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Hey guys, it's a new year so let's kick off 2019 with a new thread to chat about our top prospects & farm system throughout the minor league season. For starters, here's how we ranked the Los Angeles Angels top 30 prospects. By Jonathan Northrop, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer Ranking prospects is an in-exact science, to say the least. Some like to focus more on raw talent, whether athleticism or acquired baseball skills, while others like to look at actual performance. The following list is based upon the subjective opinions of nine different AngelsWin writers and members. The benefit of such a composite list is that we both get a wide array of perspectives and approaches, but we also tend to even out each other’s biases. A note on methodology: To arrive at these rankings I simply averaged out each ranking; in the case of “honorable mentions,” I counted it as a #31; in the case when a player was neither ranked or honorably mentioned, I considered that as #32 – except in the case of Taylor Ward, who was mentioned on six lists but not on three; those participants felt that due to the fact that his rookie eligibility expired (by 5 at bats) he is no longer a prospect. But I made the judgement call to include him—based on those six lists—because six of nine is a pretty solid majority. If you take issue with Ward’s inclusion, simply erase him from your mental list and move everyone below him up; Luis Madero would be the new #30. I’ve added in “Ranking Trends” so that you get a sense of the range of how each player was viewed. The age in parentheses is the player’s 2018 season age, which is based upon the age they are on July 1, the approximate mid-point of the year. The ETA is based upon age and level, adjusted by my own subjective sense of when we can expect to see that player reach the major leagues. Finally, I’ve tried to keep the comments as un-opinionated as possible, but in those cases where an opinion is given and seems off-base, don’t blame anyone but this writer. Without further ado… 1. Jo Adell OF (age 19) Stats: 290/.355/.543, 20 HR, 15 SB in 99 games at A/A+/AA. Ranking Trends: Consensus #1. ETA: 2020. Comments: Despite a weak finish that saw his overall numbers fall, Adell was everything the Angels hoped for and more, playing at three levels as a teenager. Some scouts and analysts—and not just Angels fans—see him as being one of the highest upside players in the minors. He’s a consensus top 20 prospect in all of baseball, currently ranked #15 on MLB.com’s Pipeline rankings and #17 on Fangraphs’ The BOARD. There’s a real chance that sometime in 2019 he’s the #1 prospect in the minors. He’s the best Angels prospects since You Know Who and a probable future star. 2. Griffin Canning RHP (22) Stats: 4-3, 3.65 ERA, 44 walks and 125 strikeouts in 113.1 innings at A+/AA/AAA. Ranking Trends: average 2.1, median 2, range 2-3 (eight 2s, one 3). ETA: 2019. Comments: Not bad for a first professional season. Canning utterly dominated A+ (0.00 ERA in two starts) and AA (1.97 ERA in 10 starts) before struggling in the hitter’s paradise that is the Pacific Coast League (5.49 ERA in 13 starts). Expect him to adjust in 2019 and be in the majors at some point. His floor seems to be that of a good mid-rotation starter, his ceiling that of a borderline ace. MLB.com has him ranked #72 and Fangraphs #90. 3. Brandon Marsh OF (20) Stats: .266/.359/.408, 10 HR, 14 SB, 73 walks in 127 A/A+ games. Ranking Trends: average 3.3, median 3, range 2-6 (2, six 3s, 4, 6) ETA: 2020. Comments: On first glance, a disappointing year – especially after a strong start in A ball. But Marsh greatly improved his plate discipline and showed flashes of better things to come. He’s a good candidate for a breakout in 2019, when he should spend most of the year as a Trash Panda (AA). MLB.com ranks him #98, Fangraphs #58. 4. Jose Suarez LHP (20) Stats: 3.92 ERA, 44 walks and 142 strikeouts in 117 innings at A+/AA/AAA. Ranking Trends: average 5.3, median 6, range 3-7. ETA: 2019. Comments: Like Canning, Suarez dominated in A+ (2.00 ERA in 2 starts) and AA ball (3.03 ERA in 7 starts) before struggling in AAA (4.48 ERA in 17 starts), but he did eventually adjust. Also like Canning, he’ll start games in the majors next year. 5. Jahmai Jones 2B (20) Stats: .229/.337/.380, 10 HR, 24 SB, 67 walks in 123 A+/AA games. Ranking Trends: average 5.3, median 6, range 3-8. ETA: 2020. Comments: See Marsh; not a great year statistically, but not only did his plate discipline improve but he adjusted back to second base. I wouldn’t be concerned until we see how his second year at 2B is. There’s a sense that Jones is teetering between a breakthrough to future star status and more of a average regular. #75 according to Fangraphs. 6. Luis Rengifo SS (21) Stats: .299/.399/.452, 7 HR, 41 SB, 75 walks in 127 A+/AA/AAA games. Ranking Trends: average 6, median 5, range 4-10. ETA: 2019. Comments: Rengifo was a revelation, one of the most dynamic performers in the minor leagues and probably the Angels prospect whose value jumped the most. At the very least he’ll be a very nice super utility player; he may also challenge David Fletcher and Jones for the long-term gig at second base as soon as next year. 7. Jordyn Adams OF (18) Stats: .267/.361/.381, 0 HR, 5 SB in 29 Rookie games. Ranking Trends: average 7.4, median 8, range 5-9. ETA: 2022. Comments: 2018 first round pick Jordyn “The Dunk” Adams held his own in his first exposure to professional ball. He seemed to be taking a step forward in Orem, hitting .314/.375/.486 in 9 games, before going down with injury. A very athletic player with a high upside, but there’s still quite a range of possible outcomes. 8. Taylor Ward 3B (24) Stats:.349/.446/.531, 14 HR, 18 SB, 65 walks in 102 AA/AAA games; .178/.245/.333, 6 HR, 9 walks and 45 strikeouts in 40 MLB games. Ranking Trends: average 8, median 9, range 5-10 (with three not ranked due to loss of rookie status). ETA: 2018. Comments:: Angels minor league player of the year? While a dozen or more prospects have higher upside, Ward might have had the best year of any Angel minor leaguer. He struggled at the major league level but deserves the benefit of the doubt. Unlikely to be a star, he could be a solid performer at 3B. 9. Patrick Sandoval RHP (21) Stats:2.43 ERA, 29 walks and 145 strikeouts in 122.1 A/A+/AA games, including a 0.79 ERA in 7 starts in the Angels organization. Ranking Trends: average 9.1, median 9, range 5-14. ETA: 2020. Comments: Acquired for Martin Maldonado, Sandoval is a very welcome addition to the farm system. Most seem to think he is a future back-end of the rotation starter, but the numbers alone speak of mid-rotation potential. 10. Matt Thaiss 1B (23) Stats:.280/.335/.467, 16 HR, 44 walks in 125 games in AA/AAA. Ranking Trends: average 10, median 10, range 5-12. ETA: 2019. Comments: Thaiss continues to improve incrementally, although perhaps not quickly enough to get excited about. The jury is still out on his future, whether he’ll be an above average performer or more of a fringe starter/platoon player. 11. Jeremiah Jackson SS (18) Stats: .254/.314/.491, 7 HR, 10 SB, 15 walks and 59 strikeouts in 43 Rookie games. Ranking Trends: average 10.1, median 11, range 5-16. ETA: 2022. Comments: Jackson showed a lot of game, albeit in flashes of streaky brilliance. After crushing AZL pitching (.317/.374/.598 in 21 games) he really struggled in Orem (.198/.260/.396 in 22 games), so it remains to be seen whether the Angels push him and start him in A ball or send him to extended spring until the short season starts in Orem. 12. D’Shawn Knowles OF (17) Stats: .311/./391/.464, in 5 HR, 9 SB, 28 walks and 65 strikeouts in 58 Rookie games. Ranking Trends: average 12, median 12, range 9-16. ETA: 2022. Comments: Knowles was considered second Bahamanian fiddle to Trent Deveaux before the season began, but vastly outperformed Deveaux in their first professional showing. He may not have the pure athletic tools of Deveaux or Adams, but there is a sense of him having that x-factor of make-up. Like Rengifo he seems to be more than the sum of his parts, but also like Rengifo it is hard to say how that will translate at the major league level. He’s got a lot of time. 13. Kevin Maitan 3B/SS (18) Stats: .248/.306/.397, 8 HR, 19 walks and 66 strikeouts, and 32 errors (!) in 63 Rookie games. Ranking Trends: average 12.1, median 13, range 4-16. ETA: 2022. Comments: That range of rankings tells it all about Maitan: He could turn out to be Miguel Cabrera or he could flounder in the low minors and be out of professional baseball in a few years. Perhaps it is time to let go of such comparisons as Miggy and give Maitan the kindness of a tabula rasa of expectations; if you look only at his stat line, you might think “Not bad for an 18-year old in high Rookie ball.” Let’s see how he develops. 14. Jose Soriano RHP (19) Stats: 4.47 ERA, 23 walks and 35 strikeouts in 46.1 IP at A ball. Ranking Trends: average 14.8, median 15, range 12-18. ETA: 2022. Comments: One of the higher upside pitchers in the system, Soriano flashed excellent stuff but with only mediocre results. A good breakout candidate in 2019. 15. Chris Rodriguez RHP (19) Stats: Did not play. Ranking Trends: average 16.1, median 14, range 13-24. ETA: 2022. Comments: Did not play due to a back injury. Expectations should be adjusted accordingly, but he’s a similar prospect to Soriano in terms of high ceiling, very low floor. 16. Michael Hermosillo OF (23) Stats: .267/.357/.480, 12 HR and 10 SB in 68 AAA games; .211/.274/.333 in 62 PA in MLB. Ranking Trends: average 17.6, median 16, range 13-24. ETA: 2018. Comments: A strong defensive player who can field the entire OF, with a bit of pop and speed but mediocre bat. Hermosillo could put it all together in a year or two and be a solid starter, but is the odd-man out in the Angels outfield of the 2020s. At the least, however, he’ll be a very good 4th outfielder. 17. Trent Deveaux OF (18) Stats: .199/.309/.247, 1 HR and 7 SB in 44 Rookie games. Ranking Trends: average 17.7, median 18, range 13-27. ETA: 2022. Comments: Deveaux looked completely over-matched this year, striking out 68 times in 194 PA. He’s got the talent, but a Jabari-esque batting stance that leaves many scratching their heads. Watch him closely in 2019; he could jump to be in the mix with Adams, or he could continue in the Chevy Clarke School of Prospects. After Deveaux, there’s a solid drop-off in rankings, with the following players rounding out the top 30: 18. Aaron Hernandez RHP (21) Stats: Did not play pro ball. Ranking Trends: average 20.3, median 19, range 12-20+ (one unranked). ETA: 2021. Comments: There’s a lot to be excited about with the Angels’ third pick of the 2018 amateur draft; has a good chance of rising quickly up these rankings. 19. Ty Buttrey RHP (25) Stats: 3.31 ERA, 16.1 IP, 5 walks and 20 strikeouts in 16 MLB games. Ranking Trends: average 21.2, median 22, range 11-29. ETA: 2018 Comments: A savvy pickup in the Ian Kinsler trade, some are considering Buttrey to be the closer of the future; at the least, he’s a central piece of the Angels bullpen going forward. 20. Jared Walsh OF/1B/LHP (24) Stats: .277/.359/.536, 29 HR, 99 RBI in 128 games in A+/AA/AAA. 1.59 ERA, 5.2 IP, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts in 8 games in A+/AA/AAA. Ranking Trends: average 21.3, median 21, range 11-27+ (one unranked). ETA: 2019 Comments: A bit under the radar, Walsh has been a steady performer throughout his four-year minor league career, compiling a .294/.360/.496 line in 360 games. Definitely in the mix for 1B/RF in 2019. 21. Jose Miguel Fernandez, IF (30) Stats: .267/.309/.388, 2 HR in 36 games for the Angels. .333/.396/.535, 17 HR in 91 games in AAA. Ranking Trends: average 21.3, median 19, range 14-22+ (two unranked). ETA: 2018 Comments: Held his own in 123 PA in the majors, although without the sexy high average and power numbers he put up in the minor leagues. Should at least be a solid bench piece. 22. Livan Soto SS (18) Stats: .291/.385/.349, 0 HR, 9 SB in 44 games in Rookie ball. Ranking Trends: average 22.7, median 23, range 15-26+ (one honorable mention). ETA: 2021 Comments:As with Knowles-Deveaux and Jackson-Adams, the less heralded of the two former Braves prospects had the better year, but in this case AngelsWin writers still ranked Maitan higher, perhaps due to Soto’s utter lack of power (so far) and Maitan’s considerable upside. But Soto is a very nice prospect who should rise up the rankings as he works his way through the organization. Gotta love that OBP. 23. Orlando Martinez OF (20) Stats: .305/.354/.432, 5 HR in 65 games in Rookie/A ball. Ranking Trends: average 23.1edian 23, range 19-25. ETA: 2022 Comments: Notice the tight ranking range. Hit .375/.415/.604 in 12 games in Rookie ball but came down to earth in A, hitting .289/.340/.394. A Brennan Lund-type prospect. 24. Alex Ramirez OF (15) Stats: Did not play professional ball. Ranking Trends: average 23.2, median 21, range 17-26+ (two unranked). ETA: 2024 Comments: Very young, just turned 16 in August. Another toolsy outfielder to be intrigued by. 25. Jack Kruger C (23) Stats: .299/.357/.413 with 7 HR in 97 games in A+/AA. Ranking Trends: average 25.1, median 25, range 16-25+ (one honorable mention, two unranked). ETA: 2020 Comments: Became a sleeper prospect and favorite in prospect discussions, perhaps because the Angels are so weak at the position. Could be a future platoon catcher. 26. Leonardo Rivas SS/2B (20) Stats: .234/.354/.333, 5 HR and 16 SB, in 121 games in A ball (2 in Rookie). Ranking Trends: average 26.7, median 27, range 22-28+ (one honorable mention, two unranked). ETA: 2022 Comments: Really struggled in Burlington after hitting .286/.443/.396 in 2017, and has been surpassed by players like Rengifo and Soto on the middle infield depth chart. Still might have a place as a major league utility infielder. 27. Luis Pena RHP (22) Stats: 5.03 ERA, 57 walks and 101 strikeouts in 105.2 IP in AA/AAA. Ranking Trends: average 27.8, median honorable mention, range 15-27+ (two honorable mentions, three unranked). ETA: 2019 Comments: A pitcher whose ERA doesn’t reflect his stuff, which is very good. Should at least have a future as a major league reliever, possibly back-end rotation starter. 28. Jesus Castillo RHP (22) Stats: 4.94 ERA, 31 walks and 60 strikeouts in 98.1 IP in AA. Ranking Trends: average 28.3, median 30, range 21-30+ two honorable mentions, one unranked). ETA: 2020 Comments: His stock fell due to a mediocre year and possible decreased velocity. Could still be a #5 starter or swingman. 29. Kyle Bradish RHP (21) Stats: Did not play professional ball. Ranking Trends: average 28.4, median 28, range 22-28+ (three unranked). ETA: 2021 Comments: Fourth pick in the draft, with good upside and should have a quick path to the majors. 30. William English OF/RHP (17) Stats: .220/.325/.260 in 30 games in Rookie ball. Ranking Trends: average 28.8, median 29, range 22-30+ (two unranked). ETA: 2023 Comments: Not a pretty stat line, but there’s a lot to like here: a very athletic outfielder who can also pitch. Ranked Prospects By Primary Position C. 25 1B: 10, 20 2B: 5, 21, 26 SS: 6, 11, 22 3B: 8, 13 OF: 1, 3, 7, 12, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 SP: 2, 4, 9, 14, 15, 18, 27, 28, 29 RP: 19 Honorable Mentions: Jason Alexander, Stiward Aquino, Jeremy Beasley, Denny Brady, Ryan Clark, Julio de la Cruz, Francisco Del Valle, Joe Gatto, Jenrry Gonzalez, Emilker Guzman, Brett Hanewich, Williams Jerez, Julian Leon, Conor Lillis-White, Brennan Lund, David MacKinnon, Luis Madero, Simon Mathews, Christopher Molina, Oliver Ortega, Mayky Perez, Daniel Procopio, Jeremy Rhoades, Jerryell Rivera, Jose Rojas, Brandon Sandoval, Tyler Stevens, John Swanda, Julian Tavarez, Raider Uceta, Andrew Wantz, Bo Way, Cam Williams, Nonie Williams, Hector Yan.
By Robert Cunningham, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer So I almost didn't write the series this year. A lot of things happened, one of which the company I worked for, Vector-Launch, unfortunately shut down in mid-August due to the loss of our primary financial backer, Sequoia. This was a real loss to me because that was the best damn job I ever had and likely will ever have the remainder of my career. It is rare that you find a position where you enjoy the work so much that you don't even feel like it is work, you have a supervisor that respects and mentors you, and you have fantastic relationships with virtually all of your coworkers to the point that they become family and you even hang out with them outside of work. Vector was all of that and it is a damn shame that it had to go. There are parallels to that situation with the 2019 Angels. The Halos, at the start of the season seemed locked in. Our new manager, Brad Ausmus, was at the helm and seemed to have a good grasp of how to manage the team and appeared to have the respect of the players. Most importantly the team seemed to gel well and the clubhouse atmosphere seemed loose and fun. However, as we are all aware, injuries, ineffectiveness, and a lack of leadership at the top ravaged the 2019 Angels team. Players like Matt Harvey and Cody Allen, larger ticket players Eppler signed on one-year deals in the off-season, failed to produce and were eventually cut. The Angels tragically lost Tyler Skaggs mid-season to a deadly concoction of opioids and alcohol. Justin Upton, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Luis Rengifo, and Tommy La Stella all hit the Injury List (IL) at various points in the season creating a discontinuity in the field and lineup that was reflected in the Angels very poor win-loss record at the end of the year. These losses certainly added up to a recipe for disaster in Anaheim that seems, on the surface, difficult to overcome in 2020 and proved fatal to Brad Ausmus' tenure. Like Vector-Launch, they had to close it down. So, once again, it will be up to Billy Eppler in what could be his last year as General Manager, and the front office staff to set a path for success this off-season if the Angels will have a real chance at post-season play. One very bright point is the signing of future Hall of Fame candidate Mike Trout to a career-long extension at the beginning of the 2019 season. The Angels now have the premier player in baseball locked up and can rest easy knowing that he is the centerpiece to build the remainder of the team around as they look to contend in 2020 and beyond. Some of these pieces are already here. Despite Justin Upton's poor offensive performance in 2019, he is still signed for three more seasons making him a likely complimentary piece in left field for next year. Andrelton Simmons will be entering his final year of control and, barring a trade, will man shortstop again in 2020 with the possibility of an extension contract in his future. Kole Calhoun turned out to be a luxury the Angels couldn't afford in an off-season where they need a lot of starting pitching but fortunately, the Angels have Brian Goodwin to fill their right field need to start the season. Other complimentary players like Zack Cozart (if healthy), David Fletcher, Luis Rengifo, Matt Thaiss, Taylor Ward, Jared Walsh, and Tommy La Stella should help fill one or more holes in the infield not called shortstop. Catcher may turn out to be a patchwork again manned by some combination of Max Stassi (who probably won't be ready to start the season), Anthony Bemboom, Kevan Smith, and perhaps one or more other, yet-to-be-acquired, backstops. Shohei Ohtani should be ready to pitch again, along with Andrew Heaney, giving the Angels a decent base to create a rotation with the likes of Griffin Canning, Jaime Barria, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez, Dillon Peters, and possibly others like Felix Pena filling up the back-end of the starting five. However, it should be clearly noted that the free agent starting pitching market has some very attractive players that the Angels will almost certainly target to create a strong rotation for 2020. Our relief corps will probably contain names like Ty Buttrey, Hansel Robles, Noe Ramirez, Cam Bedrosian, Luke Bard, Justin Anderson, Keynan Middleton, Jake Jewell, and Taylor Cole among potential others. In fact this group may be enough to rely upon for the 2020 season, making it one potential area that the Angels need not worry about this off-season in terms of expending resources. The rebuilding process in the Angels Minor League system has actually been underway for some time now. Eppler has been steadily building it up and there are some notable names that have joined or are on the verge of joining Trout in Anaheim. Potential stars like Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, along with contributing pieces like Luis Madero are making strides to join the big league club in 2020 or after. Adell in particular appears to be the closest to the Majors and is likely, based on Calhoun's option being declined, a call-up in the May/June time frame. Other potential contributors like Luis Pena (bullpen), Jahmai Jones (2B/OF), and Chris Rodriguez could accelerate fast if they have a productive start in 2020. The unexpected replacement of Ausmus with Joe Maddon and Moreno's recent comments that there will be an increase in payroll this off-season clearly points to a sea change and acceleration to push the Angels into a window of contention that many fans have been awaiting for a long time. Based on the groundwork laid to date, owner comments, and a largely new, but experienced, coaching staff, it seems highly probable that there will be at least one or more significant free agent signings and/or complimentary trades to help position the Angels to fight for a playoff spot in 2020. The Astros and A's still pose a significant threat in the Division but an improved Angels squad will make for a much more interesting race in the A.L. West. In terms of team needs, clearly the Angels need to add at least one top-of-the-rotation starter and likely an additional mid-tier type to create solid depth. Adding a high-quality defensive catcher, to compliment one of Stassi (likely), Smith (maybe), or Bemboom (unlikely), would be a nice add to receive all of those pitches from the revamped rotation. The infield will need to be reinforced, likely at the corners with third base a long-term strategic concern for Eppler. Right field will be open to competition with Jo Adell in the mix (and the future of the position) but likely only after the Angels retain the extra year of team control on him (thus the projected May/June call-up). Adding another reliever or two to the mix, even if they are waiver claims or Rule 5 picks, will add depth. The question will ultimately be how high will Moreno let Eppler spend? Is it a modest increase or something much more significant that would take us into Luxury Tax territory for the next two years? Will a poor free agent market in the 2020-2021 off-season drive spending now? What moves can be made in free agency and trade to strengthen the team? Can the team supplement from the Minors in key areas throughout the season to create the missing depth that recent Angels squads have lacked? All that and more in what is sure to be an active Angels off-season in the subsequent installments of the 2020 Angelswin.com Primer Series!
Welcome to this year’s version of the AngelsWin Top 30 Prospects. As with last year, it is a group effort: the following is a composite list of several AngelsWin.com members and writers, with eight participants this year. The method is simple: the list is an average of eight lists. The benefit of taking such an approach is that not only do we tend to even each other’s biases out a bit, but we also get a range of approaches: from relying mostly on stats, reading other scouting reports, and eye-witness scouting. Unlike last year, I’m going to include the age the player will be for the 2020 season, meaning how old they are on July 1, 2020. A note on Ranking Trends: it is simply the different rankings by the eight participants. Most such lists don’t include the “raw wiring,” but as with last year I thought it would be interesting for people see because the range of numbers say a lot about the prospect. Prospects with a relatively narrow range tend to be more predictable, while those with a wider range may also have a wider range of outcomes and greater volatility. Finally, a big thanks to Scotty Allen (aka "Second Base") for providing the insightful Best Known For quotes. On to the list… 1. JO ADELL OF (age 21) Stats: .289/.359/.475, 10 HR in 76 games in A+/AA/AAA. Ranking Trends: Consensus #1. ETA: 2020. Comments: The second year in a row as the consensus #1 Angels prospect, Adell is now considered one of the top five prospects in all of baseball – despite missing the first couple months of the year with a rather freakish double whammy hamstring/ankle injury. MLB Pipeline currently has him at #5, while Baseball America has him at #2. Adell’s stat line above is somewhat diminished by a relatively poor showing in AAA at the end of the year (.264/.321/.355 in 27 games), but his performance in AA (.308/.390/.553, 8 HR and 173 wRC+ in 43 games) is more indicative of his talent level. Adell is a tremendous athlete with prodigious power and great make-up; if there’s one knock on his game its that he doesn’t make as much contact as you’d like, and has only average plate discipline; but both should improve as he matures. He’s the real deal, the best Angels prospect since Mike Trout, and will make his debut in Anaheim sometime in 2020. Best Known For: Blend of power, speed, and athleticism at such a young age. 2. BRANDON MARSH OF (age 22) Stats: .286/.367/.407, 7 HR and 19 SB in 101 Rookie/AA games. Ranking Trends: Consensus #2. ETA: 2020. Comments: Somewhat overshadowed by his friend and team-mate Adell, Brandon Marsh is an excellent prospect in his own right. That stat line is marred by a 1-21 streak in Rookie ball rehabbing an injury; he hit .300/.383/.428 in AA. He has not yet hit for power, but he’ll hit his share of extra base hits and should at least develop average HR power in the majors, possibly more. Despite having less impressive raw tools, in some ways Marsh is a more well-rounded prospect than Adell, with better contact and plate discipline, and at this point is a superior defender. Like his soon-to-be AAA Salt Lake team-mate, he’ll probably make his major league debut sometime in 2020, if he gets the opportunity. Best Known For: Well-rounded game. Beard, and tantalizing power-speed potential. 3. JORDYN ADAMS OF (age 20) Stats: .257/.351/.369, 8 HR and 16 SB 109 R/A/A+ games. Ranking Trends: Seven #3s, one #4. ETA: 2023. Comments: Considering that Adams was a two-sport player and more committed to football than baseball a year and a half ago, the fact that he held his own in single A as a 19-year old is room for optimism. There’s a lot to like in his performance: not only is he flashing Adell-esque tools (and he’s even faster), but his 56 walks in 109 games is very heartening. Perhaps most importantly, Adams seemed to improve as the year went on: after a slow start, he hit .287/.369/.414 from May 10 on, and .325/.406/.504 from July 13 on. Expect for a breakthrough year in A+ Rancho Cucamonga this year. While Adams is still raw, he’s learning quickly and is on the fast track. Best Known For: One of the top prep football players in the nation coming out of high school. Also, “The Dunk”. Also, the highest upside prospect in the system. 4. CHRIS RODRIGUEZ RHP (21) Stats: 0.00 ERA, 3 GS, 9.1 IP, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts. Ranking Trends: Four #4s, three #5s, one #9. ETA: 2021. Comments: Chris Rodriguez’s high ranking might come as a surprise due to the fact that he’s only pitched 9.1 innings in the last two years, all within 2019. But the stuff is real: Aside from possibly Jack Kochanowicz, he has the highest ceiling in the minor leagues. The question is whether he can stay healthy, and that is a big question. If he does, his ascendency to the majors will be fast and furious. Best Known For: Mid-90’s fastball, and mid/front of the rotation upside. 5. PATRICK SANDOVAL LHP (23) Stats: 5.03 ERA, 39.1 IP, 19 walks, 42 strikeouts in the majors. Ranking Trends: 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7. ETA: 2019. Comments: When Sandoval came over to the Angels in July of 2018, from the Astros for Martin Maldonado, the general view was that he was a classic high-floor but low-ceiling starter, the type of guy you don’t mind having as your 5th starter but not much more. In his nine starts in the majors, he showed flashes of something more, a bonafide mid-rotation starter, if everything comes together. Best Known For: His fastball climbing 4-5 mph in the last two years since the Astros traded him. 6. JEREMIAH JACKSON SS (20) Stats: .266/.333/.605, 23 HR in 65 games in Orem (high Rookie ball). Ranking Trends: 5, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9. ETA: 2023. Comments: I think the key phrase would be “cautiously excited.” 23 HR in 65 games for a 19-year old is impressive, but its all accompanied by 96 strikeouts and a mediocre .266 BA. He walked 24 times, which is a decent rate; given his swing and miss, developing plate discipline may be the key to Jackson becoming a star. Best Known For: Breaking the Pioneer League HR record as a 19 year old. 7. JOSE SORIANO RHP (21) Stats: 2.51 ERA, 82.1 IP, 51 walks, 92 strikeouts in Rookie and A ball (Burlington). Ranking Trends: 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 23. ETA: 2021. Comments: Soriano and Rodriguez are often mentioned in the same breath. While on one level it is a ceiling/floor comparison, Soriano’s ceiling isn’t that much lower, and his floor seems quite a bit higher. If his control develops, he could be in Anaheim rather quickly. Best Known For: Mid to upper 90’s fastball and wipeout slider. 8. JAHMAI JONES 2B (22) Stats: .234/.308/.324, 5 HR and 9 SB in 130 games in AAA Salt Lake. Ranking Trends: 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9 ETA: 2021 Comments: Jones not only had a very bad year statistically speaking, it was also his second year in a row of declining performance: his OPS slipped from .794 in 2017 (A/A+), .717 in 2018 (A+/AA) to .631 in 2019 (AA). That said, he did improve later in the year, both hitting well in the Arizona Fall League (.302/.377/.509 in 61 PA), but also towards the end of the regular year, hitting .306/.385/.414 from July 5th on, or 51 games. So while he didn’t make that jump into elite prospect status that we might have hoped for after 2017, he’s still a good prospect. Depending what the Angels do with Andrelton Simmons and Tommy La Stella after 2020, don’t be surprised if the 2021 infield includes Fletcher, Rengifo, and Jones. Best Known For: Power-speed potential as a middle infielder, and the younger brother of NFL Wide Receiver T.J. Jones. 9. KYREN PARIS SS (18) Stats: .300/.462/.400 in 13 PA in Rookie ball (AZL). Ranking Trends: 6, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 13, 14. ETA: 2024 Comments: While it is rather early to be too excited about Paris, the upside is real: this is a talented young baseball player who just turned 18 a couple weeks ago from this writing, on November 11. He’s a toolsy shortstop, a good defender for his age, and really only lacks power – although that could develop. Before the draft last year, when he went 55th overall (2nd round), websites and analysts had him anywhere from #34 (Fangraphs), #48 (Keith Law), #70 (Baseball America), and #75 (MLB Pipeline). There’s a lot of volatility at this point; a couple years from now he could be another Livan Soto—a defense-first middle infielder who profiles as a major league bench player—or he could be an elite prospect, if the bat develops as hoped. Stay tuned. Best Known For: Delivering one of the better post-draft interviews with Victor and Gubi. A very well spoken young man. 10. WILL WILSON 2B/SS (21) Stats: .275/.329/.439 in 46 games in Rookie ball. Ranking Trends: 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 29. ETA: 2022 Comments: At this point it is difficult to say whether the tepid view on Wilson is warranted in that, on one hand, he seems like another unexciting college draft pick with limited upside in the tradition of Matt Thaiss and CJ Cron; on the other, not only is he rather young for a college player, but the scouting reports on his bat are promising. At the least, he deserves a chance to prove himself before calling him an over-draft. Wilson could be better than expected, so let’s see how he hits with a full season of experience: he could move fast. Best Known For: The Angels first round draft pick from this last draft. Bat first middle infielder. 11. JACK KOCHANOWICZ RHP (19) Stats: Did not play professional baseball. Ranking Trends: 10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 12, 15, 17. ETA: 2024. Comments: Upside, upside, upside. At 6’6” and 220 lbs, Kochanowicz can bring the heat. In my mind, he is the pitching equivalent of Kyren Paris: a couple years from now he could be #1 on this list, or another cautionary tale about getting too excited too soon. But the stuff is real, and he’s very young. He’ll be one of the most exciting prospects to watch in 2020. Best Known For: Hitting upper-90’s at Fall Instructs. One scout said that he believed Kochanowicz would go top five in the draft three years from now had he decided to go to college instead. 12. AARON HERNANDEZ RHP (23) Stats: 4.46 ERA, 72.2 IP, 46 walks, 81 strikeouts in A+ ball (Inland Empire). Ranking Trends: 11, 11, 12, 13, 13, 15, 15, 20. ETA: 2021. Comments: Hernandez simply needs more minor league innings, and should be in Anaheim before you know it. He’s got the upside to be a mid-rotation starter, but may settle in a bit below that, or as a reliever. But he seems to have a rather high floor for a pitching prospect and, one way or another, should be part of the major league team within the next year or two. Best Known For: Other than sharing a name with an unfortunate soul mid-90’s fastball with movement and a strong finish to the 2019 season. 13. HECTOR YAN LHP (21) Stats: 3.72 ERA in 109 IP, 52 walks, and 148 strikeouts in A ball (Burlington). Ranking Trends: 11, 12, 13, 13, 14, 16, 16, 16. ETA: 2022. Comments: Take a look at those strikeouts and walks, and you see why Yan is ranked where he is. 12.2 Ks per 9 innings is no joke, but neither are 4.3 walks. We can hope that Yan can remain a starter, but his path to the majors may be as a relief pitcher. Either way, he’s one of a handful of pitching prospects in the organization with legitimate upside. Best Known For: Recently being added to the Angels 40 man roster from A Ball. Sidearmer with mid-90’s fastball. 14. D’SHAWN KNOWLES OF (19) Stats: .241/.310/.387 in 64 games in Rookie ball (Orem). Ranking Trends: 12, 12, 13, 16, 16, 18, 21, 28. ETA: 2023 Comments: Remember when D’Shawn was an after-thought to Trent Deveaux? He had a surprising 2018, but fell back to earth in 2019 – a rather disappointing follow-up. He doesn’t seem to have Deveaux’s elite athleticism, but may also have that “it factor” to become more than the sum of his parts. At 19 years old and with Adell, Marsh, and Hermosillo ahead of him, he’s got plenty of time. Best Known For: Being the “other” top international signing from the Bahamas two years ago. 15. MICHAEL HERMOSILLO OF (25) Stats: .243/.330/.466 in 64 games in A+/AAA; .139/.304/.222 in 18 major league games. Ranking Trends: 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 28. ETA: 2019. Comments: Hermosillo seems like the type of player that could become a fan favorite, the Brock Holt of the Angels. Or at least that’s his upside. He’s got the tools to be a terrific 4th outfielder, and could even be a starter on some teams. But he’s got to make more contact first, and may be destined for another organization to get regular playing time. Best Known For: Prep exploits on the gridiron and overall athleticism. 16. KEVIN MAITAN IF (20) Stats: .214/.278/.323 in 123 games in A Burlington. Ranking Trends: 11, 12, 18, 18, 20, 20, 20, 26. ETA: 2023. Comments: If you didn’t know about the hype from a few years ago, Maitan would be an intriguing prospect – and he is. But it is hard not to get around the ridiculous comparisons that were thrown around, like Miguel Cabrera and Chipper Jones. Imagine being a 16-year old and hearing that. The hitting tools are there to be a major leaguer, and it is important to remember that he’s still quite young for his level – according to Baseball-Reference the league differential last year was -2.2. So while he isn’t the Promised One that the Braves originally thought he was, he still has a lot of time to actualize the good potential he does possess. Best Known For: Being one of the more hyped international signings in recent memory. Big time power. 17. STIWARD AQUINO RHP (21) Stats: 6.87 ERA in 36.2 IP, 16 walks and 49 strikeouts in Rookie ball. Ranking Trends: 8, 14, 16, 17, 19, 22, 25, 27. ETA: 2023. Comments: Another live arm with a wide range of possible outcomes, which is well-reflected in the ranking trends. Aquino’s numbers don’t look impressive, but he flashed good potential at times. His game log displays erratic performance, so hopefully with more innings he’ll settle down. Another pitcher whose future might be in the bullpen. Best Known For: A great name and a mid-90’s fastball. 18. ALEXANDER RAMIREZ OF (17) Stats: .234/.328/.429 in 39 games in the Dominican League (Foreign Rookie). Ranking Trends: 15, 15, 15, 17, 17, 19, 28, NR. ETA: 2025. Comments: There’s not a lot to go on at this point, but there’s a reason Billy Eppler gave the young Dominican a $1 million signing bonus upon turning 16 years old. He should be coming States-side in 2020, so look for him in the AZL. He is very young, just 17 in August, and has a ton of young outfielders ahead of him, but is at least worth having in the back of your mind as a high-ceiling prospect to look forward to. Best Known For: Angels top international signee from last year. Power and speed are more advanced than originally anticipated. 19. KYLE BRADISH RHP (23) Stats: 4.28 ERA in 101 IP, 53 walks and 120 strikeouts in A+ Inland Empire. Ranking Trends: 12, 15, 21, 21, 21, 23, 24, 25. ETA: 2021. Comments: Bradish may forever be paired with Aaron Hernandez, as he was drafted right after him. Like Hernandez, he’s a college pitcher who projects as a major league starter, but is considered to have a lower ceiling. Clearly he has to work on his control, but after a solid first professional season, he’s establishing a solid floor to build from. Best Known For: Advanced college arm that will climb the minor league ladder quickly. 20. JARED WALSH OF/1B/RHP (26) Stats: .325/.423/.686, 36 HR in 98 AAA games (Salt Lake); .203/.276/.329 in 31 major league games. Pitching: 4.15 ERA, 13 IP, 5 walks and 9 strikeouts in AAA; 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts in the majors. Ranking Trends: 12, 18, 19, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27. ETA: 2019 Comments: It is hard not to like Walsh. Not only did he absolutely kill AAA pitching, but he is also trying to make it as a two-way player in the majors. Unlike Taylor Ward, this gives him a flexibility that might give him a longer leash as a useful—even ideal-- “26th man” on the major league roster next year. Best Known For: Being the Angels “other” two-way player. 21. TRENT DEVEAUX OF (20) Stats: .238/.320/.422 in 60 games in Rookie ball (AZL, Orem). Ranking Trends: 13, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 29, NR. ETA: 2023. Comments: After a disappointing season in 2018 (.199/.309/.247 in 44 AZL games), Deveaux adjusted well to States-side professional baseball, showing flashes of the potential that led the Angels to sign him. There’s a lot to like here, but he simply needs time to develop. He’s probably got both a higher ceiling and lower floor than his fellow Bahamanian, D’Shawn Knowles. He’s a good candidate for a breakout season in 2020, which should be his first full season in A ball. Best Known For: Being the Angels top international signee from two years ago. Bahamian with 80-grade speed. 22. OLIVER ORTEGA RHP (23) Stats: 4.14 ERA in 111 IP, 57 walks and 135 strikeouts in A+/AA ball. Ranking Trends: 14, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, NR. ETA: 2021. Comments: Ortega seemed to come out of nowhere and reminds us that players do indeed rise up from the Dominican League through the minor leagues. He’s on the verge of the major league radar. Best Known For: Bursting onto the scene at the end of last year and beginning of this year with mid-90’s fastball. 23. AROL VERA SS (17) Stats: Did not play. Ranking Trends: 14, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, NR, NR. ETA: 2025. Comments: A top international signing, the word on Vera is that he’s a tall (6’2”), lean, and promising switch-hitting shortstop with a strong hit-tool. He’s a long way away, but fits in a similar category with Alexander Ramirez. Best Known For: Angels most expensive international signee since Roberto Baldoquin (not counting Kevin Maitan). Great power projection from both sides of the plate. 24. WILLIAM HOLMES OF/RHP (19) Stats: .326/.431/.488 in 11 Rookie games; 5.18 ERA, 24.1 IP, 20 walks, 38 strikeouts. Ranking Trends: 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 26, NR. ETA: 2023. Comments: The third two-player in the Angels system, along with Ohtani and Walsh. Holmes is the player formerly known as William English. There’s a lot to like here, with a nice showing with the bat and some promise on the mound. Best Known For: Being the rare draftee from Detroit, also happens to be a two-way player with scattered intriguing skills on both sides of the ball. 25. LUIZ GOHARA LHP (23) Stats: Did not play (injuries). Ranking Trends: 16, 17, 19, 22, 24, 28, 29 NR. ETA: 2018. Comments: Released by the Braves, the Angels signed the Brazilian Gohara as a free agent in August. He’s pretty much the definition of a potential “clean peanut,” which also makes him really difficult to assess. Before the 2018 season, Baseball America ranked as the #23 prospect in all of baseball—that was after dominating A+ and AA, and getting a solid taste of AAA, even five starts in the majors at the age of 20 years old. But then his troubles began, and he didn’t perform well in the minors and eventually missed all of 2019 with a shoulder injury. While it is easly to get excited about his upside, the Braves released him for a reason. We can hope that they made a terrible mistake, but don’t count on it. Gohara goes into the 2020 season as perhaps the biggest in-house wildcard that could make a surprise impact on the major league pitching staff. Best Known For: Being one of the top prospects in all of baseball only a little over a year ago. Used to have upper-90’s heat before shoulder injury. Currently rehabbing from surgery. One of the very rare Brazilian baseball players. 26. ROBINSON PINA RHP (21) Stats: 3.83 ERA, 108 IP, 61 walks, 146 strikeouts in A ball (Burlington). Ranking Trends: 13, 20, 20, 25, 27, 27, 30, NR. ETA: 2023. Comments: Given his performance in 2019, it is almost surprising that Pina isn’t ranked higher. But if he continues this level of play in A+ and above, he could leapfrog several pitching prospects by year’s end. Definitely one to watch, with major league potential. Best Known For: Tall and lanky. Herky-jerky motion. Misses lots of bats. Reports indicate low-90’s fastball . 27. LUIS MADERO RHP (23) Stats: 5.03 ERA, 105.2 IP, 31 walks, 98 strikeouts in A+/AA. Ranking Trends: 10, 20, NR, NR, NR, NR, NR, NR. ETA: 2022 Comments: Madero was a bit of a darling among Angelswin prospects hounds after his breakout 2018 campaign (3.49 ERA, 27 walks and 95 strikeouts in 105.2 IP in A/A+). While his ERA rose substantially, his peripherals held steady and perhaps we’re being a bit too bearish on him. He isn’t far from being on the major league depth chart. Best Known For: Mid-90’s fastball. Added to the Angels 40-man ahead of last year’s Rule 5 Draft. 28. LIVAN SOTO SS/2B (20) Stats: .220/.304/.256 in 311 PA in A/Rookie ball. Ranking Trends: 14, 24, 30, NR, NR, NR, NR, NR. ETA: 2024. Comments: The second of the “stolen” Braves prospects, Soto had a disappointing follow-up to his promising first year in the Angels farm system. Right now he projects as a very weak-hitting but solid fielding middle infielder, but he’s also got some physical development ahead of him. 2020 should give us a better sense of his ultimate potential. Best Known For: Being the “other” prospect the Braves lost that the Angels signed. Defensive wizard. Weighs about as much as a women’s olympic gymnast. 29. ADRIAN RONDON IF (21) Stats: .266/.317/.378 in 69 games in Rookie/A ball. Ranking Trends: 25, 25, 26, 27, 30, NR, NR, NR. ETA: 2023. Comments: We’ve got a Rondon! Eppler seems to like former highly regarded international prospects; while never quite as lauded as Maitan, Rondon’s story is similar: the Tampa Rays gave him a $3 million signing bonus in 2015, but he struggled in the minor leagues. He held his own last year, but nothing exciting – so far. There’ still untapped potential and relative youth on his side. Best Known For: One of the more hyped international signees in recent memory. Angels traded practically nothing for him. Great bat speed, recently moved to 3B. 30. GARRETT STALLINGS RHP (22) Stats: Did not play. Ranking Trends: 22, 25, 29, 29, 29, NR, NR, NR. ETA: 2022. Comments: The Angels’ 5th round pick in 2019, Stallings is a bit of a sleeper pick who could reach the majors relatively quickly. He probably projects as a back-end starter, but is one to keep an eye on. Best Known For: Brilliant performance in the heavily scouted Cape Cod League. Could climb the minor league ladder very quickly. Other Ranked Players: Jeremy Beasley, Jose Bonilla, Denny Brady, Sadrac Franco, Jake Jewell, Orlando Martinez, Isaac Mattson, Leonardo Rivas, Jose Rojas, Andrew Wantz, Austin Warren.
Deferring to guys that are more well versed in the minors and follow these players more closely. What would be some of your MLB comps for Jo Adell? I'm curious on ranges too, such as, if he reaches his full potential he is player X and worst case scenario he is player Y as a major leaguer. I tried searching online for some, but did not really come up with anything great.