The Los Angeles Angels do not have a very good farm system. They have one top-100 prospect, Logan O'Hoppe, who was just acquired at the deadline. Players like Zach Neto and Edgar Quero could easily be top-100 prospects in the near future, but other than that, there isn't much star power for this system to hang its hat on.
The Angels do have some players who I like in the system, and Werner Blakely is one of them. The MLB Pipeline crew on MLB.com predicted a prospect from each team most likely to break out in the 2023 campaign. Blakely was the Angels prospect they picked.
Werner Blakely was selected as the Angels breakout prospect for 2023
Werner Blakely is listed as the 15th best prospect in what's considered a weak Angels system. He lacks experience, but he's shown a lot of promise in his limited action.
Blakely was a fourth round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft by the Angels and debuted in the 2021 season. He struggled in his first season of pro ball, hitting under .200 and posting a .623 OPS in Rookie Ball. What I did like from Blakely was his plate discipline, as he drew 33 walks in 186 plate appearances. He hit just .188 but had a respectable .339 OBP.
This past season Blakely played for Inland Empire, the Angels Single-A affiliate. He dealt with injuries which limited him to just 55 games played this season but he slashed .295/.447/.470 with five home runs and 40 RBI. He hit for a much higher average while continuing to draw a ton of walks. He drew 45 walks in 235 plate appearances which helped his OBP skyrocket to an unbelievable .447 figure.
In addition to his ability to get on base, Blakely stole 24 bases in 26 attempts. His speed is something the current Angels lack. The Angels were in the bottom half of the league with 77 stolen bases. 17 of them came from Andrew Velazquez, a player who (hopefully) will not see time with the big league club. Brandon Marsh and Tyler Wade tied for third with eight stolen bases. They are both in other organizations right now.
Thanks to Blakely's great season, the Angels sent him to the Arizona Fall League. He got off to a good start, being named an all-star, but only slashed .206/.315/.302 without a home run in 18 games. While he didn't rake, he faced some of baseball's best prospects and still put up a respectable .315 OBP.
The hope with Blakely is he continues to progress into a future leadoff hitter with those on-base skills. Having that and his speed at the top of the order would be something I'd love to see.
Blakely is an infielder who primarily played third base this past season. It'll be interesting to see where he begins the 2023 season and where he ends up. His MLB ETA is 2025 according to MLB.com. If he has the breakout season they're predicting, it could end up being sooner.