Los Angeles Angels 2018 Top 50 Prospects

Los Angeles Angels Top 50 Prospects for 2018

Few organizations have seen a more dramatic transformation in the last calendar year than the Los Angeles Angels. After adding Jordon Adell in the draft last summer, the Angels shocked the baseball world by winning the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes this offseason, giving the organization the consensus top prospect in baseball. If that wasn’t enough, the club also signed both Kevin Maitan and Livan Soto, who were both released by the Atlanta Braves during their signing scandal. With several high-upside players added to the system in a matter of months, the club transformed one of the league’s worst farm systems to an average or slightly better system.

What was once an organization in dire circumstances now has a future that looks awfully bright. With Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani heading a solid MLB roster, the farm system looks to continue to grow with numerous potential major leaguers near the top of the list and several upside arms in the lower levels of the minors. When General Manager Billy Eppler took over after the 2015 season, the organization had the league’s worst farm system and a major league team with huge payroll and talent concerns. Heading into 2018, the Angels could sneak into the playoffs and continue to boost an improving farm system.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster






Tier 1

1. Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH (’17 Midseason Rank: N/A)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: JPPL (Japanese Pacific League)
The highly touted two-way Japanese star signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December, who now creates a dynamic 1-2 punch with Mike Trout. After years of destroying the Japanese Pacific League for the Nippon Ham-Fighters, Ohtani decided to come stateside to MLB and will attempt to be the first successful two-way star since Babe Ruth nearly a century ago. Ohtani’s talents are well known; he possesses an electric arm on the mound and features raw power at the plate. He broke the record for hardest pitch thrown in NPB history (102.5 mph) last season and blasted 48 home runs in 403 career games in Japan.

Ohtani has a full arsenal on the mound; a 95-101 mph fastball, two wipeout secondaries in his sharp high-80’s slider and low-90’s split-finger, along with an average curveball and change-up. Ohtani has shown good command of those pitches, all coming from a huge 6-foot-4 frame. At the plate, Ohtani uses his long, powerful body to flash huge raw power, although he does have some contact issues (27% strikeout rate). Ohtani will certainly be the most interesting player to follow in 2018 as he tries to bring his two-way talents to America. ETA: 2018

Tier 2

2. Jahmai Jones, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #1)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Jones is a phenomenally athletic player who has a wide, diverse skill set that have many scouts projecting him to be an everyday outfielder at some point. The 20-year-old hit .282/.348/.446 with 14 home runs and 27 stolen bases in 2017. Jones won’t hit for a ton of power, due to a short, compact swing designed more for line-drive power, but he does plenty of other things well. Jones has a feel for hitting, runs well and has showcased the ability to be a plus-defensive center fielder. With strong makeup skills, Jones could very well make the most of these skills and turn into a legitimate everyday center fielder. ETA: 2020

3. Jo Adell, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #2)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Adell’s first round selection in 2017 made him the highest upside draft pick the Los Angeles Angels had made since they selected Mike Trout in the first round of the 2009 draft. Adell skyrocketed up draft boards in 2017 after he slammed 25 home runs as a senior in high school. The skill set is tantalizing as Adell features legit raw pop, plus speed and high baseball acumen. The whole package gives you a potential everyday center fielder who can smash homers and steal bases. Still a teenager, tempering expectations would be wise and a 24.1% strikeout rate in Rookie Ball shows lots of work needs to be done but he’s an extremely exciting prospect to follow in 2018. ETA: 2022

4. Kevin Maitan, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: N/A)
Opening Day Age: 18
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
2017 proved to be a bit of a disastrous outcome for Maitan, who not only struggled in is first taste of pro ball but was also released by the Atlanta Braves due to the club’s signing scandal. The Angels swooped him up this offseason, handing him a $2.2 million deal in the process. Maitan put on bad weight in 2017 and showcased some flaws some scouts didn’t expect, namely poor defense at shortstop and some raw feeling for hitting. While he struggled, he still has a strong swing from both sides of the plate that could lead to plus power and the ability to hit for average. Maitan may move off of shortstop but his athleticism could lead to him being an above-average defensive third baseman. The consensus top international prospect from 2016 has lost some of his luster but there is still loads of potential here. ETA: 2023

5. Brandon Marsh, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #4)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Marsh has had some injury concerns since he was drafted in the second round in 2016 and has appeared in just 39 games so far in his professional career, which all came last season. When he has played, Marsh has flashed above-average power and speed along with an ability to handle center field. He hit .350/.396/.548 in 2017, pounding out 22 extra base hits and stealing 10 bases. The raw potential in Marsh is fun, as he’s a supreme athlete but also shows a strong understanding of the game. The Angels may start him in Rookie Ball again in 2018 but he could move quickly in the system if he stays healthy. ETA: 2021

6. Jaime Barria, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #3)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
The Panamanian-born righty took a big leap forward in 2017, dominating both A Ball and Double A and earning a short promotion to AAA late in the season. The overall line last year for Barria was impressive: 117 strikeouts, 31 walks and a 2.80 ERA in 141.2 innings. He’s not what you’d call overpowering on the mound, focusing more on command and simple mechanics, but he’s a very talented pitcher. With an above-average 91-94 mph fastball, plus change-up and average curveball, he has a near MLB-ready repertoire along with plus command. Barria won’t miss a ton of bats but he gets enough misses that he can succeed by just pouring in strikes, evidenced by his minuscule 1.7 BB/9 rate in his minor league career. He’s still likely a year away from being a real MLB contributor but he could get a cup of coffee in 2018. ETA: 2018

Tier 3

7. Chris Rodriguez, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #5)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Up until the Angels signed Shohei Ohtani, Rodriguez represented the highest upside arm in the system. While his 6.16 ERA from 2017 may look discouraging, he struck out 56 batters and only walked 14 in 57 innings of work, showcasing an ability to miss bats and throw strikes. Rodriguez has a bit of a violent delivery that could push him to a relief role but he has the repertoire and command of his pitches to stick as a starter. Equipped with a 92-96 mph fastball, a plus change-up and two average secondaries in his curveball and slider, Rodriguez has the makings of a legitimate prospect and could make some serious strides in 2018. ETA: 2022

8. Matt Thaiss, 1B (’17 Midseason Rank: #6)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: Double-A
Thaiss will never be mistaken for a high-upside talent but the 2016 first round pick will likely be a MLB player in the near future. Lauded for his control of the strike zone, Thaiss has reached base at a .370 clip so far in his minor league career and made it all the way to Double A last season. He’ll likely never hit for a ton of power and his defense is about average at first base but he makes contact and takes walks, which are always valuable traits to possess in the major leagues. With no real long-term option at first base for the Angels, Thaiss could be the Angels everyday first baseman as soon as 2019. ETA: 2019

9. Griffin Canning, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #7)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Didn’t pitch
Canning was a consensus first round pick heading into 2016 until a shoulder scare bumped him to the second round, where the Angels took a chance on him. The club immediately shut him down and hopes he’ll be ready for the start of the 2018 season. UCLA’s Friday night starter the past few seasons, Canning has been labeled as a gamer who comes right at hitters with his solid four-pitch mix. The repertoire is simple but effective: a 91-94 mph fastball, plus change-up and an average curveball and slider. Canning throws all his pitches for strikes, which makes him a potential #4 starter in the big leagues. The 21-year-old needs to first prove he’s healthy but he has the potential to rise quickly through the system. ETA: 2021

10. Michael Hermosillo, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #10)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
Selected in the 28th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, Hermosillo has skyrocketed up the system and is knocking on the doors of the majors. He’s your classic example of someone who doesn’t feature any plus tools but does everything well on the diamond. Hermosillo makes contact, controls the strike zone, hits for moderate power, runs well and can handle himself at all three outfield positions. With Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun around, Hermosillo may struggle to find playing time in the future but he could be the club’s fourth outfielder at some point in 2018, while possibly fighting for a starting role heading into 2019. ETA: 2018

11. Leonardo Rivas, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: #18)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
One of the best performers in all of the Angels system last year, Rivas made serious strides and made a name for himself. Rivas hit .286/.443/.396 and swiped 19 bags in 61 games across two levels in 2017. He doesn’t hit for any power but Rivas controls the strike zone, makes hard line-drive contact, runs extremely well and could stick up the middle at shortstop. He’s likely a utility player in the long run but his impressive 2017 makes him an intriguing player to follow in 2018. ETA: 2021





Tier 4

12. David Fletcher, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: #11)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: Triple A
The Orange County native is close to MLB ready thanks to a skill set that is boring yet effective. Fletcher can handle both shortstop and second base, thanks to solid range and an above average throwing arm. At the plate, he won’t hit for power and he doesn’t take many walks but he’s an extremely good contact hitter, evidenced by his minuscule 10.7% strikeout rate he’s posted in the minors. He’s likely not a starter but he could carve out a career as a solid utility man and he may begin that career in the majors very soon. ETA: 2018

13. Taylor Ward, C (’17 Midseason Rank: #9)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: Double-A
Ward’s selection in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft was widely criticized as an overdraft, although he was picked in part to save money for players such as Jahmai Jones in the second round. Ward will likely reach the majors in some role due to his solid plate discipline (career .366 OBP) and a rocket throwing arm. Ward has below average in-game power and has had issues with blocking and receiving pitches, although he showed some improvement with those defensive issues last season. Ward is likely a future backup catcher but he could be a MLB option in the next few years. ETA: 2019

14. Jake Jewell, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #12)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: Double-A
Likely a reliever in the long-term, Jewell has a starter’s repertoire but lacks the command to be an effective starter. Jewell has a 92-96 mph fastball with cutting action, a 89-92 mph sinker and a pair of average secondary pitches in his slider and curveball. The Angels have continued giving him chances to start and given that he reached Double-A in 2017, they still believe he can stick in the rotation. If his command doesn’t improve, however, he’s destined for a relief role where his already good stuff can play up even more. ETA: 2019

15. Eduardo Paredes, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #15)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: MLB
The only player on this list to have appeared in the majors, Paredes showed promise in his 18 game stint with the Angels last year. Paredes isn’t overpowering compared to most relievers but he is very effective with a sinking 92-96 mph fastball and average slider that can flash plus at times. With deceptive arm action, he can miss bats, throw strikes and generate some awkward contact. Paredes is likely a middle relief piece moving forward and will see plenty of MLB action again in 2018.

16. Jose Soriano, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #19)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
After trading project arms like Elvin Rodriguez and Wilkel Hernandez, Soriano now stands out as the most exciting project arm in the Angels system. Soriano is very projectable at 6-foot-3 and 170 lbs but has shown a feel for pitching that many don’t show at this age. A small uptick in velocity last year had Soriano sitting 90-93 mph while touching 95 and he continued to flash a big curveball with serious depth. He’s young, doesn’t have much of a change-up and his command is below average at present but any uptick in command or stuff will propel Soriano on many people’s radars. ETA: 2022

17. Jose Suarez, LHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #16)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Suarez is a short, stocky left-hander who has gotten the most out of his small frame in his minor league career so far. Suarez sits in the 88-91 mph range on his fastball and pairs that with an extremely good change-up and fringe breaking ball. The repertoire appears underwhelming but he has shown an ability to throw strikes, miss bats and generate a good amount of ground balls. If Suarez can fill up and add a little bit of velocity, he could become a back-end starter down the road. ETA: 2021

18. Livan Soto, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: NA)
Opening Day Age: 17
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Just like Kevin Maitan, Soto was released by the Braves due to their signing scandal and the Angels swooped in, signing him for $850,000. While not as flashy as Maitan, Soto has a real chance to stick at shortstop as he has quick hands and reaction times along with a plus throwing arm. His offense is way behind the glove as he lacks any real in-game power but he shows good plate discipline (more walks than strikeouts last year) and some feel for hitting. At 17 years old, Soto is a long ways away but he’s an intriguing lower level prospect to monitor. ETA: 2023

19. Jesus Castillo, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #20)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: Double-A
When the Angels traded Joe Smith at the 2016 trade deadline, they got a lottery ticket in Castillo and it’s paid off so far. Castillo crushed it in 2017, tossing 124.2 innings with a 3.32 ERA, along with 118 strikeouts and only 26 walks. A finesse pitcher, Castillo has an above average 90-92 mph fastball that features good late life and has a pair of fringe-average secondary pitches in his change-up and curveball. His above average command allows those pitches to play up and gives Castillo potential to be a useful #5 starter or middle relief piece. ETA: 2020

20. Brennon Lund, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #17)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: Double-A
Lund jumped all the way from Low-A ball up to Double-A, hitting .308/.373/.403 in the process. Lund doesn’t do anything particularly well but he makes solid contact, shows some strike zone awareness and has above average speed. He’s likely a corner outfielder at the highest level, although he’s shown he can handle center field in small samples. Lund is a potential fourth outfielder that should be ready in the next few years. ETA: 2019

21. Cole Duensing, RHP (’17 midseason rank: #22)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Duensing is one of the more raw arms in the Angels system but he has the ingredients to be an impact pitcher. Duensing is very projectable and comes at hitters with three pitches: an average 89-92 mph fastball, an average curveball that will flash plus at times and a fringe change-up that definitely needs improvement. He just posted an 9.15 ERA in his age 19 season last year so work needs to be done but there is upside here. ETA: 2023

22. Trent Deveaux, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #38)
Opening Day Age: 17
2017 Highest Level: Did not play professionally
The Bahamas native was the Angels big signing when the 2017 international signing period kicked off. Deveaux is an absolute burner who has the chance to impact the game on the bases and in center field, where he could be a plus defender thanks to that speed and good instincts. At 6-foot-2, he has the frame to fill out and potentially hit for moderate power as he ages, with the chance to hit for average thanks to a fluid and easy swing. Projecting 17-year-olds is generally impossible but Deveaux is a fascinating player to follow next year. ETA: 2024

23. Nate Smith, LHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #24)
Opening Day Age: 26
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
The injury bug the Angels MLB rotation faced spread down to Triple-A, taking Smith out for the majority of 2017. Smith had shoulder surgery after the season and will miss all of 2018. When healthy, Smith utilizes a 87-91 mph fastball, plus change-up and average breaking ball, all of which he throws for strikes. If Smith can regain his form post-surgery, he’s a potential 5th starter but there’s risk in this profile now due to the injuries. ETA: 2019

24. Nonie Williams, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: #14)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Williams is raw in many aspects of his game and the loud tools haven’t led to results on the field. He has hit .231/.284/.281 in his first two years in Rookie Ball and showed no notable improvement in Year 2 at that level. Williams flashes plus raw power, speed and arm strength but his ability to implement those tools in games hasn’t been there. 2019 represents a significant year for Williams, who needs to start producing and move his way up the minor league ranks. ETA: 2023

25. Jose Rodriguez, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #26)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: High-A
The 5.18 ERA in 2017 hides the fact that Rodriguez continued to show an ability to miss bats and throw strikes. His 13.6 K-BB% was well above the league average in the California League. Rodriguez throws a 90-93 mph fastball and complements that pitch with a pair of change-ups with slightly different movement and a fringe slider. His strike throwing abilities and four-pitch arsenal give him a chance to start in the big leagues but he’s likely a swingman or low-end reliever. ETA: 2020

26. Brendon Sanger, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #27)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: Double-A
Sanger features good raw power and has shown an ability to get to it in games. With an advanced approach at the plate (career .356 OBP), Sanger has the offensive skill set to make it to the majors in some role. He’s a below average athlete who is likely limited to first base, left field or designated hitter, which puts pressure on the bat, but he profiles as a platoon bench bat. ETA: 2020

27. Luke Bard, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: N/A)
Opening Day Age: 27
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
It’s been a long journey for Bard but he put together a remarkable 2017 campaign and was selected by the Angels in the Rule 5 Draft in December. The former 42nd overall pick (2012) dealt with injuries and performance issues with the Twins but he put it together in 2017, where Bard struck out 99 batters and had a 2.76 ERA in 65 1/3 innings. Bard has a prototypical relief profile: 94-96 mph fastball and a slider that misses bats. ETA: 2018

28. Jordan Zimmerman, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: #21)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Zimmerman makes loud contact but it’s of the line drive variety rather than over the fence power. Zimmerman will swing and miss a bit, doesn’t hit for a ton of power and is a below average defender at second base. This limits his potential but his natural feel for hitting means he may carve out a role as a useful bench bat or utility piece. Zimmerman hit .278/.329/.416 across two levels in 2017. ETA: 2020

29. Luis Pena, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #30)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: Double-A
At 5-foot-11, Pena is already at a disadvantage for a starting pitcher and his below average command and lack of a third pitch make a move to the bullpen likely. With that said, Pena offers an above average 92-96 mph fastball with life and a slider that can miss bats. Pena tossed 151 1/3 innings in 2017 so you can squint and see a potential multi-inning reliever who can possibly give some spot starts in the big leagues. ETA: 2020

30. Connor Justus, SS (’17 Midseason Rank: #25)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Justus has a skill set that should land him a big league job some day, even if it’s in a minor role. Justus is an above-average defender at shortstop and shows plus plate discipline, evidenced by his 12.3% walk rate last season. He won’t impact the baseball enough at the plate to be anything more than a utility player but he represents a potential major leaguer in the future. ETA: 2020

31. Julio Garcia, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: #23)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Garcia has long been a player scouts loved due to his sweet swing at the plate and his ability to handle multiple infield positions. He struggled to translate those tools into production up until last season, when he hit .297/.359/.428 across two levels. He features above-average raw power but has struggled to get to it in games, which means his ceiling is limited. This is likely a utility profile down the road. ETA: 2021

32. Jared Foster, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #29)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: High-A
The former two-sport star at LSU is a quick-twitch athlete who flashes above-average defensive abilities, power and speed on any given night. Foster is still raw in many elements of his game, and in turn has struggled with his approach at the plate and hasn’t fully turned tools into production. Foster is a career .269/.314/.411 hitter and projects as a 5th outfielder. ETA: 2020

33. Joe Gatto, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #37)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: High-A
At his best, Gatto can come at hitters with three above-average pitches in his 91-95 mph fastball, sharp curveball and change-up with depth. However, Gatto struggles to consistently throw any of those pitches for strikes and his career 4.63 ERA and 1.77 strikeout/walk ratio back that up. The Angels have continued to give him the chance to start but a move to the bullpen seems likely, where Gatto instantly becomes a much more interesting prospect. ETA: 2020

34. Osmer Morales, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #32)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
Signed as a minor league free agent last offseason, Morales once again showcased his ability to miss bats despite an underwhelming repertoire. Morales has an average 88-91 mph fastball that features excellent spin and has a pair of fringe-average secondary pitches in his curveball and change-up. With the ability to command those pitches, Morales could be a useful swingman or multi-inning reliever down the road. ETA: 2018

35. Jerryell Rivera, LHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #46)
Opening Day Age: 18
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Selected in the 11th round of last year’s draft, Rivera’s selection was viewed as huge value pick for the Angels. Rivera showcased his talent in an 11 inning stint in Rookie Ball after being drafted, striking out 11 hitters, walking three and allowing just two runs. Rivera is very loose and projectable, coming at hitters with a 88-92 mph fastball that could sit in the low-mid 90’s at his peak. He flashes an above-average curveball at times but it’s inconsistent so far and the change-up lags behind. This is one of the more interesting arms to monitor in the system. ETA: 2023

36. Adam Hofacket, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #35)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
Hofacket jumped from Single-A to Triple-A by the year’s end and put himself on the Angels map. In 69 2/3 innings, the Southern California native struck out 62 batters, walked 13 and posted a 3.49 ERA. Hofacket pairs his heavy 91-95 mph fastball with an above-average breaking ball that can generate grounders or miss bats. This is likely a middle relief profile given his ability to command his pitches. ETA: 2018

37. Jonah Wesely, LHP (’17 Midseason Rank: Unranked)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
It’s been a long journey for Wesely, who was drafted by the Angels back in 2013 and has undergone Tommy John Surgery in that time frame. When healthy, which he was in 2017, he flashes a bowling ball of a fastball, sitting 92-95 mph with sink and shows a sharp breaking ball. In 61 2/3 innings last year, Wesely struck out 77 hitters while walking 29. His command escapes him at times but Wesely has the ingredients to be an above-average lefty out of the bullpen.

38. Zach Houchins, INF (’17 Midseason Rank: #36)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
There is very limited upside in Houchins but he may be able to swing a role as a bench bat in the majors and do it fairly soon. Houchins has some pop (14+ home runs last three years) and may be able to handle some third base in the big leagues, although he’s likely better suited at first base. While there isn’t an everyday player in this profile, he could represent a decent platoon bench bat.

39. Nathan Bates, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #43)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Bates is humongous at 6-foot-8 and generates good downhill plane on his stuff. His 91-94 mph fastball and curveball both project as above-average pitches, with both missing bats (26.2 K% last year) and generating grounders. The command is still poor (9.7% walk rate) but his size and repertoire give Bates a real chance to be a MLB reliever. ETA: 2020

40. Jose Natera, RHP (’17 Midseason List: Unranked)
Opening Day Age: 18
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
A 2016 international signing, Natera flashed some extreme upside in 2017 but also showed he’s still raw. Natera struck out 53 batters and walked 17 while posting a 5.06 ERA in 48 innnings in 2017. The 18-year-old shows an above-average 91-95 mph fastball and an average cutter and curveball that play well off of that fastball. Temper expectations heading into 2018 but this is a fun project arm to watch grow.

41. Jonah Todd, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #42)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Todd is likely a fifth outfielder who can mix in some seasons as a decent fourth outfielder in the majors. He’s an above-average runner who can handle all three outfield positions and has a good approach at the plate (13% walk rate last year). His power is non existent and there’s no real carrying tool but he could make it work as a bench piece down the road. ETA: 2021

Tier 5

42. Samuel Pastrone, RHP (’17 Midseason List: #33)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Pastrone is a bit undersized at even six feet tall and with his below-average command and lack of a useful third pitch, there’s likely a reliever here. If he does move to the bullpen, Pastrone can stick strictly to his 92-95 mph fastball and sharp curveball and ditch his change-up that shows promise but is inconsistently thrown. He’s coming off a season where he walked more batters than he struck out and posted a 8.92 ERA so that bullpen move may come soon. ETA: 2021

43. D’Shawn Knowles, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: not ranked)
Opening Day Age: 17
2017 Highest Level: Did not play
While not as highly touted as fellow Angels prospect Trent Deveaux, both of whom were signed out of the Bahamas last summer, Knowles has some very attractive traits. Knowles may be the fastest player in the system, with near 80-grade speed, which have many people projecting him to be a plus defender in center field. His feel for hitting is very raw but there’s a chance he can be a high-contact bat and stick in center field. ETA: 2024

44. Francisco Del Valle, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #48)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Del Valle will flash above-average power, speed and arm strength at times but he’s raw in his ability to get to it in games. He hit just .206/.272/.306 last season in his second go around in Rookie Ball due to his raw feel for hitting in general. Del Valle has a bit of a long swing that doesn’t allow him to utilize his power at present. Likely a right fielder, Del Valle’s arm strength and speed should make him a solid defender in the long run. He’s an interesting lottery ticket that could break out in a big way in 2018 or fizzle away.

45. Hector Yan, LHP (’17 Midseason Rank: Unranked)
Opening Day Age: 18
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Yan is an intriguing lower-level arm who flashes electric stuff but doesn’t know where it’s going at times. He’ll sit in the 92-96 mph range on his fastball and show feel for a plus breaking ball but it often plays below-average due to the command of it. In 46 2/3 career innings, Yan has struck out 54 batters but has walked 26. This an an arm to pay attention to next season.

46. Ryan Vega, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: 44)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Vega had a solid season in 2017, hitting .313/.401/.437 with a 106 wRC+. At 20 years of age, he was old for his level and will need a more aggressive assignment in 2018 to see if this production was real. Vega doesn’t do anything particularly well but he flashes an ability to make contact and flashes decent power and speed. Vega has a chance to stick as depth in the upper minors and could sneak into the majors if things go right.

47. John Swanda, RHP (’17 Midseason Rank: #47)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Swanda is a project piece who was selected in the 4th round of the MLB Draft last season. Swanda is a superb athlete who flashes an average 89-92 mph fastball and below-average slider that is average at times. He posted a 9.31 ERA in 9 2/3 innings in his first stint of professional ball last year and figures to repeat Rookie Ball again to start 2018.

48. Sherman Johnson INF/OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #40)
Opening Day Age: 27
2017 Highest Level: Triple-A
At 27 years old, Johnson has yet to debut in the majors and is getting close to non-prospect territory but the strong minor league track record keeps him relevant for the future. Johnson has appeared numerous times on Fangraphs as a sleeper prospect due to his ability to do everything decently well. With the ability to handle numerous positions all over the diamond, he could be a super utility piece but time is starting to run out for him.

49. Jimmy Barnes, OF (’17 Midseason Rank: #45)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
Barnes missed all of 2016 due to injury but returned with a strong performance in 2017. He hit .273/.338/.468 with four home runs and stole six bags, albeit his performance was aided by a .382 BABIP. Barnes has a big swing and miss issue (30.5 K% in 2017) that needs to be addressed but the power/speed combo is intriguing enough to keep an eye on him moving forward.

50. Adderlin Santana, IF (’17 Midseason Rank: Unranked)
Opening Day Age: 17
2017 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
Santana is a plus runner who utilizes strong bat-to-ball skills at the plate. A likely second baseman in the long run, Santana doesn’t have the arm or range to stick at shortstop so he’ll have to hit a bit more with a move off the position. While he lacks home run power, he has enough strength to hit a fair amount of doubles or triples. Santana will likely come stateside in 2018 and showcase his plus speed in Rookie Ball.

Honorable Mentions:

Denny Brady, RHP

Daniel Procopio, RHP

Erik Manoah, RHP

Connor Riley, RHP

Kevin Grendell, LHP

Keith Rogalla, RHP

Torii Hunter Jr., OF

Daniel Ozoria, INF

 

 

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Sunday January 7, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com
  2. The Drastic Transformation of the Angels Organization | Prospects1500
  3. Salt Lake Bees enter season with wealth of old and young talent, newfound long ball
  4. Salt Lake Bees enter season with a wealth of old and young ability, and a newfound long ball - R- Pakistan Daily Roznama
  5. 2018 MLB Draft Link Round-Up | Prospects1500

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