LA Angels farm system is top 5 most improved in MLB

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 09: Shohei Ohtani speaks onstage during his introduction to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on December 9, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 09: Shohei Ohtani speaks onstage during his introduction to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on December 9, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
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For about the last five to six years we have heard every baseball writer, analyst, executive say the LA Angels farm system is the worst in baseball. Well times they are a changin’.

In its most recent report MLB Pipeline which ranks minor league systems and players came out and said the LA Angels farm system is one of the top five most improved system in the majors. This was helped greatly by the signing of Shohei Ohtani 9who is considered a prospect, as well as former Braves high level prospect Kevin Maitan who the Angels signed earlier this month after he became a free agent due to the Braves illegal signings of some international players.

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However, there is more where that came from as well. The triumvirate of outfield prospects in the Angels lower minor league system Jordon Adell, Jahmai Jones, and Brandon Marsh are all highly regarded prospects.  In addition the Angels top pick in 2016 first baseman Matt Thaiss is also considered to be a strong player with major league potential.

The Angels also have a strong trio of pitchers two of which are already on the Angels roster in relievers Kenyan Middleton and Eduardo Paredes. The other pitcher that is getting rave reviews is Jaime  Barria who jumped from Single-A to triple-A in 2017 and could jump to the majors with a good Spring in 2018.

Middleton was called up early in 2017 and became a key member of a much-improved Angel bullpen in 2017 with his 97-99 MPH fastball.  Middleton was 6-1 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 58.1 innings of work.  He had three saves and struck out 63 batters while walking only 18.

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Paredes was 0-1 with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 22.1 innings of work.  He had one save and struck out 17 batters while walking only six batters.  Barria was 7-9 with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.  He pitched in 26 games as a starter throwing 141.2 innings striking out 117 batters with only 31 walks.

The Angels also have fringe prospects such as infielder David Fletcher and outfielder Michael Hermosillo who both have a shot of earning a roster spot in Spring Training for the Angels in 2018.

The cupboard is definitely not bare as it was in the last few years.  It will be interesting to see how these prospects develop especially Kevin Maitan who was rated the best international prospect.  He is a shortstop, but only 17 and is considered at least three to four years away which is when Andrelton Simmons will be a free agent.

Next: Is Kenyan Middleton ready to break out

Billy Eppler and the Angels scouting department have done a great job of building up a once dormant minor league system since their arrival in October of 2015. Another reason to love Billy Ball.