If You Think The LA Angels Farm System Is Bad, Think Again!!!
By David Rice
The LA Angels farm system has been bad for some time now, however things are looking up and there is some real talent down on the farm that you will see in the majors in the next couple of years. Here is an update of how Angel prospects are doing in the Arizona Fall League.
When The LA Angels drafted Taylor Ward with their first round pick in 2014 many people were skeptical about him. While he did not set the Single-A California League on fire this season you can see the talent he possesses. Ward was invited to the Arizona Fall League where top prospects from all 30 big league teams are chosen to play for one of six teams. Each of the teams have five MLB franchises where the players are from. The Scottsdale Scorpions is where the Angels prospects are playing. Here is an update on their season numbers thus far.
1. Taylor Ward – Catcher
Taylor Ward has played in nine games so far and is currently hitting .280 going seven for twenty-five. He has three doubles, scored two runs, and has also driven in five runs. Ward has also stolen one base in two attempts.
Defensively Ward has been solid as usual. Ward has thrown out seven of sixteen (44%) would-be base stealers in nine games of action for the Scorpions. Ward has only made one error defensively and has turned more than a few heads with his strong arm. Ward played baseball in college at Fresno State.
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2. Michael Hermosillo – Outfielder
Michael Hermosillo who split the season between Low Single-A Burlington and High Single-A and so far has found some success at the plate in Arizona this Fall. Hermosillo is hitting .267 going 8 for 30 at the plate.
Hermosillo has scored five runs, slashing two doubles and a triple with two runs driven in. He also has made only one error and has a .353 OBP in eight games. He has also stolen one base. Hermosillo was drafted by the Angels in the 28th round of the 2013 draft out of Ottawa High School in Illinois.
Hermosillo will continue to progress as he gains more experience.
3. David Fletcher – Shortstop/ Second Base
David Fletcher ascended through the Angels system this year starting at Single-A Inland Empire and later being promoted to Double-A Arkansas. So far the Arizona Fall League hasn’t been too kind to Fletcher as he is currently batting .174 going 4 for 23 in six games. Fletcher has scored four runs with one double, one triple, and is the only Angel prospect to hit a home run thus far.
Fletcher has made only one error in the field and also has only struck out once while walking three times. You will almost certainly see him along with Ward and Hermosillo in Spring Training in 2017. Fletcher has an outside shot to make the Angels opening day roster if he does well in the Spring. Fletcher played baseball at Loyola Marymount University.
On the pitching side the Angels have four pitchers in the Arizona Fall League Victor Alcantara, Grayson Long, Eduardo Paredes, and Adam Hofacket. Here is an update of how they are doing.
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1. Victor Alcantara – Right-Handed Pitcher
Victor Alcantara has pitched in five games so far all out of the bullpen. The results unfortunately have not been too pretty for one of the Angels top pitching prospects. So far Alcantara is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA and a WHIP of 2.60. Alcantara has given up six runs in five innings of work, walking six batters and also striking out six batters.
Alcantara has shown signs of improvement giving up only one run in his last three appearances. In his first two appearances Alcantara gave up five runs. Alcantara was signed as a free agent in 2011 from Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Alcantara pitched the whole season for Double-A Arkansas going 3-7 with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. He pitched 111 innings striking out 75 batters and walking 57.
2. Grayson Long – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grayson Long was drafted in the third round in the 2015 draft out of Texas A&M and has moved quickly through the Angels farm system. Long started in the Arizona League to begin the 2016 season, but quickly moved up to Low-Single-A Burlington where he went 3-3 with 1.58 ERA in eight starts. Long had a WHIP of 1.07 WHIP and struck out 45 batters in 40 innings.
Long then was moved up at the end of the season to High-Single-A Inland Empire where he pitched three games. Long threw 14 innings going 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Long struck out 15 batters in 14 innings.
So far in the Arizona Fall League Long has started three games giving up seven runs in 9.1 innings with a 6.75 ERA with a 1.929 ERA. Long’s biggest issue has been control as he has walked nine batters while striking out eight. Hopefully he can put things together as he has some amazing stuff if he can harness it.
1. Eduardo Paredes – Left-Handed Pitcher
Eduardo Paredes was signed by gels in 2012 as an International Free Agent from Venezuela. Paredes has been a reliever throughout his minor league career. He had 19 saves last season for Lo-Single-A Burlington before getting called up to High-Single-A Inland Empire.
This season Paredes started the season with Inland Empire pitching in 19 games with a 1-2 record and a 3.27 ERA. Paredes struck out 32 batters in 22 innings and had a 1.03 WHIP. Paredes was promoted to Double-A Arkansas where he pitched in 35 games throwing a total of 48.1 innings. Paredes posted a 3.35 ERA with an 0-3 record with a 1.24 WHIP.
In the Arizona Fall League Paredes has pitched in five games with an 0-1 record with a 5.40 ERA in five innings. Parades had a 1.80 WHIP walking four batters and striking six in five innings of work. He will most likely get invited to Spring Trainin. If Paredes does well you never know you could see him in the Majors as there is a void for a left-handed reliever for the Angels.
4. Adam Hofacket – right-handed pitcher
Hofacket was drafted in 2015 in the 10th round out of Cal Baptist University. He started the 2016 season pitching for Low-Single-A Burlington and did well posting a 2.53 ERA in 15 starts going 1-1 and recording seven saves. Hofacket had a 1.01 WHIP striking out 24 batters in 21.1 innings while only walking two batters.
Hofacket was then promoted to High-Single-A Inland Empire and did not fare as well going 1-2 with a 6.03 ERA striking out 37 batters in 34.1 innings posting a 1.48 WHIP. In Arizona he has been not to great either as he has appeared in only three games as a long reliever pitching 4.2 innings and giving up three runs on eight hits. His ERA is 5.79 and a WHIP of 1.95.
Next: Who were the Angels Prospects of the Year?
Hopefully the Angels pitchers in the AFL will improve in the season and the Angels hitters will as well. Look for another update in about 10 days here on Halo Hangout.