TEMPE, Arizona— Kolton Ingram is living out his MLB dream. After being let go by the Detroit Tigers in 2020, the 26-year-old left-handed pitcher was signed as a free agent by the Angels and quickly moved up to Double A. His hard work and determination have paid off, as he was recently named to the Angels’ 40-man roster.
Friday was Ingram’s first bullpen session in his first spring practice session in the big league. He was focused, with just the right amount of ease, and was determined to learn from the more experienced players. Aaron Loup, whose clubhouse locker is directly across from his, gave him the advice to “just be yourself and try to soak up as much knowledge as you can from all the guys here.”
Ingram’s parents, Kellie and Wes Taylor, recalled that the promotions felt quick. They drove Kolton’s car from Atlanta to San Bernardino for him a few weeks into the season, watched him pitch the day they arrived, stayed a few days, and then flew back to Atlanta. As they landed, Ingram called to let them know he was headed to High-A Tri-City.
During the aborted 2020 season, two of his former Tigers teammates stayed with him at his family home in Georgia. Over the next four months, he set to work, specifically increasing his speed. His mother, Kellie, noted that she saw the determination every day and that he “didn’t let up.”
The Angels hope that Ingram can use different pitch holds to get more momentum out of his slider and work on his fastball, as well as add a cutter to his arsenal. Angels pitching coach Matt Wise was impressed with Ingram’s performance and potential and noted that he “did exactly what he did in the offseason.”
With 78 players expected at Angels Camp, there is a lot of competition to try and snag a spot on the team’s auxiliary corps. However, Ingram is determined to make the most of his opportunity and prove that his hard work has paid off.