The Los Angeles Angels for sometime have ranked last or close to it in farm system rankings. They’ve traded young talent and draft picks in exchange for Major League ready talent. When general manger Billy Eppler took the job in October of 2015, building the farm system became the priority and it is starting to show.
Dan Haren, Zack Greinke , Mark Teixeira and Huston Street are some of the more noteworthy and noticeable names the Los Angeles Angels have traded for in the past decade to help push their club over the hump into playoff contention. When Haren was traded to the Angels from the D-Backs it cost them a couple of top prospects in Partick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs along with a couple extra throw-in pieces.
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Greinke was rented from Milwaukee for several pieces but most notably their top prospect in Jean Segura. The four-player haul the Padres required for Street was at the expense of then top prospect Taylor Lindsey. Teixeira cost them Casey Kotchman and a minor league pitcher. That deal actually helped them.
You can see where I’m going with this. For the Angels to make some big moves, especially mid-season, it cost them quite a bit. Corbin is a top end starter for the D-Backs, Skaggs would eventually come back, Jean Segura is now with the Mariners. Along with moves and bad draft picks, the Angels haven’t had much to look forward to down on the farm. However times are changing.
When the Angels lost the bidding war for Teixeira to the Yankees, they got their first round draft pick that season. With the pick came Mike Trout, which is one of my most favorite things to ever happen in baseball because everyone should hate the Yankees.
Times are changing. The Angels while trying to build a playoff contending Major League team have also been making long term moves for the future. And these prospects are starting to take shape.
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With Michael Hermosillo making his big league debut with the Angels last night in right field and getting his first big league hit, what other prospects the Angels have down on the farm and what they are doing?
Angels have a number of prospects in the minors. These five names are just first or second rounder’s since 2015
Taylor Ward – drafted in the first round as a catcher out of Fresno state in 2015 made the transition to 3rd base and while defense is still being worked on he is flourishing at the plate for Double A Mobile Bay Bears. He is hitting .348/.453/.525 with an OBP of .978 six homers and 25 RBI.
Matt Thaiss – The Halo’s first rounder from 2016 from the University of Virgina and who many see as being the Angels first baseman of the future is slashing .278/.335/.483 in his first full year in Double A. A recent upward adjustment to his swing could make his path to Anaheim much quicker if it works out for him.
Brandon Marsh – Personally my favorite position player in the Angels minor league system, Marsh recently was promoted from low A Burlington to high A Inland Empire. Marsh is just 20 years old and was taken in the second round out of Buford high school in Georgia. He was hitting .295/.390/.470 before being promoted. Marsh is a five-tool phenome, who was just added to Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list at 98. With a few years of seasoning will be one roaming right field of the Big A before you know it.
Jo Adell – Adell was the Angels first top ten draft pick in recent history. Like Marsh, Adell is also an outfielder selected out of High School. Having just turned 19 a little over a month ago, Adell is staying in low-A for now but should make his way to high A and joining Marsh before seasons end. After starting this season in Burlington, Adell is hitting .326/.390/.584/.
Griffin Canning – There is nothing to not like about what Canning has to offer. He is a local product graduating from Santa Margarita High School, Canning is arguably the best prospect in all of the Angels farm system and their most prized. Canning is cruising in the minors right now. The second round pick out of UCLA last season was shutdown after he was drafted because of how many innings he threw for the Bruins. However, once he was able to pitch again, he took off right where he left off in college.
Making only two starts for high A Inland Empire 66ers, Canning was promptly promoted to AA Mobile. The Bay Bears have thrown two combined no-hitters already this season. Canning started both games. Between both minor league clubs Canning has pitched 36.1 innings with a 1.49 era. He has struck out 42 allowing 17 free passes and only two home runs. His WHIP (Walks and hits added together divided by innings pitched) is .991 while is hits per 9 innings is 4,7, home runs per 9 innings 0.5 and strikeouts per 9 innings is 10.4.
Canning could see himself in Triple-A by seasons end but it is unlikely that the Angels will want to rush him into the majors in any capacity this season.
So as you can see, the Angels organization have a lot to look forward to. Most likely we won’t be seeing any of these players on this list make an impact this season. The future is bright for the Halos. While the big league team tries to get their season troubles under control, the guys coming behind them are developing at an impressive rate that should make any Angel fan happy.