Los Angeles Angels 2019 Top 50 Prospects

Luis Rengifo - Photo credit Carter Williams @cwilliamsKSL, KSL.com

Los Angeles Angels Top 50 Prospects for 2019

Billy Eppler took over the Angels organization is 2016 and the farm system has done nothing but improve. In 2018 we saw the debut of players such as Shohei Ohtani, Jaime Barria, and David Fletcher. There are some great players in the system currently. With talents such as Jo Adell, Jahmai Jones, and Griffin Canning, the Angels have a good top 10-15. What they lack is depth. There are many lower level minor leaguers that have high volatility and Eppler has stocked this system full of relievers, having drafted several last year in the first 10 rounds.

The Angels have stated that they are are committed to developing one of the best farm systems in the game, and have made hirings in the player development to help make that happen along with the good track record they have had under Eppler. His idea is to develop a system that resembled the Cardinals of the 2000s that continued to churn out talent.


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. Jo Adell, OF
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: AA
Drafted 10th overall in the 2017 draft, many prospect analysts believed that he was the best athlete and had a chance to be the best player in the draft if he could hit, and boy did he hit. Across 3 levels he had a slash line of .290/.355/.543. He did strike out in 25% of his plate appearances, but you can live with that if he is hitting 20 HRs in 440 PAs. He is the best combination of speed and power currently in the minor leagues and I can’t wait to see him in the outfield with Trout in 2020. ETA: 2020


Tier 2:
2. 
Jahmai Jones, OF
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: AA
Jones started off 2018 as an outfielder and before Spring Training ended he was transitioning into becoming a second baseman. His offensive numbers dipped and the defensive transition at second base was not always smooth. Overall 2018 was a transition year for Jones and after three swing changes according to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser, his production exploded in the Arizona Fall League where he was one of the better performers. I am keeping him at #2 here solely for what he did in the AFL because our last look at him showed me a no doubt, major league caliber second baseman. ETA: 2020

3. Griffin Canning, RHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: AAA
Canning’s health concerns allowed for the Angels to pick him up in the second round in 2017, and after the workload in college the Angels sat him for the rest of that season. In 2018 with more velo on his fastball (averaged 90-95 in college and was averaging 94-97 in the minors) he debuted in High-A and outclassed all hitters there. Angels moved him up to AA after two starts and he promptly did the same thing to AA hitters. He started to struggle when he was moved up to AAA as do most pitchers who are in the PCL. He is a guy who has 4 average or above pitches with scouts differing on which of his secondary pitches is the best curveball, slider, or change up and has the upside of a number 2 starter. Halo faithful should expect to see him suit up in the big leagues especially if they continue to have the MLB injury issues that have plagued them the past 3 seasons. ETA: 2019

4. Brandon Marsh, OF
Age: 21
2018 Highest level: High-A
Marsh looked to improve upon what he did in 2017 as a tandem with Jo Adell in A ball. He did well in Burlington but when he was moved to High-A with the 66ers he struggled. His drop in production could be attributed to his attempts to pull the ball as his pull percentage spiked during his struggles. Marsh is a superb defensive outfielder with one of the best arms in the minor leagues. He is a plus runner and has a feel to hit. ETA: 2021

5. Jordyn Adams, OF
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
The Angels 2018 first round pick Adams is like moldable clay in terms of prospects. Adams is a tremendous athlete that can go a number of different ways with his development. He could be a demon on the basepaths and slap hitter, a Billy Hamilton type player, or he could put on muscle and become a power bat. The most important thing for his development is his ability to hit, like Adell did last season. ETA: 2023

6. Luis Rengifo, SS
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: AAA
This time last year Rengifo was a relatively unknown player, and now he is one of the Angels best prospects. Traded for CJ Cron, Rengifo hit across three different levels in 2018 and will be competing for a starting spot during Spring Training. He has great control of the strike zone and walked just as much as he stuck out. He has average to above average speed but is an instinctual base runner and should get at least double digit steals in the majors. His power comes in the form of doubles and triples instead of home runs. If he makes the Opening Day roster he will be a second baseman, with the ability to play short if necessary. ETA: 2019

7. Jose Suarez, RHP
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: AAA
Suarez flew through the minor leagues in 2018 and just like Canning pitched at 3 different levels. Suarez has a low 90s fastball, an above average change up, and a curveball that could be a plus pitch in the future. He struggled to throw strikes once he reached AAA but should be fine in the long term. Suarez will be ready to pitch for the Halos sometime in 2019. ETA:2019

8. Matt Thaiss, 1B
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AAA
Thaiss made some changes to his swing going into 2018 that finally allowed him to hit for more power and get into the double digits. It also came with a lower walk rate. There is currently a log jam at first and DH for the Angels which means that Thaiss will begin the season in AAA. ETA: 2019


Tier 3:
9. D’Shawn Knowles, OF
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
One of two Bahamians the Angels signed in 2017, Knowles started off his professional career with a bang and tore up both levels of Rookie ball at 17-years-old. Knowles has a good feel for the strike zone and has plus bat speed. He has plus speed that plays in both his baserunning and defense. Angels love his makeup and competitive fire. ETA: 2023

10. Jeremiah Jackson, SS
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Angels used a 2018 second round pick to acquire this toolsy second baseman. Jackson has a good feel to hit, with a plus bat speed that will allow for him to hit double digit home runs. There are questions about his ability to stick at short, as he lacks the quick twitch ability that would allow for him to stick. If he does move he has a good enough arm to play at third. ETA: 2022

11. Patrick Sandoval, LHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: AA
Picked up in the Maldonado trade, Sandoval was one of the best performers in all of the minor leagues last year. When he got to Inland Empire he did not surrender a run and was quickly moved to Mobile, where he continued to perform well. Sandoval’s fastball is 88-92, has an above average curveball, a slider he uses on lefties, and a change that is developing. He projects to be a 4 or a 5 SP if everything turns out well. ETA: 2020

12. Ty Buttrey, RHP
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: MLB
The first player in the Ian Kinsler deal, Buttrey spent all of 4 innings in the Salt Lake before being moved to the Angels bullpen and by the end of the season had made his way into the closing role. Buttrey has a fastball that sits in the high 90s and can touch 100, and a circle change and slider as his secondary pitches. Unless the Angels sign a closer, expect Buttrey to compete for the role. ETA: Debuted in 2018

13. Chris Rodriguez, RHP
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: DNP
Rodriguez is a starter that the Angels are high on, and it’s not hard to see why. He has a fastball that averages 95 MPH and a two seamer that he uses to cut in towards righties. He compliments that with an above average change up, a good slider, and a show me curveball. He is a strike thrower but due to the head whack the pitches are put in hittable spots. Unfortunately Rodriguez had to sit out all of 2018 due to back issues. He projects to be a mid rotation starter. ETA: 2022


Tier 4:
14. Jesus Castillo, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA
Castillo spent all of 2018 in AA. Unfortunately his strikeout numbers and groundball rate plummeted this past year which is not a good sign for his development. Castillo has a low 90s fastball along with a curveball and a change up. Castillo projects as a backend starter, but in order for that to happen he has to raise his strikeout and ground ball rates or he will be crushed. ETA: 2020

15. Michael Hermosillo, OF
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: MLB
Hermosillo is a 4th outfielder. He is able to play all 3 outfield spots with his above-average arm. He lacks the power and hitting ability to be a starting outfielder. ETA: Debuted in 2018

16. Livan Soto, SS
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
One of two players that the Angels signed when the Braves had to release several international players, Soto is primarily a glove first shortstop. He has shown good plate discipline with the Angels, walking as much as he struck out. There is projection in his frame but he will never have more than fringe average power. ETA: 2023

17. Leonardo Rivas, SS
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A
Rivas excels at getting on base. He’s got a great eye at the plate as shown with his 84 walks. Unfortunately because of Rivas’ size there is not much power in the bat. Defensively he lacks the arm to stick at short and will likely move to second base as he progresses. Rivas projects to be a utility player in the majors. ETA: 2022

18. Williams Jerez, LHP
Age: 26
2018 Highest Level: MLB
The second player in the Ian Kinsler deal. The lefty reliever struggled in in Anaheim once he came over, averaging more hits than innings pitched and almost a run an inning. With that being said he still posted a good K rate. Jerez possesses a mid 90s fastball with movement but lacks consistency with it. He pairs that fastball with a slider that’s solid. Angels are hoping that he can become a consistent lefty fixture in their bullpen (something that they severely lack), but before that he must be more consistent with that fastball. ETA: Debuted in 2018  

19. Kyle Bradish, RHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: DNP
Bradish, taken in the 4th round last season, comes with a low 90s fastball, a 12-to-6 curveball and a changeup. He has a lot of moving parts in his delivery which is why he struggled with command in college. If he can figure out a way to iron out the delivery a little bit he should be able to make it as a starter. ETA: 2022

20. Jose Soriano, RHP
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: A
Soriano is a projectable righty that has not just grown as a pitcher in the last 3 years but has actually grown 3 inches, which has attributed to his command issues. Soriano sits in the mid 90s with his fastball and uses a curveball and changeup along with it. ETA: 2022

21. Stiward Aquino, RHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: DNP
Aquino missed all of 2018 with Tommy John surgery. Aquino features a fastball that gets up to 96, a curveball, and a change up. Like Soriano, Aquino is all projection, and is a wait and see once he fills out his frame. ETA: 2023

22. Kevin Maitan, 3B
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Maitan was signed by the Angels last season after the Braves were forced to release him along with several other players. Maitan came to the states with high expectations, whether fair or not, and did not live up to them. He continued to struggle compared to what was expected of him in 2018. Maitan has struggled with weight issues since coming over and will likely always need to monitor it. Most recent photos show that he has put in work to alleviate those concerns. He has already begun his move to third base and should stay there if he can keep the weight off. Look for above average power once he develops. ETA: 2023

23. Jake Jewell, RHP
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: MLB
Jewell made the transition from starter to bullpen arm in 2018 and it propelled him all the way up to the Bigs. Unfortunately his season was cut short just three games in when he broke his ankle trying to make an out at home plate. Jewell features a mid 90s fastball, along with primarily a slider, curveball, and changeup. He does not strike out as much as for as hard as he throws everything. Expect him to compete for a bullpen spot this season. ETA: Debuted in 2018

24. Aaron Hernandez, LHP
Age: 26
2018 Highest Level: DNP
Drafted in the third round last season, Hernandez has great stuff. A fastball that sits anywhere from 92-98, he pairs that with an above average slider and changeup. Hernandez will have to refine his control if wants to continue being a starter. He could be a mid-rotation starter if he accomplishes that task. ETA: 2022

25. Jared Walsh, 1B/OF/LHP
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: AAA
Walsh has shown to be a good hitter in his minor league career, and he continued to show that hitting ability during 2018 across 3 levels. He has good plate discipline and showed great power this past season with 29 home runs. There is also an interesting development with his career as the Angels have started to develop him as a reliever and experiment with his ability to be a two way player. He is able to get his fastball up to 94 and has a power curve. His path to the big leagues is blocked as the Angels are stocked at first, so barring injuries he should be at Salt Lake all season. ETA: 2019

26. Luis Madero, RHP
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: High-A
Acquired from the Dbacks in the David Hernandez trade, Madero has pitched well since coming over, with his final stop in 2018 seeing him strikeout more than a batter per inning. His FB averaged 94 in 2018 season after averaging 90-92 in the previous ones. His secondary offerings are a swing and miss slider and a sinker. He has great command and should be able to stick as a back end starter. ETA: 2021

27. Trent Deveaux, OF
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Signed out of the Bahamas, Deveaux’s development has been slower then his fellow countryman Knowles. This lanky prospect has plus plus speed and has shown it both in fielding and baserunning. He has the potential to be an above average defender in center. He has a good feel to hit and great plate discipline. It will take time for Deveaux to grow into his body and could at least have average power. ETA: 2024

28. Jose Rojas, 1B/UTL
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: AAA
Rojas put up eye popping numbers at AA in 2018. He slashed .301/.381/.554 with 17 HRs in 84 games before be promoted. Rojas has seen action from all over the diamond playing primarily first base, but also second base, third base, and some left field. Rojas will start in AAA and if injuries befell the Angels could see some action in the majors as a bench bat. ETA: 2019

29. Brennon Lund, OF
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AA
Lund spent all of 2018 in AA building off what he did in 2017. While his average came down from last year he still walked at nearly a 10% clip. The average does concern me as Lund is primarily a contact oriented hitter. Lund has above average speed (21 SB) and is a good defender. Expect for Lund role in the majors to be a 4th or 5th outfielder. ETA: 2020

30. Brett Hanewich, RHP
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: High A
Hanewich is flamethrower in every sense of the word. Hanewich can touch 100 with his fastball, but lacks a consistency with his secondary pitches whether that be his changeup or slider. He was able to dominate hitters in the lower minors (especially in High-A) but needs the consistent secondary pitch to be successful in the upper minors. Hanewich has been developed as a multi inning reliever so look for him to fill that role if he reaches the majors. ETA: 2020

31. Daniel Procopio, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA
Righty Propocio has displayed excellent strikeout numbers and is moving fast through the Angels farm system. He has a fastball that averages in the mid 90s, he combines that with a curveball and a cutter. He needs to refine his command to be successful in the upper minors (6.9 BB/9) and keep the hits down. If he can do that expect him to be in the majors quickly. ETA: 2020

32. Andrew Wantz, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A
The 2018 7th round pick absolutely destroyed hitters in the Midwest and Pioneer leagues. He struck out 47 of the 99 batters he faced, good for 18.4 K/9. He has a low 90s fastball along with a changeup and a slider that has been the cause of the massive uptick in strikeouts. ETA: 2021

33. William English, RHP/OF
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
The Angels believed so much in what Ohtani did that they decided to draft a player who has shown an aptitude to do it as well. English is an athletic outfielder, he has good speed and a good arm from pitching. He has decent bat speed at the plate and shows some good raw power. On the mound he possesses a 88-91 MPH fastball with a curve and changeup as his secondaries. If he continues to concentrate on being a two way player his ceiling is that of a 4th outfielder and middle reliever. ETA: 2023

34. Alexander Ramirez, OF
Age: 16
2018 Highest Level: N/A
16-year-old Ramirez shows a great deal of potential. He is a good defender, has a solid approach at the plate and displays a good deal of raw power. ETA: 2025

35. Jack Kruger, C
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AA
Kruger had a very good season offensively for a catcher hitting .299/.357/.413 and made his way up to AA. Known more for his offense, Kruger is an okay defender behind the plate throwing out 29% of baserunners. His role is still up in the air, as long as his bat continues to play he can be in line for a starting job. ETA: 2020


Tier 5:
36. Nonie Williams, OF
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
When the Angels drafted Williams with their 3rd round pick in 2016 he was touted as a toolsy player. He has continued to remain that toolsy player but has yet to actually produce a lot with those tools. Nonie made the transition to the outfield in 2018 where both his and Adams’ seasons ended in a collision. He will need to iron out his hitting approach for him to continue to progress, with a ceiling of a bench role. ETA: 2022

37. Hector Yan, LHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Another project for the Angels is Yan. The lefty has a mid 90s fastball with movement and he pairs that with a hard slider. He has struggled with command in all 3 pro seasons, with 6.1 BB/9 in the last two seasons. He will probably continue to start as he tries to develop a third pitch, but ultimately will belong in the bullpen. ETA: 2023

38. Joe Gatto, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA
Gatto is a right handed starter that displays a low 90s fastball, a change up, and a curveball that he struggles to command. He excelled starting out in High-A this past season with a jump in K rate, but when moved up to AA had his worst performance since Rookie ball. His best role is in the bullpen where he can crank up the velocity and let the curveball eat. ETA: 2020

39. Jerryell Rivera, RHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
11th round pick in 2017, Rivera continues to be all projection. His fastball sits in the low 90s but he lacks command in throwing his breaking ball and conviction in throwing his change up. His delivery is incredible low effort, and in some ways resembles Andrew Heaney’s. ETA: 2023

40. Luis Pena, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AAA
Pena sits low 90s with the ability to touch 96, has a slider that projects as a plus, and he features a changeup. He lacks the command to be a starter in the majors and would be best served in the bullpen where his command issues are not such an issue. ETA: 2019

41. Brandon Sandoval, OF
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA
Sandoval has been extremely productive since being drafted in 2017. He has hit everywhere he has been and is known as a great baserunner. Last season between High A and AA Sandoval hit .298/.359/.363 with 24 SB. He lacks power which suppresses his ceiling, but he should play as a bench bat in the majors. ETA: 2020

42. David MacKinnon, 1B
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: High-A
MacKinnon has very good plate discipline as shown by his 95 walks in 2018. Unfortunately he has very little power, and as a first baseman this could likely keep him in the minors for his baseball career. ETA: 2020

43. John Swanda, RHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Starter out of Iowa whose fastball sits around 90, he has a solid change up and a slurve breaking ball. While his numbers did not look great in Orem, he did show progress from the previous season. ETA: 2023

44. Jake Lee, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Lee is a big righty that throws a mid 90s fastball, with a good change up and slider. Struck out 30 of the 99 batters he faced. ETA: 2022

45. Aaron Van Scoyoc, RHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: DNP
Scoyoc is a projectable righty. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and has 2 secondary pitches – a changeup that has good sink and a curveball that has promise. He is able to stay in the bottom of the zone with it all. Scoyoc did not pitch in 2018 after being drafted. ETA: 2023

46. Luis Alvarado, RHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Alvarado struck out 12.3 batters per 9 innings. He is armed with a mid to low 90s fastball which is pairs with a slurve. As with the other college relievers on this list has the ability to move quickly. ETA: 2021

47. Torii Hunter Jr., OF
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: High A
The former wide receiver for Notre Dame, Hunter had an up and down 2018. He began the year in A ball hitting second or third with Adell and Marsh destroying pitching around him. He was doing well but by June both Adell and Marsh were promoted to High-A and this is when Hunter began to struggle. In August his numbers did improve with the move up and being paired up with Marsh again. Hunter is a great runner and has shown that he can translate it into stolen bases, swiping 29 bags in 2018. He has good bat speed and should continue to grow as a hitter with more experience. ETA: 2022

48. Keinner Pina, C
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A
Pina is known more for his defense than his bat. He is good at controlling the run game as he threw out 49% of the baserunners in Orem in 2017. Ceiling is that of a backup catcher. ETA: 2022

49. Cristian Reyes, RHP
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
I am putting Reyes on here simply for the velocity that he has on his fastball. Not much else is known about the Angels 21st round pick other than that he hits 98. On that alone he excels more than most of the pitchers ahead of him. He pitched 12 innings as a reliever in the AZL, striking out 17.  ETA: 2022

50. Jeremy Beasley, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA
Like others on this list, Beasley pitched across 3 levels in 2018, making his way from Low-A to AA. Beasley struck out 104 batters in 111 innings and kept his walk rate down. He has a deep repertoire even if it is not overly impressive, with a four seam and two seam fastball, along with a slider, curveball, and a split-change that is his best pitch. He can command all of them well which allows for him to be successful. Beasley has the ceiling of long-relief or swingman. ETA: 2020  

3 Comments

  1. I guess Taylor Ward graduated, but after his massive year in AA/AAA (super high BABIPs) and his so-so performance in Anaheim, how does Ward’s future look since your mid-season review comments? Thx.

    • Yes, Ward did graduate (had 135 AB in majors). I’m sure Andrew will check in and give you his thoughts on Ward. The 2018 midseason rankings were written by our previous Angels correspondent so Andrew’s viewpoint may be a bit different.

    • I have been higher on Ward than most people so take that into account with my answer. Ward hit the wall in MLB (as many players do), his passive approach started to hurt him when he came to the bigs. So he needs to make the right adjustments (he has his own hitting coach so we will see the changes that they take together) and hit. I think of the 3 guys vying for the infield roster (Fletcher, Rengifo, and Ward) spot he has the highest ceiling, but also is the most volatile. I could see him give the Angels 15-20 HRs and 10 SBs given enough playing time. If he can get the average up I can see him manning the hot corner for at least a few years for the Angels. Defensively I have no worries about him and believe he will be an above average third baseman as he is athletic and has a great arm. Now given that the Angels are looking outside help in that area could mean bad things for all three of those guys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*