Los Angeles Angels Top 30 Prospects

1. Jo Adell, OF

Age: 19 (4/8/99)

Highest Level: AA

.290/.355/.543, 20 HR, .253 ISO, 143 wRC+, 7.3% BB, 25.2% K, 15 SB

The Angels struck gold when they selected Adell with the tenth overall pick in the 2017 draft. At the time Adell was regarded as a highly physical kid, but one that came with extreme risk. He had a frustrating showcase circuit but the athleticism and work ethic was enough to place him firmly in the first round. Fast forward to now and he’s still that high waisted, broad shouldered kid but he’s refined his game and climbed all the way to Double-A at 19.

Adell went to Ballard High School in Louisville and had a commitment to join the Cardinals if the Angels didn’t meet his bonus demands, which they did by paying him $4.4 million. His final amateur season produced some of the craziest numbers I’ve seen anywhere. Adell hit .562 with 25 homers in 35 games during his senior season. Ridiculous. He’s produced at every stop in the minors except for his brief 17-game sample in Double-A, and should report there to start 2019.

Adell can do it all on the baseball field. He is one of the best athletes to ever put on a baseball uniform. He has an elite combination of power and speed with the bat, work ethic and makeup to be a star. The speed plays defensively, and he’s a good baserunner but I don’t think it will show in big stolen base totals. He has a cannon for an arm and would fit in perfectly in right field next to Trout. There’s a bit of swing and miss here, but who doesn’t have that in this era? The bat stays through the zone a long time, which points to more pitch recognition issues than a mechanical flaw. He murders fastballs and is prone to chasing breaking balls, especially ones below the knees. Consistent hard contact and top-end speed will allow him to post strong averages despite a strikeout rate in the 25% range. Adell will begin 2019 in Double-A, and see significant big league time in 2020. ETA: 2020.

2. Griffin Canning, RHP

Age: 22 (5/11/96)

Highest Level: AAA

113.1 IP, 3.65 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 9.93 K/9, 3.49 BB/9, .233 AVG

Canning was the Angels second rounder (47th overall) in the same 2017 draft that produced Adell. The former UCLA Bruin dominated Double-A Mobile posting a 1.97 ERA and over a strikeout per inning before getting promoted to Salt Lake City where he struggled. Canning has an athletic, wiry build at 6-foot-2 180 pounds, and he has added strength and velocity since his college days. Canning was in the low-90s while at UCLA, but now gets it up to 94-95. The fastball headlines a balanced four-pitch arsenal, but it comes with a pair of above-average breaking balls and a changeup that has potential to get to that point with some refinement. He relied on his changeup more while at UCLA, but has gone more towards the breaking balls since entering the Angels organization.

Canning throws strikes and repeats his delivery consistently. It features a pronounced dip while he pushes off his plant leg with his ass moving towards first base that causes him to throw across his body ever so slightly in order to clear his front leg. It’s not anything I’m concerned about, but I just wanted to point out that there’s some effort in the delivery. Some issues with his MRI and heavy collegiate workload caused the Angels to shut Canning down after drafting him, but he reached Triple-A in his first professional season on the mound and made 25 starts. Canning should arrive in Anaheim sometime in 2019, but his ceiling will ultimately depend on the changeup. He throws enough strikes and has three above-average or better offerings which puts the (healthy) floor at somewhere around a mid-rotation arm. If he can unlock a bit more in that changeup you could get a number two-starter here. ETA: 2019.

3. Jahmai Jones, 2B

Age: 21 (3/3/97)

Highest Level: AA

.239/.337/.380, 10 HR, .141 ISO, 101 wRC+, 12% BB, 20.4% K, 24 SB

Jones was the 70th overall pick in the 2015 draft out of the Georgia prep ranks. He comes from an athletic family which saw his dad and two brothers play college football. The Angels were able to sign him away from a University of North Carolina commitment by giving him just over $1 million.

Jones reported to big league camp this year after getting an invite, and it was there that the team announced that Jones was going to transition back to second base, which he hadn’t played since high school. As you can expect he needs to clean up some of the minor things defensively, but the experiment went as well as possible on the defensive side, but I do think it played a part in his down year at the plate. He has a power over hit skill base with strong on-base skills. I do think there’s more power in the bat than he’s shown, and our own Jason Pennini had this to say about Jones after his AFL looks:

“The first thing I think about with Jahmai Jones is his hands. They are really strong, and they allow for plus bat speed and under the radar power. Jones is an ideal candidate for a #NumbersLie column as his 2018 regular season slug of .380 is not representative of his true talent level. For me he is a bat-first second baseman with fringe-average to average defense as he re-acclimates to the position.”

I came into this off-season as the low guy on Jones, and probably still am, but a second baseman with the potential for 20+ homers and 15+ steals is one that should be on everyone’s radar. Jones should start 2019 in Double-A, and could get a call-up in September. ETA: 2020.

4. Brandon Marsh, OF

Age: 21 (12/18/97)

Highest Level: A+

.266/.359/.408, 10 HR, .141 ISO, 113 wRC+, 12.6% BB, 27.3% K, 14 SB

The Angels selected Brandon Marsh with the 60th overall pick in the 2016 draft and signed him for full slot even after finding a stress-reaction in his back during a post draft physical. They understandably held him out of official games after the draft, but he did take batting practice and do some work at their complex in Arizona. He made his debut in the Arizona League in 2017 and fared well, and was sent to full-season ball to start 2018. Marsh flashed some power and speed in the Midwest League, but struggled to show that power in game after a promotion to the Cal League.

A healthy introduction to full-season ball was the most important thing here, and Marsh passed that test by playing in 127 games. His stat line doesn’t pop out at you anywhere (except the walk rate), but he’s as raw as it comes and added 32 doubles to the ten homers and 14 steals, showing that above-average power potential. The hope is that some of those doubles become homers with more experience. The athleticism shows more in the field and on the bases than it does in the box, as he can be a bit robotic looking at times at the plate. The swing has length issues and his eye hasn’t fully developed yet, so he will likely always be prone to strikeouts. Defensively is where Marsh shines, as he was seemingly created to play centerfield with his plus arm and plus speed. Marsh has five-tool potential but it comes with a considerable amount of risk. More risk than traditionally comes with a top-five prospect in an organization. Marsh should split 2019 between High-A and Double-A, with an eye towards the big leagues in 2020/2021. ETA: 2021.

5. Jordyn Adams, OF

Age: 19 (10/18/99)

Highest Level: ROK

.267/.361/.381, 0 HR, .114 ISO, 108 wRC+, 11.5% BB, 24.6% K, 5 SB

Adams was a two-sport star with a commitment to play football and baseball for the University of North Carolina, and if you’ve seen that video of him dunking a basketball you can probably make the case that he could’ve been a star in that sport too. Athletes. This system has them and I love them. The 6-foot-2 Adams has a wiry but projectable body. His bat speed is plus, and the speed is double-plus. Raw isn’t even the appropriate word here to describe Adams. He has all the tools and athleticism to be a dynamic center fielder on both sides of the ball, but there’s significant work to do on all facets of his game. He needs to take better reads in the outfield, but he makes up for some of those short-comings by covering an insane amount of ground. Offensively, Adams has the body and the skills to go in any direction. He’s a blank canvas. He can develop more power and become a middle of the order bat, or stick to the speed aspects and hit near the top of the order. The hit tool is the weakest present tool though, so there is some significant risk here. Adams season ended in Orem by a nasty collision which resulted in a broken jaw. ETA: 2023.

6. Luis Rengifo, 2B/SS

Age: 22 (2/26/97)

Highest Level: AAA

.299/.399/.452, 7 HR, .153 ISO, 134 wRC+, 12.7% BB, 12.7% K, 41 SB

Rengifo is the biggest riser on this list over the last year or so. The Mariners signed Rengifo for $360,000 out of Venezuela in 2014, but he was sent to the Rays as part of the package for RHP Ryan Garton and C Mike Marjama. The Rays then flipped Rengifo straight up to the Angels for 1B/DH C.J. Cron. Rengifo flew through the Angels system in 2018, going from High-A all the way to the cusp of the big leagues. The plate skills here are elite, and his walk to strikeout ratio was 1:1 across all three levels. The switch-hitter should stick up the middle, but I don’t think he’s a shortstop. He’s more than likely a second baseman but has a chance to be an above-average defender at the keystone.

The stolen bases jump out at you, but the 41 steals is a misleading number. He’s an advanced baserunner with just average speed, but he’s instinctual and can be counted on for 15-20 steals with regular playing time. Rengifo should see the big leagues in 2019, and could push David Fletcher for the second base job. ETA: 2019.

7. Patrick Sandoval, LHP

Age: 22 (10/18/96)

Highest Level: AA

122.1 IP, 2.06 ERA, 2.39 FIP, 10.67 K/9, 2.13 BB/9, .195 AVG

The Astros picked Sandoval in the 12th round of the 2015 draft despite a commitment to the University of Southern California. It cost them $900,000, but the Astros were able to get Sandoval to sign on the dotted line. The Angels picked up Sandoval at the deadline in a deal for C Martin Maldonado. He’s an advanced pitch ability guy with four pitches that he can throw for strikes. The fastball sits around 92-93 but can be straight at times. The best of his pitches is the straight change with good depth and fade. He throws a curveball and slider that don’t miss many bats but play up due to his ability to sequence. I’m a fan of the curveball and think there’s more there. The issue is he traditionally works low in the zone with the heater, which doesn’t mix well with a big 12-6 curveball.

He utilizes an abbreviated windup with a max effort finish that borderlines on violent, especially when he reaches back for more velocity. Sandoval fits the mold as a number four starter for me. High floor makes up for general lack of high-end upside. Sandoval should start 2019 in Double-A. ETA: 2020.

8. Jose Suarez, LHP

Age: 21 (1/3/98)

Highest Level: AAA

117 IP, 3.92 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 10.92 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, .265 AVG

The Angels signed the left-handed Suarez for $300,000 out of Venezuela in 2014. He enjoyed a Rengifo-like climb through the rungs of the Angels system in 2018. He started in High-A and ended the season in Triple-A Salt Lake City. Suarez flipped a switch when he was in the Midwest League in 2017 and began missing bats at an elite level, and has continued to strike out over a batter per inning until his Triple-A stop this year.

His fastball sits around 92, and he can jump it up to 95 when he needs to. His changeup is the best pitch with some sink and deception. His curveball also flashes plus and can become more of a swing-and-miss offering with more refinement. Suarez doesn’t throw as many strikes consistently as Sandoval, and is more volatile which is why I ranked them where I did. The ceiling is higher here, but concerns with a maxed out body that will require maintenance and throwing strikes drop him down. Suarez will be one phone call away to start 2019, but could reach the big leagues in the second half. ETA: 2019.

9. Matt Thaiss, 1B

Age: 23 (5/6/95)

Highest Level: AAA

.280/.335/.467, 16 HR, .187 ISO, 113 wRC+, 7.6% BB, 17.9% K, 8 SB

He did it. Thaiss finally found a way to hit for more power. The former Virginia Cavalier was the Angels first rounder in 2016, and the Angels immediately removed him from behind the plate and moved him to first in an attempt to draw as much as possible out of the bat. He was able to up his flyball rate to around 41-42% without altering the plate approach too much. He did walk less, but the trade off is still one the Angels and Thaiss would make again and again. I don’t think Thaiss ever becomes a star, but a first baseman in the Mitch Moreland mold is a realistic outcome here. A valuable asset through his controllable seasons. Thaiss should see Anaheim sometime in 2019. ETA: 2019.

10. D’Shawn Knowles, OF

Age: 18 (1/16/2001)

Highest Level: ROK

.311/.391/.464, 7 HR, .153 ISO, 130 wRC+, 11.1% BB, 25.7% K, 9 SB

Knowles was yet another international signee from the Bahamas, and he was in the same class as Diamondbacks stud Kristian Robinson and organization mate Trent Deveaux. Knowles had an impressive debut season as he touched two levels of Rookie ball despite only being seventeen years old and was well above-average offensively at both stops. He’s an extremely passive hitter and he works counts well. I think ultimately his K rate will settle closer to the 20% range as the umpires get better as he climbs the rungs of the minor leagues.

Knowles’ plus speed, and strong arm make him a good fit for centerfield, and his bat-to-ball skills put him in the conversation to hit at the top of future Angels lineups. Knowles would rank much higher on this list if it was strictly fantasy based. He has enough upside to take a gamble on. ETA: 2023.

11. Ty Buttrey, RHP

Age: 26 (3/31/93)

Highest Level: MLB

49 IP, 2.20 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 13.59 K/9, 2.76 BB/9, .205 AVG- AAA

16.1 IP, 3.31 ERA, 1.63 FIP, 11.02 K/9, 2.76 BB/9, .231 AVG- MLB

For a team that needed bullpen help in 2018 it was weird that the Red Sox didn’t give Buttrey a shot and instead traded him and LHP Williams Jerez to the Angels for 2B Ian Kinsler. Oh well, it obviously worked out well for all parties.

Buttrey can touch triple digits with the heater and compliments it with a slider that misses bats and a changeup. Buttrey made significant strides forward with his command in 2018, and those gains followed him in his MLB stint which even saw him take the closer role in Los Angeles. He should be in the mix for that role going forward. The combination of three above-average or better pitches, his ability to miss bats and get ground balls and throw strikes should make him an above-average reliever during his cost-controlled seasons for the Angels. ETA: 2019.

12. Jeremiah Jackson, SS

Age: 19 (3/26/2000)

Highest Level: ROK

.254/.314/.491, 7 HR, .237 ISO, 110 wRC+, 7.9% BB, 30.9% K, 10 SB

The Angels grabbed Jackson with the 57th overall pick in this past June’s draft. Jackson is yet another freakish athlete in a system stocked full of them. The Alabama prep is an offense first middle infielder due to his above-average power and hit tools. His athleticism doesn’t translate as well in the box as you might think as the swing isn’t as fluid as it can be, and he doesn’t incorporate his lower half enough. Despite that, he still has wiry strength which showed with his seven homers in 43 games. Jackson also flashed plus speed and nabbed ten bags to go with those seven homers, and that 60 speed/50 hit/55 power combination potentially makes him a future fantasy stud at the six.

The big concern here is the swing and miss element in Jackson’s game. He has struggled with timing and has ditched his leg kick and gone to a more simplistic but un-athletic approach with his lower half. As far as a defensive home, the arm might push Jackson to second base, but the hands are good enough to stick at shortstop. ETA: 2022.

13. Chris Rodriguez, RHP

Age: 20 (7/20/98)

Highest Level: DNP

DNP- Back Injury

C-Rod was the Angels fourth round pick in 2016 out of the Miami area. The 6-foot-2 righty has a solid build but looks like he has the frame to add weight, especially in the lower half. The delivery is athletic but violent and it has a significant head-whack that is likely the root cause of his shaky command, but he does repeat it and throw strikes. Locating in the strike zone is a different thing all together though. Rodriguez has the most upside of any arm in the system if he can stay healthy. That’s the issue here. A stress reaction in his back cost Rodriguez all of 2018, but he should be ready to go this spring. When he’s going right the fastball and slider both get plus grades, and he rounds out his four-pitch mix with an above-average hook and an average change. Rodriguez has the upside of a number two starter or dominant late game reliever. ETA: 2022.

14. Livan Soto, SS/2B

Age: 18 (6/22/2000)

Highest Level: ROK

.291/.385/.349, 0 HR, .058 ISO, 101 wRC+, 12% BB, 12% K, 9 SB

Soto came to the Angels after being part of that Braves fiasco that wiped out most of their international class. The halos gave Soto an additional $850,000 bonus the first day he was eligible to sign after his $1 million dollar deal with the Braves was void. Soto is the best defensive infielder in the organization and the defensive skills are good enough to get him to the majors on their own. The offense is significantly behind the defense, but its making strides. The plate skills are plus, as Soto walked as much as he struck out despite lacking the strength to drive the ball. He’s a line drive hitter that utilizes the opposite field more than he does his pull-side, but I do believe he could hit as many as ten homers a season at his peak just because of how fundamentally strong the swing is. Superior defenders like this have elite-hand eye coordination and often develop power late in their careers. Obviously it’s been an unusual beginning to Soto’s pro career thus far, but I believe the defense is good enough to keep him in the lineup and the bat will catch up eventually. He primarily played shortstop last year but did also spend some time at the keystone, as his lack of foot speed might make him a better fit there. ETA: 2023.

15. Michael Hermosillo, OF

Age: 24 (1/17/95)

Highest Level: MLB

.267/.357/.480, 12 HR, .212 ISO, 117 wRC+, 9.3% BB, 26.9% K, 10 SB- AAA

.211/.274/.333, 1 HR, .123 ISO, 70 wRC+, 4.8% BB, 27.4% K, 0 SB- MLB

The Angels drafted the University of Illinois commit in the 28th round and signed him for $100,000, which is big money for a late round signing. Hermosillo has put together a strong pro career thus far and even got the call to the bigs in 2018. There’s a bit of power and speed here making him an intriguing late round flier for your fantasy league. The skills are average across the board. Heromsillo is likely a long-term fourth outfielder, but the power took a step forward in 2018 and there’s a chance there’s more in there. ETA: 2018.

16. Jesus Castillo, RHP

Age: 23 (8/27/95)

Highest Level: AA

98.1 IP, 4.94 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 5.49 K/9, 2.84 BB/9, .259 AVG

A Venezuelan righty with a little bit of funk, Castillo relies more on groundballs and weak contact than he does missing bats. His windup is a unique one that features the hands going over the head, and then a slight pause before he separates and delivers the pitch, adding just enough deception. Castillo is lean, and should add some mass to his 6-foot-2 frame. The fastball is below average currently and it needs that extra oomf to tick up to an average pitch. Castillo’s curveball is a 12-6 offering that plays up due to his over-the-top delivery. His changeup should be an average pitch as well. 2019 will be an important season for Castillo. He’s going to nee to miss more bats to survive in the Pacific Coast League. Castillo projects as a number five starter. ETA: 2020.

17. Leonardo Rivas, SS/2B

Age: 21 (10/10/97)

Highest Level: A-

.234/.354/.333, 5 HR, .100 ISO, 103 wRC+, 15.1% BB, 25.2% K, 16 SB

Rivas was signed for $40,000 out of Venezuela in 2014, and at the time he became the best defensive infielder in the organization (neck and neck with Soto now). He’s a switch-hitter that hits the ball hard, but still needs to add strength, and the five homers (and 29 total extra-base hits in 2018) were a career high to this point. He’s a plus runner and can take a walk, but he has an issue making contact consistently as his 25% K rate shows. He doesn’t hit for enough power currently to get away with a strikeout every four plate appearances. A more contact oriented approach would do wonders here. The speed/OBP/defense up the middle could make him a valuable asset. ETA: 2022.

18. Kyle Bradish, RHP

Age: 22 (9/12/96)

Highest Level: DNP

DNP Workload

Bradish was a relatively unknown arm out of New Mexico State until a strong showing in the Cape Cod League in 2017 put him on the map. His fastball sits 91-93 but plays up because his delivery offers some natural deception. It’s a straight over-the-top motion that begins with his glove hand up over his head before coming directly over the top. His 12-6 curveball also plays up due to the arm action. He also throws a slider and a changeup. The Angels were enamored enough by the present skills and projectable 6-foot-4, 190 pound frame that they selected Bradish in the fourth round this year. He didn’t pitch after getting draft due to his 101 inning season for New Mexico State. Bradish has mid-rotation upside. ETA: 2021.

19. Jose Soriano, RHP

Age: 20 (10/20/98)

Highest Level: A-

46.1 IP, 4.47 ERA, 4.47 FIP, 8.16 K/9, 6.80 BB/9, .214 AVG

The Angels signed Soriano for $70,000 out of the Dominican Republic and it appears they have something here. Soriano has undergone a significant physical transformation since entering the organization as he has grown several inches and has added strength and velocity. He’s still extremely raw, but he can spin a breaking ball and has quick, whippy arm action. He’s got a slender build with some significant body projection still to come.

Soriano is essentially a ball of clay that the Angels can choose what to create with. Soriano has the two-pitch mix to thrive in a bullpen, but its too early to give up on this kid as a starter as the changeup is still developing. The Dominican righty has some timing issues in his delivery that make the command even worse than it is. The recent growth spurt might play a part in this. The biggest objective for Soriano in 2019 will be to build innings. Soriano has a big arm with the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter or late inning reliever, just don’t hold your breath as it will be a while. ETA: 2022.

20. Jose Rojas, INF

Age: 26 (2/24/93)

Highest Level: AAA

.289/.355/.501, 17 HR, .213 ISO, 139 wRC+, 8.9% BB, 20.7% K, 10 SB

1,085 players were taken off the board before the Angels called Jose Rojas’ name in the 36th round of the 2016 draft. (Do they even call 36th rounders?) Only a handful have had a better pro career than Rojas at this point. The Vanguard University alum played primarily first base in 2018 as he split time between Double-A and Triple-A, but he also spent time at third, second and in the outfield corners. Rojas has hit everywhere, and was a Cal League all-star last year and even defeated Josh Naylor in the homerun derby. The lefty is a gap-to-gap hitter but he does have some pull side power. He fits best as a third baseman, but can also play a passable second base. Rojas has the makings of an offensive-minded utility option, and would be ranked much higher on this list if he wasn’t already 26. Rojas should see time with the Angels this summer. ETA: 2019.

21. Luis Madero, RHP

Age: 24 (12/15/94)

Highest Level: A+

105.2 IP, 3.49 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 8.09 K/9, 2.30 BB/9, .264 AVG

The Diamondbacks sent Madero to the Angels for reliever David Hernandez at the 2017 trade deadline. Madero had a strong 2018 campaign which saw the results match the stuff. His velocity jumped up to 94 MPH this summer. Madero has good command and extension of his fastball. His curveball flashes plus. The Angels added Madero to the 40-man roster this winter. ETA: 2021.

22. Jared Walsh, 1B/OF/LHP

Age: 25 (7/30/93)

Highest Level: AAA

.277/.359/.536, 29 HR, .258 ISO, 137 wRC+, 11.1% BB, 28.1% K, 1 SB

5.2 IP, 1.59 ERA, 2.20 FIP, 11.12 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, .261 AVG

The Angels are very much dipping their toes in the water, but Jared Walsh is one of their laboratory experiments on maximizing their roster functionality. This is exactly the right candidate for this sort of thing too. Walsh has always had long odds of getting to the big leagues. As a left-handed hitting first baseman with platoon issues and limited defensive utility that went in the 39th round, any day in pro ball is considered a gift. Walsh was a starting pitcher and DH for the Georgia Bulldogs, and last year the Angels experimented briefly with him being a LOOGY out of the pen. They liked what they saw enough to bring Walsh to instructs to work on pitching. Supposedly he can still get the fastball up to 94.

Offensively he also had a breakout campaign as he became more selective and racked up 29 homers, and 34 doubles which easily were career highs. He also added more walks to the profile. He shot all the way up from High-A to Triple-A in 2018 as the Angels have shown that they will reward productive players with call-ups. There’s a chance we could see Walsh at the plate and on the mound for the Angels in 2019. Walsh will be available in the Rule 5 draft after the Angels elected to not protect him in a somewhat surprising move. ETA: 2019.

23. Brennon Lund, OF

Age: 24 (11/27/94)

Highest Level: AA

.264/.343/.404, 8 HR, .140 ISO, 114 wRC+, 9.5% BB, 22.5% K, 21 SB

Lund was an 11th round pick out of BYU in 2016. Lund is your prototypical fourth outfield prospect. He an average defender that can play a decent centerfield. Lund’s best skills are in the box though. He uses all fields and will take a walk, but left-handers killed him in 2018. There’s some utility here though as a potential fourth outfielder that if he’s used correctly could return value. Lund is a plus runner that knows how to take advantage of his wheels on both sides of the ball. Lund needs to elevate the ball more to escape fourth outfielder purgatory though. He should report to Salt Lake City to begin 2019. ETA: 2020.

24. Trent Deveaux, OF

Age: 18 (5/4/2000)

Highest Level: ROK

.199/.309/.247, 1 HR, .048 ISO, 72 wRC+, 12.4% BB, 35.1% K, 7 SB

Did I mention anything about the Angels system being full of athletes yet? Deveaux was the big ticket signing in their 2017 J2 class when they gave him $1.2 million out of the Bahamas. Elite run times and athleticism are the calling cards here. The 80-grade speed makes the shortstop convert look like a natural in centerfield as he runs down everything out there. The first taste of stateside ball didn’t go well, but there are some encouraging things if you dig in a bit. Deveaux has a keen eye for the strike zone here as evident by his 12% walk rate. The problem is he cannot hit a breaking ball to save his life, and that combined with a passive approach at the plate allowed the strikeouts to pile up. There’s no thump in the bat and there might not ever be, but he’s a rabbit and should easily post 40+ stolen bases if he can figure out how to hit spin. He’s as raw as it gets, but its an interesting set of skills. He’s more of a target for the fantasy game, but is a Billy Hamilton-esque outcome out of the question here? I don’t think it is. ETA: 2023.

25. Aaron Hernandez, RHP

Age: 23 (12/2/96)

Highest Level: DNP

DNP- Workload

The Angels took Hernandez in the third round this past June out of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He can run the fastball up to 98 but sits around 92-95 with a crossfire delivery. His breaking ball is a true slurve- it has more horizontal break but the velocity of a curve, and it has the potential to be a plus pitch. The max-effort delivery and lack of a consistent third pitch make it hard to see Hernandez as a starter long-term. He didn’t pitch after signing due to concerns about his collegiate workload. ETA: 2021.

26. Stiward Aquino, RHP

Age: 19 (6/20/99)

Highest Level: DNP

DNP-Tommy John Surgery

The Angels gave Aquino $100,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2016. The early results were encouraging and the Angels thought Aquino might be the best of their Latin American arms. He’s 6-foot-6 with significant body projection and gets significant extension which makes his 93-95 MPH heater play up. He has a good changeup and also mixes in a big 12-6 curve. Unfortunately Aquino popped his elbow and missed all of 2018 with Tommy John Surgery. ETA: 2023.

27. Kevin Maitan, 3B

Age: 19 (2/12/2000)

Highest Level: ROK

.248/.306/.397, 8 HR, .149 ISO, 80 wRC+, 6.7% BB, 23.2% K, 1 SB

On a list that has raw athletes, two-way players and an overwhelming amount of risk, Maitan is still the most difficult player for me to rank. Lets rewind a bit to 2015-16 to get the full snapshot.

Maitan was the object of everyone’s affection. Daily updates on twitter about what showcase event Maitan was attending and what teams would be present. How quickly would this generational talent make the climb through the system and get to the big leagues? It wasn’t just the fans and avid prospectors that were pumping him up either. Major League organizations were doing this as well. In fact, Major League organizations were even hiring people and giving them prominent front office jobs simply because of their relationship with Maitan as they looked for any possible in-road to get him to join their organization.

After July 2nd, 2016, the Braves were declared the winners after signing Maitan for (reported) $4.25 million in addition to the millions paid out by signing another dozen high end prospects. With all the shenanigans that went down with that, Maitan was declared a free agent and then the Angels swooped in and gave the kid another $2.2 million after he was declared a free agent.

As we fast forward to present day a lot has changed. Maitan’s stock is down tremendously. His days of playing shortstop are over as he gained significant weight which has pushed him to third base, and maybe even first down the line. The power is still present though as Maitan has plus raw pop but his immature plate approach gets in his way. The arm is probably an 80-grade weapon as well, but the body will get in the way of that if he has to move to first. All that being said, I still like the basic elements of the swing and still think there’s 25-30 homer thump here. It might come with a .230 average and sub .300 OBP, but he can still hit bombs. I’m not closing the book here, but this is a very relevant tale of what can happen when one report enters the prospect world. Those initial reports are something that players will wear for the rest of their lives. Maitan will almost assuredly be looked at as a failure throughout his career, when in reality the scout that threw those erroneous grades on him initially is the true failure. I’m rooting for this kid. ETA: 2022.

28. Jack Kruger, C

Age: 24 (10/26/94)

Highest Level: AA

.299/.357/.413, 7 HR, .114 ISO, 115 wRC+, 7.2% BB, 17.9% K, 13 SB

The Angels picked Jack Kruger in the 20th round in 2016 out of Mississippi State, and gave him $395,000 to sign. Kruger is an athletic catcher with a physical build that moves like a shortstop in the box. Kruger’s offensive game is built around making contact, but the power numbers took a step forward in 2018. He moves well behind the plate and is an average to slightly above defensive catcher. His speed grades out as average for any player, so well above-average for the position. With the wide-open catching position in this organization Kruger is a name to know. ETA: 2020.

29. William English, RHP/OF

Age: 18 (12/22/2000)

Highest Level: ROK

.220/.325/.260, 0 HR, .040 ISO, 80 wRC+, 9.4% BB, 29.1% K, 4 SB

English didn’t pitch in any pro games after getting selected in the fifth round in the 2018 draft from a Detroit high school, but he did hit. The Angels have special plans for the athletic English, and announced that they will use him on both sides of the ball in 2019. He’s 6-foot-4 and throws 90-93 and can bump ut up to 95. His curveball is the best secondary at the moment but he’s as raw as it gets. At the plate he brings plus power and some plus speed to the table, but the hit tool will take some time. English will move extremely slow through the minors, but this type of player will always be interesting and could be a game changer. ETA: 2023.

30. Alexander Ramirez, OF

Age: 16 (8/29/2002)

Highest Level: DNP

DNP- Didn’t sign until August

The Angels signed Ramirez on August 29th, on his 16th birthday for $1,000,000. Ramirez is the youngest player in this years J2 class (September 1 is the cut off). Ramirez has a projectable frame with good bat speed and a good bat path. He utilizes a leg kick and should at least have above-average pull-side pop. He uses a leg kick as a timing mechanism. He will likely grade out as a below-average runner at peak, so a move to the outfield corners appears likely. All early reports speak highly of Ramirez’s plate approach and future power projection. ETA: 2024.

Special thanks to Baseball Census and Matt Pullman for video