The Angels have done a great job in creating pitching depth. That was evident and absolutely the organization’s goal as they selected ONLY pitchers in the 2021 MLB Draft. The system lacks the high-end prospects that make for a great ranking, but has the breadth of players that can complement the major league team very well. What it does lack is impact bats as most of those are at the major league level. The Angels’ farm system does have enough guys that you can dream on and with development jumps, they could become impact players.
Here is the Prospects1500 tier system explained.
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
Tier 5: Players of interest, worth keeping an eye on, who have an outside chance of making their team’s 40-man roster
1. Reid Detmers, LHP, 22, MLB
Detmers flew through the minors last year demolishing every hitter in his path. A lackluster debut at the majors displayed what he needed most to work on. Detmers fastball was crushed to the tune of a wOBA of.472. He will need to locate it better to be able to hang in the big leagues. Expect him to start in AAA and get a midseason call-up depending on injuries and performance of other starters.
2. Sam Bachman, RHP, 22, High-A
Drafted out of University of Miami (OH), Bachman had some of the best pitches in the draft with a slider that destroyed lefties and righties alike, and a fastball that averaged in the mid 90s with run and sink. Bachman uses a changeup as his 3rd pitch that lags behind his other two. Concerns about his delivery and size have some believing that he will end up being a reliever long term.
3. Kyren Paris, 2B/SS, 20, High-A
Paris played in less than 50 games last year but made an good impression on the team as he was moved up to High-A pretty quickly. Paris is a speedy infielder and an instinctive runner. Most power comes in the form of doubles and triples into the gaps and corners. He needs to work on his breaking ball/off-speed pitch recognition and connecting with those pitches. If he can make it through High-A with the same success as he had in Low-A then I like his chance to make it to the majors.
4. Arol Vera, SS, 19, Low-A
Vera made his stateside debut after being delayed by Covid and held his own in the ACL. After 2 months he was moved to Low-A for the last month. Vera has a free swing approach that has him swinging too much out of the strike zone and it prevents him from generating power in his swing. He does have the athleticism and plus arm to stick at short.
5. Denzer Guzman, SS, 17, Rookie (DSL)
Guzman was the Angels top international signee from 2020 with a bonus of $2 million. Denzer was considered one of the best hitters in the class, with an advanced approach and good bat-to-ball skills. He needs to add weight and get stronger and be more physical, which is typical of a 17 year old that is still growing into his body. Guzman is athletic enough to stick at shortstop, but also has the arm strength that could play at 3rd.
6. Jordyn Adams, OF, 22, High-A
Adams has the talent to dream on; killer speed, good power, and an arm that will play anywhere. The problem is that he often struggles mightily with his hit tool. The swing feels forced and he has issues hitting breaking pitches. I really feel like this is a make it or break it year with Adams in 2022, as he needs to show some progress or he will start plummeting down a lot of people’s prospect boards.
7. Ky Bush, LHP, 21, High-A
Angels 2nd round pick from the 2021 draft, Bush was a late bloomer in college struggling with command until his senior season. Bush has mid 90s fastball with some sink to it, he uses a slider that has great break and flashes plus. His other two pitches, a curve and changeup, lag far behind, neither of which he is consistent with. There are some concerns with his command and delivery that lead some to believe that he will ultimately end. The Angels are hoping that they can keep him as a starter.
8. Adrian Placencia, SS, 18, Rookie (ACL)
Placencia was the second player from the 2019 draft class, and like Vera, his stateside debut was delayed due to Covid. Placencia has some mixed reviews in terms of his approach, some think he has a good one, others believe that he has poor pitch recognition. He has plus bat speed to make up for any pitch recognition issues. There are some concerns about his swing shape and its viability as he rises through the minors.
9. Jeremiah Jackson, SS/2B, 21, Low-A
Jackson has proven that he can hit the ball hard and far. The issue with Jackson is that he continues to strike out a third of the time. The plate discipline definitely improved and even with the strikeouts he made contact at an acceptable rate and walk enough to make the profile work. He needs to be more consistent in the field to stick at short. Jackson has the profile to be an impact bat off the bench and perhaps more.
10. Janson Junk, RHP, 26, MLB
Part of the Andrew Heaney deal, Junk made his MLB debut last season and was hit hard. Junk has an average fastball and two breaking balls that are good pitches when located well. He also has a changeup that has been inconsistent. He’ll need to command everything at a high level to stick in the big league. More than likely he will be an up and down starter.
11. Edgar Quero, C, 18, Low-A
The Angels actually have a good catching prospect. Quero signed out of Cuba with the Angels right before Spring Training and hit the ground running. Quero is a switch hitter that has decent pop and a solid approach. His swing from both sides is short to the ball and easily repeatable. As a catcher, Quero has great receiving skills for a teenager. His arm is strong and has a pop time that will play at any level. Quero has a good chance to be a starting catcher at the major league level.
12. Davis Daniel, RHP, 24, AAA
Daniel was finally able to make his pro debut in 2021 and he did not disappoint. Daniels shot through the minors making it to AAA before the season’s end. He sits in the low 90s with both a curve and slider that have two distinct breaks. Daniel as a product of the Angels development is a strike thrower and will need to refine his location in the zone. We could see him out of the bullpen this coming season or more than likely, as a starter next season.
13. Coleman Crow, RHP, 21, Low-A
14. Mason Albright, LHP, 19, Rookie (ACL)
15. Orlando Martinez, OF, 23, AA
16. Jose Salvador, LHP, 22, Low-A
17. Packy Naughton, RHP, 25, MLB
18. Adam Seminaris, RHP, 23, High-A
19. Alexander Ramirez, OF, 19, Rookie (ACL)
20. Austin Warren, RHP, 25, MLB
21. Werner Blakely, 3B, 19, Rookie (ACL)
22. Natanael Santana, OF, 20, Rookie (ACL)
23. Jhonathan Diaz, LHP, 25, MLB
24. Landon Marceaux, RHP, 22, Rookie (ACL)
25. Jack Kochanowicz, RHP, 21, Low-A
26. Jose Marte, RHP, 25, MLB
27. Oliver Ortega, RHP, 25, MLB
28. Chase Silseth, RHP, 21, AA
29. Elvis Peguero, RHP, 24, MLB
30. Kyle Tyler, RHP, 25, MLB
31. Cooper Criswell, RHP, 25, MLB
Angels have a ton of low ceiling starters or relievers from the past drafts, with Crow having the best shot at being the best of the bunch…..Ramirez has incredible power but swing and miss issues will be what keep him from his lofty ceiling…..Santana is probably the most intriguing prospect from this tier. He has the power and speed combo that creates superstars, but he needs to improve his consistency at the plate…..Marte and Ortega could be part of a bullpen that is starting to look rather crowded.
32. Mason Erla, RHP, 24, High-A
33. Nelson Rada, OF, 16, International Signee*
34. Randy De Jesus, OF, 16, International Signee*
35. Denny Brady, RHP, 24, AA
36. Robinson Pina, RHP, 23, AA
37. Brendon Davis, 3B/SS, 24, AAA
38. David Calabrese, OF, 19, Rookie (ACL)
39. Luke Murphy, RHP, 22, High-A
40. Connor Higgins, RHP, 25, AAA
41. Hector Yan, LHP, 22, High-A
42. Ivan Armstrong, RHP, 21, High-A
43. Jose Soriano, RHP, 23, Low-A
44. Braden Olthoff, RHP, 22, Rookie (ACL)
45. William Holmes, OF/RHP, 21, Rookie (ACL)
46. Michael Stefanic, 2B, 25, AAA
47. Aaron Hernandez, RHP, 25, AA
48. Zach Linginfelter, LHP, 24, AA
49. Trent Deveaux, OF, 21, Rookie (ACL)
50. Fernando Guanare, RHP, 18, Rookie (ACL)
*expected to sign with Angels on January 15 during this International signing period
Erla could be a solid bullpen option but health is a major concern. Quite a few of these guys are fading prospects including Yan, Calabrese and Deveaux…..Soriano is back in the organization after another UCL injury had the Pirates give up on him…..Stefanic and Davis have a good shot to be part of the infield conversation but there are too many guys in front of them to think they actually make the roster…..Guanare is an interesting player but at this point he is more of an idea than anything solid.