. At Indians Hills Community College (Ottumwa, Iowa) in 2011 and 2012, Piché worked his way to a 9-4 record, with a 2.66 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 8.69 strikeouts.
In 2013, his first year with KU, Piché busted his way into the scene with a stellar season, posting a 1.68 ERA and a 6-4 record with 12 saves. Piché was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2013.
Piché had some struggles early in 2014 with the Jayhawks, allowing seven home runs over the season, but found a way to finish strong. However, the numbers had escalated, and he finished the season with a 6-5 record, 4.59 ERA, 1.439 WHIP and .288 against average.
Piché found his groove again once drafted, jumping right into rookie ball where he didn't allow an earned run in his first seven appearances. His season was cut short due to an ACL injury, which he is still rehabbing. Piché finished 2014 as a professional with a 0.79 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 1.63 BB/9, .244 BAA, and 1.147 WHIP.
Piché had a standout game on July 10th, where he pitched three innings of no-hit, no base-runners baseball, with four strikeouts.
Piché's 2014 ended with an ACL injury, which he is rehabbing, and it sounds like he'll be able to return by the time Spring Training begins. With all that, coaches may not have seen enough of him to know what will happen with him. If he'll be a starter, or reliever, or closer, or whatever he may be.
With all that said, Piché is focusing on his final three classes this fall before he graduates from the University of Kansas. After that, baseball will become the main focus for him and coaches, and they can decide where he lands after Spring Training. Most likely, 2015 will be spent in Rookie Ball once again, whether it's in Tempe, or in Orem.
From what it seems like, Piché sounds like a mid-reliever in the immediate future. His Major League ETA is currently unlisted due to how little is known about him at the time.
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.
Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.