With the team falling out of contention the LA Angels need to give the kids a chance

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 07: First baseman Will Craig #25 of the National League runs down Jo Adell #25 of the American League during second inning of the the All-Stars Futures Game at Progressive Field on July 07, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The American and National League teams tied 2-2. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 07: First baseman Will Craig #25 of the National League runs down Jo Adell #25 of the American League during second inning of the the All-Stars Futures Game at Progressive Field on July 07, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The American and National League teams tied 2-2. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

My nature is to be an eternal optimist which when it comes to the LA Angels is tested greatly, especially in the last five seasons. The Angels are still hanging by a thread in the playoff race, but it is a thin thread.

With that being said the LA Angels need to start bringing up the kids from the farm to see what they can do which will give general manager Billy Eppler and his staff an idea of what they might be able to expect from some of the Angels young prospects.  Everyone, myself included, would like to see Jo Adell get a shot in Anaheim to see what our top prospect is all about.  I have personally watched Jo Adell multiple times in the minors and he is special, but the minor leagues are much different than the majors.

Adell recently was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A so don’t expect the Angels to call him up right away. Maybe in September you could see Adell get a shot to show what he can do.  Adell may struggle at first, just like Mike Trout did in 2011 when he got a late season call up.  However, I’m sure if you ask Trout, the little trial he did in 2011 was really helpful for when he got called up the next season.

Other potential call-ups include infielder Jose Rojas. Rojas has hit at every level for the Angels and can play both the corner infield spots.  In three and a half seasons Rojas has a .297 batting average and an .858 OPS.  He has 60 homers and 263 RBIs which is  18 home runs and 80 RBIs per season.

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The only thing potentially standing in the way of Rojas being called up is Taylor Ward, Kaleb Cowart, and Justin Bour.  All three of them have been with the Angels before and the team might want to give them another look before next season.  Cowart’s slashline is always impressive in Triple-A, but he just can’t seem to hit in the majors.  He has added pitching to his repitoire which could make him a little more valuable, but his numbers on the mound have not been spectacular.  As for Ward and Bour their window of opportunity may be closing with the Angels because they have so much completion at the spots where they play. Both Bour and Ward have been up and down this season between Triple-A and the majors.  Bour only hit .183 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in 142 at-bats. Ward has played much less getting only one hit in just 10 at-bats.

Bour was sent down in mid-July in favor of Matt Thaiss, who has come around recently which could spell the end for Bour.  Ward on the other hand has been passed over mostly because of his lack of versatility. Ward is only be used as a third base the past two seasons until the Angels had him play left field in the minors.  Compared to Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher who can both play three infield spots, with Fletcher also being used in the outfield, you can see why Bour and Ward are not as highly regarded as they once were.  I still think Taylor Ward is worth giving a shot to because of his attitude and determination coupled with the fact that he has hit .335 with 38 homers and 121 RBIs in the past two years at Triple-A.  He also has stolen 26 bases.

The only outfielders that could be in the picture for a late-season call-up are Michael Hermosillo and possibly Jo Adell.  Brennon Lund and Jarrett Parker are both decent players, but I don’t see them in the Angels future plans.

On the pitching side the Angels have pretty much called up every decent pitcher from Triple-A already this season.  Jake Jewell, Griffin Canning, Jose Suarez, Nick Tropeano, and recently Jose Rodriguez have all been up with the Angels this season.  The only major prospect who hasn’t gotten a chance in the majors is Patrick Sandoval.  Sandoval was acquired in the trade with Houston last July that sent catcher Martin Maldonado to the Astros in exchange for Sandoval.

I have heard from a few Angel scouts that Sandoval has big league stuff, it is just a matter of consistency.  However, I believe despite his high ERA and WHIP in Triple-A that Sandoval deserves a shot to show what he can do in Anaheim. According to our own Ryan Falla, who was first to report that Patrick Sandoval will indeed get that shot to show what he can do as he will be the Angels starter on Monday in Cincinnati.

Patrick Sandoval’s numbers may not be that great as he is 4-7 with  5.71 ERA in 19 starts. In 80 innings pitched between Double-A and Triple-A Sandoval has 98 strikeouts and a 1.74 WHIP.  His 42 walks are a little higher than you would like, but he still has over a 2 to 1 Strikeouts to walks ratio. For more on Patrick Sandoval take a look at @MLBTradeRumors story.

So even with the Angels not looking like they are playoff contenders they should still be interesting watch these last two months just to see some of the talented farm system get an opportunity to show what they can do.

If that is not enough to keep you interested, there is always Mike Trout. Trout is having another MVP season and could set career-highs in many categories including home runs and RBIs. (41 and 111) Both numbers are well within reach and it is not out of the realm of possibility that Trout will hit 50 home runs and possibly lead all major leaguers in both categories.  Currently Trout is leading all AL hitters with his 36 homers and the next closest is Juan Encarnacion and Max Kepler with 30.  He also leads the AL in RBIs with 87, three ahead of Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts who each have 84.  Trout is tied for the major league lead in homers with Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich who also have 36 bombs.  Trout is only trailing the Pirates Josh Bell in RBIs as he has 89.

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So don’t despair Angel fans there is still a lot of things to watch for this year’s Angels team. Yes, I know almost everyone would rather be seeing the Angels in a pennant race rather than chasing individual honors, but think about teams like Baltimore, Seattle, Detroit, Miami and Kansas City who don’t have Mike Trout and have no chance of even a wild-card berth even if they caught fire these last two months.  Although the Angels playoff hopes are fleeting there is still a chance if they could pull things together.  It could happen!!