It’s not often that a player becomes a free agent after just three professional seasons, but unique circumstances have led to that happening with left-hander Michael Roth.
Roth was the Angels’ ninth-round draft pick out of the University of South Carolina in 2012. At the time he was viewed as a low-upside, MLB-ready pitcher and sure enough he debuted in the majors less than a year after being selected: April 13, 2013.
And then he got knocked around in a few stints with the Angels, allowing 28 runs in 32 innings. He was placed on waivers and passed through unclaimed twice, the second time happening yesterday, and because of that Roth was able to become a free agent at age 24.
Based on his underwhelming raw stuff and minor-league track record Roth looks like a marginal big leaguer, but he’ll no doubt find a home at Triple-A somewhere and perhaps make it back to the majors.
With just 27 innings of professional baseball under his belt, Angels prospect Michael Roth has earned a promotion to the Majors.
The University of South Carolina product logged 22 innings in rookie ball last year, posting a 4.91 ERA. He skipped Single-A right to Double-A Arkansas to start this season, and now he’s on his way to Los Angeles to join the Angels bullpen.
Prospect guru Keith Law was shocked to hear of Roth’s promotion, calling him a “pure deception guy” with below-average stuff.
As the ace starter for back-to-back College World Series champion South Carolina, Michael Roth was a big name in the college baseball world before being drafted by the Angels last year. A big enough name to make him a catfishing victim, it turns out.
Roth told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times about his experience, which started with a text message from someone in the summer of 2010:
That started a stream of flattering texts and alluring phone calls from a woman Roth never had met, including the requisite visits that inevitably were canceled at the last minute.
Roth said he sensed something fishy within a few weeks. He played along for a year, in the process discovering that three of his college teammates also had been in touch with the same woman, who claimed her name was Hope Porter.
Roth apparently never figured out the real source behind the Porter identity, and he’s long since moved on. He also indicated that while he does feel some sympathy for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, he feels Te’o was pretty gullible for letting it go so far.
The 23-year-old Roth was the Angels’ ninth-round pick in last year’s draft. While he was an excellent college pitcher, pro scouts didn’t think too highly of his stuff and he’s viewed as a long shot to reach the majors and stick.