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Tyler Chatwood

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Tyler Cole Chatwood

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Tyler Chatwood made it to the majors at age 21, thanks to a fastball that had been timed at 97 mph.

The Los Angeles Angels took Chatwood in the second round of the 2008 amateur draft; Tim Corcoran was the scout. He was their first selection that year as they had lost their first-rounder for signing Torii Hunter. Chatwood signed for a $517,000 bonus. Tyler was 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA for the 2008 AZL Angels in his pro debut. He struck out 48 but walked 36 in 38 innings. In 2009, he was 8-7 with a 4.02 ERA for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, showing somewhat better control (66 BB in 116 1/3 IP).

He climbed the latter in 2010, making stops with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (8-3, 1.77), Arkansas Travelers (4-6, 3.82) and Salt Lake Bees (1-0, 6.35). His control continued to improve, with 63 walks in 155 1/3 innings, though his strikeout rate was worse (he fanned 109). He was named the Angels' Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He led Angels farmhands in ERA and tied Patrick Corbin for the most wins. Had he qualified, he would have led the California League in ERA. Chatwood was named the #76 prospect in baseball, #4 prospect in the California League (after Mike Trout, Brandon Belt and Grant Green) #2 in the Angels chain (after Trout) according to Baseball America entering 2011. They also rated him as the best pitching prospect and having the best fastball in the Cal League.

In early 2011, after one inning with Salt Lake, he was called up when Kevin Jepsen and Michael Kohn were sent down; he replaced Scott Kazmir in the rotation and became the youngest player to appear in the 2011 AL to that point. In his major league debut on April 11th, he dropped a 4-0 decision to Mitch Talbot and the Cleveland Indians. He retired his first batter, Michael Brantley, but then gave up a home run to Asdrubal Cabrera on his eighth pitch. In the second, he retired Travis Hafner, but then allowed a single to Orlando Cabrera, a double to Austin Kearns and a homer to Matt LaPorta to fall behind 4-0. He recovered to toss shutout ball over the next three innings before being relieved by Francisco Rodriguez. He earned his first win in his next start on April 16th, beating the Chicago White Sox 7-2, giving up only one run in 7 innings. He stayed in the starting rotation until the end of July, then skipped his turn a few times in the last two months in order to limit his innings. He was pretty solid in the early going, but the Angels were 1-11 in his last 12 starts, after July 1st, and his ERA was 7.38 over the second half. He finished the year with a record of 6-11, 4.75 in 27 games, having pitched 142 innings. He struck out 74 batters but walked 71.

On November 30, 2011 Chatwood was traded to the Colorado Rockies for catcher Chris Iannetta. He made 19 appearances for the Rockies in 2012, including 12 starts, going 5-6 with a 5.43 ERA. He pitched only 64 2/3 innings as the Rockies experimented with putting their starters on very low pitch counts that season. In 2013, he was very good, finishing the year at 8-5, 3.15 in 20 starts. He pitched 111 1/3 innings that season, as his usage pattern was more traditional. He was back in the starting rotation at the start of 2014 but experienced elbow tightness in his fourth start on April 29th and had to leave the game. He was ordered to take six to eight weeks of rest before resuming throwing. When he did, he experienced a setback, and on July 17th, the Rockies announced that he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery costing him the remainder of this season, and likely most of the next one as well.

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