‘Tis the season for prospect lists and the MWAH crew (that would be Scotty and myself) are back for another season of our Top 30 Angels Prospect Countdown. It truly is a testament to the human spirit that so many people spend so much time learning about the prospects in a system that is so very devoid of talent.
Yeah, sorry, I know that isn’t much of a sales pitch, but this farm system isn’t good. That doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting though. In fact, one could argue that being such a shallow system makes it more interesting. I mean, who wants to read more profiles fawning over Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Jorge Soler when you can dive deep into the rough of the Angels minor leagues to see if there are any diamonds or even cubic zirconiums that can be unearthed.
It’s also an interesting system because there has been so much turnover. Looking back at our list last year, twelve of our top 30 prospects aren’t even in the organization anymore.
But it is also interesting because it is a system that has managed to produce big league talent despite the lack of accolades. Matt Shoemaker, Mike Morin, Cory Rasmus and C.J. Cron all made significant contributions to a 98-win team in 2014. Not too shabby for a maligned group of prospects.
Enough about the state of the system though. That’s just foreplay, you came here to see the rankings. In fact, you probably already scrolled down to check it out. For those of you that behaved yourself though, here is the list complete with the date in which we’ll be publishing the full profile for each player:
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Rankings have been updated to reflect changes in the organization after the Andrew Heaney, Kyle Kubitza and Jairo Diaz trades)
- Andrew Heaney
- Sean Newcomb
- Roberto Baldoquin
- Nick Tropeano
- Cam Bedrosian
- Kyle Kubitza
- Alex Yarbrough
- Joe Gatto
- Chris Ellis
- Victor Alcantara
- Kyle McGowin
- Kaleb Cowart
- Hunter Green
(13.5) Taylor Featherston
- Nate Smith
- Trevor Gott
- Natanael Delgado
- Tyler DeLoach
- Chad Hinshaw
- Bo Way
- Eric Stamets
- Austin Wood
- Jeremy Rhoades
- Carlos Perez
- Zach Houchins
- Jett Bandy
- Cal Towey
- Drew Rucinski
- Daniel Hurtado
- Miguel Hermosillo
- Andrew Daniel
Jose Alvarez – Acquired from the Tigers right before the 2014 season, Alvarez figures to be one of the first men up if injury strikes the rotation. He shows promise as a lefty starter that can hold his own against righties, but he was plagued by arm problems all of last season. If not for that, he might’ve actually cracked the top 30.
Arjenis Fernandez – He’s slowly slid out of our Top 30, but he’s still young and developing his raw stuff. The performance just doesn’t match though. He’s at a crossroads in 2015.
Michael Fish – He took a big step back with the bat, but he’s still got a nice athletic profile in the outfield. Besides, there’s no way I’m giving up on an Angels outfield prospect with an ichthyological last name.
Wade Hinkle – He’s old for his level, is a defensive liability and was banged up for half the season, but Hinkle just keeps putting up big offensive numbers (.409 OBP at Advanced-A). He probably isn’t going to make it, but until he actually stops hitting, we’re going to keep an eye on him.
Jake Jewell – A fifth round pick in this last draft who throws an easy 97 MPH. There may not be a whole lot beyond that, but it is a real nice place to start.
Matt Long – Seeing how I inadvertently started the #FreeMattLong movement last spring, I’d be a hypocrite not to mention him here. Long had a rough injury-plagued 2014 campaign, but I still like his athleticism, versatility and plate discipline. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently the Brewers like him too as he was traded to them in mid-December)
Keynan Middleton – There’s a lot of natural talent here, but he’s still basically new to pitching. Being a raw prospect is fine, but his 2014 performance was just too brutal to crack the top 30.
Shawn O’Malley – Honestly, I never paid much heed to him, but the Angels clearly think highly of him to give him a September call-up. He doesn’t have much of a bat, but he is skilled defensively just about anywhere on the diamond. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently they didn’t think that highly of him because he was released in mid-December)
Danny Reynolds – A little dude with a big arm that converted to relief and rocketed up the organizational ladder. He’s still searching for a go-to secondary offering, but he could see some time in the bigs this year regardless.
Jonah Wesely – A bulldog southpaw teenager and probably my favorite sleeper in the whole system. He should make the leap to full season ball this year, so keep a close eye.
To follow the countdown as it, er, counts down, just check back with the site on all those dates or you can read in binges by going to the MWAH Top Prospects link on the menu bar at the top of the site.