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Los Angeles Angels Top 20 prospects for 2018: mid-season review

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How did the Angels prospect list pan out?

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Cleveland Indians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the Los Angeles Angels

This list was originally published February 2nd, 2018

*****THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST******

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES

1) Shohei Ohtani, RHP-DH, Grade A: Age 24, Japanese superstar, made nine starts before injury, posting 3.10 ERA with 61/20 K/BB in 49 innings; hitting .257/.332/.492 with nine homers, 20 walks, 57 strikeouts in 179 at-bats; has issues with left-handed pitchers but destroys right-handers; nobody talks about his bad spring training any more.

2) Jo Adell, OF, Grade B+: Age 19, first round pick in 2017 from high school in Kentucky; hitting .299/.360/.566 with 19 homers, 26 doubles, 13 steals, 26 walks, 90 strikeouts in 341 at-bats between Low-A, High-A, and just promoted to Double-A this week; scouting reports are glowing, already elevated stock is even higher now, Top 20 prospect in all of baseball, perhaps Top 10; you can nitpick low walk rate but it hasn’t hurt him at all yet; buy now if available.

3) Jahmai Jones, OF, Grade B/B+: Age 21, second round pick in 2016 from high school in Georgia; hitting .236/.342/.377 with nine homers, 18 steals, 58 walks, 88 strikeouts in 385 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; converted to second base and has had some glitches with 20 errors, tools should play there if they give him enough time to adapt; despite low batting average his stock is level for me, still intriguing.

4) Brandon Marsh, OF, Grade B/B-: Age 20, second round pick in 2016 from Georgia high school; hit .295/.390/.470 in Low-A in 132 at-bats, promoted to High-A and stands at .253/.352/.374 in 257 at-bats; power has dropped off at the higher level but he’s young, strike zone approach has taken large step forward this year; stock holding or ticking up a bit.

5) Kevin Maitan, SS, Grade B/B-: Age 18, signed from Venezuela by the Atlanta Braves for $4,250,000 in 2016; freed due to contract irregularities and signed as a free agent with Angels this past winter; hitting .241/.311/.343 with 11 walks, 33 strikeouts in 137 at-bats in the Pioneer League; hitting mediocre and defense has been atrocious, has .741 fielding percentage at third bae and .809 at shortstop; too early to write him off but so far he has been nothing close to what was advertised when he signed with Atlanta.

6) Jaime Barria, RHP, Grade B-/B: Age 22, signed out of Panama in 2013; arrived sooner than expected in the majors and has been quite solid, 3.74 ERA in 77 innings, 56/22 K/BB, 70 hits; seems legit to me as inning-eating, strike-throwing workhorse type.

7) Griffin Canning, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, second round pick in 2017 out of UCLA, effective in Double-A (1.97, 49/19 in 46), less so in Triple-A (6.56, 37/18 in 36); has had some good starts there but PCL is merciless; command needs more tightening than I expected, stock holding.

8) Leonardo Rivas, SS, Grade B-/C+: Age 20, signed out of Venezuela in 2015, hitting .218/.349/.306 in 353 at-bats in the Midwest League, 70 walks, 111 strikeouts, 14 steals; defense has been very good; shows some patience, but needs work with swing mechanics and contact; still like his upside potential.

9) Jose Soriano, RHP, Grade C+: Age 19, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2016, throws hard, shows plus curve at his best but inconsistent, 5.40 ERA in 27 innings in Low-A, 21/18 K/BB; no mystery here, raw and inexperienced but promising.

10) Jesus Castillo, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, from Venezuela, acquired in 2016 trade with the Chicago Cubs; 4.72 ERA in 74 innings in Double-A, 44/28 K/BB, 65 hits; undistinguished season statistically, throws four average pitches, general control is ahead of his command at the moment.

11) Jose Suarez, LHP, Grade C+: Age 20, signed out of Venezuela in 2014; 4.34 ERA in 87 innings between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, 110/34 K/BB; has held his own in 11 Triple-A starts at a very young age; note high strikeout rate, sleeper to track closely, velocity has been increasing.

12) Chris Rodriguez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 19, fourth round pick in 2016 from high school in Miami, Florida; up to 96 when healthy but has been out all year with a back injury.

13) Taylor Ward, C, Grade C+: Age 24, first round pick in 2015 from Fresno State University; offensive explosion this year at .347/.444/.534 between Double-A and Triple-A; converted to third base, arm works there but still working on footwork, range, reliability; past profile was as a strong defensive catcher who might not hit; now he’s a mashing third baseman who needs glove work.

14) Matt Thaiss, 1B, Grade C+: Age 23, first round pick in 2016 from University of Virginia; hitting .285/.340/.494 with 15 homers, 34 walks, 80 strikeouts in 411 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; getting to his power more often this year, trading off some OBP for SLG; still uncertain if he’ll have enough home run sock to be an attractive first baseman but he’s definitely getting the ball in the air more this year.

15) Eduardo Paredes, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, signed out of Venezuela in 2012, 3.24 ERA in 31 innings in Triple-A, 23/11 K/BB; 7.71 ERA in 16 innings, 13/6 in the majors; will probably bounce between Triple-A and major league bullpens for the next decade.

16) Michael Hermosillo, OF, Grade C+: Age 23, 28th round pick from high school in Illinois in 2013; age 23, .277/.375/.496 with 11 homers, 10 steals, 30 walks, 80 strikeouts in 242 at-bats in Triple-A; 6-for-39 in the majors; best tool remains speed, while showing slow-but-discernable power development.

17) Luke Bard, RHP, Grade C+: Age 27, compensation round pick in 2012 by Minnesota Twins out of Georgia Tech; brother of former major league pitcher Daniel Bard; Rule 5 pick was sent back to the Twins, 5.40 ERA in 12 MLB innings, 13/5 K/BB, now in Triple-A with 4.91 ERA, 35/12 in 33 innings in AAA; another guy who will bounce around.

18) David Fletcher, SS, Grade C+: Age 24, sixth round pick in 2015 from Loyola Marymount, quoting from the pre-season report, easy to under-estimate, old-time scouts would have called him an “intangibles” player; runs well, but throwing arm is nothing special and hitting power is below average; all that said, he is a very reliable defensive shortstop who outplays his mediocre defensive tools with positioning, instincts, and impressive reliability. . .most likely a utilityman but might surprise eventually; This seems to be happening this year, .350/.395/.559 in Triple-A, .278/.321/.373 in 126 major league at-bats.

19) Osmer Morales, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, originally signed by the Seattle Mariners out of Venezuela, signed by Angels as minor league free agent; was solid in 2017 but not so much this year, 6.02 ERA in 90 innings in Triple-A, 80/51 K/BB, 106 hits; was placed on disabled list last week with undisclosed injury.

20) Brennon Lund, OF, Grade C+: Age 23, 11th round pick in 2016 from Brigham Young University; hitting .258/.340/.398 with eight homers, 21 steals, 40 walks, 96 strikeouts in 364 at-bats; stock holding, potential fourth outfielder.

OTHER GRADE C+:

Joe Gatto, RHP; Solid in High-A, 4.15 in 43 innings, 51/18 K/BB, but less interesting after moving up to Double-A, 5.59 in 58, 40/22, 64 hits; still has heavy ground ball rate

Torii Hunter, Jr, OF; Hitting .258/.336/.358 with two homers, 22 steals, 40 walks, 96 strikeouts in 341 at-bats in Low-A; can he show more power?

Jake Jewell, RHP; 3.08 ERA in 38 innings in AA/AAA, 35/19 K/BB, threw two innings in majors then broke right fibula, will miss rest of season

Luis Pena, RHP; 4.99 ERA, 97/51 K/BB in 97 innings in AA/AAA; nice whiff rate, control problematic

Brandon Sandoval, OF: Strong in High-A (.352/.403/.424), dropped off in AA (.265/.327/.329), lack of pop main issue

Discuss!