Prospect Stock Report: Angels Edition: Is A Top 50 Prospect Emerging From The Weak System?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We often overlook the Angels’ farm system, as it certainly isn’t one of the more impressive in baseball.  That said there is a potential gem emerging, though another potential productive player fading, so let’s take a quick look and identify who deserves our attention:

 

Jahmai Jones – Outfielder
He was our preseason #1 ranked prospect in the system, though he received just a “B” grade.  However he’s outperformed that as he’s split time between two levels of Single-A and looked good at each:

  • Single-A (346 AB) – .272 with 9 HR, 30 RBI, 54 R and 18 SB
  • High-A (122 AB) – .344 with 4 HR, 13 RBI, 26 R and 8 SB

He’s added 27 doubles and 6 triples, showing that he’s tapping into his power more than expected.  As MLB.com said, “He’ll use a refined up-the-middle approach and he’s already starting to grow into his power, showing the ability to backspin balls into the right-center field gap.”

The other concern was with his strikeout rate, but he showed a strong mark at Single-A (16.3%).  He has regressed a bit since his promotion (23.4%), so it will continue to be on our radar, but he just recently turned 20-years old and will need time to adjust to more advanced pitching.  It’s a warning sign, but not one to really concern us based on the sample size.

With his speed already a plus, thus far it’s been a shining season for Jones.  Given the growth in his power, we could be looking at a potentially 15/30 type producer.  If he can also keep the strikeouts in check?  The value is there and it’s possible he earns a B+ grade in the offseason (depending on how strong he finishes the year) and sneaks into the back of our Top 50 rankings.

Verdict – Buy

 

Matt Thaiss – First Baseman
Last year’s first round pick is a converted catcher, and prior to the season we asked one big question in regards to his bat:

“The question is, as a first baseman, is he going to be more James Loney than anything.  He’s listed at 6’0″ and there are obvious questions regarding his ability to tap into his raw power at the next level.”

So far he may be looking at an even lesser version of Loney.  Sure he’s already at Double-A, but after hitting 8 HR over 336 AB at High-A he’s failed to hit a home run since his promotion.  He’s also seen his strikeout rate rise (20.4%) and he continues to be more of a groundball machine (48.7% at High-A, 47.4% at Double-A).

While the numbers aren’t terrible, as a first baseman they are hardly ideal (think .270ish with 10 HR).  Unless he shows the potential to at least hit 15 HR, it’s going to be hard to see him providing much value.

Verdict – Sell

 

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs

Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!

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