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AngelsWin Today: AngelsWin.com's Exclusive Interview with Angels LHP Relief Prospect Kolton Ingram


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Photo by: Javier Sanchez/Rocket City Trash Pandas

By Chuck Richter, AngelsWin.com

November 24th, 2022

Kolton Ingram pitched in 50 games for the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas in 2022 and went 6-2 with a 2.67 ERA, 0.92 WHIP while striking out 73 batters.  He led all of Double-A qualified relief pitchers in holds with 13. The former Detroit Tigers 37th-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft turned 26-years-old in October and after his solid season in Double-A the Angels rewarded him by protecting Ingram from the rule-5 draft, adding the southpaw to their 40-man roster. 

Ingram throws a 92-95 MPH fastball with a slider that gives left-handed batters fits where they batted just .141 against him, fanning 34 in 19IP against lefties. Ingram also has a changeup but he primarily throws that against right-handed batters. 

In the spring of 2018 at Columbus State University working as the starter against Lander, Kolton Ingram pitched 8 scoreless innings, giving up just 1 hit, two walks and struck out 15. 

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Check out our interview with LHP relief pitching prospect Kolton Ingram below. 

Here is the complete interview transcript for the deaf, hard of hearing and quotes.

AngelsWin.com: Chuck Richter, from AngelsWin.com. We’ve got Kolton Ingram. Kolton, how’re you doing?

Kolton Ingram: Pretty good.

AngelsWin.com: Real quick, for starters, what has it been like to be a part of this Trash Panda team this year and the playoff run that you guys are on?

Kolton Ingram: It’s been unbelieve. Just getting to play here in the atmosphere every day, and then the group of guys that we’re with, it’s been really special.

AngelsWin.com: That’s awesome. So, last checked, I think you lead the league in holds and games appeared in. That’s pretty special; that’s awesome. And I also noticed that lefthanded hitters are batting really low, in the 100’s, off you, too. What do you attack hitters with? What’s your repertoire?

Kolton Ingram: Just fastball, slider, changeup. I don’t really throw the changeup to lefties as much; slider heavy with the lefties. And then just really focusing on getting ahead. Once I’m ahead, you know, there’s a good chance of soft contact or striking somebody out.

AngelsWin.com: What’s your fastball velo?

Kolton Ingram: Anywhere from 92 to 95.

AngelsWin.com: Okay, awesome. Okay, what will Angel fans come to learn about you, the player and the person?

Kolton Ingram: I would say my work ethic. I, kind of, strive for perfection—

AngelsWin.com: There you go.

Kolton Ingram: —and it, kind of, eats at me sometimes. But—just I come out here every day with a routine, and making sure that I get my work done, so that when I am pitching in the game, that, you know, I’m trying to get them all out.

AngelsWin.com: On the routine end, are you left to your own devices in terms of routine, workout, diet? Or does the organization put something together for you?

Kolton Ingram: Well, they have people put in place to help you along that road. I feel like, at this level, you, kind of, have your own routine of what you do in the off-season. Everybody’s, kind of, different on nutrition. And, as far as stretching and mobility and strength training and all that, everybody usually has a pretty good idea for themselves. Like I said, there’s people here that, if you have questions and, you know, need some help sometimes, they’re there for you.

AngelsWin.com: Who’s impressed you the most as a teammate and toughest out as an opponent?

Kolton Ingram: I would say either Aaron Hernandez or Jack Dashwood. Both of them were starters in previous years. And then, for them to, you know, kind of, go back into a relieving role and long relieving roles—like, as a starter from college turned reliever in pro ball, that’s hard to do. It’s hard to change that mentality. So, what they’ve done this year, has been, you know, incredible. And sometimes they’ve may even spot starts. So, just to flip back into that starting role, when asked, it has been really huge for this team.

Hardest outs? I would say have been probably Elly De La Cruz for the Lookouts—

AngelsWin.com: I hear that name quite a bit, yeah. [laugh]

Kolton Ingram: —Yeah, he’s a pretty tough out, intimidating for sure—

AngelsWin.com: [laugh] Yeah, I was going to say. What is he, 6’6” or something and—yeah.

Kolton Ingram: Yeah, he’s a pretty big guy.

AngelsWin.com: And he runs like the wind, too. It’s crazy. [laugh]

Kolton Ingram: Yeah. And then I would say I hate facing that entire Smokey’s lineup. So, take your pick out of that lineup. But they’re really good; they’re a really good hitting team; they’re tough to strike out. So…

AngelsWin.com: It’s going to be a battle in that first round, huh?

Kolton Ingram: Oh, yeah. It’s going to be fun—

AngelsWin.com: Yeah, that’ll be awesome.

Kolton Ingram: —I’m excited.

AngelsWin.com: What do you think you need to work on to reach your full potential to make it to the big leagues someday?

Kolton Ingram: I would honestly say, getting my slider in the zone at little bit more often. And then really attacking that upper third with my fastball, and just making sure I’m commanding that. Because what I’ve found that I’ve run into trouble, is when that fastball starts to leak down a little bit, and that’s, kind of, where I get hit. So, if I can stay up in that upper-[unintelligible 00:03:44] quadrant, I’ll be fine.

AngelsWin.com: Good. When did you actually first commit to playing baseball?

Kolton Ingram: When I was about four, five years old. And then I think I realized that that’s what I wanted to do, sometime around my senior year of high school. I played other sports, so, kind of, found my sport.

AngelsWin.com: Yeah. Favorite team growing up? Player?

Kolton Ingram: The Braves.

AngelsWin.com: The Braves, okay.

Kolton Ingram: So, I was a big John Smoltz guy, and I grew up a huge—I was probably 25 minutes south of Turner Field. So, I was always going to games. And John Smoltz—I wore 29 growing up—that’s my idol. So…

AngelsWin.com: That’s great; awesome. Who’s the one major league hitter that you would like to face and strike out?

Kolton Ingram: As a Brave’s fan, I’d love to face Freddie Freeman—

AngelsWin.com: [laugh] There you go. Okay.

Kolton Ingram: —and now that he’s with the Dodgers—

AngelsWin.com: Especially. [laugh]

Kolton Ingram: Yeah. Now, he’s with the Dodgers, and I’m with the Angels, I think that’d be really cool.

AngelsWin.com: That would be cool.

Kolton Ingram: That’d be a ball I’d put up in my thing for sure.

AngelsWin.com: That’s awesome. Okay, Lightning Round real quick. Favorite movie?

Kolton Ingram: Favorite movie…

AngelsWin.com: Or baseball movie?

Kolton Ingram: [The] Sandlot, for sure, my baseball movies. I’m not really sure. I’d probably say something in the Marvel Universe. So, like, Avengers. Or I’m a big Marvel nerd, so…

AngelsWin.com: Okay. Favorite song or artist?

Kolton Ingram: I’m a big J. Cole fan. So, I love J. Cole. I love Future; my walk-out song is Solo by Future. So, that’s one of my favorite songs.

AngelsWin.com: Nice. Okay. Favorite video game?

Kolton Ingram: Probably Zelda. Zelda.

AngelsWin.com: That’s an old-school game, yeah.

Kolton Ingram: I’m a big Zelda guy.

AngelsWin.com: What’s a perfect day look like for you away from baseball?

Kolton Ingram: Go on a hike; I love being outdoors. Whenever I’m away from baseball, it’s, kind of, just, “How can I get outside today without playing baseball.” So…

AngelsWin.com: Awesome. Well, Kolton, thank you so much for your time today.

Kolton Ingram: Yeah, man; for sure.

AngelsWin.com: Appreciate you.

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Is it reasonable to assume these Trash Panda relievers could contribute to the Angels bullpen issues this next season?

Kolten Ingram, Eric Torres, Luke Murphy, Ben Joyce, and Nick Jones are all guys who were solid relievers for the Trash Pandas this year, which makes me wonder how or when that would translate into effective major league relievers. I always hear about relievers being so volatile, but if that's the case, what's the best indicator to determine if a reliver is actually a good pitcher, or is just having a lucky year?

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3 hours ago, OhtaniSan said:

Is it reasonable to assume these Trash Panda relievers could contribute to the Angels bullpen issues this next season?

Kolten Ingram, Eric Torres, Luke Murphy, Ben Joyce, and Nick Jones are all guys who were solid relievers for the Trash Pandas this year, which makes me wonder how or when that would translate into effective major league relievers. I always hear about relievers being so volatile, but if that's the case, what's the best indicator to determine if a reliver is actually a good pitcher, or is just having a lucky year?

Man it's really hard to know tbh. Look at Cam Bedrosian, Mike Morin and R.J. Alvarez. They all dominated Double-A but while two made it to the big leagues, they failed to show that dominance they demonstrated in the minors at the big league level outside of maybe one season with the Angels. 

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3 hours ago, OhtaniSan said:

Is it reasonable to assume these Trash Panda relievers could contribute to the Angels bullpen issues this next season?

Kolten Ingram, Eric Torres, Luke Murphy, Ben Joyce, and Nick Jones are all guys who were solid relievers for the Trash Pandas this year, which makes me wonder how or when that would translate into effective major league relievers. I always hear about relievers being so volatile, but if that's the case, what's the best indicator to determine if a reliver is actually a good pitcher, or is just having a lucky year?

Next season? No.

Eventually? Maybe.

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9 hours ago, OhtaniSan said:

Is it reasonable to assume these Trash Panda relievers could contribute to the Angels bullpen issues this next season?

Kolten Ingram, Eric Torres, Luke Murphy, Ben Joyce, and Nick Jones are all guys who were solid relievers for the Trash Pandas this year, which makes me wonder how or when that would translate into effective major league relievers. I always hear about relievers being so volatile, but if that's the case, what's the best indicator to determine if a reliver is actually a good pitcher, or is just having a lucky year?

Of those guys, the two who could potentially have an impact this upcoming season, IMO, are Joyce and Ingram - Joyce, because he was drafted as a reliever who could likely be fast-tracked, and Ingram simply because he's on the 40-man roster and could get recalled based on injuries and performance.

All that said, many teams have promising relievers who flame out for various reasons.  I think if we are lucky, 2 of those guys become solid relief options for us down the road.

Right now, our pen looks like:  Herget, Tepera, Loup, Quijada, Barria, Wantz, Weiss, Ortega, Davidson.  I would expect a reliever to be signed as well.  That group is decent but there are opportunities for other guys to break into that group.  We'll see ..

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