TEMPE, Ariz. -- Last year at this time, Trevor Reckling was the most talked-about young arm at Angels camp. He appeared to be jumping on the fast track to "The Show."
The train slowed along the way. After a strong effort at Double-A Arkansas in 2009, Reckling struggled to find his command and prime-time fastball last year at Triple-A Salt Lake and was returned to Arkansas. There, the southpaw from New Jersey regained his feel and confidence and showed up at camp this week determined to reestablish his credentials as a premium prospect.
"I feel good about where I am now," Reckling, 21, said. "I learned some things last year that I think will help me. It was a struggle at times, but nobody said it was going to be easy."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia called it "a little bit of a mystery" that Reckling went from throwing in the low 90s to the 86/87-mph range at Salt Lake. Reckling's complicated mechanics create deception, but they also can take him out of whack when the mechanism isn't quite right.
"This kid gets after it," Scioscia said. "Much like Scott Kazmir, the ball's coming out easier. The guy spins the ball well with a terrific changeup. He has the potential to be a terrific Major League pitcher. He's young.
"I think he's getting back in touch with some elements of his delivery which are important. He's got a lot of deception, which plays up his velocity, much like [Jered] Weaver. He hides the ball well. At times, [his delivery] gets jerky and it affects his command."
Reckling is expected to start the season at Salt Lake. Given his age and experience level, he's right on schedule.