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Los Angeles Angels Prospect Prospect Hotlist (7/12-7/25)




By Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist

Some new names, some familiar names, an interesting couple of weeks saw new Angel farmhands continuing to break out and Angel pitchers position themselves for potential MLB call-ups…

-- Position Players--

1) Edwin Yon – RF, Inland Empire, A:

The towering (6’5”? 6’8”?) outfielder hailing from La Romana in the Dominican Republic easily had the hottest two weeks of any Angels farmhand, highlighted by a 2 HR, 9 RBI performance on July 14th. Yon has demonstrated his raw power to an extreme degree in his last ten games, swatting five home runs, driving in 21, and adding a couple of doubles and a triple as well, giving him a slash of .405/.447/.857/1.304 in his last 47 plate appearances. Selected from the Reds’ organization in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, Yon has long drawn attention due to his physicality and raw power potential and while his size will at times expose him defensively and in the batters’ box, his swing can be surprisingly quick and compact for someone with his height, though it can be hard for him to keep his hitting mechanics clean consistently, leading to some streakiness across his pro career. Still, there is a lot to dream on here and the just-turned-23-year-old, in the midst of his best pro season, could be realizing some of the potential scouts have long dreamed on.

2021 (IE A): .305/.383/.676/1.060 with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HR, 32 RBI, 13 BB, 53 K in 120 PA/28 G

2) Brendon Davis – SS/3B/2B/LF, Rocket City, AA:

After posting a .956 OPS in his last 203 plate appearances at High-A Tri City, Brendon Davis earned a promotion to AA Rocket City, equaling the highest level he’s reached professionally – he struggled with Texas’ AA Frisco in 2019 to a .569 OPS in 400 PA. So far, so good. In his first four starts at AA, Davis hit .333 with a double and three homers, giving him a total slash of .422/.449/.822/1.271 in his last ten games at A+/AA, with three doubles, 5 HR, and 4 SB thrown in as well, all while splitting time evenly at four different positions. Davis, a former 5th round pick of the Dodgers and key piece in the Yu Darvish trade, is easily having his best year, having never topped a .720 OPS in any of his prior five pro seasons, and could be actualizing some of the talent that the Dodgers and Rangers once hoped for. AA will be a great test for Davis, and if he plays well, he could factor in the MLB depth chart as soon as 2022.

2021 (TRI A+/RCT AA): .282/.336/.557/.892 with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 17 HR, 43 RBI, 19 BB, 81 K, 10 for 13 in SB attempts in 68 G/301 PA

3) Jordyn Adams – CF, Tri-City, A+:

2021 started so promisingly for Adams, who impressed during a couple brief looks in Spring Training flashing the combo of power, defense and speed that makes him a near Top 100 talent, but things went off the rails for him just days into the minor league season, as injuries robbed Adams of over a month of play and led to a significant slump following his mid-June return. That has changed of late however, as Adams hit .295/.367/.568/.936 in his last eleven games, popping four home runs and stealing six bases in seven attempts. This is a big developmental year for Adams, who is still struggling a bit with plate discipline and contact, but at 21, the Angels can still afford patience as he harnesses his talent in an older league.

2021 (TRI A+): .214/.293/.366/.659 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 19 RBI, 15 BB, 53 K, 11 SB in 13 attempts in 34 G/147 PA

4) Michael Stefanic – 2B/3B, Salt Lake City, AAA:

Stefanic continues to do his best David Fletcher impression of late, as the Salt Lake infielder currently boasts a 15-game hitting streak and has not had two consecutive hitless games since June 13th and 14th. In the last two weeks, Stefanic is hitting .408 (20 hits in 49 AB) with three doubles, a home run, and Fletcher-esque BB/K ratios, with three walks to five strikeouts, indicative of Stefanic’s strong contact skills. It will be interesting to see how the Angels handle the 25-year-old, who as an undrafted free agent has already exceeded expectations, seeing that he will be Rule 5 eligible this winter and now has a career minor league slash of .305/.380/.409/.780 with 61 BB to 101 K in 183 G, comparing rather favorably to Fletcher’s .294/.345/.398/.743 with 96 BB to 154 K in 336 G. Could the Angels consider a configuration with Fletcher at SS and Stefanic at 2B? Jack Mayfield may be the lone thing standing in Stefanic’s way currently.

2021 (RCT AA/SLC AAA): .331/.406/.473/.879 with 13 doubles, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 27 BB, 49 K in 67 G/293 PA

5 tied) Jose Guzman – SS/2B, Inland Empire, A:

Another owner of a lengthy hitting streak is Inland Empire’s shortstop, Jose Guzman, who has hit safely in his last eleven games, earning him a .386 BA (17 H in 44 AB) in that stretch, while also mixing in four doubles, a home run, seven walks, and three stolen bases. Guzman is buried in an org filled with intriguing mid-infield options, and while he lacks the ceiling most possess, he might be playing his way into a high floor UT IF type given his strong contact and discipline skills, average speed, solid defense, positional versatility, and doubles power. Only 20, Guzman sort of replaces the organizational void left when Leonardo Rivas was dealt to Cincinnati for Raisel Iglesias.

2021 (RCT AA/IE A): .262/.339/.405/.744 with 12 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 21 BB, 56 K, 10 for 12 in SB attempts

5 tied) Jeremy Arocho – 3B/SS/CF/LF, Inland Empire, A:

Originally in the Dodgers organization, 22-year-old switch-hitter Jeremy Arocho’s speed, plate discipline and high-contact approach (and maybe some power?) were all on display over the last two weeks as he hit .388/.492/.490/.981 in his last twelve games. Almost exclusively a singles hitter this campaign, Arocho also added four of his only seven extra-base hits on the season in the last two weeks alone and swiped a perfect eight bases in eight attempts as well. Arocho’s skill set favors a future role on an MLB bench if he can continue his advanced pitch recognition and contact as he advances.

2021 (IE A): .301/.420/.355/.775 with 4 doubles, 3 triples, 37 BB, 35 K, 17 for 20 in SB attempts

Honorable mention, position players:
Franklin Torres (C/1B, TRI A+): .310/.370/.571/.941 with 5 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 11 K in 11 G/46 PA ­– converted infielder to catcher hitting well, 27% CS% on year
Braxton Martinez (3B/1B, TRI A+): .304/.429/.522/.950 with 2 2B, HR, 5 BB, 3 K in 6 G/28 PA – still overpowering younger competition, hitting .340/.456/.601 on the year with 43 BB to 32 K
Adrian Rondon (3B/2B, TRI A+): .333/.364/.564/.928 with 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K in 10 G/44 PA – former Rays prospect with some shine, just turned 23, some late-bloomer potential
Jake Gatewood (3B/SS/LF, SLC AAA): .313/.340/.583/.923 with 4 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K in 13 G/50 PA – former 1st rounder still playing well in UT role at AAA
Gavin Cecchini (SS/2B, SLC AAA): .382/.447/.471/.918 with 3 2B, 4 BB, 7 K in 11 G/38 PA – another former 1st rounder playing well
Arol Vera (SS/2B, Arizona Rk.): .333/.414/.500/.914 with 4 2B, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K – consistently producing still in pro debut
Izzy Wilson (RF, RCT AA): .267/.303/.600/.903 with 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K, 3-5 SB in 9 G/33 PA - .979 OPS in June/July, AAA soon?
Jo Adell (CF/RF, SLC AAA): .292/.358/.458/.817 with 3 2B, 3B, HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 13 K, 2 SB – improving discipline and contact
Jose Reyes (LF/RF, IE A): .304/.353/.522/.875 with 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K
D’Shawn Knowles (CF/LF/SS, IE A): .271/.314/.396/.710 with 4 2B, 3B, 3 BB, 16 K, 4-5 SB attempts – first pro start at SS in effort to maximize versatility

-- Pitchers--

1) Hector Yan – LHP, Tri-City, A+:

Yon and Yan atop the lists! Hector continued his turnaround with two more starts totaling 15 IP, striking out 15, keeping walks in check (only 3), and holding the opposition to a .146 BAA and only four earned runs (2.40 ERA), earning him the High-A West Pitcher of the Week along the way. Since a disastrous start to the year that saw him walk 18 and allow a 7.40 ERA through his first 24 IP/6 G, Yan has rebounded nicely, posting a 3.65 ERA over his last 7 G/37 IP, and while he’s still having issues with control (21 BB in that time) he’s limiting damage by keeping opponents to a .206 BAA. On the 40-man, there’s a slight chance Yan gets a limited look in Anaheim this September out of the pen, especially if the Angels tear down their pen. Yan also figures to be a name that comes up in trade talks as well, given how he’s likely been overtaken on the depth chart by names such as Detmers, Rodriguez, and potentially others in AA.

2021 (TRI A+):
 5.14 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .213 BAA with 39 BB, 66 K, 12 HR allowed in 61.1 IP in 13 GS

2) Jhonathan Diaz – LHP, Rocket City, AA:

9 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 20 K. That’s really all you need to know. Diaz dominated in his first two performances back after missing a month due to injury, as the versatile lefty continues to be a force on a Rocket City pitching staff that has already seen several gaudy pitching performances from names such as Reid Detmers, Cooper Criswell, and Kyle Tyler. Only 24, the former Boston farmhand must be drawing some consideration for a potential Anaheim bullpen audition should the Angels clear some veterans at the trade deadline given his strong performances and peripherals throughout the season.

2021 (RCT AA):
 2.48 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .211 BAA with 8 BB, 49 K, 2 HR allowed in 32.2 IP in 8 G/4 GS

3) Reid Detmers – LHP, Salt Lake City, AAA:

You knew he’d be here again – two more starts, 15 strikeouts in 10 innings, only one walk and one run allowed, and a promotion to AAA. If the Angels part with anyone from their starting rotation this next week, you can almost bet Detmers will be taking their place. He’s ready.

2021 (RCT AA/SLC AAA):
 3.15 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .215 BAA with 18 BB, 106 K, 10 HR allowed in 60 IP in 13 GS

4) John Swanda – RHP, Inland Empire, A:

That’s right, the Angels 4th rounder from the 2017 draft whose name often was floated as one of the better projected arms in the Angels is finally stringing together some strong performances. Across three starts in the last two weeks, Swanda threw 19 innings, striking out 18, walking two, and allowing only 5 ER (2.45 ERA) with 16 hits (.213 BAA). His season is still a mix of iffy results, but there is still some hope that there’s an MLB-caliber reliever or spot-starter hiding in there.

2021 (IE A): 4.76 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, .252 BAA with 25 BB, 61 K, 9 HR allowed in 68 IP in 14 G/11 GS

5 tied) Austin Warren – RHP, Salt Lake City, AAA:

With Andrew Wantz now in Anaheim, North Carolina product Austin Warren might be the next Angel farmhand in line to make his MLB debut out of the Halos bullpen. Over the last two weeks, Warren, in three multi-inning relief appearances, posted 9 IP, 0 BB, and 13 K, plus a 2.00 ERA and .129 BAA. At first glance, Warren’s 6.19 ERA doesn’t scream that he’s ready for the bigs but diving deeper you’ll find he’s allowed two runs or fewer in 19 of his 22 games, often in multiple innings, of those, zero in 12 of his 22 games. Warren owns a K9 of 11.9 across his minor league career and given that he’s R5 eligible this winter, could be in Anaheim sooner rather than later.

2021 (SLC AAA):
 6.19 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, .292 BAA with 18 BB, 45 K, 5 HR allowed in 36.1 IP in 22 G/1 GS

5 tied) Oliver Ortega – RHP, Rocket City, AA:

Perhaps right behind (or maybe even ahead) Austin Warren for the next bullpen debut is Oliver Ortega. Over the last two weeks, Ortega has made four appearances, tallying 5.1 innings, and striking out 10 against zero walks. Dating back to June 12th, Ortega has held opponents to a 2.08 ERA (11 scoreless appearances in 13 games) while walking only 3 to 23 strikeouts.

2021 (RCT AA):
 6.37 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, .292 BAA with 13 BB, 45 K, 3 HR allowed in 29.2 IP in 24 G

Honorable mention, pitchers:
Alejandro Hidalgo (RHP, Arizona Rk.): 2.45 ERA, .190 BAA, 4 BB, 15 K, 1 HR allowed in 2 GS/11 IP – teen continues to post solid starts on a consistent basis in first pro season
Matthis Dietz (RHP, TRI A+): 1.08 ERA, .179 BAA, 3 BB, 13 K, 1 HR allowed in 4 G/8.1 IP – former Oriole farmhand just signed from Indy team, 6’5”, 25 years old
Kelvin Caceres (RHP, Arizona Rk.): 0.90 ERA, .171 BAA, 8 BB, 12 K, 1 HR in 2 GS/10 IP
Cooper Criswell (RHP, RCT AA): 3.86 ERA, .333 BAA, BB, 9 K, 2 HR in 2 GS/7 IP
Jose Quijada (LHP, SLC AAA): 1.50 ERA, .150 BAA, 3 BB, 8 K in 4 G/6 IP – another potential reliever should the Angels sell
Emmanuel Duran (RHP, Arizona Rk.): 0.00 ERA, .067 BAA, 7 BB, 7 K in 3 G/4.1 IP – effectively wild
Robinson Pina (RHP, TRI A+): 4.50 ERA, .250 BAA, 5 BB, 12 K in 2 GS/10 IP – continuing to be effective after being promoted back to Tri-City


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