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Thoughts on Angels prospect Luis Rengifo

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A buy recommendation. . .

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday evening I posted the mid-season review of the Los Angeles Angels Top 20 prospects for 2018 list. The original list had been published back on February 2nd but two readers in the comments section of the review article wanted some information about Angels prospect Luis Rengifo.

Rengifo was not a member of the Angels system when the list was first written, having been traded to the Angels on March 2nd from the Tampa Bay Rays. He fell into a gap between the Rays and Angels pre-season lists so let’s correct that right now.

Bullet points thoughts/observations:

***If this were the stock market, I’d have a “buy” recommendation on Rengifo. If you are in a dynasty league or some sort of fantasy context with farm system keepers, check to see if he’s available and grab him if he is.

***He was signed out of Venezuela by the Seattle Mariners in 2014. He was traded to the Rays in August 2017 and then on to the Angels in March.

***He’s a 21-year-old switch-hitter, listed at 5-10, 165.

***In 2017 he hit .250/.316/.397 in Low-A, with 12 homers, 34 steals, and a 41/97 BB/K in 496 at-bats, not spectacular but not bad at all for a middle infielder in the pitching-oriented Midwest League.

***He opened 2018 in the High-A California League, hitting .323/.426/.466 in 161 at-bats. The Angels promoted him to Double-A and he kept hitting at .305/.420/.477 in 151 at-bats. No deterioration at the higher level, that’s what you want to see.

***He moved up to Triple-A three weeks ago and is hitting .272/.333/.420 in 81 at-bats, not spectacular by PCL/Salt Lake standards but certainly credible given his age and experience level.

***His strike zone judgment has taken a large step forward this year, with substantial increases in walk rate combined with a sharp reduction in strikeouts.

***He’s also stolen 38 bases this year and scouting reports credit him with 55-60 speed. He does need to improve his stolen base success ratio but that should come with experience.

***He can play both shortstop and second base and there’s enough quickness and arm strength to stay up the middle.

***The knock on Rengifo has been lack of raw power. I haven’t actually seen him this year but I did catch him in the Midwest League in ‘17 and I think there’s some under-rated wiry strength in his frame. He should hit plenty of doubles and triples and it would not surprise me to see him reach double-digit home runs with physical maturity.

***I had him as a Grade C+ pre-season. At this point he’s a solid Grade B and I may go with B+ entering 2019.