Over the weekend, it was reported that outfield prospect Brandon Marsh was mentioned in negotiations between the LA Angels and Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher Matthew Boyd.
It’s widely believed that the LA Angels will not consider trading top prospect Jo Adell this offseason. It makes sense for them as the #5 amateur in all of baseball is nearing an MLB call-up that could come as soon as Opening Day after a strong winter.
However, the Angels should give the same treatment to Brandon Marsh.
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No, Marsh isn’t a top 10 prospect in baseball. Some lists don’t even consider him one of the top 100 minor leaguers. However, that’s simply due to him not having the insane potential that Adell possesses. But make no mistake, Marsh is going be an above-average corner outfielder for years and years in the MLB.
He also (mostly) fits what the Angels do within their organization. He is an exceptional athlete, which translates well to his strong overall defensive game. He’s also a threat on the base paths, stealing 18 bases in 96 AA games last year.
At the plate, Marsh lefty power the Angels have always needed and proved in 2019 that he can hit for average with a .300 batting average in AA. He has raw power, evidenced by his 21 doubles and 7 home runs, which will only develop more as he ages.
The one negative to Marsh’s game is his poor strikeout numbers. He had 92 strikeouts last season to just 47 walks, a number that would need improvement if he hopes to be an everyday starter. However, we’ve seen players in the Angels organization and across the MLB develop plate discipline with age and more MLB experience, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned with Marsh’s strikeouts just yet.
While I’m not writing this to say Marsh should be untradeable, he shouldn’t be considered by the Angels when negotiating for Matthew Boyd. While the three years of club control that come with Boyd is attractive, it’s hard to imagine him and his 4.56 ERA from 2019 being worth more in three years than Brandon Marsh over six seasons. If the Angels were trying to trade for a Noah Syndergaard-level pitcher, then Marsh’s name would naturally come up.
However, there’s no reason the Angels should be discussing Brandon Marsh in a trade for Boyd. While it isn’t clear whether the Tigers brought up Marsh or the Angels offered their #2 prospect, his name has no business in talks for a league-average pitcher who imploded in the second half last year.