BOSTON — The Red Sox gave the Angels two 2010 draft picks as compensation for signing John Lackey in December 2009, and Los Angeles used the higher pick to select a Georgia boy with ties to Methuen.
The Angels then drafted Cam Bedrosian, then a promising high school senior — and the son of Methuen native Steve Bedrosian, an icon in the Merrimack Valley.
Steve Bedrosian, a Methuen High and Northern Essex Community College product, pitched 14 major league seasons and won the 1987 National League Cy Young.
Cam Bedrosian, meanwhile, made his major league debut June 3 against Houston, retiring all three hitters he faced. That came after a difficult road to the majors for the 6-foot, 205-pounder as he underwent Tommy John surgery shortly afterthe draft and saw his velocity dip after returning.
The Angels are in Boston this week, playing four games against the Red Sox.
The 22-year-old Bedrosian has pitched in two stints for the Angels this year, but was optioned to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees on Aug. 10 and is not currently with the team.
But don’t be surprised if you see him pitch for Los Angeles in September and maybe even during the playoffs.
“He’s going to be back here to help us,” said Angels third base coach Gary DiSarcina, a 1984 Billerica Memorial High graduate and longtime major league infielder. “Everyone has faith in him.”
Bedrosian averages 94.3 mph in his small big league sample size, according to FanGraphs.com.
“He uses his lower-half in his delivery and that’s what power pitchers do,” said DiSarcina. “Very similar to how Roger Clemens would use his legs.”
Unlike his father, Cam did not grow up in Methuen Blue and White.
The Bedrosian family lives in Georgia. Cam was born and raised there. He graduated from East Coweta High in Sharpsburg, which is approximately 38 miles outside of Atlanta.
Steve Bedrosian, 56, was drafted by the Braves and pitched for them from 1981-85. He was then dealt to Philadelphia where he spent three and a half seasons, including posting a 2.83 ERA and NL-best 40 saves in ‘87.
He finished his career (1993-95) with Atlanta.
Cam Bedrosian has three brothers and a sister. His brother Kyle played for the University of Mercer, but Cam is the lone professional of the group.
“I know he loves his truck,” Angels reliever Mike Morin of Cam. “He’s got a Ford-150. It’s the Raptor. Loaded up, sweet truck that he loves.
“I know he loves to go hunting. He’s definitely a rural, Southern boy for sure. He lives in the Atlanta area. He doesn’t have that Southern accent. And he’s not too Southern but he’s definitely (Southern).”
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta added about the young Bedrosian, “He’s a confident kid but he’s also very laid back and very respectful. Kind of quiet. Went about his business. Worked really hard when he was here.”
As proof of his relaxed personality, a 2010 Atlanta Journal Constitution article tells of how he ate dinner at the Senoia Waffle House with family and friends after the Angels drafted him.
“I love having breakfast at nighttime,” he said in the article. “I had grits, eggs and toast and rolled them up into one sandwich.”
The Angels selected Bedrosian 29th overall in a talent-laden 2010 draft that included first-rounders Bryce Harper, Matt Harvey, Manny Machado, Chris Sale and Christian Yelich.
Just five games into his professional career in ‘10, while pitching in the Arizona (Rookie) League, he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
He underwent Tommy John surgery and didn’t pitch again until the 2012 season when he posted a 6.31 ERA in 21 Single-A starts. His fastball didn’t have the life it had before surgery.
He struggled again in 2013, posting a 4.57 ERA in 42 relief outings and two starts.
“When I first saw him he was coming back from his elbow injury and he was a little bit out of shape,” said DiSarcina, the former manager of the Lowell Spinners. “Still had like baby fat on him he was such a young kid.
“But when came back up during camp when I saw him (this year), he had kind of toned up his body. When you look at him on the mound, he looks like a power pitcher.”
Things turned around for Bedrosian while pitching in the Arizona Fall League after the ‘13 season.
“He had a good fall league and I think that really kind of propelled him,” said Morin who was in Arizona with Bedrosian. “I think he was kind of slated to start the year in Double-A but we just had a bunch of guys, kind of log-jammed so he started the year in High-A and just had an incredible run. He was striking out two, three guys almost every single (outing). Just unhittable.”
In 5.2 scoreless innings at High A, Bedrosian allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out 15.
A promotion followed to Double A.
He then went directly from Double A to the majors for his first big league stint.
He has a 1.30 ERA in 41.2 minor league innings this season.
He surrendered nine runs over 7.0 innings in his first major league stint but pitched 3.2 scoreless innings during his latest one.
“Everyone’s like ‘Oh, he throws 100 (mph).’ He consistently throws 94, 95, 96, great fastball,” Morin said. “But it was his offspeed stuff that he was able to throw for strikes (in his second stint) where he wasn’t when he first came up. So it was definitely a step in the right direction.”
He throws a slider and changeup to complement his fastball.
“His slider is the thing that needs to be a little bit more polished,” DiSarcina said.
Follow Christopher Smith on Twitter @SmittyOnMLB