Ryan Etsell, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'4
WT : 180
DOB : December 18, 1991 (23), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Hillsborough Community College (Plant City, FL)
Acquired : Drafted in 16th Round of 2013 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked
Ryan Etsell is a coaches dream, due to his mental abilities and proof of what he's being coached to do on the mound. The Los Angeles Angels have a dream project in their system, and following a strong season at an upper level, was rewarded with a trip to the Arizona Fall League. Etsell is one of the secret hidden gems, who's beginning to shine through the darkness and into the light for the Angels.
Etsell has a large, physical frame, and comes with natural genetics from a family of baseball players. His father was a high draft selection in the late 70's, and mother was a star volleyball player. His athleticism is key to his stamina and abilities to cover in the field.
Etsell also uses that athleticism to maintain consistency in his smooth and easy three/quarter delivery. Etsell creates good deception, keeping the ball low and behind himself before his arm levers forward to release.
Etsell has a pair of fastballs, a natural four-seam that sits 90-94, and two-seam that runs a few miles per hour slower. Both fastballs have arm-side run, and he has the ability to hit both sides of the plate and elevate when needed.
When commanded, Etsell's fastball sets up a wipeout slider with a large break. Etsell has one of the better heavy sliders in the system, with a large tilt in the high 70's to low 80's.
Etsell also comes equipped with a developing changeup that has shown steady improvement. It sits roughly 10-13 MPH slower than his fastball. In 2015, Etsell learned to pitch backward, and pick batters apart, with the help of his changeup and other strong arsenal.
Etsell has an uncanny ability to shake off situations and control his emotions. He's even tempered on the mound and responds well to his roles, making him a coaches dream, as stated by multiple pitching coaches that had Etsell on their staff in recent years.
Scouting Report from Jerry Espinoza - Scouting Anaylyst/Photographer for Scout.com
Etsell was part of the final class at Northeast Catholic High School, as the school soon closed in 2010. There, he played for his father, Jeff, as a pitcher and shortstop. Etsell also played as the school's quarterback and shooting guard.
After committing to Marshall, Etsell has surgery to remove a bone spur, forcing him to miss time. He soon joined the Hillsborough C.C. baseball team, where he held a 6-3 record and 1.69 ERA during his sophomore season.
After allowing six earned runs in five innings to kick off his professional debut, Etsell moved from rookie Orem to rookie AZL, where he excelled. Etsell had six of his 10 outings in the AZL go scoreless, never allowing more than two runs and holding a 1.67 ERA.
Etsell found some inconsistencies in his sophomore professional season, seeing three games that saw five or more earned runs. Aside from those, Etsell allowed more than two runs once, and saw 11 of 15 starts go for two earned runs or less. He finished the year with a 4.11 ERA in Low-A Burlington.
Etsell excelled in the beginning of the season, holding a 2.40 ERA and 4-2 record, and faded slowly with a 6.42 ERA and 3-3 record in the second half. Etsell tied a team high with seven wins, and was the only starting pitcher sent the prestigious Arizona Fall League, where he held a 12.19 ERA in four games. Etsell had his best outing on June 13th, where he held a no-hitter through seven innings, finishing with two hits allowed and 12 strikeouts.
Etsell had his Arizona Fall League season end with an apparent injury, and it is currently undetermined whether this injury will last into the 2016 season.
If Etsell comes into the 2016 season healthy, he should replay 2015 with High-A Inland Empire near the top of the rotation. He'll need to show that his inconsistencies are a thing of the past to show he can move forward in the organization.
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.
Jerry Espinoza is a Scouting Analyst and Photographer for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @JEspinoza1634. This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.