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AngelsWin Today: Walbert Urena and Barrett Kent Interview with AngelsWin.com


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Taylor Blake Ward caught up with two young starting pitchers for the Inland Empire 66ers on the eve of game one of the Low-A California League Playoffs. 

Angels pitching prospect and most recent 2023 eighth-round pick, Barrett Kent, sits down to chat about the draft process and his up-and-down spring that turned into a successful professional debut and then Angels pitching prospect Walbert Urena shares what he believes turned his 2023 season around while utilizing his sinker more effectively and reining in his mechanics, while also sharing a note about touching 102 miles-per-hour.

Check out our interviews below. Enjoy! 

 

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8th Round, 234th Overall: Barrett Kent, RHP, Pottsboro HS (TX)

Usually more suited for the third-round or over slot early teen picks, Kent is the prototypical prep arm with a projectable frame and current feel for pitching that teams are constantly enticed by. Tall and strong at six-foot-four, 215-pounds, Kent has shown a pro-ready four-pitch arsenal and ability to land each for strikes, with plenty of refinements to tap into his big on-mound upside. Kent will work in the low-to-mid 90's, upwards of 97, with some ease early in outings but hasn't been able to hold premier velocity beyond a few innings. At its peak, there is liveliness to the fastball with good angle to the plate coming from a high three-quarter slot and some life to his arm side. With physical maturity and development, there should be some ticks added to his fastball with more frequency in maintaining that velocity. He has a promising slider with a fastball plane and late depth away from right-handers, regularly flashing above average with command of the breaker. He also has a curveball in the bag with a more high-arching break that shows potential but doesn't have enough current feel to label above fringe-average. Like most prep pitchers, Kent hasn't had to incorporate his changeup often, but he's shown fair feel for the pitch with arm speed and some fade to his arm side. Most of Kent's arsenal plays well fading to his arm side while he'd be better equipped to find the left half of the zone to make his full arsenal more well-rounded. Kent is an easy operator with a clean arm stroke and athleticism in the delivery, which aids his ability to locate pitches and throws strikes at a high clip. There's plenty of development focused on the physical side and ability to work all quadrants of the zone which may take time but could be vital to tapping into his groundball-focused rotation upside. Kent is committed to Arkansas and will take the bulk of the Angels remaining bonus pool beyond Schanuel and Rios.

Tim McIlvaine on Barrett Kent: "He's really good. He's a guy we talked about a little bit earlier in the day and things didn't really go his way, so we were able to grab him. High school kid from Texas. Right-handed pitcher. Big kid. Six-four. Long, loose. Four pitches. We think he's a starter. We're really excited to have him. We did a lot of work on him this year. He kind of stumbled out of the gates and found his footing about halfway through and finished up really strong. He came to a workout we had in Dallas and threw for us there. We really got to spend a lot of time with him and figure out what he was like as a kid. We couldn't be more excited to have him."

Barrett Kent 2023 high school statistics via MaxPreps: N/A

From the 2023 Amateur Draft article: 

 

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