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OC Register: Angels add Jahmai Jones, Hector Yan to 40-man roster

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The Angels added infielder Jahmai Jones and left-hander Hector Yan to their 40-man roster before Wednesday’s deadline, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft while leaving fan favorite José Rojas exposed.

Jones, 22, is currently ranked the Angels’ eighth-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Drafted as an outfielder but moved to second base in 2018, Jones spent all of the 2019 season at Double-A Mobile (Ala.), hitting .234 with a .636 OPS.

Yan, 20, posted a 3.39 ERA at Class-A Burlington (Iowa) last season, with 148 strikeouts in 109 innings. MLB Pipeline ranked him 17th in the Angels’ system.

With the two additions, the Angels’ 40-man roster is full.

Angels top prospects such as Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh did not need to be protected from the Rule 5 draft because they haven’t been in the system long enough. Players are eligible after their fourth season if they signed at 19 or older, and after their fifth season if they were younger.

The Rule 5 draft will be on Dec. 12, the final day of the winter meetings. Players selected in the Rule 5 draft need to be kept on the major league roster all season, or else they must be offered back to their former club. Typically, only 15 to 20 players in all of baseball are selected in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.

Of the prospects the Angels left vulnerable, Rojas drew the most fan interest. A 36th-round pick out of Vanguard University of Costa Mesa, Rojas .293 with 31 homers and a .938 OPS this season at Triple-A Salt Lake. Rojas, 26, bounced around several different defensive positions, failing to establish himself at any. MLB Pipeline does not list Rojas among the organization’s top 30 prospects.

Last year the Angels left Jared Walsh unprotected after a similar Triple-A season, and Walsh went unselected in the Rule 5 draft and made his debut with the Angels in 2019.

The top pitching prospect left unprotected, according to MLB Pipeline, is right-hander Oliver Ortega, who is ranked 18th. Ortega, 23, struck out 123 in 94-1/3 innings at Class-A before struggling in five games at Double-A in 2019.

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