By @Scotty@AW, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer
The Top 30 Prospect lists we here at AngelsWin put out are a snapshot in time. Every top prospect list ever made is in fa ct, a snap shot in time. But in order to provide readers with some degree of a “live feed” on these prospects, we’ll be releasing monthly updates to let you know if our view of this prospect has changed at all and why.
30. IF Sherman Johnson – Stock Rising – We already thought highly of Johnson, and the fact that he’s now putting it together in AAA with his signature blend of speed, discipline and defense should make his Anaheim ETA later this season. (.269/.388 4 DB 1 HR 5 SB)
29. IF Leo Rivas – Stock Holding – He’s currently ticketed to play in short season Orem beginning in June.
28. RHP Jordan Kipper – Stock Rising – To be fair, Kipper shouldn’t be repeating AA after posting a 3.35 ERA in AA last season. But the Angels are under a bit of a roster crunch, with their pitching staff performing better than anticipated. Still, a 1.80 ERA through his first four starts. Get this kid up.
27. OF Zach Gibbons – Stock Rising – Promoting Gibbons to Inland Empire was a bold move by the Angels, since he never spent a day in A Ball. So far, the returns are solid. (.325/.391 4 DB 1 HR 5 SB).
26. OF Jared Foster – Stock Holding – We knew Foster was talented, but raw. So far in the Cal League, he’s been talented, but raw. (.283/.320 2 HR 2 SB 24 K’s 4 BB)
25. LHP Jonah Wesely – Stock Rising – Jonah was dominant in A Ball before Tommy John surgery, now that he’s healed up he’s back in A Ball and is even more dominant that he was before. Promote this kid.
24. LHP Chris O’ Grady – Now with the Marlins.
23. RHP Joe Gatto – Stock Holding – Last year, he was absolutely torched in the Midwest League. This year, he’s been somewhere between spectacular and “ok” depending on the start. Gatto’s upside is strong enough for us to keep watching.
22. RHP Brooks Pounders Stock Holding – Has been promoted to the Angels and is doing a damn fine job.
21. OF Brennon Lund – Stock Falling – Keeping him in Burlington was a shocker to open the year. One I openly disagreed with. But so far, Lund has hit only .236. But with plenty of season left, this could literally change two weeks from now.
20. IF Hutton Moyer – Stock Falling – Slotting him in AA was the right move, and to be fair, the 9 SB, 7 XBH and better than advertised play at SS are all positives. But that .218/.218 batting line has to come up.
19. RHP Eduardo Parades – Stock Rising – He’s been dominant at every level he’s pitched at, and so far, he’s been dominant in AA. (11 IP 16 K’s o.77 ERA). In fact, the only thing I can say negative about him that while he’s listed at 170, he looks closer to 270.
18. OF Troy Montgomery – Stock Rising – After being drafted, his impressive showing brought his name to the forefront of trade rumors for a 2B for the Angels. Those never came to fruition, and Montgomery is back and has just been promoted. Montgomery has a Calhoun-streak in him, being a strong lefty that has across the board average or better tools.
17. RHP Cole Duensing – Stock Holding – He’s set for short season Orem.
16. RHP Vicente Campos – Stock Falling – Part of the knock on Campos was that he couldn’t stay healthy, regardless of how talented he is. The Angels have seen this first hand with a spectacular Spring followed by the month of April spent on the DL.
15. RHP Jesus Castillo – Stock Skyrocketing – The Angels ultra-conservative promotion rate is bordering comical at this point with Castillo. A former top international signee, between the Cubs and the Angels A Ball affiliates, Castillo has now logged 17 starts with an ERA well under 3.00, more K’s than IP and hardly any walks. So far this year, Castillo has a 2.37 ERA and 22 K’s and only 2 BB through 19 innings. Ridiculous.
14. RHP Jaime Barria – Stock Skyrocketing – Just 20 years old, after successfully navigating the pitcher friendly Midwest League, he’s off to a very good start in the hitter friendly Cal League (which just makes his numbers all the more impressive). 26 IP 23 K’s 6 BB and a 3.38 ERA.
13. IF David Fletcher – Stock Holding – Second consecutive Spring in which he was outstanding. Second consecutive season in which he was injured right after Spring Training. Just got activated and has a .435 OBP through 5 games in AA though, so that’s good.
12. LHP Manny Banuelos – Stock Falling – The big knock on Manny so far has been his inability to throw strikes. While his overall numbers in AAA Salt Lake aren’t terrible considering the context, he has as many BB’s as he has K’s.
11. RHP Grayson Long – Stock Rising – Long profiles as a mid to end rotation workhorse in the big leagues, so when he got injured, that potential came into question. After only three starts at Inland Empire he was promoted to AA Mobile, and his first two starts have gone swimmingly (11 IP 6 K’s 1 BB 2.45 ERA).
10 LHP Nate Smith – Stock Falling – Despite being major league ready, Smith has been hurt for quite a while now, spanning from the end of last season through the beginning of this season. It’d be nice to see him on the mound soon. Currently rehabbing in Instructional Ball in Arizona.
9. RHP Chris Rodriguez – Stock Holding – Currently ticketed for short season Orem beginning in June.
8. OF Michael Hermosillo – Stock Holding – After an impressive showing last year in A Ball, Advanced A Ball and the Arizona Fall League, I was very surprised to see him slotted back at Inland Empire. That didn’t last long though, as he torched the league through 13 games before mercifully being promoted to AA. The Angels really need to start promoting more aggressively.
7. IF Nonie Williams – Stock Holding – Currently ticketed for short season Orem beginning in June.
6. RHP Keynan Middleton – Stock Holding – Not the gaudy strikeout numbers we experienced last year, but a 3.38 ERA in AAA Salt Lake is pretty awesome any way you slice it. Can’t wait to see that upper-90’s fastball in Anaheim.
5. OF Brandon Marsh – Stock Holding – Definitely had some helium through instructs and Spring Training. Currently ticketed for short season Orem in June.
4. C Taylor Ward – Stock Falling – Currently rehabbing in Arizona.
3. RHP Alex Meyer – Stock Holding – A couple of great starts in AAA, a couple of not so great starts, and a mediocre one in Anaheim. Right now he’s got to find some shred of consistency. But at least he’s healthy and the veto readings are strong (97+).
2. OF Jahmai Jones – Stock Holding – Jahmai has got off to a very rocky start in A Ball, but the 3 HR’s and 4 SB do illuminate his strong power-speed skill set.
1. 1B Matt Thaiss – Stock Holding – After an ice cold start to the year, Thaiss has 13 hits in his last 7 games. If he keeps going like this, the Angels will be forced to promote him to AA before June.
Unranked Climbers: 2B Jordan Zimmerman, SS Roberto Baldaquin, RHP Jake Jewell, OF Bo Way, RHP Osmer Morales, RHP Luis Diaz, RHP Parker Bridwell, RHP Troy Scribner.