Los Angeles Angels Midseason Top 50 Prospects

For years, the Angels had one of the worst farm systems in all of baseball. However, recent drafts and a couple of trades have netted the Angels a much deeper, more star-riddled prospect class. Many of those prospects have graduated to the show, as the Angels are once again out of contention. However, the future is bright in LA, and many of these talented players will get a chance to don the Halo in no time.

There are 18 players from January’s preseason list who are not on this list; three graduates, two no longer in the organization, and 13 who were replaced by other prospects:

First, the graduates: (1) Shohei Ohtani, (6) Jaime Barria, and (12) David Fletcher.

Two players, Luke Bard (27) and Jared Foster (32) are with the Twins now.

And these players were given consideration, but have fallen off this version of the list: Eduardo Paredes (15) Cole Duensing (21) Jordan Zimmerman (28) Osmer Morales (34) Adam Hofacket (36) Jonah Wesely (37) Nathan Bates (39) Jonah Todd (41) Sam Pastrone (42) Francisco Del Valle (44) Ryan Vega (46) Jimmy Barnes (49) and Adderlin Santana (50)

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 (Preseason: 3)
Age: 19
Highest Level: AA

Adell is one of the most dynamic five-tool prospects in all of baseball. After absolutely dominating both Single-A and High-A, he has hit a slight wall at AA. But at 19 and with his tools, he will be a force to be reckoned with down the line.


Tier 2
2. Jahmai Jones, 2B (Preseason: 2)
Age: 21
Highest Level: AA

Jones underwent a position switch, now playing the position he played in high school, second base. His hitting is down a bit this season, but his power/speed combo make him a dynamic prospect, especially if he can stick defensively at the keystone.

3. Griffin Canning, RHP (Preseason: 9)
Age: 22
Highest Level: AAA

After sitting out the 2017 season because of concerns about his shoulder, Canning has absolutely blown through the minors in his first professional season. 12 starts between High-A and AA yielded a 61/22 K/BB ratio and a ticket to AAA. He’s struggled a bit at that level, but the young-right hander has a terrific four-pitch mix and elite fastball command, which should help him reach his ceiling as a No. 2 starter in the big leagues.

4. Matt Thaiss, 1B (Preseason: 8)
Age: 23
Highest Level: AAA

Thaiss reached Triple-A this season, and while his excellent walk numbers dipped a little with the promotion, his power numbers are steadily climbing. He profiles as a high-contact first baseman with excellent plate discipline, and will be a solid add in OBP formats as soon as he is promoted.

5. Taylor Ward, 3B (Preseason: 13)
Age: 24
Highest Level: Majors

Ward made the transition from catcher to third base and has absolutely thrived at the plate. He hit .345 at AA and .352 at AAA before earning his first call up to the big leagues, where he is now the Angels full-time third baseman. His high-OBP approach makes him an intriguing fantasy asset going forward, and if he can continue to tap into his power potential he has excellent potential.

6. Brandon Marsh, OF (Preseason: 5)
Age: 20
Highest Level: High-A

After two injury riddled seasons, Marsh has finally remained healthy in 2018. The results have been……underwhelming. Marsh posted an excellent 143 wRC+ at Single-A, but has a 27.3% strikeout rate and a 99 wRC+ at High-A. His nine home runs in 116 games is okay, but his high strikeout numbers and average power make him look more like a fourth outfielder than anything. He’s still young, so the potential is still there to become a five-tool center fielder down the line.

7. Jordyn Adams, OF (Preseason: NR)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie

It’s not often you see a player get a full 80-grade for speed, but that’s what made Adams a first round pick by the Angels this June. His speed and defense in CF should get him a big league job, but his hitting is still a little suspect. If he can tap into some game power (20/50 on Fangraphs) he has all the upside of a Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh. If not, his floor is a defense first fourth outfielder/pinch runner.


Tier 3:
8. Jose Suarez, LHP (Preseason: 17)
Age: 20
Highest Level: AAA

Suarez is a soft lefty with an outstanding changeup who has progressed all the way to AAA, although the results there haven’t been great. Regardless, his velocity is up a tick from last year, and he looks to be a big league No. 4 in the not-so-distant future.

9. Luis Rengifo, 2B (Preseason: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: AAA

Rengifo is probably the best contact hitter in the system, with sub-13% strikeout rates at three minor league stops. His value will depend if he can stick at SS long-term or if he will need to move to 2B. He has the floor of a high-contact utility infielder, and could develop into a top of the order middle infielder, albeit with limited power.

10. Jeremiah Jackson, SS (Preseason: NR)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie

Jackson is a SS for now, although most feel that his lack of a quick first step will eventually move him to second base. No matter, as the 2018 second rounder has the tools to be a 15-20 home run threat – if he can cut back on the strikeouts.

11. Kevin Maitan, SS (Preseason: 4)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie

I’m worried about Kevin Maitan. Concerns about his weight and his defense almost certainly mean he will be a corner infielder long-term. His 76 wRC+ in rookie ball is also concerning. Patience is key, as it’s easy to forget he is still just 18. But he’ll need to turn a corner if he is ever going to develop into the player many thought he would.

12. Chris Rodriguez, RHP (Preseason: 7)
Age: 20
Highest Level: A

Rodriguez has missed the entire 2018 season, which no doubt hurts his stock. He still reaches 96 with his heater, and has a few plus secondary pitches. His potential is there, but he’s a year behind in his development now.

13. Livan Soto, SS (Preseason: 18)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie

Soto has been touted much more for his glove, where he should be an above average SS, than his bat. However, he is hitting .300 with more walks than strikeouts as an 18-year-old, and if he can develop into an average big league hitter, there’s solid potential here.

14. Patrick Sandoval, LHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: AA

Sandoval, acquired at the trade deadline for Martin Maldonado, has continued to post impressive strikeout numbers. His fastball sits 91-93, but his curveball has incredible depth and his change and slider both flash average. He still has a ways to go, but he is slowly coming along toward his potential as a big league No. 3 starter.

15. Brennon Lund, OF (Preseason: 20)
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA

Lund’s first taste of AA last season didn’t go so hot, but he is looking much more comfortable at that level this year. He doesn’t do any one thing particularly well, but he has enough tools to be a solid fourth outfielder, and he’s only a year or so away from reaching that.

16. Jose Soriano, LHP (Preseason: 16)
Age: 19
Highest Level: A

Soriano’s control issues may hold him back, but his uptick in velocity (he sits around 93) and his solid numbers in Single-A as a 19-year-old make him an intriguing prospect.

17. Aaron Hernandez, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: N/A

The Angels shut down Hernandez, their third round pick, after he threw a hefty amount of innings his final year at Texas A&M. The right-hander gets his sinker up to 98 miles per hour with a pair of above average secondaries, giving him a high ceiling.

18. Stiward Aquino, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie

Tommy John surgery cost Aquino all of 2018, but the young right-hander has gotten his heater up into the mid-90’s. His six-foot-six frame and good feel for his changeup could make him an interesting SP prospect, although he has a ways to go.

19. Michael Hermosillo, OF (Preseason: 10)
Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB

Hermosillo has absolutely dominated at AAA over the last two years, but his 17 big league games this season have been bad. He is a fourth outfielder at best, albeit a toolsy one.

20. Leonardo Rivas, 2B (Preseason: 11)
Age: 20
Highest Level: A

Rivas got his first taste of full season ball this year, and continued to display excellent plate discipline and speed. His profile looks more like a utility infielder, and his limited power will hurt his future fantasy value.

21. D’Shawn Knowles, OF (Preseason: 43)
Age: 17
Highest Level: Rookie

A 17-year-old who is raking in rookie ball will always turn heads, but Knowles’ future is still so hard to determine. He’s slight of build, and unless he fills into some raw power he likely profiles as a bench bat. However, he has raw talent and at 17, has a lot of room to grow. Overall, he’s hard to judge, but you have to like what you’ve seen so far.

22. William English, RHP/OF (Preseason: NR)
Age: 17
Highest Level: Rookie

It’s too early to call him the next Shohei Ohtani, but the Angels have something interesting here with English. His fastball sits in the low-90’s, with most scouts believing his future is as a pitcher. He is a long way away, but will be one of the most fun Angels prospects to follow going forward.

23. Luis Madero, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: High-A

Madero’s first taste of High-A ball has gone very well. The skinny right-hander tops out around 92, which limits his upside to a No. 4/5 starter. However, his numbers are getting him closer and closer to reaching that potential.

24. Jerryell Rivera, LHP (Preseason: 35)
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie

Rivera was widely considered a steal in the 11th round by the Angels back in 2016. He’s a big left-hander with an athletic build and a good delivery. A troubling drop in strikeouts and a continuing concern about throwing strikes still linger, but at 19 he still has plenty of time to reach his ceiling as a No. 3 starter.


Tier 4
25. Jesus Castillo, RHP (Preseason: 19)
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

Other scouting reports are higher on Castillo, but his ceiling is that of a No. 4 or 5 starter, and his lack of strikeout stuff (5.73 K/9 this year) limit his appeal. He looks like a middle reliever to me.

26. Kyle Bradish, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: N/A

Bradish was the Angels fourth round pick in June’s draft. he has the makings of a big league starter, with a solid four-pitch mix and a fastball that reaches 96. After throwing a lot of innings at New Mexico State, LA chose to shut him down for the rest of 2018.

27. Nate Smith, LHP (Preseason: 23)
Age: 26
Highest Level: AAA

Smith has only thrown 15 innings since the start of the 2017 season, and will miss the entire 2018 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. He has a solid four-pitch mix and good command, but is 26 now and has a ways to go before he can reach his ceiling as a No. 5 starter.

28. John Swanda, RHP (Preseason: 47)
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie

Swanda was primarily a shortstop when the Angels made the high schooler a fourth round pick in 2017 – to be a pitcher. He understandably has a long way to go to get the feel of pitching down, but his strong strikeout and walk numbers in rookie ball indicate he is on the right track.

29. Trent Deveaux, OF (Preseason: 22)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie

This 18-year-old from the Bahamas absolutely oozes raw tools, but a swing change has lead to a ghastly 35.1% strikeout ratio in rookie ball. There’s plenty of time for a youngster like Deveaux to figure it out, but his professional debut has left some to be desired.

30. Jose Natera, RHP (Preseason: 40)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie

Natera is one of the most volatile arms in the Angels system, but his potential is higher than a lot of the middling arms around him. The 18-year-old has cut his walk rate in half this season, a promising sign of maturity for the youngster.

31. Jake Jewell, RHP (Preseason: 14)
Age: 25
Highest Level: Majors

Jewell has electric stuff, but has yet to parlay that into a lot of success. The Angels finally bit the bullet and moved him to the bullpen, but a leg injury will cost him the rest of 2018. A future in the late innings is possible for Jewell, who can get up to 96 with his fastball.

32. Brendon Sanger, OF (Preseason: 26)
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA

Sanger’s defense limits him to a corner outfield spot, or even potentially a DH. His trademark patience at the plate has carried over to AA, but his power hasn’t – which is a problem if he wants to be anything more than a bench bat.

33. Ty Buttrey, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 25
Highest Level: Majors

Buttrey struggled when he was relegated to the bullpen last year, but his 2018 season has seen him post elite strikeout numbers, which earned him a trade to the Angels and a brief promotion to the big leagues. Buttrey’s fastball has hit 101 miles per hour, but it’s straight and his average secondaries may keep him in a middle relief role down the line.

34. Luis Pena, RHP (Preseason: 29)
Age: 23
Highest Level: AAA

Pena has decent stuff, but it hasn’t lead to a lot of success as a starter. His stuff will play much better in a bullpen role, although the Angels have stubbornly left him in the rotation.


Tier 5:
35. Joe Gatto, RHP (Preseason: 33)
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA

It was not too long ago that Gallo was considered by some outlets to be the Angels’ #1 prospect. Things have changed. Similar to Pena, Gatto has remained a starter despite subpar results this season. Unless things change dramatically and soon, Gatto will be working out of the bullpen in short order, where his stuff should play up considerably.

36. Nonie Williams, OF (Preseason: 24)
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie

Age is still on Williams’ side, but the converted shortstop has even more pressure on his bat now that he profiles as a big league left fielder. His bat has yet to come around, and if it doesn’t soon it’s hard to see a big league future for this kid.

37. Hector Yan, LHP (Preseason: 45)
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie

Yan is a 19-year-old left-hander with a ton of strikeout potential. His control is terrible, and unless that straightens out he likely won’t reach the show. But he’s an interesting arm to keep an eye on.

38. Denny Brady, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: A

Brady was a seventh-rounder in 2017. He has shown solid command of the strike zone and decent strikeout stuff in his first taste of full-season ball this season.

39. Andrew Wantz, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 22
Highest Level: A

Wantz has struck out 47 hitters in just 22.2 professional innings, and has the makings of a future late-inning reliever if he can display plus command at the higher levels.

40. Connor Justus, SS (Preseason: 30)
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA

Justus is a big league capable defender at shortstop, and has displayed excellent plate discipline in the minors. His hit tool is lacking however, limiting him to a future as a glove-first utility infielder at best.

41. Torii Hunter Jr., OF (Preseason: NR)
Age: 23
Highest Level: High-A

Hunter’s incredible speed is evident and should land him a big league job as a pinch-runner, if his hit tool doesn’t ever develop. If it does, he could be a fourth outfielder.

42. Raider Uceta, OF (Preseason: NR)
Age: 17
Highest Level: Rookie

An international signee in 2017, Uceta made his way to rookie ball this season. He still has a long ways to go, but if he grows into his body he could be a steal for the Halos.

43. Austin Warren, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 22
Highest Level: A

Like Wantz, Warren is a flame-throwing reliever who might have a future in the late-innings of a big league bullpen.

44. Michael Barash, C (Preseason: NR)
Age: 23
Highest Level: AAA

Barash has shown excellent plate discipline, but a weak arm and a lack of power at the plate may be his undoing. At best, he could be a high-OBP backup catcher.

45. Zach Houchins, 1B/3B (Preseason: 38)
Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA

Houchins is a rare Angels prospect with a little pop in his bat, but his lack of a defensive profile will likely make him a platoon bat in the big leagues. He may not be too far away from reaching that ceiling, however.

46. Jose Rodriguez, RHP (Preseason: 25)
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

Rodriguez is pitching fine at AA this year, but his profile suggests a long reliever or occasional spot-starter at best, and from a fantasy perspective that has little to no value.

47. Bo Way, OF (Preseason: NR)
Age: 26
Highest Level: AAA

Way is stinging the ball at Triple-A, but a 26-year-old with absolutely no power is likely limited to a fourth/fifth outfielder role at best.

48. Julio Garcia, UTL (Preseason: 31)
Age: 21
Highest Level: A

Garcia’s first taste of A-ball has him showing excellent defensive versatility. Unfortunately, his bat still hasn’t developed and until it does he will be stuck in the minors.

49. Brett Hanewich, RHP (Preseason: NR)
Age: 23
Highest Level: High-A

Hanewich is another hard throwing relief prospect with a ton of strikeout potential but limited control. If he can reign it in, he could be a 7/8 inning guy.

50. Sherman Johnson, UTL (Preseason: 48)
Age: 28
Highest Level: AAA

Johnson is 28 and therefore hard to consider a prospect still. However, he has continued to demonstrate elite plate discipline numbers, and can adequately play every infield and most outfield positions. He could make a high-OBP, glove first utility infielder if the Angels give him a chance.


Others given consideration: Eduardo Paredes, Osmer Morales, Daniel Procopio, Cristopher Molina, Jonah Todd.

Featured image of Matt Thaiss – via Salt Lake Bees on Twitter (@SaltLakeBees)

About Andy Patton 10 Articles
Andy Patton covers the Milwaukee Brewers minor league system for Prospects1500. He is on his third fantasy baseball writing gig, also writing for Pitcher List and RotoBaller. He also covers the Detroit Tigers at FanSided's Motor City Bengals and dabbles with the gridiron, writing about the Seahawks for USA TODAY.

1 Comment

  1. 50 prospects is a lot to tackle. Thank you for doing this – it was a very interesting read for an Angels fan like me. I’ve thought of posting a top 50 ranking but am glad you got there first. I am surprised that Jared Walsh and Jack Kruger didn’t make the top 50. The makeup / work ethic of both players is off the charts, their progression through the system has been rapid and their statistical contributions at high minor league levels this year would seem to warrant consideration for Tier 4 or Tier 5. Walsh has shot up three levels and demonstrates a decent combination of left-handed on base and power skills. Not bad for a 39th rounder out of U of GA. As for Kruger, it’s rare you see a catcher display a little bit of every tool. He has a reputation for out-working everyone with a focus on fine-tuning his receiving skills and overall conditioning. Both players could start 2019 at Salt Lake and would be poised to contribute soon. Thank you again for what you wrote.

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