Players in the LA Angels farm system that you could see in Anaheim before the All-Star Break
By David Rice
I know we are onlyin the second day of the LA Angels 2019 season, but it is never too early to talk about impact prospects in the minors that could be in majors soon. Here is a list of players we could see before mid-season.
The LA Angels have gone from one of the worst farm systems in baseball to one of the best in a period of five seasons. Good drafting and savvy trades as well as good scouting have helped this come to fruition so quickly. We have already have seen a few Angels prospects already in the majors and there are more on the way.
Here is a preview of coming attractions:
Taylor Ward – 3B
This one is a no-brainer since he ended 2018 in the majors and was one of the last players to be sent down this Spring. Ward has above average bat and a good knowledge of the strike zone. Defensively he is still learning the third base spot after switching there at the beginning of 2018, but he is steadily improving. His arm is very strong since he has played catcher all his life until last season.
If there is an injury to Tommy La Stella, Zack Cozart, or David Fletcher you could see Ward called up.
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Luis Rengifo –
Rengifo is another guy that the Angels have seen skyrocket from Single-A to Triple-A in 2018 after being acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Rengifo has hit well in the minors and also has a good glove, but this Spring he had a chance to win the second jobbut he hit only .182.
However, just like with Ward, if one of the middle infielders goes down with an injury or is ineffective you could see Rengifo get called up to fill the void. You will see Rengifo before too long in Anaheim.
Jaime Barria –
Jaime Barria is one of the best Angel pitching prospects and he had a great rookie season going 10-9 with a 3.41 ERA and he was expected to be in the rotation in 2019, but surprisingly was sent down to the minors on Tuesday. However, you can rest assured that he will be back in Anaheim before too long.
Barria is a very talented pitcher who may just need a little time to work some kinks out in the minors. Barria showed great poise on the mound last year and performed very well. He is definitely a pitcher who could be in the rotation for years to come.
Jose Suarez –
Suarez is another pitcher who made a meteoric rise from Single-A to Triple-A in 2018. Suarez came to camp this Spring trying to win a roster spot although it was a longshot. He only pitched in on Spring Training game before being sent to minor league camp, but he is someone to look for.
His fastball is in the low-to-mid 90’s and he has a couple of good off-speed pitches as well. Suarez is also a lefty which makes him even more valuable. Jose Suarez is 13-14 with a 3.68 ERA in four seasons in the minors. Suarez struck out 331 batters in 303 innings of work.
Suarez could be called up if there are any injuries to the starters or even as a lefty out of the bullpen. Within the next year he almost assuredly will be pitching in Anaheim.
Griffin Canning –
Griffin Canning is the prized arm in the Angels farm system and is on a fast-track to the majors. Canning will be a top of the rotation guy when the Angels do add him to the rotation. Canning has a live fastball in the mid-to-upper 90’s with an above average curve ball and a good change-up as well.
Canning will start the year in Triple-A, but he may not be there long depending on what happens with any Angel pitchers. Canning will be ready whenever that time comes and hopefully he will be able to have the same success in the majors.
Canning will at the very least be a September call-up barring injuries. I for one cannot wait to see him in Halo Red.
Matt Thaiss –
Matt Thaiss was the Angels first-round draft pick in 2016 and has hit everywhere he has gone in the Angels minor league system. Thaiss also has a great glove at first base and could be the most well-rounded prospect in the Angels system who is major-league ready.
The Angels signed Justin Bour in the off-season and they still have Albert Pujols for a few more seasons. With this being said the path to being an every day first baseman for the Angels. However, if the Angels have some injuries to either Pujols or Bour you will most likely see Thaiss in Anaheim.
All in All the Angels have a great deal of talent in the minor leagues and this will be a key to the team’s success in the future.