When we talk the Los Angeles Angels farm system there is one name that stands out, and that’s Jo Adell. We all know he’s among the premier prospects in the game, but is there any value beyond him? Is there anyone who is flying under-the-radar, thanks to the spotlight on the future superstar? Let’s take a look:
1) Jo Adell – Outfielder
ETA – 2020
Grade – A-
Adell is one of the premier prospects in the game, and the Angels were aggressive with the 20-year old (he’ll turn 21 in April). In fact injuries slowed him just enough, costing him an opportunity to debut in ’19 though it seems inevitable he gets his opportunity this year having already reached Triple-A. The results at the level were hardly impressive after a strong showing at Double-A:
- Double-A (159 AB) – .308 with 8 HR, 23 RBI and 28 R
- Triple-A (121 AB) – .264 with 0 HR, 8 RBI and 22 R
It’s fair to be concerned with his ability to make consistent contact. Just consider these numbers from ’19 (Strikeout Rate / Walk Rate / SwStr%):
- Double-A – 22.5% / 10.4% / 12.6%
- Triple-A – 32.6% / 7.6% / 19.0%
He has the potential to get that in order, as we have to remember that he was extremely young for the competition level. Still it’s something to monitor and could help to limit his production initially at the highest level.
2) Brandon Marsh – Outfielder
ETA – 2020
Grade – B+
While you can question Marsh’s power, which has yet to present itself on the field (he had 7 HR in 360 AB at Double-A in ’19), it’s something the left-handed hitter should develop as he continues to learn/mature. Once he does the upside is across the board production, as his approach took a key step forward last season at 21-years old (Strikeout Rate / Walk Rate / SwStr%):
- 2018 (580 PA) – 27.2% / 12.6% / 8.6%
- 2019 (433 PA) – 23.1% / 10.9% / 7.9%
The improvement came despite spending the bulk of the year at Double-A. As he continues to develop the upside is there for at least 20 HR and he started to show it late in the season (.357 with 3 HR and 5 SB in August) and throughout the Arizona Fall League (.328 with 2 HR and 4 SB). It shows how high the ceiling could be, especially with the proven ability to make consistent contact.
3) Jordyn Adams – Outfielder
ETA – 2022
Grade – B
Adams approach is still developing, as he split his time between baseball and football in high school (and he was supposed to play both sports in college, before being drafted and subsequently signing with the Angels). Considering that it’s impressive that he showed an 11.6% walk rate and 11.8% SwStr% in his first full season (482 PA), numbers that could continue to improve as the 20-year old gains experience.
He has elite speed and the ability to develop power, making him an intriguing prospect who could continue to mature quickly. The upside is a B+/A- prospect bringing power and speed, as long as he can continue to develop his approach. He may be slightly behind the curve, given his focus being split previously, so it will be interesting to see how quickly it comes together with his mind solely on the diamond.
4) Jeremiah Jackson – Second Baseman/Shortstop
ETA – 2023
Grade – C+
Selected in the second round of the 2018 draft, the 19-year old spent the year in Rookie Ball and appeared to take a power-oriented approach. While it did lead to 23 HR over 291 PA, there is obviously concern considering these numbers:
- Strikeout Rate – 33.0%
- SwStr% – 18.7%
- Flyball Rate – 47.9%
He doesn’t project to have elite power at the highest level, and taking this type of approach will be disastrous as he faces more advanced pitching. Sure he hit .266 last season, but he should be exposed as he takes a step up the organizational ladder if he doesn’t make the necessary adjustments.
5) Kyren Paris – Shortstop
ETA – 2024
Grade – C+
Paris was the Angels’ first selection in 2019, coming in the second round. There had been chatter of potentially going in the first round, so it’s clear that there’s upside. Drafted as a 17-year old, he’s still all about projection (he had 10 AB after being selected). The thought is that he could become a top of the order speedster, adding some power to his top-end speed. It will be interesting to see how it develops, though he’s currently worth having on radars.
The Next Five:
6) Patrick Sandoval – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+) – He showed intriguing swing and miss stuff both in the minors (15.2% SwStr% over 80.1 IP) and in the Majors (13.5% SwStr% over 39.1 IP). The problem was a complete lack of control (4.71 BB/9 in the minors, 4.35 in the Majors). He also faces potential home run issues, though a 46.6% groundball rate in the Majors should be enough. If he can find his control, he should be able to be at least a solid MLB starter at the back of the rotation.
7) Jose Soriano – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+) – Premier stuff, no clue where it’s going… That’s the book on Soriano, and he showed it with his 51.3% groundball rate and 14.5% SwStr% but with a pathetic 5.57 BB/9 over 82.1 IP. The thought is he can figure it out and at least have average control, which would allow his stuff to play up and turn him into an intriguing starting prospect. Worst case? He’s moved to the bullpen and becomes a potential closer of the future, and at 21-years old the team could make the move and expedite his arrival. Time will tell, with 2020 being a key year in his development and ultimate role.
8) Robinson Pina – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+) – Pitching at Single-A Pina showed swing and miss stuff (15.2% SwStr%) and groundballs (48.6%) over 108.0 IP. The problem was a 5.08 BB/9, though that hadn’t been a big concern prior to 2019 and he improved in the second half (25 BB over 54.2 IP). That would go a long towards helping him stick in the rotation, though some have the sense his future lies in the bullpen. Time will tell, but it’s an intriguing skillset if he can find consistent control.
9) Stiward Aquino – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C) – Aquino is a highly intriguing pitching prospect, and one worth keeping an eye on. He missed all of 2018 and most of 2019 (36.2 IP) due to Tommy John surgery, and when he was on the mound last year he struggled with is control (3.93 BB/9). Of course the missed time coupled with his size (6’6”) makes that not a surprise, and with his big fastball (reports having him hitting 96 mph) and ability to miss bats (20.1% SwStr%) a little bit of an improvement in his control could lead to a big jump in grades.
10) Chris Rodriguez – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C) – Back issues have basically wiped out the past two seasons for Rodriguez, which is a shame. Assuming the control comes back, despite the missed time, the stuff is there. Remember back in 2017, before the injuries struck, he posted a 48.9% groundball rate, 14.1% SwStr% and 2.21 BB/9 over 57.0 IP at 20-years old. That would’ve graded him a B-/C+, meaning a healthy season could cause him to rise significantly.
Source – MLB.com, MILB.com, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out all of our 2020 prospect rankings: