The Los Angeles Angels have a lot of work to do when it comes to building their farm system. That's known by just about everybody, and with the team showing little interest in entertaining a rebuild, it'll likely take a long time for them to replenish the farm.
There are some prospects to be excited about like Nelson Rada and Caden Dana, but the best one of all is Nolan Schanuel who earned an absurdly early MLB call-up and made the most of it. Despite Schanuel's impressive 2023 season overall, he was ranked pretty low on MLB Pipeline's updated Top 100 prospect list. Disappointing for sure.
Angels 1B Nolan Schanuel disrespected on latest MLB Pipeline updated prospect list
To their credit, Schanuel is on the list, ranking 95th overall. The problem is he should be higher. Much higher.
The 21-year-old was selected with the 11th overall pick of the 2023 MLB Draft by the Angels. He was coming off an outstanding season at FAU and moved up the ranks in the Angels system as quickly as any position player possibly can. He played just 22 minor league games, 17 of which came with AA Rocket City, before earning his first call-up to the majors. Reminder, this man played college games just months prior to earning a call-up to the show. For those who thought Zach Neto's early promotion was fast, this was much faster.
Not only did Schanuel earn a call-up just months after being drafted, he wound up playing extremely well at the MLB level. He slashed .275/.402/.330 with one home run and six RBI. Sure, he didn't show much power and his defense was far from exceptional, but that eye deserves more recognition. He drew 20 walks in 132 plate appearances compared to 19 strikeouts. Yes, he walked more than he struck out in over one month of action as a rookie.
Schanuel reached base in all 29 games he played, and was showing no signs of slowing down once the season concluded. He's projected to not only be their everyday first baseman, but their leadoff hitter much like he was last season.
Despite Schanuel shining at the MLB level, he's ranked just 95th on the list. He's behind players who will undoubtedly not be as good as he is right now, and might not even make the majors entirely.
He might not have superstar potential, but Schanuel already proving that he has the ability to be an above-average leadoff hitter deserves more praise than it got. He shouldn't be in the top 10 or 20, but slotting him in at 95th, just barely on the list after such an impressive month plus in the majors, is downright disrespectful. It's on Schanuel to prove them wrong now.