While the LA Angels’ farm system has been called one of the worst in history, there are some bright spots. Right-handed pitcher Jordan Kipper was one of them, at least for one night.
Kipper won the MiLB Performance of the Year award for hurling a no-hitter against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, AA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He threw nine innings, allowing only one baserunner on a walk while striking out eight batters. He faced only the minimum 27 batters.
Kipper spent the year with the Angels’ AA affiliate the Arkansas Travelers. The Texas Christian University product has a fine season. Kipper went 12-7 with a 3.35 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 25 starts. He did have issues with the long-ball, giving up 10 home runs over the season.
After allowing a walk to the lead-off batter, Kipper would retire the following 26 batters, ending the first inning on a double play to stay at the minimum batters faced. Kipper, 24, does not currently rank as a top 30 prospect for the Angels.
However, after a stellar season like this, he may be moving up the rankings. Especially after earning the honor of this award. If Kipper can consistently use the game plan he used throughout this performance, he may soon find himself with a shot at Spring Training.
“I just wanted to stay in attack mode and keep being aggressive and not think that I need to get more perfect with my pitches. Just know that what I’ve been doing has been working and that I don’t have to make anything better or nastier,” Kipper said following his career night.
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With so many pitchers trying to post high strikeout numbers nowadays,he prefers a much simpler approach to his pitching.
After a solid season in AA, Kipper will look to again climb another level up the system, something he has done each of his previous two off-seasons. It is realistic for him to eventually join the big league team in the coming years. He would most likely throw from the bullpen, at least until he works on giving up long shots.