Jett Bandy, Catcher
HT : 6'4
WT : 235 lb.
DOB : March 26, 1990, West Hills, CA
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Acquired : Drafted in 31st round (945th overall) of 2011 June Draft
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : His name is Jett, what more do you want?
If you haven't heard of Jett Bandy yet, it's time to get to know it. Bandy is a possible prospect that could help the big club early next year. Not just early, but possibly right out of Spring Training. There's a lot to know about Bandy, and we think you'll like him as much as we do.
Bandy is notoriously known for his defense, not just in the organization, but across minor league baseball. He has outstanding footwork behind the plate, which is added to good lateral movement with his large frame. Bandy has good reflexes and can get down quick to block balls in the dirt. Bandy tends to work well prepping for a throw at the moment of pitch contact to his glove.
Bandy's instincts and positioning behind the plate are masterful when it comes to helping his arm and holding base runners. His arm is good, and is close to being registered in the "cannon" department. What helps him with his arm is his quick release, and snap upon being up and in position, as well as a quick snap from a catching position to fully set on his feet.
Bandy has a contact friendly bat, as he has a short, compact swing that flows through the strike zone. He's a very strong prospect, and has a lot of "oomph" in his swing without taking raw hacks. What's nice about this is that he isn't adding any extra harshness to his swing when adding power, but it just comes natural instead.
Bandy has good knowledge of the strike zone, which comes from being behind the plate naturally. However, Bandy is a very aggressive bat, and tends to take most of his swings early in counts. This past year, his discipline improved, and he drew nearly double the amount of walks he had earlier in his career.
Bandy flew around quite a bit after being drafted, splitting time between Rookie Ball in Arizona (46 games), Rookie Orem (2 games), AA Arkansas (1 game), and AAA Salt Lake (1 game). While in Arizona, Bandy posted a .307/.394/.477 slash with 29 RBI, 32 runs scored, 18 doubles, and four home runs. Bandy put together a 10-game hit streak early in the season, and reached in five prior. Over the span, Bandy went 22-for-60 (.366) with a .982 OPS. 17 of Bandy's 46 games in Rookie Ball were multiple hit games.
Bandy was held to a .247/.318/.386 and 46 RBI and 42 runs scored. Bandy had 17 multiple hit games out of the 94 he played in. In his final 11 at bats in High-A, Bandy had eight hits, four of which were doubles, and three coming in one game.
Bandy took the leap to Double-A in 2013, where he posted a .241/.303/.376 slash with 28 runs batted in and 26 runs scored in 78 games. Bandy finished his season hot again, going 9-for-his-last-23, and picked up four of his 23 extra base hits in his final nine games. Bandy shined against left-handed pitching, posting a .305/.364/.411 slash in 59 at bats, striking out just six times. In May of 2013, Bandy hit .318 with three doubles, a triple, a home runs, and a .904 OPS in 44 at bats.
Bandy spent this last season once again in Double-A. There, he posted a .240/.348/.413 slash with 40 RBI, 38 runs scored, 12 doubles, and 13 home runs in 93 games. In June and July, Bandy hit a combined .302 with five home runs, 17 RBI, and scored 13 runs, with a .834 OPS. Bandy showed strong streaks at times having a 9-for-17 streak and 8-for-16 streak as well in the middle of the season.
Bandy was recently added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule-5 Draft, where many felt he would be nabbed by another team if not protected. This gives everyone the idea the Angels see him as a Major Leaguer in the near future. For us, we believe that may be much sooner than later.
The Angels added depth to the catching position this off-season, with Carlos Perez, Jackson Williams, and Drew Butera. This doesn't hold us back from thinking Bandy could be with the big club out of Spring Training. He'll see Major League time in 2015, and has an advantage over the rest of the high end catchers. He has knowledge of Scioscia's system and the pitchers at the big club. This may mean out of Spring, Bandy is the backup catcher for the Angels.
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.