Angels glaring neglect in this department might be what's killing farm system

Was it just bad moves by the Angels' front office or was it incompetence this last decade?
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels use to be the blueprint of how to create a farm system as a major league organization. They were consistently ranked top 10 in farm system evaluations for almost a decade in the early 2000s. What happened though? It wasn’t just Arte Moreno.

“In today’s game, it’s very difficult to consistently put a contending product on the field without having internal talent come through the ranks,” Angels general manager Perry Minasian said. “It just is.”

It may be difficult, but not impossible. One major difference is the introduction into analytics rather than trusting your eyes. Former Angel Troy Percival mentioned in The Athletic (subscription required), that he was not thrilled by what he saw from minor league instructors or how player development was being handled. He hated the iPads, most of all. He believed technology given to players nowadays was being relied upon way too much to analyze their performance and how they helped others succeed.

He does have a point. The Angels farm system is only worth $39 million, according to Fangraphs last year, by far the lowest in the league. Since technology has been allowed and used significantly in every major league camp dating back to 2015 and 2016, the Angels have been ranked dead last, according to Baseball America. Scouting has also been in shambles. According to a report by Sam Blum in The Athletic, the Angels only had 20 international scouts compared to the New York Yankees, who have 42, and San Francisco Giants, who have 35. There is no question that so many talented players are all around the world and need the most attention possible.

"The teams that do it well have a ton of scouts,” a former Angels employee. told Blum “(Those teams) do a hell of a job. They just go sit on guys. They go every day, get 4-to-8 at-bats on a kid, and log it. And over time, you’ve got 200 at-bats on a prospect. And another team only has 20 at-bats. So, you can make a much better decision.”

Three of the game's top 8 prospects at this moment are international prospects including Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Jackson Chourio at No. 2, Tampa Bay Rays’ third baseman Junior Caminero at No. 4 ranked (who we are seeing first hand right now), and Ethan Salas, the league's No. 8 ranked prospect and who barely was legal enough to drive when he was signed, make up that group.

I don’t expect our organization to be as dominant at picking players as the Baltimore Orioles are, but I expect us to at least be competent. Moreno changed the Angels to "Los Angeles," but still runsthe organization like we're still "Anaheim". Please make up your mind Arte! The Angels don’t have a single prospect in the top 100. Squads that have a great history of winning have multiple prospects in the top 100 including the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. The Angels are one of the few -- if not the only team -- without a prospect in the top 100. Pathetic.

Ron Washington can do a lot to help players, but you also must have the talent to work with. The Angels just don’t have it, and no one person is a miracle worker.

Maybe that’s why they changed our Double-A team’s name to the Trash Pandas knowing they’d be trash. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but the Angels must put money into their scouting and talent development -- and soon -- or we could be in the midst of a collapse of epic proportions.