The Angels drafted William English in the 5th round of the 2018 draft with hopes of developing him as a two-way player. In high school English stood out with his hitting, pitching, and defensive abilities and the Angels felt he has everything needed to find success as a two-way athlete in the MLB. Despite his tools being as raw as they come English has the ability and potential to take his skills all the way to the top.
The 17 year old William English may be one of the more intriguing prospects in the LA Angels system given his status as a two-way player. Yes, that’s right, the Angels are seriously pursing the two-way philosophy outside of Shohei Ohtani and it really couldn’t be more exciting. Is this the possible next step in baseball? From the youth movement taking over the league in this recent decade to the emergence of the two-way player, it seems like baseball is pushing the pedal to the metal on its way to the future. The Angels are looking to get ahead of that curve with their 2018 5th round draft pick, William English.
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#23 William English (RHP/OF’er)
Drafted 2018 – 5th Round (#151)
English attended high-school in Detroit where he excelled as a two-way player featuring his eye-popping raw toolset. Offensively, English has ample bat speed that allows him to consistently get his bat out in front of the ball and apply some drive. He has a big swing and has trouble consistently squaring up the ball, his upright batting stance and leg kick look to need some tinkering in order to minimize the amount of time needed to bring his swing through the zone. His swing is longer than necessary and will need to be compacted in order to allow him success at the plate, but the natural drive and energy behind his swing looks to offer projectable power in the future.
Defensively, English projects as an above-average defender. He displays ample speed and athleticism in the outfield while flashing a consistently accurate arm. English is capable of turning in assists from the outfield given his strong ability to deliver the ball to the infield thanks to his advanced defensive arm (pitching work seems to help here). His defense doesn’t seem to be in need for too much instruction from the organization, only more repetition to solidify itself.
That being said English can settle in as an above-average defender with his ability to range on a fly-ball as well as his arm which can always threaten an assist. He is big at 6’2 and 185lbs, but his lean body frame keeps him athletic in the outfield.
In terms of raw tools, English looks best with his pitching. Unsurprisingly, English has a plethora of arm strength, and at the age of 17 there is still a world of time for him to improve. His pitch velocity sat in the lower 90’s this past spring while at the same time showing flashes of 95mph velocity. It isn’t difficult to imagine English getting to that point consistently as he has shown the ability to up his velocity. In 2016, at the National Underclass Showcase, English sported a high fastball of 86 mph. Two years time raised his fastball a handful of miles-per-hour, and given his youth and projected talent it is very feasible he moves in closer and more consistently to the 95mph range.
William English may be as raw as they get; his secondary pitches are still a work in progress, especially his curveball, though his change-up is solid for where he is developmentally. His stuff isn’t the biggest concern, because it will evolve over time, what really offers confidence is the state of his mechanics. His arm speed is very good and remains consistent throughout his fastball and secondary deliveries which in turn will ease his development. What he really needs is time; time to log enough repetitions in and receive the proper instructions in solidifying his approaches on both sides of his game.
Offensively, English needs to have his swing cut down a bit in order to create a faster bat path through the zone. He already has good bat speed and a strong swing, it’s simply a matter of removing some of the fat in order to compact his approach. He can develop into more than an average hitter with proper work. Defensively he looks very good, his development in this regard simply waits on time and adjusting to his coming physical maturation. Otherwise he looks to settle in as an average to above-average defender with a strong, accurate arm capable of logging assists.
At the age of 17, William English looks to be one of the more exciting prospects in the Angels system ith his potential value and impact on the game on a larger scale. He is as raw as they come, his hitting requiring the most adjustments of all given it’s unadvanced state, while his pitching requires the most repetition given his relatively solid handle on his tools despite these tools being very underdeveloped. They aren’t underdeveloped in the sense that they below what he should be doing, only underdeveloped in the sense that he has a long way to go to achieve his ceiling.
If the Angels can work patiently and effectively with the 17-year-old William English he can easily look to settle in as one of the most valuable pieces of a big league club with his plus-pitching, plus-defense, and average to plus-potential hitting. As of now everything is a big work in progress.
Developmental Needs (Hitting): More Compact Swing, General Instruction (Timing, Approach, Eye, Strike-Zone Control, Discipline)
Developmental Needs (Pitching): Improved Handle of Secondary, Velocity, General Instruction (Mechanics, Delivery, Evolved Repertoire etc.)
General Needs: Time and Instruction
MLB Estimation: 2024