Wed. Jun 26th, 2019

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Angels, Luke Bard Agree To Minors Deal

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The Angels have signed reliever Luke Bard to a minor league deal, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Bard, 28, was a Rule V selection by Los Angeles last winter; after a lukewarm April audition, in which the righty was deployed mostly in mop-up duty, Luke was shuttled back to Minnesota, with whom he spent the rest of the season in AAA.

A Trackman dandy, Bard was coveted in the Rule-5 for his super-high spin rates – his 2770 average RPM on the four-seam ranked first among MLB hurlers with at least 100 fastballs thrown last season – and newfound ability to miss bats. In five minor league seasons before 2016, the Georgia Tech-product didn’t post a K-rate north of 8.08 per nine; since, he’s hovered around twelve, though the transition from heavy sink to top-of-the-zone heat has left him susceptible to the occasional gopher ball.

The organizational favorite would figure to be in the mix at the front end of the team’s pen, where he’ll curl neatly behind a number of similar-archetype low-budget finds.