Los Angeles Angels Top 15 Prospect for 2015 Oct 5, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of baseballs and a glove prior to game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game between the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angeles at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Angels didn’t have a very deep minor league system prior to 2014. To further compound this problem, the Angels traded away top prospects Taylor Lindsey, Jose Rondon and R.J. Alvarez. The system was still able to provide the Angels with some productive players.
C.J. Cron, Mike Morin and Matt Shoemaker played significant roles for the 2014 Angels. Cam Bedrosian, and Jairo Diaz had mixed results but showed enough to be considered candidates for the bullpen in 2015. Over the next couple days I will take a look at the top 15 prospects in the system, starting with 11-15.
What diamonds in the rough will the 30th ranked farm system provide the Los Angeles Angels in 2015?
3B, Inland Empire 66ers
H/W: 6’1″/ 215lbs
Acquired: Selected in the in the 17th round of the 2013 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Cal Towey‘s 2014 Stats
Analysis: The versatile Towey was competing against players 1.2 yrs younger and it showed. He almost didn’t make the list but he played well for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. Towey strikes out way too much for a guy that has below average power, .138 ISO, but he has shown the ability to work a walk (9.3 BB%). Cal’s extra numbers are another reason he remained on the list.
2015 Prognosis: Cal should start 2015 with the Arkansas Travelers with Caleb Cowart moving up to the Salt Lake Bees. If Cal is able to maintain his walk rate and extra base hits, he could push Cowart for title of top third baseman in the system, but he could be converted to a backstop before that happens.
H/W: 6’0″/ 190 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 6th round of the 2012 Amateur Draft by the Angels."
SS, Arkansas Travelers
H/W: 6’0″/ 190 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 6th round of the 2012 Amateur Draft by the Angels.
Eric Stamets 2014 Stats
Analysis: Eric best asset is his glove. His bat will not be the reason he makes it to the majors, but he could develop into a bottom of the order defensive wizard. He has plus range, plus arm, and plus glove.
2015 Prognosis: Eric should spend another year with the Travelers and work on his approach at the plate. He doesn’t need to hit much, but it would be nice to see his BB/K number improve.
H/W: 6’4″/ 175 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 2nd round of the 2013 Amateur Draft by the Angels
LHP, AZL Angles
H/W: 6’4″/ 175 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 2nd round of the 2013 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Hunter Green‘s 2014 Stats
Analysis: This will be the selection that I get ripped on the most. Green has a very high ceiling and projects to be a top of the rotation arm; however, his control issues have me a little concerned. Green had his season cut short due to a bad back, which could be the root cause for his command issues. Hunter’s throws a low 90’s fastball, which should gain a few ticks once his young body fills out. Hunter is working on a change-up and a 12-6 curve.
2015 Prognosis: Likely going to repeat the Arizona League with a focus on conditioning. Green will be on a innings limit so don’t expect much movement within the organization in 2015.
ETA: Late 2018 or early 2019
2B, Burlington Bee's
H/W: 6’0″/175 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 16th round of the 2012 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Kody Eaves 2014 Stats
Analysis: Kody Eaves hit 21 doubles in his first two seasons in Rookie league, but managed to hit 37 of them in 130 games at A-Ball. Eaves uses his speed well to turn singles in extra base hits, but he has also been decent stealing bases with 20+ steals in the past two season. The knock on Eaves would be the lack of plate discipline. He struck out an astounding 24.2% and only walked 4.9% of the time. He made up for these shortcomings with hard work and an impressive .342 BABIP.
2015 Prognosis: Likely to start the year as a member of the 66ers. It’s possible that he would split time with Sherman Johnson if the organization doesn’t move him up a level. Unless he can get his high strikeout numbers under control, look for Eaves to remain with the 66ers for the entire season.
LHP, Arkansas Travelers
H/W: 6″3″/200 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 8th round of the 2013 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Nate Smith‘s 2014 Stats
Analysis: Smith continues to pitch well against older competition, finishing the year playing against guys 2.4 years older. Double-A and Advanced-A ball didn’t present Smith much of a challenge. He continues to demonstrate a good understanding of the strike zone and has a repeatable delivery. He relies on his high pitching IQ to get batters out, since he doesn’t have overpowering stuff. His fastball registers in the high 80’s and can touch the low 90’s. Smith played well for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League this fall posting a record of 1-1, 3.27ERA while striking out 8.59 K/9 over 22.0IP.
2015 Prognosis: Nate will join the Salt Lake Bee’s as a valuable back of the rotation addition. Expect much of the same from Smith, low walks, decent K’s, and a solid WHIP.
Sep 18, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; An official MLB baseball sits on the mound to be used in the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
3B, Arkansas Travelers
H/W: 6’3″/ 225lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 1st round of the 2012 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Kaleb Cowart 2014 Stats
Analysis: Another choice that I am sure that I will get criticized over. Cowart was once considered one of the Angels top prospect, actually he’s sitting 5th over at MLB.com 2014 Prospect Watch. Cowart struggled for the second year in a row; hence why I have him so low on my list. Kaleb still has all the skills of a top prospect; however, months like May (.162/.228/.295) put that into question.
2015 Prognosis: If Cowart cut down his strikeout per game and tap into his power he could have a successful season. There are rumours about a switch to the mound, which would completely throw a wrench into all kinds of these Top Prospect Lists. Cowart should start the season at Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, despite his struggles….kinda a sink or swim year.
RHP, Inland Empire 66ers
AKA: Alfonso Alcontara
H/W: 6’2″/ 190 lbs
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent
Victor Alcantara 2014 Stats
Analysis: Victor calling card will be his high 90’s fastball, which can touch 100 mph. Alcantara issues with his delivery coupled with throwing hard usually leads to elbow issues, but health hasn’t been the Victor’s issue yet. Command is the issue. He strikes close to a batter an inning but walks batters at a rate of 4.31 BB/9.
2015 Prognosis: Despite starting 20 games in 2014, a move to the bullpen and/or a move to a closing role would be advantageous for Victor. If this were to happen, then it would great accelerate his time-table to the major leagues. As a starter Victor should start with the 66ers, but a move to the bullpen should have him starting the season with the Burlington Bees. Don’t be surprised if he finishes the year with Salt Lake if he’s moved to the bullpen.
ETA: 2016 as a RP and 2018 as a SP
OF, Orem Owlz
H/W: 6’1″/ 170 lbs
Acquired: Signed in 2012 out of the Dominican Rupublic/
Natanael Delgado 2014 Stats
Analysis: Delgado is very raw, but his upside is unquestionable. Delgado has average speed, excellent projectable power (.163 ISO), and a good approach at the plate. Delgado’s .301 BA, .368 BABIP, and .351 wOBA are all very impressive for a guy that is playing against competition over 2 year older. He still needs work in the field and needs to work on batting with 2-strikes.
2015 Prognosis: Delgado should start the year back with the Bees but should finish with the Inland Empire 66ers. Expect more power in the future as his 6’1″ frame fills out.
2B, Arkansas Travelers
H/W: 6’0″/195 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 4th round of the 2012 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Alex Yarbrough 2014 Stats
Analysis: Yarbrough hits, maybe not for power, but he hits. Alex hit RHP to a tune of .305/.343/.407 but only one home run. His other 4 home runs came off LHP, which hit .244/.274/.378 off of. Alex will go as far as hit bat will take him and hitting 38 doubles shows above average gap power. Unfortunately, his walk rate and defence aren’t what scouts would call major league.
2015 Prognosis: 2015 will see Alex Yarbrough start in Salt Lake and strong consideration given to Alex as an injury replacement for Howie Kendrick if he has health issues. His compact swing, excellent plate vision and pitch recognition will ensure that he does go through long slumps. His power ceiling is 10 home run, but he’s able to hit his fair share of doubles.
LHP, AZL Angels
H/W: 5’11″/170 lbs
Acquired: Signed as an International FA in 2013.
Ricardo Sanchez 2014 Stats
Analysis: Ricardo is still very young and growing. He grew an inch and gained 10 lbs in the past year. This growth plays havoc on a pitchers delivery and command. Sánchez throws a mid-90’s fastball and has worked on a change-up and a curve. Against opponents over 3 years his senior, Sanchez still produced a 10.01 K/9 rate and a K% of 23.6. His FIP of 3.90 was really good considering the age gap.
2015 Prognosis: Ricardo will be 18 when he starts his second pro season with the AZL Angels. There is a good chance that he repeats or at least starts the year in Rookie-ball so that he can continue to build his strength, work on his command (12.1BB%), and build up his innings before moving to full season ball.
Oct 3, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels fans watch their team take batting practice before game two of the 2014 ALDS playoff baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
H/W: 6’4″/ 200 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 5th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros. Traded to Los Angeles on November 5, 2014.
Nick Tropeano 2014 Stats
Analysis: Nick made his major league debute on September 10th, 2014. He made 4 appearances in September and didn’t look out of place. Tropeano has a plus plus change up, a fastball that can touch the 92 mph. He has very good command and a deceptive deliver. He strikes out about 8-9 K/9 and walks an outstanding 2-3 BB/9 while producing a WHIP around 1.30.
2015 Prognosis: Nick will make the Angels bullpen out of spring training. Nick’s command while keep him in the big leagues. His will make batters look foolish at time by throwing 81 mph change up after throwing a 90 mph fastball. His split finger fastball will have batters grounding out all day.
RHP, Salt Lake Bees
H/W: 6’0″/ 205 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 1st round of the 2010 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Cam Bedrosian 2014 Stats
Analysis: After missing all of 2011 with Tommy John, Cam has made his way back to being considered one of the Angels top prospects. Cam used his mid-90’s fastball to strike out 12.86 batters per 9 innings. Walks (7.71BB/9 in AAA) could haunt him as he enters the majors, as evidence by his gaudy WHIP numbers (1.57). Cam held Triple-A batters to a .192 BA, but struggled with runners on base LOB% of 57.1.
2015 Prognosis: Cam will be throwing his mid-90’s fastball, his mid-80’s slider, and and upper-80’s changeup as a member of the Angels bullpen. If Cam isn’t on the Opening Day roster than he’ll be ready and waiting in Salt Lake.
RHP, Orem Owlz
H/W: 6’5″/ 215 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 2nd round of the 2014 Amateur Draft by the Angels
Joe Gatto 2014 Stats
Analysis: Gatto made 7 starts over two levels of Rookie-Ball. He allowed more hits than innings pitched, struck out 5/9 innings and walked 3/9 innings. Joe is still young and still growing into his tall frame, which tends to make repeating his delivery a challenge.
2015 Prognosis: Gatto will start the year with the Owlz and end the season with the Burlington Bees. Gatto will continue to work on his delivery and fastball command, while working on his change up and curveball.
H/W: 5’11″/176 lbs
Acquired: Signed by the Angels….no official announcement made yet.
Roberto Baldoquin highlights
Analysis: According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com the Roberto reached an agreement with the Angels on November 4th. Badler notes that Baldoquin “isn’t considered a premium hitter.” There isn’t much in the way of scouting reports on Balboquin, but the Angels must have seen something special in him to extend such a rich offer. The rumoured 8 million bonus is a record. To assume the Angels were the only team to scout his would be near sighted.
2015 Prognosis: If there are no Visa issues to hold him back from starting the year in the U.S. than he will start the year with the Orem Owlz. Roberto will move through the system quickly and could make to Salt Lake in 2015.
LHP, Burlington Bees
H/W: 6’5″/240 lbs
Acquired: Selected in the 1st round of the 2014 Amateur Draft by the Angels.
Sean Newcomb 2014 Stats
Analysis: When you see Newcomb on the mound he just looks like a workhorse. He has a big durable frame that generates a lot of power and he generates good downward plan on his pitches. His fastball has late movement and he continues to develop his slider, change up and curveball. Opponents hit .286 against and very poor 0.41 GO/AO.
2015 Prognosis: Sean will start the year with the Burlington Bees. If he starts 2015 the way he finished 2014 than he will have a good season. Sean’s line in his final start: 4.0IP, 2H, 10K. He throw 40 of his 60 pitches for strikes and finished the game with a 68 game score.
Disclaimer: I am not a scout and have not personally seen any of these prospects in person. Feel free to rip me in the comments section, tell me how wrong I am and give me your picks.