We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Los Angeles Angels Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST.
THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.
THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES.
1) Matt Thaiss, 1B, Grade B: Age 22, first round pick in 2016 from University of Virginia; hitting .277/.366/.391 between High-A and Double-A; showing polished approach and keen batting eye as expected but with questions about game power, also as expected.
2) Jahmai Jones, OF, Grade B: Age 20, second round pick in 2015, hitting .284/.346/.438 with 12 homers, 24 steals between Low-A and High-A; strong overall tools and skills are steadily improving, has moved ahead of Thaiss if we updated this list.
3) Taylor Ward, C, Grade C+: Age 23, first round pick in 2015 from Fresno State; hitting .261/.380/.404 between High-A and Double-A; impressive strike zone judgment and power has increased a bit; retains strong defensive reputation.
4) Alex Meyer, RHP, Grade C+: Age 27, acquired from Minnesota Twins in 2016 summer deadline trade; currently out with shoulder inflammation (not the first time he’s had that) but was generally effective when healthy despite control problems, 3.74 ERA in 67 MLB innings, 75/42 K/BB. Durability and consistency remain the concerns, as they have been for years.
5) Brandon Marsh, OF, Grade C+: Age 19, second round pick in 2016 from high school in Georgia; career started late due to back injury but he’s in action now and ripping up the Pioneer League, .395/.453/.645 through 76 at-bats. It is early yet but this is obviously a fine start and will move him up the list quickly if it continues.
6) Keynan Middleton, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, third round pick in 2013 from Lane Community College; decent year in major league pen, 4.12 ERA in 39 innings, 42/14 K/BB, 40 hits; approaches 100 and command has improved considerably over last two seasons.
7) Nate Smith, LHP, Grade C+: Age 25, eighth round pick in 2013 from Furman; has thrown just 15 innings this year (albeit with zero runs allowed and a 14/2 K/BB) between rehab and Triple-A, has missed most of the season with injuries.
8) Grayson Long, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, third round pick in 2015 from Texas A&M; 3.05 ERA in 115 innings between High-A and Double-A, 107/39 K/BB; very solid year, fourth starter potential that would play up if used in bullpen.
9) Chris Rodriguez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 19, fourth round pick in 2016 from high school in Miami; difficult season so far with 6.63 ERA in 38 innings between Pioneer League and Low-A, 38/8 K/BB, 41 hits; the high ERA overstates matters and the K/BB is more indicative of his long-term potential. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.
10) Vicente Campos, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, posted 3.22 ERA with 120/43 KBB in 143 innings, 125 hits; played for five different teams in 2016 being traded from Yankees to Diamondbacks, now with Angels after November 2016 waiver claim; also known as Jose Campos; long history of injuries including Tommy John in 2014, has missed almost entire season with more elbow issues but is now back in action in rookie ball rehab.
12) David Fletcher, INF, Grade C+: Age 23, sixth round pick in 2015 out of Loyola Marymount; .267/.323/.331 between Double-A and Triple-A, 17 steals; speed and defense best attributes, future utlityman.
13) Connor Justus, SS, Grade C+: Age 22, fifth round pick out of Georgia Tech in ’16; hitting just .205/.324/.315 in High-A, has drawn 53 walks but has struggled to hit for average; I thought he would do better than this and he still may eventually.
14) Abel De Los Santos, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, from Dominican Republic, originally in Rangers system, then traded to Nationals, then claimed on waivers by Reds, then claimed on waivers by Angels last fall; innings limited by injuries but effective when healthy, 3.16 ERA in 26 innings in Double-A with 28/6 K/BB, another bullpen option for the future.
15) Eduardo Paredes. RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, signed out of Venezuela in 2012, excellent in high minors (2.17 ERA, 52/19 K/BB in 46 innings) and successful so far in majors, 1.64 ERA in 11 innings, 6/3 K/BB; another relief arm of quality.
16) Jaime Barria, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, signed out of Panama in 2013; 2.88 ERA in 122 innings between High-A and Double-A, 102/27 K/BB; succeeds with control but whiff rate is moving up and he deserves more attention than he’s received thus far.
17) Michael Hermosillo, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, 28th round pick in 2013 from high school in Illinois; hitting combined .259/.367/.377 between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, 29 steals, 51 walks, 101 whiffs in 371 at-bats; will need more power to avoid tweenerdom.
18) Elvin Rodriguez, RHP, Grade C+/C: Age 19, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014; 2.76 ERA in 49 innings in the Pioneer League, 46/8 K/BB, 43 hits; that’s quite good for the environment; scouting reports will be illuminating.
19) Cole Duensing, RHP, Grade C+/C: Age 19, sixth round pick in 2016 from high school in Kansas; 5.40 ERA in 23 innings between Arizona and Pioneer Leagues, 13/14 K/BB, was supposed to be raw and he is.
20) Osmer Morales, RHP, Grade C: Age 24, from Venezuela, originally signed by Mariners but picked up as minor league free agent last winter; 4.40 ERA in 102 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 104/42 K/BB; back-end starter or long relief type.
2017 draftee Jordon Adell would go right to the top of a revised list.