Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has been polling MLB Executives, asking them questions about farm systems in baseball. One of the questions asked in his most recent piece was which team has the most underrated farm system. The Los Angeles Angels do not have a great pool of prospects, that's well documented. Some do believe, however, that it's not as bad as people think.
Some MLB executives believe the Angels have the most underrated farm system in baseball.
When asked about which farm system was the most underrated in baseball, 19 different teams were listed. While that's obviously more than half of the teams in baseball, only four teams received more votes than the Halos. The Cardinals received 14% of the votes to lead the way. They were followed by the Astros and Cubs at 11% and the Reds at 9%. The Angels were one of four teams that received 6% of the votes.
The Angels ranked 30th in MLB.com's midseason farm system rankings even after the acquisition of Logan O'Hoppe at the trade deadline. They ranked a slightly better 28th in Bleacher Report's offseason farm system rankings. MLB executives believe these rankings might be a little too low.
O'Hoppe leads the system for now as he's still considered a prospect despite making his MLB debut at the end of the season. After him, things seem to be a little murky, but there are definitely some pieces to be excited about.
Zach Neto swung the bat really well in his first taste of professional baseball. He hit .320 with an .874 OPS in 30 games in AA. Expect him to begin the season in Rocket City or maybe even in AAA. Hopefully he'll end the season either in AAA Salt Lake City or as a September call-up. The 2022 first-round pick should find his way into top 100 lists for sure.
Another possible top-100 prospect in the near future is catcher Edgar Quero. The 19-year-old slashed .312/.435/.530 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 111 games for Single A affiliate Inland Empire. He even stole 12 bases which is really impressive as a catcher. Quero's performance won him the league MVP award and could potentially earn him a spot in Rocket City with Neto to open the 2023 season. If he has another good year his name will really start to be talked about as a legitimate prospect.
Denzer Guzman was the big name brought in as part of the 2021 International Free Agency class. While he's still far away from the bigs, he had a nice year in Rookie Ball and can hopefully replicate it for Inland Empire this season. He's a shortstop the Angels are high on and he's ranked fifth in their prospect rankings.
The Angels have some pitchers who are getting close to MLB-ready to get pretty excited about. Sam Bachman and Ky Bush both have MLB ETA's of 2024. Chase Silseth has shown good things in the minors and even earned a call-up straight from AA. Hopefully he gets some more seasoning in AAA to begin this season but he could potentially be someone the Angels rely on in the future.
Werner Blakely is a player experts are projecting to break out this season for good reason. He's dealt with injuries but had a great season in 2022 when healthy and if he can just stay on the field he could crack the top ten of the Angels prospect rankings.
The Angels have a couple of relievers to really get excited about in Ben Joyce and Eric Torres. Joyce is a player most fans have heard of as he hits triple digits consistently. Hopefully we can see him at some point this season. Torres is a lesser-known prospect but he's a southpaw who posted a 1.59 ERA while striking out 81 batters in just 51 innings for AA Rocket City last season. He's another guy we will hopefully see at some point this season.
The Angels don't have a system flooded with potential superstars, but that's not the worst thing in the world. Logan O'Hoppe is someone experts project to be a really good offensive catcher. Zach Neto and Edgar Quero have a ton of potential as well. While that's really it in terms of players with star potential, the Angels have players who can make an impact in the not-too-distant future at the big league level. It's not the best farm system in the league, but it's one that should get more respect than it has gotten.