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Tyler Wayne Skaggs (July 13, 1991 – July 1, 2019) was an American professional baseball starting pitcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels.

Tyler Skaggs
Tyler Skaggs on July 22, 2013.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1991-07-13)July 13, 1991
Woodland Hills, California
Died: July 1, 2019(2019-07-01) (aged 27)
Southlake, Texas
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 22, 2012, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Last MLB appearance
June 29, 2019, for the Los Angeles Angels
MLB statistics
Win–loss record28–38
Earned run average4.41
Strikeouts476
Teams

The Angels selected Skaggs in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft. After the Angels traded him to the Diamondbacks during the 2010 season, Skaggs made his MLB debut in 2012. The Diamondbacks traded him back to the Angels during the 2013–2014 off-season, and he pitched for the team until his death in 2019. Skaggs posted a career earned run average (ERA) of 4.41 and recorded 476 strikeouts and a win–loss record of 28 wins and 38 losses.

On July 1, 2019, Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas, where the Angels were visiting to play the Texas Rangers. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

Contents

Career

Amateur career

Skaggs attended Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, California. In 2008, his junior year, he had a 1.11 earned run average (ERA) with 89 strikeouts, 44 hits allowed, and 22 walks in ​63 13 innings pitched. He was named the player of the year in the Ocean League.[1]

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Skaggs with the 40th pick as a supplemental selection in the first round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft.[2] He made his professional debut that season in Minor League Baseball at the Rookie-level with the Arizona Angels of the Arizona League and the Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League. He had a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings pitched.[3]

In 2010, the Angels assigned Skaggs to the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League.[4] He appeared in the Midwest League's all-star game.[3]

Arizona Diamondbacks

On July 25, 2010, the Angels traded Skaggs, Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodríguez, and Patrick Corbin to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Dan Haren.[5] The Diamondbacks assigned him to the South Bend Silver Hawks of the Midwest League.[6] He finished the 2010 season with a 9–5 win-loss record, a 3.29 ERA, and 102 strikeouts between Cedar Rapids and South Bend.[3]

In 2011, Skaggs started the season with the Visalia Rawhide of the Class A-Advanced California League, receiving a promotion to the Mobile Bay Bears of the Class AA Southern League in July.[7] He, along with Paul Goldschmidt, represented the Diamondbacks at the 2011 All-Star Futures Game.[8] Skaggs finished the year with a 9–6 record, a 2.96 ERA, and 198 strikeouts in 27 games started for Visalia and Mobile. The Diamondbacks named him their minor league pitcher of the year.[3] Skaggs began the 2012 season with Mobile, receiving a promotion to the Reno Aces of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League in late June. He appeared in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.[9]

Skaggs made his MLB debut on August 22,2012 and gave up two runs through ​6 13 innings of work and was awarded the win.[10] In six starts with the Diamondbacks that year, he had a 1–3 record and a 5.83 ERA. He pitched to a 2–3 record and a 5.12 ERA in seven major league starts in 2013.[3]

Second stint with the Angels

 
Skaggs pitching for the Angels in 2014

The Diamondbacks traded Skaggs back to the Angels on December 10, 2013, in a three-team trade also involving the Chicago White Sox. The Angels also received Hector Santiago, while the White Sox received Adam Eaton and the Diamondbacks received Mark Trumbo and two players to be named later.[11] He pitched to a 5–5 record and 4.30 ERA in 18 games started in 2014, before his season ended in August due to an injury. He underwent ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery),[3][12] During his recovery, he decided that he would not pitch for the entire 2015 season.[12]

After more than a year recovering from Tommy John surgery, Skaggs returned to the Angels in 2016, and started 10 games. For the 2017 season, he began in the Angels rotation. Throughout the season, he spent 98 days on the disabled list,[13] limiting him to just 16 starts.[14]

In 2018, Skaggs had a 2.64 ERA in 16 starts before was placed on the disabled list in June, July, and August with adductor muscle[disambiguation needed] strains.[15][16] Overall on the season, he started 24 games, finishing 8–10 with a 4.02 ERA and 129 strikeouts in ​125 13 innings.[17] He began the 2019 season in the rotation, and was placed on the disabled list with a left ankle sprain after three starts. He was activated on April 26.[18] In his 15 starts in 2019, he posted a record of seven wins and seven losses, with a 4.29 ERA and 78 strikeouts. At the time of his death, Skaggs was the team leader in wins and strikeouts for the season.[17] For his career, he had a 28–38 win-loss record, a 4.41 ERA, and 476 strikeouts in ​520 23 innings pitched.[19]

Pitching style

Skaggs threw mainly three pitches, leading with a four-seam fastball at 91 to 94 miles per hour (146–151 km/h). He also threw a curveball 72 to 76 miles per hour (116–122 km/h), and a changeup against right-handed hitters 78 to 81 miles per hour (126–130 km/h). Baseball America and other scouts regarded the curve as his best pitch, while the changeup was less developed.[20][21]

Personal life

Skaggs was born in Woodland Hills, California, on July 13, 1991.[22] His mother, Debbie, was the softball coach at Santa Monica High School until 2015.[23] He married Carli Miles after the conclusion of the 2018 Major League Baseball season, and was a resident of his native Santa Monica until his death.[24][22] He was of Mexican descent on his mother's side, and, at the time of his death, had planned to represent Mexico in the next World Baseball Classic.[25][26]

Death

Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room on July 1, 2019, in Southlake, Texas, and was pronounced dead at around 2:18 p.m. by authorities upon their arrival to the scene.[27][28] The Angels were in the area to play a four-game series against the Texas Rangers; he was scheduled to pitch in the series' finale on July 4.[29] The Angels and the Rangers postponed the first game, which had been scheduled for the day of his death.[30] The statement issued by the Southlake Police Department read that neither suicide nor foul play was suspected.[31] The next day, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner began their autopsy, estimating it would determine a cause of death by October 2, 2019.[32]

Memorials

Skaggs' death triggered an outpouring of grief in Major League Baseball. On July 2, Patrick Corbin of the Washington Nationals, a fellow 2009 Angels draftee who was traded to Arizona with Skaggs, honored Skaggs by switching his jersey number to 45 for a game against the Miami Marlins.[33] Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella, the Angels' two All-Star representatives, also wore number 45 to honor Skaggs at the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[34]

On July 12, 2019, the Angels played their first home game since the death of Skaggs, and all players wore his number 45 jersey during the game. His mother, Debbie Hetman, threw the ceremonial first pitch before the game.[35][36] Angels pitchers Taylor Cole and Félix Peña combined to throw a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners, winning 13–0. It was the first combined no-hitter in California since July 13, 1991, Skaggs' birthday. After the game, the players removed their Skaggs jerseys and laid them around the mound to honor his memory.[35]

See also

References

  1. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (May 21, 2008). "Pitcher has mom as motivator". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  2. ^ Kevin Baxter (June 10, 2009). "Angels go after power in the draft". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mitchell, Houston (July 1, 2019). "Timeline of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs' career in professional baseball". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Former Kernels Pitcher Skaggs dies at age 27". KWWL. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Mark Saxon (July 26, 2010). "Angels package Saunders for Haren". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "Tyler Skaggs named top prospect". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Heck, David (November 22, 2011). "Prospect Q&A: D-backs' Tyler Skaggs". MiLB.com News. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "Goldschmidt, Skaggs get Futures Game nod". MLB.com. June 23, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  9. ^ Gabel, Chris (July 29, 2012). "Aces insider: Tyler Skaggs is waiting in the wings". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  10. ^ McLellan, Sarah (August 22, 2012). "Arizona Diamondbacks' Tyler Skaggs pleased with 1st start in big leagues". Arizona Republic. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  11. ^ "Mark Trumbo traded to Diamondbacks in three-team deal". CBSSports.com. December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Digiovanna, Mike (April 13, 2015). "Angels' Tyler Skaggs alters plan in recovery from Tommy John surgery". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  13. ^ Moura, Pedro. "Angels' Tyler Skaggs out 10 to 12 weeks because of a strained oblique". latimes.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "MLB: Disabled List Tracker 2017". RosterResource.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Torres, Maria (January 21, 2019). "Angels count on a healthy Tyler Skaggs to lead the pitching staff". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Guardado, Maria (August 12, 2018). "Skaggs returns to DL with adductor strain". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Tyler Skaggs Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  18. ^ Torres, Maria. "Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs dominates Royals in return from injury". latimes.com.
  19. ^ Kleinschmidt, Jessica. "Tyler Skaggs, Angels pitcher, dead at 27; last career game was vs. A's | NBCS Bay Area". Nbcsports.com. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  20. ^ Kappel, Nick (August 20, 2012). "2012 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Arizona Diamondbacks' Tyler Skaggs". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  21. ^ Newman, Mike (May 2, 2012). "Tyler Skaggs: Stuff-Versus-Stats". Fangraphs. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  22. ^ a b "Tyler Skaggs biography – Life and baseball career of Angels pitcher who died Monday". The OC Register. July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  23. ^ Perdomo, Diego (June 2, 2015). "Softball seeks CIF victory in Skaggs' last year as coach". The Samohi. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  24. ^ Fletcher, Jeff. "Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs dead; Monday's game canceled". Daily Bulletin. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  25. ^ "10 things to know: Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs". FOX Sports. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  26. ^ @Enrique_Rojas1 (July 2, 2019). "Informó @JoseMota05 que fallecido lanzador Tyler Skaggs había firmado una carta de intención para jugar con #Mexico en próximo Clásico Mundial de Béisbol. Debbie, la madre Skaggs, es mexicana" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  27. ^ Simon, Darra (July 2, 2019). "Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, found dead in hotel room". Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  28. ^ Epstein, Jori. "Tyler Skaggs' death hit Los Angeles Angels 'like a punch in the heart'". USA Today. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  29. ^ Wilson, Jeff. "Death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, forces cancellation of Rangers game Monday". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  30. ^ Carroll, Charolette (July 1, 2019). "Angels Pitcher Tyler Skaggs Dies at Age 27". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  31. ^ Anderson, R.J. (July 2, 2019). "Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, found dead in hotel room; Texas police say no foul play is suspected". CBS News. CBS Sports. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  32. ^ West, Jenna. "Medical Examiner: Tyler Skaggs' Autopsy to be Completed in October". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  33. ^ Collier, Jamal (July 2, 2019). "Corbin to wear No. 45 tonight to honor Skaggs". MLB.com. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  34. ^ "Mike Trout, Tommy La Stella wear No. 45 to honor Tyler Skaggs at All-Star Game". MSN.com. July 9, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  35. ^ a b Gonzalez, Alden (July 13, 2019). "Angels throw no-hitter on night to honor Skaggs". ESPN. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  36. ^ "Skaggs' mom throws 1st pitch on emotional night". MLB.com. Retrieved July 13, 2019.

External links