Los Angeles Angels 2014 Top 15 Prospects

Aug 29, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman Luis Jimenez (18) doubles during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Repeatedly signing premium free agents and forfeiting first round draft picks and refusing to spend on the international market can wreak havoc on a team’s farm system, as evidenced by the current state of the Los Angeles Angels’ prospect ranks. They have only one representative on MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list, and that player is coming off an unequivocally dreadful season. GM Jerry Dipoto has had to turn to trades to infuse some youth into his major league roster, because it’s not coming up from the minors. They have a handful of guys who could make a difference within a couple of season, but upside is sorely lacking.

Special thanks to Michael Hllwya of Halo Hangout for his invaluable help in the creation of this list.

Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees(Pacific Coast League)
Double-A: Arkansas Travelers(Texas League)
High-A: Inland Empire 66ers(California League)
Class-A: Burlington Bees (Midwest League)
Short-Season A: Orem Owlz (Pioneer League)
Complex-Rookie: AZL Angels (Arizona League), DSL Angels (Dominican Summer League)

 

#15 

Reid Scoggins – RHP
Date of Birth: July 18, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’2′ 195 lbs
Acquired: Fifteenth round, 2012 draft

2013 Stats: 

YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
201322BurlingtonMIDWALAA14.2003.462117100065.05330251350763232791.3547.30.14.810.52.17
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
With a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s and can touch 101 MPH, Scoggins throws harder than any other pitcher on this list, but that’s where the good ends. His changeup and slider are developing and could eventually be quality pitches, but they’re well below average right now. More concerning is his command as he walked 4.84 batters per nine in A ball last season. His lightning fastball was enough to rack up over a strikeout per inning in the low minors, but his control and secondary offerings will have to improve if he is to succeed going forward.

2014 Prognosis: A 23 year old who pitched to a 3.46 ERA and 10.5 K/9 in Class A? Send him up to High-A Inland Empire.  

#14

Luis Jimenez- 3B
Date of Birth:
January 18, 1988
Height/Weight: 6’1′ 205 lbs
Acquired: International Free Agent

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
201325LAAAL341101041527600502228.260.291.317.6087333230105/3D6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.
YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
2013252 Teams2 LgsAAA-RkLAA512312103162925461131228.295.333.429.7629013062
201325AngelsARIZRkLAA313133600140002.462.462.6921.154900000
201325Salt LakePCLAAALAA482181972856924421131226.284.326.411.7378113062
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Jimenez’s future in the big leagues will be tied directly to his batting average, as the 25 year old third baseman brings little else to the table. He was the Angels’ 2012 organizational batting champ and hit .295 in the minors last year, but he lacks plate discipline, having amassed a mere 12 walks in 48 PCL games and just two in 110 major league plate appearances in 2013. He’s not a much of a power hitter, as evidenced by his five home runs last season, but he could eventually hit 10 or 15 long balls in a season. At third, he’s competent, although could find himself in the outfield before long.

2014 Prognosis: The acquisition of David Freese from the Cardinals displaces Jimenez, making him a bench bat for next season.

#13

Cal Towey – 3B
Date of Birth: February 6, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’1′ 215 lbs
Acquired: Seventeenth round, 2013 draft

2013 Stats:

YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201323OremPIONRkLAA7031523069731668531336759.317.492.5431.036125415031
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.

 

Analysis: 23 year olds are supposed to dominate rookie balll and 17th round draft picks don’t generally make headlines, but Towey has to be noted for his other-worldly stats. In 315 plate appearances, he walked 67 times and had only 59 strikeouts, en route to a .492 OBP. That’s a 21% walk rate – a better mark than the one posted by MLB walk leader Joey Votto last year and by Ted Williams over the course of his career.

2014 Prognosis: Towey will report to Class-A Burlington next year. If he continues to get on base like he did last year, he’ll climb through the minors quickly and the Angels could have a 17th round steal on their hands.

#12

Ricardo Sanchez – RHP
Age: 16
Height/Weight: 5’10’ 160 lbs
Acquired: International Free Agent

2013 Stats: N/A

Analysis: The Angels liked the young Venezuelan enough to give him a $580,000 bonus last summer, more than they had given to any amateur free agent in the last few years. Sanchez throws a low-90’s fastball that will only get harder as he ages and fills out, as well as a developing change up and curve. Baseball America ranked him as the 27th best international free agent last summer and MLB.com left him off their top 30, but Carlos Gomez, the Angels’ Director of International Scouting thought he should be in the top 10.

2014 Prognosis: Only 16 and having never pitched professionally, Sanchez will stay in the Dominican summer league.

#11

Nick Maronde – LHP
Date of Birth: September 5, 1989
Height/Weight: 6’3′ 205 lbs
Acquired: 3rd round, 2011 draft

2013 Stats

YearAgeTmLgWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFERA+WHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BBAwards
201323LAAAL006.7510020005.1464181500128602.2506.81.713.58.40.63
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
201323ArkansasTLAALAA24.3333.51410900056.14125224372632022451.3856.60.65.910.11.70
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Some scouts thought he could be a starter long term, but the Angels decided that his future was in the bullpen and stuck him there last season. With a two-pitch fastball/slider mix and a deceptive delivery,  he should have the ability to thrive in the bullpen. He did in 2013, striking out over a batter an inning, and although his control was spotty, it should improve in the future and regardless, mediocre command won’t hurt him too much if he stays in relief.

2014 Prognosis: Angels Bullpen.

Nov 2, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels infielder C.J. Cron against the West during the Fall Stars Game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

#10

R.J. Alvarez– RHP
Date of Birth: June 8, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’1′ 180 lbs
Acquired: Third round, 2012 draft

2013 Stats: 

YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
201322Inland EmpireCALLA+LAA42.6672.963721200448.23416162270792152081.2536.30.45.014.62.93
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis:  
Alvarez has what most young relievers have – an power fastball that he can run up into the high-90’s and past hitters. His future, however, will depend on his control, the development of his changeup, and the consistency of his curveball. If none of those things fall in line, he could still be a set up man or a very good middle reliever; few pitchers throw well enough to strikeout nearly fifteen batters per nine at any level.

2014 Prognosis: Having thoroughly dominated High-A, Alvarez will move on to Double-A next season.

#9

Eric Stamets– SS
Date of Birth: September 25, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’0′ 185 lbs
Acquired: Sixth round, 2012 draft

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201321Inland EmpireCALLA+LAA126571506801422844531643466.281.335.375.710190782120
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Stamets is a natural shortstop and could be a plus defender there in the majors, perhaps even win a gold glove or two over the course of his career. The question for him has always been the bat, but the twenty year old did his best to dispel those concerns last season. Playing in advanced-A, he had about as good a season as could be expected of a slap-hitting shortstop, accruing a .281 average, .335 OBP, and hitting 4 home runs. As his stats indicate, he has almost now power and walks at a pedestrian rate, but he certainly could be a defense-first shortstop in the big leagues.

2014 Prognosis: He will report to Double-A to start next season and could reach Triple-A if he continues to hit for a decent average.

#8

Alex Yarbough- 2B
Date of Birth: 
August 3, 1991
Height/Weight: 5’11’ 180 lbs
Acquired: Fourth round, 2012 draft

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201321Inland EmpireCALLA+LAA136615582771823210118014427106.313.341.459.800267171050
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Whereas Stamets will go as far as his glove takes him, Yarbough will follow his bat. The Ole Miss graduate showed the ability to hit for average and gap power in High-A last season, hitting .311 with 53 extra base hits. Although he only walked 27 times (and had a less than stellar .341 OBP with the 66ers, he has shown better plate discipline in the past. He’s not graceful at second – a product of his limited speed – but he can get by if his bat holds up.

2014 Prognosis: He beat up High-A, send him to Double-A. With his bat, he could be in the majors rather quickly – possibly as soon as next September.

#7

Jose Rondon– SS
Date of Birth: March 3, 1994
Height/Weight: 6’1′ 160 lbs
Acquired: International Free Agent

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201319OremPIONRkLAA6831627645812221501383031.293.359.399.75711072170
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis:
It doesn’t matter how old you are, what position you play, or what league you’re in, hitting one home run over the course of a season is not impressive. No matter, Rondon, a 19 year old who spent last season in the Pioneer rookie league, is more potential than reality at this point and scouts project him to hit for more power. Defensively, he’s almost as good as Stamets (and could catch up to him soon) and he’s a much better hitter, showing more plate discipline and average – .293 average, .393

2014 Prognosis: At 20 years old, he will finally be ready for the full season Midwestern league.

#6

C.J. Cron – 1B
Date of Birth: January 5, 1990
Height/Weight:
6’4, 235 lbs
Acquired: 
First Round (17th overall), 2011 Draft

2013 Stats: 

YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201323ArkansasTLAALAA134565519561423611483842383.274.319.428.7462221115085
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis
: The Angels were so eager to trade Mark Trumbo this winter in part because they have a similar minor leaguer in CJ Cron. Like Trumbo, Cron has immense power but little on base ability, with a walk rate of 4% last season – an actual improvement over his 3% from 2012. The problem for the Angels is that his power vanished in 2013, as after hitting one home run every 16.7 at bats through his first two professional seasons, he had only one home run per 37 at bats. His strength should return to at least some degree next, but if he is to succeed long term with his lack of plate discipline, he’ll need Trmbo-like power – 30+ home runs per year.

2014 Prognosis: After struggling the first time, he’ll likely get another go around in Double-A. If he hits well – and he should – he could see major league time at first base and DH in the event of an injury to Pujols or Ibanez.

September 13, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles starting pitcher Nick Maronde (63) pitches in the ninth inning Angels against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

#5

Mike Morin– RHP
Date of Birth: May 5, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’4′ 218 lbs
Acquired: Thirteenth Round, 2012 Draft

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
2013222 Teams2 LgsA+-AALAA33.5001.9356039002370.05616154100763032680.9437.20.51.39.87.60
201322Inland EmpireCALLA+LAA31.7501.8530024001339.03098250431001450.8976.90.51.29.98.60
201322ArkansasTLAALAA02.0002.0326015001031.02677250332031231.0007.50.61.59.66.60
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
With a cumulative ERA of 4.12, the 2013 Angels Bullpen was the fifth worst in all of baseball. Double-A closer Mike Morin is hoping to change that. Armed with a sinking low-90’s fastball and a plus changeup, Morin dominated the minors last season, pitching to a 1.93 ERA and striking out 9.8 batters per nine over 70 innings. More impressive was his command – a rare quality in a reliever – as he walked little over a batter per inning.

2014 Prognosis: Morin will probably start next season in Triple-A but barring abrupt injury or complete ineffectiveness,  will be in the majors no later than this summer.

#4

Hunter Green– RHP
Date of Birth: July 12, 1995
Height/Weight: 6’4′ 175 lbs
Acquired: Second Round, 2013 Draft

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
201317AngelsARIZRkLAA01.0004.3287000016.216148016011103811.9208.60.08.65.90.69
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Only seventeen when he was drafted several months ago, Green is years away from the majors, but he has more upside than most anyone in this farm system. His fastball currently touches 95 and could eventually sit there as he fills out. While his curve and changeup are not much to speak of yet, they are developing and both have the potential to be above average offerings. His numbers in rookie ball in 2013 aren’t particularly impressive – his 8.6 BB/9 is actually almost disconcerting – but those stats can be largely discounted as it was his first taste of professional baseball and the sample size was rather small.

2014 Prognosis: The Angels would be wise to take things slow with their talented young starter and keep him in the half-season Appalachian league next year.

#3

Mark Sappington– RHP
Date of Birth: July 12, 1995
Height/Weight: 6’4′ 175 lbs
Acquired: Second Round, 2013 Draft

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
2013222 Teams2 LgsA+-AALAA125.7063.4527270000156.112662601182013670126631.3307.30.64.77.81.66
201322Inland EmpireCALLA+LAA114.7333.3822220000130.210351491062011050115421.2637.10.74.37.61.77
201322ArkansasTLAALAA11.5003.8655000025.22311111200262011211.6758.10.47.09.11.30
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Considering Sappington had scarcely pitched against elite competition in college and was subsequently rawer than most draft picks his age, his statistics in 2013 were rather encouraging. He had a 3.38 ERA before being promoted to Double-A and he missed more than enough bats – 7.8 SO/9 – to succeed as a groundball pitcher. With an above average sinker and slider and a potentially average changeup, Sappington’s success will depend upon his command. With a 4.3 BB/9 in High-A and a 7.0 BB/9 in Double-A, his control is not quite there yet.

2014 Prognosis: Sapping showed flashes in his brief stint in Double-A last season, and he’ll return there for 2014. Untill he wrests control of his pitches, that is where he’ll remain.

#2

Taylor Lindsey–  2B
Date of Birth: December 2, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’0′ 195 lbs
Acquired: First Round (37th overall), 2010 Draft

2013 Stats: 
YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201321ArkansasTLAALAA134567508681392261756444891.274.339.441.78022444333
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Although nothing ever came of it, the Angels shopped second baseman Howie Kendrick for quite some time last summer and early this offseason, and Lindsey is one of the major reasons why. Similar to Kendrick, Lindsey excels at nothing but does everything to some degree of success. He can spray the ball across the field, hitting .274 last year and .289 the year prior, he has moderate power, knocking out 17 home runs in 2013, at 8.5%, his walk rate is almost exactly league average, and he’s an adequate defender at second.

2014 Prognosis: Lindsey will play next season Triple-A, and could see major league time if GM Jerry Dipoto ever trades Kendrick.

#1

Kaleb Cowart – 3B
Date of Birth: June 2, 1992
Height/Weight: 6’2′ 195 lbs
Acquired: First round (18th overall), 2010 draft

2013 Stats: 

YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201321ArkansasTLAALAA1325464984811020164214538124.221.279.301.580150113430
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.


Analysis: 
Coming into the 2013 season, Cowart was the lone bright spot in an otherwise blighted farm system. Then, in tune with the negative atmosphere of the entire Angels’ prospect ranks, he completely fell apart in 2013. Compared with 2012, his home run total fell by 10, his average from by 55 points, his OBP by 79 points, his slugging percentage by 151 points, and his OPS by 230 points. He can still play an above-average third base and his immense bat speed still gives scouts hope that he can be a middle of the order type hitter, but his 2013 was more than alarming.

2014 Prognosis: Cowart will return to Double-A where he’ll have a chance to rebuild his stock, but a another season like 2013 would take him completely off the map.