Repeatedly signing premium free agents and forfeiting first round draft picks and refusing to spend on the international market can wreak havoc on a team’s farm system, as evidenced by the current state of the Los Angeles Angels’ prospect ranks. They have only one representative on MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list, and that player is coming off an unequivocally dreadful season. GM Jerry Dipoto has had to turn to trades to infuse some youth into his major league roster, because it’s not coming up from the minors. They have a handful of guys who could make a difference within a couple of season, but upside is sorely lacking.
Special thanks to Michael Hllwya of Halo Hangout for his invaluable help in the creation of this list.
Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees(Pacific Coast League)
Double-A: Arkansas Travelers(Texas League)
High-A: Inland Empire 66ers(California League)
Class-A: Burlington Bees (Midwest League)
Short-Season A: Orem Owlz (Pioneer League)
Complex-Rookie: AZL Angels (Arizona League), DSL Angels (Dominican Summer League)
Reid Scoggins – RHP
Date of Birth: July 18, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’2′ 195 lbs
Acquired: Fifteenth round, 2012 draft
Analysis: With a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s and can touch 101 MPH, Scoggins throws harder than any other pitcher on this list, but that’s where the good ends. His changeup and slider are developing and could eventually be quality pitches, but they’re well below average right now. More concerning is his command as he walked 4.84 batters per nine in A ball last season. His lightning fastball was enough to rack up over a strikeout per inning in the low minors, but his control and secondary offerings will have to improve if he is to succeed going forward.
2014 Prognosis: A 23 year old who pitched to a 3.46 ERA and 10.5 K/9 in Class A? Send him up to High-A Inland Empire.
Luis Jimenez- 3B
Date of Birth: January 18, 1988
Height/Weight: 6’1′ 205 lbs
Acquired: International Free Agent
|2013||25||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AAA-Rk||LAA||51||231||210||31||62||9||2||5||46||11||3||12||28||.295||.333||.429||.762||90||1||3||0||6||2|
Analysis: Jimenez’s future in the big leagues will be tied directly to his batting average, as the 25 year old third baseman brings little else to the table. He was the Angels’ 2012 organizational batting champ and hit .295 in the minors last year, but he lacks plate discipline, having amassed a mere 12 walks in 48 PCL games and just two in 110 major league plate appearances in 2013. He’s not a much of a power hitter, as evidenced by his five home runs last season, but he could eventually hit 10 or 15 long balls in a season. At third, he’s competent, although could find himself in the outfield before long.
2014 Prognosis: The acquisition of David Freese from the Cardinals displaces Jimenez, making him a bench bat for next season.
Cal Towey – 3B
Date of Birth: February 6, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’1′ 215 lbs
Acquired: Seventeenth round, 2013 draft
Analysis: 23 year olds are supposed to dominate rookie balll and 17th round draft picks don’t generally make headlines, but Towey has to be noted for his other-worldly stats. In 315 plate appearances, he walked 67 times and had only 59 strikeouts, en route to a .492 OBP. That’s a 21% walk rate – a better mark than the one posted by MLB walk leader Joey Votto last year and by Ted Williams over the course of his career.
2014 Prognosis: Towey will report to Class-A Burlington next year. If he continues to get on base like he did last year, he’ll climb through the minors quickly and the Angels could have a 17th round steal on their hands.
Ricardo Sanchez – RHP
Height/Weight: 5’10’ 160 lbs
Acquired: International Free Agent
2013 Stats: N/A
Analysis: The Angels liked the young Venezuelan enough to give him a $580,000 bonus last summer, more than they had given to any amateur free agent in the last few years. Sanchez throws a low-90’s fastball that will only get harder as he ages and fills out, as well as a developing change up and curve. Baseball America ranked him as the 27th best international free agent last summer and MLB.com left him off their top 30, but Carlos Gomez, the Angels’ Director of International Scouting thought he should be in the top 10.
2014 Prognosis: Only 16 and having never pitched professionally, Sanchez will stay in the Dominican summer league.
Nick Maronde – LHP
Date of Birth: September 5, 1989
Height/Weight: 6’3′ 205 lbs
Acquired: 3rd round, 2011 draft
Analysis: Some scouts thought he could be a starter long term, but the Angels decided that his future was in the bullpen and stuck him there last season. With a two-pitch fastball/slider mix and a deceptive delivery, he should have the ability to thrive in the bullpen. He did in 2013, striking out over a batter an inning, and although his control was spotty, it should improve in the future and regardless, mediocre command won’t hurt him too much if he stays in relief.
2014 Prognosis: Angels Bullpen.