Ranking the Angels 40-man roster: Who is No. 35 through No. 31?
35. LA Angels catcher Matt Thaiss
This might be a bit harsh considering Thaiss is on the roster right now, but the former first round pick has been an extreme disappointment in professional baseball. He's slashed .201/.293/.365 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 283 MLB plate appearances across parts of five seasons. He's a .278 hitter in six minor league seasons averaging 12 home runs per seasons. That's not bad, but not what you'd expect from a first round pick either. His time is running out for him to prove himself with Thaiss being out of options and Logan O'Hoppe looking like a fixture behind the dish.
34. LA Angels infielder Livan Soto
Another infielder who hasn't been talked about much is Livan Soto. The 22-year-old was just a .247 hitter in six minor league seasons but got a shot late last season at the MLB level and had 22 hits in 55 at-bats. He's obviously not a .400 hitter, but he is also better than that .247 mark. Soto is one of only a couple of primary shortstops the Angels have on their 40-man roster.
33. LA Angels outfielder Jo Adell
Jo Adell has all of the tools in the world. He can hit a ball as far as Mike Trout and run as fast as Shohei Ohtani. He just hasn't put it together at all. He strikes out too much, isn't a great defender, and isn't a very good baserunner either. He's still here because of the tools, but eventually patience runs out. Patience did run out somewhat as the Angels acquired Hunter Renfroe ensuring Adell would not begin the year with the club.
32. LA Angels infielder Andrew Velazquez
Andrew Velazquez is the best defensive infielder in the Angels organization. He's a shortstop who can also play second and third base if need be. The issue is, he can't hit. That's why he isn't on this team despite there being no real shortstop on the roster. He could see time with the big club if there is an injury, but he has to hit better than he did in 2022 to warrant any real playing time.
31. LA Angels outfielder Brett Phillips
The same that was said about Velazquez can be said about Brett Phillips. He's the best defensive outfielder in the entire organization. He can play all three outfield positions very well and has tremendous speed. He just can't hit. Fortunately for the Angels, he won't be starting much at all, and will rarely have to swing the bat. He can make an impact with his legs and with his glove.