Top Prospects Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh on friendship
Los Angeles Angels prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh discuss their friendship in the Arizona Fall League (MLB.com)
Jordyn Adams, outfielder of Burlington Bees (Photo Credit: Travis@BullPenSeats)
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Los Angeles Angels (2019) Top-30 Prospects
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By AngelsWin.com in AngelsWin.com Today(Photo by Rick Dykhuizen)
By Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist
1) Jeremiah Jackson – SS/2B, Rookie Orem:
Typically, Jackson’s 9 G/41 PA would not be enough to qualify him (in my own arbitrary criteria) to rank, but the 19-year old infielder’s record-breaking campaign could not be ignored. Jackson slashed .333/.390/1.056/1.446 over the last two weeks, swatting seven home runs (including a 3-HR performance on 8/15) over his last nine games, with three doubles and a triple as well. Further encouraging numbers include a reasonable 3 walks to 9 strikeouts, and a BAbip of only .238. With six multi-homer games on the year and 21 on the season, Jackson has likely taken advantage of HR-friendly Pioneer League environs, but the recent improvements in contact and discipline make any true power he possesses a real plus.
2019 (Orem Rk.): .273/.344/.651/.995 with 12 doubles, 2 triples, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 23 BB, 75 K in 53 G/241 PA
2, Michael Hermosillo – CF/RF, AAA Salt Lake:
Hermosillo slots in second on this edition, with perhaps the strongest runner-up showing yet. Hermosillo had three multi-home games in the last two weeks, including a 3-HR game one day after Jeremiah Jackson’s. Hermosillo clubbed nine home runs in his last 11 games, propelling a slugging-heavy .261/.300/.870/1.170 line. 2019 has produced some new results for Hermosillo, who, like most AAA hitters, is clubbing more extra-base hits than ever, having now set a career high of 14 HR despite having missed most of the year. Hermosillo’s strikeout rate has inflated some, and his walks have decreased, but his defense and baserunning skills remain strong enough to keep him a viable 4th OF option. In his age 24 season, Hermosillo still has time on his side to realize a .250/.330/.420/.750 potential.
2019 (A+, AAA): .246/.337/.491/.828 with 7 doubles, 3 triples, 14 HR, 36 RBI, 23 BB, 75 K in 55 G/258 PA
3) Jahmai Jones – 2B/CF, AA Mobile:
At 21, Jahmai Jones is still one of the younger players in AA, and showing reasons why he should not yet be written off. Jones is in the midst of the brightest spot of his bleak 2019 campaign, having slashed .419/.490/.558/1.048 over the last two weeks, slapping 18 hits in 43 at-bats, and drawing five walks to 11 strikeouts, with four doubles, a triple, and two steals for good measure. Playing 2B almost exclusively this season, Jones did make a start in CF, his third in the last month or so, hinting that the Angels may still seek to utilize him as an occasional outfielder to extend his value to the major league club. This is an important detail, as Jones will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason, so the Angels will need to decide if it’s time to add Jones to the 40-man or run the risk of losing him in the draft. Jones’ recent strong play – he now has a very respectable .288/.356/.387/.743 OPS over his last 250 plate appearances – will complicate their decision, whether or not he is added and protected.
2019 (AA): .232/.301/.312/.613 with 19 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HR, 43 RBI, 43 BB, 100 K in 117 G/493 PA
4) Drevian Williams-Nelson – 2B, Rookie Arizona:
Like Jackson, Williams-Nelson’s 8 games and 35 plate appearances would typically exclude him from being ranked, but being only 19 and showing a distinct difference between his 2018 and 2019 performance has led to his inclusion on this edition. Standing only 5’7″, Williams-Nelson profiles as an up-the-middle depth option. The Houston native has likely been the recipient of some good luck – he has a BAbip of .500 over the last two weeks – but a slash of .387/.457/.581/1.038 is hard to ignore, especially for a player of his age and stature. Williams-Nelson has exhibited a bit of pop – three doubles and a home run – and decent plate discipline – four walks to eight strikeouts – lending to a skill-set befitting a future utility player. If he can continue to slap the ball, cut back on strikeouts, and develop into a stolen-base threat (or at least add plus defense and baserunning) he could stand to move in at trajectory similar to David Fletcher.
2019 (AZL Rk.): .265/.359/.382/.741 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 13 BB, 30 K in 30 G/117 PA
5, tied) Brandon Marsh – OF, AA Mobile and Trent Deveaux – OF, Rookie Arizona:
Tying for the final slot on the position player Top 5 are two outfielders who have produced very similarly over the last two weeks, both possessing an interesting blend of defense, speed, pop, and contact. Brandon Marsh is overshadowed by uber-prospect Jo Adell, but the 21-yr old Georgian is putting together perhaps the most balanced, polished season of any Angel outfield prospect. Boasting a robust .300/.408/.450/.858 line over the last two weeks, Marsh is displaying plus contact, some power (three doubles, one home run), good plate discipline (seven walks to seven strikeouts) and some speed, stealing two bases, to go with what some call the best outfield defense on the farm. Don’t sleep on Marsh, who is just as likely to grace the Anaheim outfield in 2020 as Adell.
Like Marsh, Deveaux was also overshadowed, as fellow Bahamian D’Shawn Knowles’ 2018 campaign opened eyes where Deveaux struggled. This year has proved differently however, as the 19-year old is delivering a strong 2019 campaign in Rookie League Arizona. Deveaux has slashed .286/.375/.476/.851 over the last two weeks, with two doubles, and one two-homer game. Plate discipline still seems to be a crutch for Deveaux, with four walks to 18 strikeouts, but the improving contact, power, and speed (three steals) coupled with some solid defense keeps his ceiling high.
Marsh, 2019 (A/A+): .271/.357/.392/.749 with 18 doubles, 2 triples, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 17 SB, 42 BB, 89 K in 88 G/378 PA
Deveaux, 2019 (AZL Rk.): .261/.350/.467/.816 with 14 doubles, 4 triples, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 14 SB, 21 BB, 60 K in 44 G/206 PA
Honorable mention, hitters:
Justin Jones (1B, A): .385/.468/.615/1.083 with 1 double, 1 triple, 2 HR, 6 BB, 4 K – at 23, a bit too old for the competition
Ysaac Pena (C/1B/P, DSL Rk.): .359/.419/.615/1.034 with 3 doubles, 4 BB, 4 K a bit old at 21 for DSL
Jared Walsh (1B/DH/P, AAA): .280/.379/.640/1.019 with 3 doubles, 2 HR, 4 BB, 10 K – a 31-HR campaign for Walsh, who also had one scoreless IP
Jose Verrier (LF/RF/1B/DH, Orem Rk.): .269/.424/.538/.963 with 4 doubles, 1 HR, 6 BB, 11 K – not enough PA to rank
D.C. Arendas (1B/3B/2B, A+): .241/.333/.621/.954 with 1 double, 2 triples, 2 HR, 4 BB, 12 K – at 25, a little old for A+ ball
Cristian Gomez (1B, AZL Rk.): .333/.439/.485/.924 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 7 BB, 11 K – at 22, too old for competition
Jordyn Adams (CF, AZL Rk., A): .385/.448/.462/.910 with 2 doubles, 5 stolen bases, 2 BB, 4 K – limited at-bats, partially on rehab assignment
Bo Way (CF/LF/P, AA): .296/.345/.556/.900 with 1 double, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K
Josh Thole (C, AAA): 292/.414/.500/.914 with 2 doubles, 1 HR, 5 BB, 7 K
Nick Franklin (2B/3B/SS, AAA): .333/.394/.500/.894 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 BB, 5 K
Brandon White (CF/LF, Orem Rk.): .323/.382/.484/.866 with 1 triple, 1 HR, 3 SB, 3 BB, 5 K – solid debut season, at 21, a bit old for Orem
Johan Sala (RF/LF, Orem Rk.): .320/.438/.400/.838 with 2 doubles, 5 BB, 8 K
6, tied) Kyle Bradish – RHP, A+ Inland Empire and Aaron Hernandez, RHP, A+ Inland Empire:
These two Angels’ picks from the early stages of the ’18 draft have put together solid pro debuts, and that continued the last two weeks, helping propel the two further into the Angels’ future pitching plans, and likely setting both up for 2020 seasons primarily at AA Mobile. Bradish made two starts, throwing 12.1 IP of 1.46 ERA ball, walking three, striking out twelve, coupled with a stingy .178 BAA. Bradish continues to rebound from an awkward June (12.75 ERA in 12 IP, 9 BB, 16 K) as he has now gone on to post a 3.96 ERA in his last 8 games, with 14 BB, 41 K in 36.1 IP, furthering the assessments that he profiles as a decent mid-to-back rotation option, possibly as soon as 2021.
Hernandez, still fluttering with command issues, has begun to demonstrate an increased ability to generate strikeouts and limit hits, as he posted a sparkling .116 BAA in his last three starts, only allowing five hits in 13.2 IP while striking out 12 and walking 8, to go with a 1.32 ERA. Hernandez has rarely topped the 80-pitch plateau this season, and has had difficulty pitching beyond the fourth or fifth innings, hinting that he might be better suited as a reliever, a move which could happen in the near future as the Angels continue to develop multiple A/A+ starting pitcher options.
Bradish 2019 (A+): 4.36 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .228 BAA, only 8 HR allowed, 41 BB, 105 K, across 86.2 IP in 21 G/15 GS
Hernandez 2019 (A+): 4.32 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, .270 BAA, 40 BB, 73 K, across 66.2 IP in 18 G/14 GS
7) Kyle Tyler – RHP, A Burlington/A+ Inland Empire:
The Angels finally promoted Tyler following a dizzying summer where the 20th round pick of the 2018 draft posted an absurd 1.27 ERA and .173 BAA across 11 starts and 56.2 IP for Burlington. Tyler’s last two weeks included two more dominant starts at Burlington and a solid debut at Inland Empire, giving him a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 IP. Most encouraging however, was his walk-to-strikeout numbers in this time, as he allowed only three walks to 17 strikeouts – an intriguing number given his relatively pedestrian K rate on the year of 7.7. Should the Angels find a way to keep increasing Tyler’s strikeout ability, they might have found a diamond in the 20th round rough.
2019 (A/A+): 2.70 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .198 BAA, 35 BB, 91 K across 106.2 IP in 22 G/16 GS
8) Cooper Criswell – RHP, A+ Inland Empire:
Frequently overlooked by the more intriguing arms at Inland Empire (Bradish, Hernandez, Ortega) is Cooper Criswell, the Angels’ 13th round pick in last year’s draft. The 6’6″ UNC product began the year with unimpressive numbers (5.45 ERA, 16 BB, 31 K in 38 IP) but has emerged as consistent, reliable arm over the summer months. Criswell’s last two weeks have produced three starts of 4.41 ERA ball, walking 7 and striking out 16 across 16.1 IP. While nothing impressive, it continues a good turnaround for the tall righty, as now has a 3.65 ERA in his last 14 games, walking only 17, allowing only 2 HR, and striking out 71 across 69 innings. Should he continue displaying solid command and consistency, Criswell could blossom into an option for the back of the rotation as early as 2021.
2019 (A+): 4.29 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, .283 BAA, 6 HR allowed, 33 BB, 102 K across 107 IP in 23 G/19 GS
9, tied) Luis Ramirez – RHP, Eduardo Del Rosario – RHP, Ethan Clark – RHP, Parker Joe Robinson – RHP, Greg Veliz – RHP, A Burlington:
In a year that has seen the Angels rely heavily on starting pitchers as multi-inning relievers and tandem starters, the traditional reliever has been something of a rarity on the Angels farm. The recent two weeks however has seen a strong quintet of relievers post big numbers for Burlington, giving the Angels minor league pitching depth an interesting new wrinkle as the season comes to a close. This group has combined for a 3.20 ERA in 39.1 IP, striking out 56 and only allowing two home runs, 12 walks, and 39 hits. Del Rosario, poached from Minnesota last year, has led the way with a 0.90 ERA and 15 K in 10 IP, Ramirez, recently plucked from the Phillies organization, has struck out 12 in 8.1 IP, Clark, a product of the TBR/MIA systems, added 9 more strikeouts, Parker Joe Robinson, an undrafted free agent last season boasted one walk to 11 strikeouts, and Veliz, a draftee this past June, struck out another 9, while also only allowing one walk.
Ramirez 2019 (Burlington, A): 3.71 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .262 BAA, 2 HR allowed, 6 BB, 19 K across 17 IP in 10 G
Del Rosario 2019 (A/A+/AAA): 4.60 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, .255 BAA, 3 HR allowed, 24 BB, 37 K across 45 IP in 26 G
Clark 2019 (Orem Rk./A): 3.29 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, .240 BAA, 3 HR allowed, 18 BB, 37 K across 27,1 IP in 16 G
Robinson 2019 (A/A+): 4.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .289 BAA, 2 HR allowed, 7 BB, 43 K across 38.2 IP in 21 G
Veliz 2019 (Orem Rk./A): 2.63 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, .191 BAA, 1 HR allowed, 5 BB, 29 K across 24 IP in 15 G
10) Hector Yan – LHP, A Burlington:
Yan once again places on the hotlist, adding two more solid appearances to a breakout campaign. Yan’s 8/8 start saw the lefty post another gaudy strikeout total – 10 in 5 IP while walking only one, again reaffirming the 20-year old’s increasingly improved control – he’s walked 8 in his last 34.2 IP, compared to 18 in the 33.2 IP prior to that, and 19 in 30 IP to start the year. While he did allow 4 runs in his last start, Yan still posted a strong 3 walks to 16 strikeouts in his last 9 IP. The Angels might look to limit the youngsters innings soon, so a few skipped starts or pitch limits, even a temporary DL stint, could crop up.
2019 (A): 3.48 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .192 BAA, only 5 HR allowed, 45 BB, 138 K (12.6 K/9) across 98.1 IP in 23 G/19 GS
Honorable mention, pitchers:
Nick Tropeano (RHP, AAA):15.1 IP, 8 BB, 14 K, .250 BAA, 3.52 ERA in 3 GS – likely getting another shot to help the Angels rotation with Suarez sent down
Greg Mahle (LHP, AA): 14.2 IP, 3 BB, 8 K, .222 BAA, 1.23 ERA in 2 GS – Remember him? Don’t rule out a September appearance
Jose Soriano (RHP, AZL Rk.): 4.2 IP, 3 BB, 8 K, .263 BAA, 1.93 ERA in 3 GS – rehabbing
Emilker Guzman (RHP, Orem Rk.): 6 IP, 1 BB, 8 K, .174 BAA, 1.50 ERA in 2 GS – not enough playing time, but he’s one to watch
Robinson Pina (RHP, A): 4.1 IP, 2 BB, 12 K, .200 BAA, 4.15 ERA in 2 GS
Jerryell Rivera (LHP, Orem Rk.): 6.2 IP, 3 BB, 7 K, .208 BAA, 2.70 ERA in 2 GS games – baby steps back in the right direction
Stiward Aquino (RHP, Orem Rk.): 8.2 IP, 2 BB, 14 K, .273 BAA, 5.19 ERA in 2 GS – encouraging Orem debut for one of the Angels’ highest-upside pitching prospects
Jose Natera (RHP, Orem Rk.): 7.2 IP, 1 BB, 8 K, .344 BAA, 3.52 ERA in 2 GS – 19-year old showing decent early results in Orem
Connor Van Scoyoc (RHP, AZL Rk.): 8.2 IP, 10 BB, 12 K, .290 BAA, 3.12 ERA in 2 G- command an issue, strong K numbers from the 19-year old 2018 11th rounder
Clayton Chatham (RHP, A): 11.1 IP, 1 BB, 13 K, .222 BAA, 2.38 ERA in 2 GS – at 24, old for competition, but good results
Chase Chaney (RHP, AZL Rk.): 10 IP, 4 BB, 6 K, .171 BAA, 0.90 ERA in two games for the 19-year old
Adam McCreery (LHP, AAA): 4.1 IP, 3 BB, 7 K, .188 BAA, 2.08 ERA in three games – 6’7″ lefty pitching well in PCL
Chad Sykes (RHP, A): 5.2 IP, 1 BB, 7 K, .280 BAA, 3.18 ERA in three games – continued strong numbers for ’19 10th rounder
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By AngelsWin.com in AngelsWin.com TodayBy Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist
1) Jared Walsh – 1B/DH/LHP, AAA Salt Lake:
Walsh’s red-hot July reached a ridiculous level the last two weeks, as he slashed .435/.500/1.043/1.543 since 7/22, notably hitting three homers on July 23rd – followed by six more over the next 10 games – giving him an incredible nine home runs over his last 52 PA, a 133 HR pace over 162 games. Walsh’s plate discipline has also made huge strides in ’19, as he is now sporting a 13.6% BB rate over his 8.1% mark in 2018, resulting in a .453 OBP since May 1st. Walsh also returned to the mound twice over the last two weeks, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out one. It’s clear that Walsh has now ma
stered AAA and the Pacific Coast League. Recent hot play and injuries have brought the two-way player once again to Anaheim, but with Pujols firmly entrenched at first base, playing time still seems to be scarce. Ideally, the Angels find some time for Walsh to get a shot at consistent playing time to determine if he’s simply another AAAA slugger, or perhaps the second coming of Mark Trumbo.
2019 hitting (AAA): .329/.433/.687/1.120 with 24 doubles, 29 HR, 70 RBI, 51 BB, 93 K in 81 G/374 PA
2019 pitching (AAA): 2.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 12 H, 3 BB, 7 K across 10 IP in 10 G
2, tied) Orlando Martinez – OF, A+ Inland Empire and Francisco Del Valle – RF/LF, A Burlington:
Placing these two together, as they’re very similar in performance, potential, and current results…
Martinez continues to make strides in his development – a cool start to the year gave way to a late June/early July surge, followed by an ice-cold 10-86 (.127) snap in July. Martinez has found his swing once again the last couple weeks however, slashing .298/.390/.617/1.007 with a barrage of extra base hits – two doubles, two triples, three home runs – and his increasingly solid plate discipline – 9 walks to 7 strikeouts. Capable at all three outfield positions, Martinez likely will stick at Inland Empire for the remainder of the year, though an opportunity at AA Mobile could emerge should he continue to play well, perhaps following a AAA taste for Brandon Marsh. Martinez should have the defense, discipline, and decent enough offensive profile to slot in behind Michael Hermosillo and Brennon Lund as a future 4th/5th OF option in Anaheim, likely landing on the MLB depth chart by late 2021.
Like Martinez, Francisco Del Valle has had an up-and-down year, teetering between ice-cold stretches and red-hot surges, and like Martinez, Del Valle profiles best as a solid future 4th OF option, though his CF playing time has dwindled a bit. Del Valle has similarly shown a blend of discipline and power, slashing .311/.436/.444/.881 over the last two weeks, with three doubles, one home run, and 10 walks to 7 strikeouts. About to turn 21, Del Valle is a year younger than Martinez but also a year nearer Rule 5 eligibility, so his development in Inland Empire next year will be key for his long-term designs in the club’s plans.
Martinez, 2019 (A+): .258/.335/.424/.760 with 13 doubles, 4 triples, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 33 BB, 60 K in 63 G/310 PA
Del Valle, 2019 (A): .211/.331/.358/.689 with 21 doubles, 4 triples, 6 HR, 39 RBI, 48 BB, 88 K in 95 G/379 PA
3) Jose Verrier – LF/RF/1B, Rookie Orem:
At 21, Verrier is a touch old for the Pioneer League, but the 6’1″, right-handed hitting Cuban has shown significant progress in his development in his second pro season after posting a .609 OPS last year, almost entirely with the Angels’ Rookie league team in Arizona. Verrier’s most recent two weeks have seen him split time between RF, LF, and 1B, but he’s also seen time at 2B and 3B. Since July 22nd, Verrier’s slashed .276/.462/.483/.944, with two home runs, seven walks, and 14 strikeouts. While power numbers are almost always inflated in the thin air of the Pioneer League, Verrier’s combination of decent pop, high walk rate, and positional versatility lends him the potential to still develop into a decent corner infield option for the Halos, perhaps easing a bit of the sting from recently dealing Raider Uceta and Rainier Rivas.
2019 (Orem Rk.): .239/.369/.478/.847 with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 8 HR, 19 RBI, 21 BB, 61 K in 40 G/168 PA
4) Gareth Morgan – OF, AA Mobile:
Morgan’s light-tower power has carried him into his first AA foray, where the powerful slugger will try to prove his dramatic HR surge can translate outside of the California League, and where questions about his even more dramatic BB:K will be answered in one way or another. Over his last twelve games (eight in A+, four in AA), Morgan has slashed .277/.358/.511/.869, with two doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI, five walks, and 21 strikeouts. Yet to hit a HR in AA, Morgan has gone 4-15 (.267) with one walk and seven strikeouts. If Morgan is able to make decent contact and continue his prodigious power, the lack of walks and high number of strikeouts might not matter much.
2019 (A+/AA): .262/.314/.569/.883 with 6 doubles, 21 HR, 53 RBI, 15 BB, 122 K in 56 G/245 PA
5) Michael Stefanic – 2B/SS, A+ Inland Empire:
In his second pro season, infielder Michael Stefanic has quietly proven a solid hitter, and could sneak into the MLB plans by 2021, as he’s posted a .302/.383/.393/.775 slash in 92 career games, hitting every step of the way, buoyed by a solid 29:40 walk to strikeout ratio. Should his defense and offense maintain, Stefanic might move quickly as a result, and recently put in a .346/.443/.423/.866 slash displaying his blend of contact and discipline. Signed as an undrafted free agent, Stefanic has never held much prospect helium, but he might be one to watch once he graduates to AA Mobile, likely next season.
2019 hitting (A/A+): .296/.377/.391/.768 with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 25 BB, 35 K in 78 G/321 PA
Honorable mention, hitters:
Justin Bour (1B/DH, AAA): .342/.519/.895/1.414 with 3 2B, 6 HR, 13 BB, 15 K – Bour hitting in the SLC is kind of unfair
Taylor Ward (LF, AAA): .438/.538/.750/1.288 with 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 7 K – little short on PA (39) to rank
Zane Gurwitz (LF/3B A+, AA): .419/.468/.674/1.143 with 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 8 K – hitting well back in IE A+ after a brief mixed promotion to Mobile AA
Anthony Bemboom (C, AAA): .375/.444/.542/.986 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 K – catcher hitting well in return to org, likely now #3 on depth chart with Garneau claimed and Briceno injured
Jose Bonilla (SS, Rk. DSL): .333/.444/.542/.986 with 1 2B, 2 3B, 7 BB, 9 K – 17-yr old has a .808 OPS with a .402 OBP and .405 SLG to date in first 20 pro games.
Kaleb Cowart (3B, AAA): .308/.357/.538/.896 with 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 7 K – playing exclusively 3B over the last month
Drevian Williams-Nelson (2B/RF, AAA): .310/.412/.483/.895 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 BB, 10 K
Brandon White (OF, Orem Rk.): .314/.400/.486/.886 with 2 2B, 2 3B, 5 BB, 9 K – ’19 draftee hitting well to start pro career
Jeremiah Jackson (2B/SS, Orem Rk.): .277/.345/.489/.835 with 1 doubles, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 15 K
Roberto Baldoquin (2B/3B, AA): .353/.389/.441/.830 with 3 doubles, 2 BB, 7 K
Ryan Vega (OF, AZL Rk./A): .297/.422/.405/.828 with 1 double, 1 HR, 2 SB, 8 BB, 10 K – hitting well in Burlington after a rough stint at Inland Empire
Alexander Ramirez (DH/CF, DSL Rk.): .268/.333/.488/.821 with 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 15 K – reminder, he is in his age 16 season
6) Patrick Sandoval – LHP, AAA Salt Lake City:
At first glance, Sandoval’s stats at Salt Lake City do not suggest the 22-year old lefty is big-league ready, an assignment that draws to reality this evening, when Sandoval makes his MLB debut against Cincinnati. But digging deeper, peripherals begin to indicate Sandoval has been far more victimized by the hitter-friendly PCL’s ridiculous environs than what he’s due. Sandoval’s most recent work, two consecutive starts against Colorado’s Albuquerque Isotopes, resulted in 11.2 IP, .190 BAA, 2.31 ERA, and 5 walks to 14 strikeouts, an example of the lefties strong swing-and-miss stuff. In addition to Sandoval’s strong strikeout rates (11 per 9 innings), he’s also kept the ball on the ground via a 47% groundball percentage, and a reasonable 7 HR allowed in 60 PCL innings. With the Angels rotation decimated by injury, Sandoval has golden opportunity to seize a spot on the staff and run with it for the remainder of the year. While initial results have been mixed, the exposure that this promising quartet – Canning, Suarez, Barria, and Sandoval – are experiencing now could shape the Angels rotation drastically as soon as 2020.
2019 (AA/AAA): 5.71 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, .290 BAA, 42 BB, 98 K, across 80.1 IP in 20 G/19 GS
7) Cristopher Molina – RHP, A+ Inland Empire:
Molina has continued to show no issues adjusting to A+, as the righty added three more solid starts to his 2019 campaign, throwing 16.2 IP of 3.78 ERA ball, walking four and striking out 15 to go with 2 HR and 16 hits (.254 BAA). Molina has now been in the organization since 2014, yet is only 22 – young for the California League – and has been consistent and durable going back to the second-half of 2018, so he might begin to get pressed further as the year goes on, perhaps even a AA call-up. Tall and lanky, listed at 6’3″ and 170, Molina’s strong blend of durability, decent strikeout rates, low walk rates, and ability to limit baserunners makes him an ideal organizational soldier who could emerge as a depth piece as early as 2020.
2019 (A/A+): 3.07 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .228 BAA, 33 BB, 99 K across 105.2 IP in 21 G/18 GS
8) Hector Yan – LHP, A Burlington:
Early season questions about Yan’s control and ability to pitch deep into games are quickly becoming erased. Yan is now averaging 83 pitches a game since June 4th, having pitched into the 5th inning or better in nine of his last eleven starts after only doing so twice in the first two months of the year. He has allowed no more than one walk in his last five starts and only 20 in his last 54.1 IP, after starting the year with 22 BB in his first 35 IP. In his last two starts, Yan has again been dominant pitching 10.2 IP of 1.69 ERA ball, only allowing four hits (.118 BAA) and two walks, striking out twelve. Yan might have little left to prove in Burlington, and a promotion to Inland Empire to wrap up the year seems reasonable and possibly imminent, where he might replace the recently promoted Oliver Ortega on the 66er’s staff.
2019 (A): 3.32 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .188 BAA, 4 HR allowed, 42 BB, 122 K across 89.1 IP in 21 G/17 GS
9, tied) Luke Lind – RHP, A Burlington/A+ Inland Empire and Chad Sykes – RHP, A Burlington:
In a year that has seen the Angels utilize multiple starting pitchers in tandem, and a number of relievers converted to the rotation, the number of relievers in the system has dropped significantly. Two names however have bucked that trend and have posted strong results. Towering Luke Lind, a 6’6″ RHP who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017, struck out 62 in 38 innings before missing the 2018 season, has returned this year as a force in the Burlington, and now Inland Empire, bullpen. Lind made one more Burlington performance on 7/22 before being promoted to Inland Empire, and has collectively posted 10 IP, 0.90 ERA, .135 BAA, 2 BB, 13 K in five appearances over the last two weeks. Routinely delivering 30-40 pitches, Lind has been used heavily as a multi-inning reliever, and one has to imagine he’ll follow this path as he advances, if not garnering some discussion as a possible rotation convert.
Chad Sykes, one of the Angels ’19 draftees, and even rarer, one of the few allowed to pitch the same season as being drafted, has also made a mark to start his career. The UNC reliever was promoted to Burlington on July 24th, and has opened his A Ball career with 6 innings pitched, allowing zero runs, one hit, three walks, and striking out 10. Sykes could be a fast-mover in the Angels season, perhaps finding himself in AA Mobile as early as next year, with a 2020 call-up not out of the question.
Lind 2019 (A/A+): 2.30 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, .228 BAA, 2 HR allowed, 19 BB, 58 K (11.1 K/9) across 47 IP in 28 G
Sykes 2019 (Orem Rk./A): 4.50 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .228 BAA, 1 HR allowed, 8 BB, 25 K (14.1 K/9) across 16 IP in 11 G
10, tied) Cooper Criswell – RHP, A+ Inland Empire and Robinson Pina – RHP, A Burlington:
Three ties for this edition of the hotlist! The last slot goes to two arms that have quietly produced a full season of solid results, often in the shadows of those with more exciting results such as Hector Yan, Jose Soriano, or Oliver Ortega, or with more prospect pedigree, such as Kyle Bradish, Chris Rodriguez, Aaron Hernandez, or Cole Duensing.
Cooper Criswell, in particular, has really come along as a strong, durable arm in the Inland Empire rotation. Standing 6’6″, 200, the North Carolina righty turned 24 a couple weeks back, and made the hotlist following three strong starts in which he totaled 17.1 IP, allowing a 2.08 ERA, and 21 hits, striking out 18 and only walking 2. Criswell has enjoyed a steady, solid summer actually, having limited opponents to a 3.42 ERA in June and July, posting strong peripherals (10 BB, 55 K, and only 2 HR) in 52.2 IP. Criswell’s might find himself in AA before the year’s out, and could profile as a decent back-of-the-rotation starter on the Angels’ depth charts as soon as 2020.
Pina, likewise, has been solid and dependable over the course of the year, and his most recent two starts align with those of Criswell, albeit in only two starts, as the righty allowed a 1.64 ERA, .216 BAA across 11 IP, walking 2, striking out 15. The 20-year old Pina is nearly two years older than the competition he is facing as a member of Burlington’s staff, and while walks have been of some concern (50 in 90 IP), he has struck out 115 on the year, only allowing 4 home runs and limiting hitters to a .218 BAA on the season. Pina should see time in Inland Empire before the year is out, and continued success could lead him to a quick ascent among the Angels top SP prospects, with a future in at least the bullpen an almost certain floor.
Criswell 2019 (A+): 4.27 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, .288 BAA, 6 HR allowed, 26 BB, 86 K across 90.2 IP in 20 G/16 GS
Pina 2019 (A): 4.08 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .218 BAA, 50 BB, 115 K across 90.1 IP in 21 G/16 GS
Honorable mention, pitchers:
Kelvin Caceres (RHP, AZL Rk.): 14 IP, 4 BB, 13 K, .224 BAA, 3.21 ERA in 3 G/2 GS – 19-year old with a strong showing stateside so far, 3.09 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 9 K/9
Tyler Carpenter (RHP, AA): 12.2 IP, BB, 9 K, .245 BAA, 3.55 ERA in 2 GS
Greg Mahle (LHP, AA): 11 IP, BB, 11 K, .273 BAA, 3.27 ERA in 2 GS – Remember him? Wouldn’t surprise me if he wound up making a spot start before the year is out.
Luis Pena (RHP, AA): 6.2 IP, 4 BB, 10 K, .154 BAA, 2.70 ERA in 4 games – converted to relief, Pena has a .175 BAA and 2.78 ERA in Mobile this year following a demotion from SLC
Adam Hofacket (RHP, AA/AAA): 9.1 IP, 4 BB, 14 K, .206 BAA, 3.86 ERA in 4 games – RHP showing increased strikeout rates this year, could pop up in Anaheim before year is up
Victor Rodriguez (LHP, DSL Rk.): 9 IP, 3 BB, 10 K, .229 BAA, 1.00 ERA – 18-year old lefty throwing well in Dominican Summer League
Ethan Clark (RHP, Orem Rk./A): 7.2 IP, 3 BB, 18 K, .172 BAA, 2.35 ERA in 4 games – 6’5″ RHP from Tampa org, a little old for league but 28 K in 20.1 IP so far