Los Angeles Angels top prospects moving on up in the minors

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 08: Matt Thaiss
GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 08: Matt Thaiss /

The Los Angeles Angels made big news yesterday with their top prospect Shohei Ohtani pitching 7.2 innings with 9 strikeouts and picking up his fourth victory of the season.

Most Los Angeles Angels fans don’t know that Shohei Ohtani was officially the Angels top prospect. Since he is already in the majors Ohtani is no longer a prospect. Ohtani is not the only prospect who is hot and some of them are moving up the ranks in the minors.

Brandon Marsh who is ranked as the Angels 4th best prospect was just promoted yesterday from low Single-A Burlington, to high Single-A Inland Empire.  Marsh is hitting .295 with three homers and 24 runs driven in with a .390 OBP so far this season.

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Marsh was drafted in the second round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Buford High School in Georgia.  Marsh can play either center field or right field and is a plus defender as well. He will now see how he fares in a higher level of competition.

Marsh will join the Angels number three prospect Jahmai Jones.  Jones has shaken off an early season injury to hit .250 with three homers with 18 runs batted in with six stolen bases.  Jones has a .360 OBP as well. Jones moved from the outfield to second base at the beginning of the season and so far has done well with the transition.

According to Taylor Blake Ward at Scout.com Marsh may have some company from Burlington as Ward is reporting that he has heard a rumor that current #1 prospect Jo Adell has also been promoted from Burlington to the Inland Empire 66’ers.  Adell has been red-hot hitting home runs in five of his last six games.

Adell is currently hitting .326 with six homers and 29 RBIs with a .398 OBP.  Adell was the 10th pick overall in the 2017 Amateur Draft out of Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is a five-tool outfielder who is rated the 57th overall prospect in the MLB’s top 100.

Inland Empire is not the only place getting some new players. Triple-A Salt Lake is getting an influx of talent from the Angels Double-A team in Mobile.  Matt Thaiss the Angels first round pick in 2016 out of the University of Virginia.  Thaiss has moved swiftly up the ranks and so far has had a solid season in Double-A hitting .287 with six homers and 25 RBIs with a .352 OBP.   Thaiss could be the Angels answer for first base as soon as 2019.  Luis Valbuena’s contract will be up then and Jefry Marte is not a long-term solution at first base.

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Joining Thaiss will be 2015 top pick Taylor Ward.  Ward started the season as a catcher , but was moved to third base and has started to flourish at the plate.  Ward is hitting .345 with six homers 25 RBIs and eight stolen bases.  What’s even more impressive is a .453 OBP.  Ward and Thaiss will definitely help infuse more offense into the Salt Lake City Bees.

In addition, the Angels also promoted pitcher Jeremy Rhoades from Double-A to Triple-A.  Rhoades is a reliever who has been lights out so far this season in Double-A.  Rhoades has pitched 24.2 innings with a 1.82 ERA and a WHIP of 0.73.  He has a 4-0 record as well.

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We will watch closely and see how these prospects do at their new levels.  Halo Hangout will be going live from the Inland Empire this weekend and talking with both Marsh and Adell if he is indeed headed to San Bernadino.  Stay Tuned.