Los Angeles Angels 2021 Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Angels Top 50 design by @designsbypack on Twitter

2021 has been an interesting year for Minor League Baseball. Between the shifting dynamics of the MLB Draft and the new leagues, it has left everyone adjusting. The Angels have started to bring up many of their top prospects to see how they can handle the big leagues because there is not much left for them to learn in the minors.

The Angels’ farm system is flushed with new faces from the Rule 5 Draft to July’s MLB Draft, and more undrafted free agents signed than any other team. There is a ton of pitching depth in the system as they targeted that in the last 2 full drafts (including all 20 picks this year). While there are fewer hitters than there were in the past if those players realize their talent there is a ton of impact.

Angels Minor League Affiliates
Salt Lake Bees – AAA
Rocket City Trash Pandas – AA
Tri-City Dust Devils – High-A
Inland Empire 66ers – Low-A
Angels – Rookie (Arizona Complex League)
Angels – Rookie (Dominican Summer League)


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above-average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have a high likelihood of making the majors, but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players of interest, worth keeping an eye on, who have an outside chance of making their team’s 40 man roster

Tier 1

1. Brandon Marsh, OF (January rank #1)
Age: 23
Current level: MLB
Marsh is currently struggling to adjust to the majors, but there is very little worry that he won’t make that adjustment based on having one of the best hit tools in the minors.

Tier 2:

2. Reid Detmers, LHP (January rank #2)
Age: 22
Current Level: MLB
Originally drafted as a pitchability guy, but when he came into the season with higher velo and a devastating knuckle-slider, he dominated hitters striking out almost 50% of the ones he faced.

3. Jordyn Adams, OF (January rank #3)
Age: 21
Current Level: High-A
Adams was one of those guys that suffered development-wise from COVID-19 and between that and the injury he suffered early he just needs to get more games under his belt.

4. Kyren Paris, SS (January rank #4)
Age: 19
Current Level: Low-A
Paris came into the season with rave reviews from last year and he backed those up. Before suffering an injury, he was among the Low-A leaders in extra base hits and steals.

5. Chris Rodriguez, RHP (January rank #5)
Age: 23
Current Level: MLB
The Angels started with him as a reliever in their bullpen, sent him back down to get stretched out as a starter, and now he’s back up in the majors.

6. Arol Vera, SS/2B (January rank #9)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie
The 2019 international signee made his stateside debut this year and has done well in the ACL with a slash line of 320/384/464.

7. Sam Bachman, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 21
Current Level: High-A
Bachman, the Angels’ first pick of the 2021 Draft, has a fastball that touches 101, a slider that was the disputed best breaking ball in the draft, although there are concerns over his size and a good 3rd pitch and some question if he will be a starter long term.

8. Jeremiah Jackson, SS (January rank #6)
Age: 21
Current Level: Low-A
The power Jackson showed in 2019 was still prevalent this season for the 66ers, but the strikeouts are also still there in force.

9. Alexander Ramirez, OF (January rank #8)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie
The youngest international signee of 2018 made his stateside debut and has mashed 12 extra base hits in 23 games.

Tier 3

10. Jack Kochanowicz, RHP (January rank #10)
Age: 20
Current Level: Low-A
The big righty has some good stuff, a mid 90s fastball, slow curve, and an improving change-up. He’s struggled with command so far, which is pretty typical for a young pitcher of Jack’s size.

11. Davis Daniel, RHP (January rank #18)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA
After spending all of 2019 recovering from TJ, Daniels made his professional debut and has been among the best starters in the Angels organization, dominating High-A and now doing the same thing in AA.

12. Ky Bush, LHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 21
Current Level: None
Angels 2nd round pick this year, he has a mid 90s heater, a good slider, and an average curve and change-up. As long as he is throwing strikes he will be given every opportunity to start.

13. Oliver Ortega, RHP (January rank #23)
Age: 24
Current Level: AAA
Ortega has performed well this season despite some of the numbers, he generates a ton of ground balls and he overpowers hitters with a blazing fastball and plus curve.

14. Robinson Pina, RHP (January rank #20)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A
After initial struggles Pina has turned it on of late with a FIP of 3.66 since being moved back up to High-A, and most importantly he has limited his walks which was the biggest thing he needed to improve on.

15. William Holmes, RHP/OF (January rank #24)
Age: 20
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)
Drafted as a 2-way player, Holmes did well in the role in 2019 (only 1 appearance in the ACL so far this year), but he has good upside especially on the pitching side he just needs to show it.

16. Adrian Placencia, SS/OF (January rank #25)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)
The second player in the 2019 international class, Placencia has displayed good pop in the ACL with 7 extra base hits in 19 games, splitting time with Vera at short and second with Placencia getting the lion-share of games at second.

17. Denzer Guzman, SS (January rank N/A)
Age: 17
Current Level: Rookie (DSL)
Guzman is the Angels top international signee from 2020, known for his hit tool where he’s advanced in his approach and hits to all fields. Based on his size projection and heavy feet, most scouts believe that he will end up at 3B.

18. Werner Blakely, SS/3B (January rank #30)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)
Drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 Draft, Blakley has done well to hold his own in his first professional season, playing all over the infield with 2B being the one he has performed the best at.

19. Aaron Hernandez, RHP (January rank #17)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA
The Angels are giving Hernandez every opportunity to start but with his command struggles, it may be best to move him to the bullpen where he can hopefully recover the velocity he had in college.

20. Alejandro Hidalgo, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie
2019 International signee Hidalgo has shown an advanced feel for pitching the same way Barria did at this age, and is capable of hitting all 3 of his pitches for strikes, and could be a quick mover.

21. Jose Marte, RHP (Giants’ January Top 50 – unranked)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA
Maybe the prize of the trade deadline for the Halos, Marte has an upper 90s fastball and a backbreaking slider.

22. David Calabrese, OF (January rank #15)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)
Calabrese, whose speed is enticing, has had a rough go of it for first taste in pro ball, and going in, the main concern was his level of competition in Canada.

Tier 4

23. Packy Naughton, LHP (January rank #16)
Age: 25
Current Level: MLB
Picked up in a trade with the Reds, Naughton has made his way to the Angels in the form of the long relief role, and this is where I expect his major league career will be.

24. Livan Soto, SS (January rank #19)
Age: 21
Current Level: High-A
Defensive shortstop that can take his walks, Soto is who he is at this point – a player who has a good shot of making an MLB roster as a defensive-minded backup.

25. Landon Marceaux, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 21
Current Level: Not assigned
Drafted in the 3rd round, Marceaux is a righty with good secondary pitches and if the Angels can get more velo out of him, he could be a good steal of the draft.

26. Janson Junk, RHP (Yankees’ January Top 50 – unranked, was going to be #44 on their midseason list)
Age: 25
Current Level: AA
Acquired in the Andrew Heaney deal, Junk is in the same mold as Naughton with no great pitch but 3 solid ones, and he has a better chance in the bullpen if he can hit 97 with consistency.

27. Elvis Peguero, RHP (Yankees’ January Top 50 – unranked)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA
Acquired from the Yankees, Peguero has a heavy upper 90s fastball with a slider that gets a ton of swing and miss, is capable of going multiple innings, and could be an interesting arm for next year’s bullpen.

28. Ivan Armstrong, RHP (Giants’ January Top 50 – unranked)
Age: 21
Current Level: High-A
3rd player in the Tony Watson deal, Armstrong has a big fastball and an average slider, better command than he did in 2019, and with a better secondary pitch, we could see him in the majors soon.

29. D’Shawn Knowles, OF (January rank #12)
Age: 20
Current Level: Low-A
While still young, it’s not encouraging to see him struggle at Low-A especially since he was at the Alternate Training Site last year. His regression since 2018 has me doubting his ability to get to the upper levels of the minors let alone the majors.

30. Hector Yan, LHP (January rank #14)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A
Put on the 40-man roster after the 2019 season, Yan has not progressed as the Angels would have liked and has been struggling through High-A, although he did pitch in this year’s Futures Game.

31. Jose Bonilla, SS/3B (January rank #26)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)
Bonilla was aggressively moved to Low-A this summer after a good 2019 in the DSL. It was a bit too much for the 19-year-old and he was moved to the ACL where he’s struggled to make as much good contact as he did in the DSL.

32. Edgar Quero, C (January rank N/A)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)
Quero, one of the players I am really excited about, has destroyed the ACL with his quick hands and solid approach. The only question is, can he do it in full season ball?

33. Kyle Tyler, RHP (January rank #21)
Age: 24
Current Level: AAA
Tyler has shown increased velocity this year which has helped him be more successful in the upper minors, and now by transitioning to the bullpen there’s an outside shot he could make his MLB debut soon.

34. Andrew Wantz, RHP (January rank #32)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA
Wantz did what many pitchers struggle to do in AAA West, and that’s have a good season. He was called up to the majors and struggled a little but there is no doubt he will be in the middle relief conversation from now on.

35. Austin Warren, RHP (January rank #31)
Age: 25
Current Level: MLB
If there is one thing you can say about Warren is that he has the guts to pitch in the bigs, and if he’s able to keep the ball on the ground and limit the walks, he will be a middle reliever for a long time.

36. Luke Murphy, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 21
Current Level: Not assigned
Murphy, who made a name for himself as the Vanderbilt closer, comes into pro ball with a fastball that hits 99 and a good curveball, although he’s inconsistent with it.

37. Braden Olthoff, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 22
Current Level: Not assigned
Olthoff has a low 90s fastball that has some sink, a really good change-up, as well as a slider and a curve that he manipulates in the zone.

38. Greg Veliz, RHP (January rank #35)
Age: 24
Current Level: High-A
While Veliz was unlucky with the contact he allowed, his stuff is still really good and I like his chances of becoming a major league reliever.

39. Zach Linginfelter, LHP (January rank #37)
Age: 24
Current Level: High-A
Command and a lack of a 3rd true pitch will likely push Lingenfelter to the bullpen.

Tier 5

40. Michael Stefanic, IF (January – unranked)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA
Undrafted in 2018, Stefanic signed with the Halos and has hit at every level, but concerns linger that he could be a Triple-A star but not quite one in MLB, similar to Jose Rojas.

41. Brendon Davis, 3B (January rank #46)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA
Davis, a Rule 5 pick from the Rangers, has been one of the better hitters in the minors this year.

42. Denny Brady, RHP (January rank #45)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA
Brady has a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a slurvy breaking ball, and an average change-up, but his command which has been consistently good in the past has backed up a bit this year.

43. Adam Seminaris, LHP (January rank #34)
Age: 22
Current Level: Low-A
The last pick of the 2020 Draft for the Angels, Seminaris has been able to limit the free passes but has gotten hit too much.

44. Mason Albright, LHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 18
Current Level: Not assigned
Drafted out of IMG, Albright is a pitchability lefty with a low 90s fastball, a slurvy curveball, and a changeup, and I could see the Angels clean up some of the delivery issues to help him succeed in pro ball.

45. Mo Hanley, LHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 22
Current Level: Not assigned
Prior to having Tommy John surgery Hanley was an exciting pop-up pitcher in the 2021 Draft, hitting mid 90s with consistency, complimented with a nasty slider and developing changeup. Like Davis Daniel before him, if he recovers from TJ well then he could be an exciting pitching prospect.

46. Coleman Crow, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 20
Current Level: Low-A
Crow has a legit weapon with his fastball, which has a ton of run that batters just wave at, although he needs to work on being more consistent with his secondary pitches to move to the next level.

47. Glenn Albanese, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 22
Current Level: Not assigned
Drafted in the 15th round, Albanese has shown flashes of a really good pitcher while at Louisville, showing a mid 90s fastball that runs and a plus curveball.

48. Chase Silseth, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 21
Current Level: Not assigned
Hit 96 with regularity while at Louisville, Silseth has both a curve and slider (the better pitch), and a change-up that might be his best pitch, but size concerns may push him to the relief role.

49. Jhonathan Diaz, LHP (January – unranked)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA
Diaz signed as a minor league free agent from the Red Sox and he has improved across the board as a pitcher, going deeper into games as a starter, with more strikeouts, less contact and less walks.

50. Cooper Criswell, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA
Criswell has had a great year so far, after a rough pro debut in 2019, improving everything, strikeouts, walks, and by extension contact.

51. Stiward Aquino, RHP (January rank #22)
Age: 22
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)
Injuries have dogged Aquino his whole career, and although he has great upside, has never played in full season ball despite being in the system since 2016.




2 Comments

    • Good Afternoon Helmet, I do like Stefanic and he has an great story. I should have probably had him at around 40 in tier 5, he has performed incredibly, but he has concerns that he will be another Jose Rojas. We will be correcting that oversight.

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