Los Angeles Angels Top 24 Prospects

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Los Angeles Angels. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as our own observations. This is the fourth year we’re delineating between two anticipated relief roles, the abbreviations for which you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning relief pitchers. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player has to be added to the 40-man roster to avoid being made eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where they seem appropriate, but we use that as a rule of thumb.

A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here.

All of the ranked prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details (and updated TrackMan data from various sources) than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here.

Angels Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Nelson Rada 18.7 AA CF 2027 50
2 Nolan Schanuel 22.2 MLB 1B 2024 45
3 Caden Dana 20.4 AA SP 2025 45
4 Barrett Kent 19.6 A SP 2028 40+
5 Denzer Guzman 20.3 AA SS 2026 40+
6 Capri Ortiz 19.1 A SS 2027 40
7 Dario Laverde 19.2 A C 2027 40
8 Ben Joyce 23.6 MLB SIRP 2023 40
9 Camden Minacci 22.3 A+ SIRP 2026 40
10 Joel Hurtado 23.3 A+ MIRP 2026 40
11 Francis Texido 19.1 A MIRP 2028 40
12 Joswa Lugo 17.3 R SS 2030 40
13 Jack Kochanowicz 23.4 AA SP 2024 40
14 Walbert Urena 20.3 A+ SIRP 2026 40
15 Juan Flores 18.2 A C 2028 40
16 Davis Daniel 26.9 MLB SP 2024 35+
17 Caleb Ketchup 22.3 A+ SS 2028 35+
18 Felix Morrobel 18.6 R SS 2029 35+
19 Adrian Acosta 19.0 R SP 2028 35+
20 Guillermo Zuñiga 25.6 MLB SIRP 2024 35+
21 Keythel Key 20.6 A+ SIRP 2027 35+
22 Jadiel Sanchez 23.0 A+ RF 2025 35+
23 Alberto Rios 22.1 A+ LF 2026 35+
24 Joe Redfield 22.6 A+ CF 2026 35+
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50 FV Prospects

1. Nelson Rada, CF

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Venezuela (LAA)
Age 18.7 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 30/45 20/45 60/60 45/60 30

The Angels have floored Rada’s promotion pace, and he began 2024 at Double-A Rocket City at just 18 years and 7 months old. He has posted elevated strikeout totals compared to his career norms, but remember, he’s an 18-year-old competing against pitchers who are about six years older than he is on average. Everything we say about Rada in this scouting report, except with regard to his defense, should be considered with that in mind.

Rada’s defense is easily the most special and advanced part of his game. His range, routes, and balls skills all project to be plus if they aren’t already. His poise and comfort out there is incredible for a player his age, and Rada’s future defense grade is only capped by his speed, which is “merely” plus. On offense, Rada looks physically overmatched by Double-A pitching. He tracks pitches well, and his swing is smooth and short, but he just can’t swing that bat very hard yet and makes a lot of soft, groundball contact. Projecting on Rada’s strength is complicated by his size. He’s a smaller fella (this guy’s listed height dropped two inches after MLB’s independent measurement this spring), not the typical 6-foot-1 teenager who you could see adding 20 or so pounds of muscle over time. Guys like Adam Eaton and Cedric Mullins (maybe the most flush comp to Rada’s game) provide examples of what it looks like when an outfielder this size succeeds. We like Rada’s athleticism and body composition enough to project that he’ll eventually have viable big league strength and be a table-setting everyday center fielder.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2023 from Florida Atlantic (LAA)
Age 22.2 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/60 40/40 30/40 40/40 30/50 40

Though the stopwatch-holding prospect arm of FanGraphs has tended to be lower than consensus on Schanuel due to a lack of power and athleticism, it’s surprising to see him barely maintaining replacement-level performance as he graduates from rookie status and approaches 300 career plate appearances. ZiPS still likes Schanuel to produce as a 45-grade player for the next three years, right in line with our preseason report and evaluation, which we stand by. It is reproduced here: If you liked Craig Counsell‘s batting stance, then please enjoy Schanuel, whose hands start way above his head before they load in a pretty normal spot. It’s common for hitters in college baseball to walk as much as they strike out, especially the good ones. Schanuel walked five times as often as he struck out in 2023, a cartoonish stat that helps illuminate his freaky feel to hit. Even as a small school prospect, he was viewed as one of the more advanced bats in the 2023 draft class, and the Angels, who tended to take players of that ilk during the late-Ohtani era, made Schanuel their first round pick and had him in the big leagues before the end of the season.

Schanuel’s swing isn’t sexy or explosive, he just finds a way to put the bat on the ball, and the natural uphill path of his cut helps him to hit for some power, though the reason Schanuel was left off the offseason Top 100 was because he doesn’t project to hit for enough thump to be a meaningfully impactful first baseman during the next half decade or so. He slugged .868 in college last year, but it was more due to his consistency of contact than big power, and Schanuel has way less raw pop than is typical of a first baseman. As part of an offseason regimen to try to get stronger, Schanuel stood all day. He perhaps looks a little bit stronger this spring, but he’s probably going to be more of a player you can “win with” in your lineup than one you win “because of,” akin to LaMonte Wade Jr. and other contact-oriented first basemen of modest impact.

3. Caden Dana, SP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2022 from Don Bosco Prep (NJ) (LAA)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/70 45/50 30/40 40/50 92-95 / 96

Dana tossed 68.1 innings between Inland Empire and Tri-City as a 19-year-old in 2023, striking out 31.7% of opposing batters while walking only 10.7% at the latter stop. He has a strong, broad-shouldered build, comes at hitters from a high three-quarters slot, and has above-average arm speed.

Dana’s upright posture and 6-foot-4 height create a downhill angle on his fastball, which could make his heater velo-reliant as he climbs the minors. This tends to be a trait that indicates relief risk. Dana’s fastball sits 92-95 mph and will touch 96 while showing fair carry and late run. His delivery looks starter-y in terms of effort, and he’s shown improved feel for repeating it. The slider is the most consistent secondary pitch in Dana’s mix; it features both vertical and horizontal break, and will morph into a downer version on occasion. There’s advanced feel for locating the pitch down and away to right-handed hitters, but not yet to other quadrants. It looks like a plus pitch from a visual scouting standpoint and it’s even better than that when it comes to things like its chase and whiff rates, though from a stuff quantification POV, it’s only a bit above average. Dana has another distinct breaker in his curveball, which has 12-to-6 shape and significant depth, but it doesn’t show above-average break with the frequency his slider does. Dana’s changeup continues to lag behind development-wise; it ranges between 84-88 mph and it often lacks the action that would allow it to miss bats or generate weak contact.

Dana has the build and (for the most part) mechanical look of a innings-eating workhorse, but his command and pitch mix are more typical of a reliever. The good news is that if the latter is true, his slider quality will probably facilitate a late-inning role.

40+ FV Prospects

4. Barrett Kent, SP

Drafted: 8th Round, 2023 from Pottsboro HS (TX) (LAA)
Age 19.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 45/50 40/50 30/50 91-95 / 97

Kent was the Angels’ eighth round pick out of Pottsboro, TX, and they gave him nearly $1 million to forgo his Arkansas commitment. He stands in at a strapping at 6-foot-4 and has pretty clearly been in the weight room since he signed. He doesn’t have an uber-projectable frame, but Kent has already gotten stronger and isn’t fully grown.

Kent’s fastball currently sits between 91-95 mph, and he’s shown he’s capable of reaching back for a couple extra ticks of velocity in the past. There’s some looseness in his arm action, and as his frame continues to mature, it’s easy to see his average fastball velocity also ticking up. Presently, Kent’s fastball shows solid carry when he’s working above the belt but a vulnerable lack of movement in the zone; his heater is going to depend on his command in order to play. His slider will show traditional two-plane shape as well as a more vertical downer version, both of which are capable of flashing above-average bite. Kent’s prototypical size and natural slider movement are the driving forces of his profile. He needs to polish his changeup. Right now, Kent does a good job of maintaining his fastball arm speed when throwing his cambio, but the majority of the time it’s an offering that lacks notable action. The change will show both fade and depth on occasion, but it will need to do so with much greater frequency if it’s ever going to be an average pitch for him.

Kent’s realistic ceiling (via a leap in changeup quality and command) is that of a backend starter. He’s a pretty standard million-dollar teenage pitching prospect, albeit one who we’d view toward the bottom third of that player group because of his fastball shape and lack of command. Before the draft, Kent’s build was also part of why he was more clearly a 40 FV prospect than a 40+, and he’s already made strides in that area. If those improvements lead to better command, and Kent shows us that across a bigger performance sample in 2024, he’ll move up the FV continuum.

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 45/50 30/45 50/50 40/50 50

Guzman was the Angels’ top 2021 international amateur signee at just shy of $2 million. He has yet to have an impressive statistical season on offense and has a sub-.700 career OPS as of list publication, but he continues to project as a sound shortstop defender and swings with enough verve at 20 years old to portend profile-carrying power.

Guzman’s tools are like Diet Willy Adames. He has cleaned up some of the odd looking aspects of his defensive actions (which were really only strange and stiff when he had to make plays in on the grass) and continues to be great at backhanding balls in the hole and making strong throws back across his body. Guzman is also an impressive in-the-box rotator and swings pretty hard for a 20-year-old, but his cut is quite long. He’s had concerningly high strikeout rates in the low minors, and it’s tough to forecast him as an everyday player because of this. This is where one could argue Guzman’s skill set is structured like Adames’, but Guzman isn’t tooled up to that degree (Willy is a 7 defender with 6 power). We think there might be enough power here for Guzman to be a second-division regular shortstop, but whether his hit tool lets him get to it is another matter, one we feel less good about.

40 FV Prospects

6. Capri Ortiz, SS

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 19.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 20/30 20/30 70/80 45/55 60

Ortiz has taken quite a leap on defense and in the early going of 2024, he not only looks like a lock to stay at shortstop, but he might become an impact glove there. This is not often the case for spindly speedsters like Ortiz, who is in the Roman Quinn and Billy Hamilton physical mold. The pace of Ortiz’s exchange needs to quicken some, but his arm strength has improved and he’s made several acrobatic plays already this year.

Ortiz still needs to get stronger at the dish. He is swinging underneath tons of in-zone fastballs because he has to wind up his entire little body to swing hard, causing him to be late. He has only been switch-hitting for a couple of years, and while Ortiz doesn’t have ideal body projection because he’s such a rail, he should get at least somewhat bigger as he matures, and take a step forward as a hitter via both improved skill and strength. At minimum, he looks like a plus shortstop defender with 70 speed; even with a flawed hit tool, that’s a good utility player. His upside will be driven by how much Ortiz develops on offense, so much of which is still TBD as he grows and changes as an athlete.

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Venezuela (LAA)
Age 19.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 45/50 20/50 20/20 30/40 60

Laverde is an exciting bat-first catching prospect who has split time between the Angels’ Low-A and complex-level teams so far in 2024. Though he’s older than Juan Flores (who is ranked a bit later on this list), Flores is a more advanced defender and is playing a level ahead of Laverde as of list publication. Still, Laverde has more offensive potential by a good bit. He has plus lefty bat speed with natural pull-side lift and enough barrel control to manifest that power in games. His stocky build lacks great long-term physical projection (Omar Narvaez and Tucker Barnhart are pretty good body comps), but Laverde already has good offensive tools for a catching prospect. He also has a good arm, but his poor receiving (Laverde frequently flinches when hitters swing and loses sight of the baseball) needs to improve if he’s going to stay back there. So much of Laverde’s upside is dependent on him developing as a catcher and if our degree of confidence in him staying back there was higher, he’d be in the 40+ FV tier. If things progress on defense, Laverde will be a Narvaez/Victor Caratini type of bat-first catcher.

8. Ben Joyce, SIRP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2022 from Tennessee (LAA)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
80/80 45/55 30/30 98-101 / 103

Joyce had Tommy John as an underclassman at Tennessee and later became famous for touching 105 mph in college, but as a relief prospect with messy control, he signed for the slot value of pick 73 or so. He’s a remarkable athlete who has to have worked incredibly hard for his body to generate such elite velocity in an era of historically high velos.

Joyce missed time in 2023 due to ulnar neuritis, which limited him to 27.2 total innings (10 in the bigs). He throws from a three-quarters slot with plus-plus arm speed. He appears healthy this spring (he was sent to Double-A), as he’s once again sitting 99 and peaking above that, but he’s hindered a bit by his erratic control and tick-below-average deception. Joyce’s slider will show sharp two-plane action, and he also throws a version with more length to it; both shapes are able to consistently maintain their above-average bite. Joyce has improved his ability to land the breaking ball in the zone, and he’ll need to continue to make strides in that regard for the offering to have above-average effectiveness long-term and not be overly reliant on chase. Barring a drastic improvement to his overall control, he projects as a single-inning reliever who is better suited for middle-relief duties than a role where he’s routinely handling high-leverage spots.

9. Camden Minacci, SIRP

Drafted: 6th Round, 2023 from Wake Forest (LAA)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/55 30/40 94-96 / 97

The former Wake Forest closer was drafted by the Angels in the sixth round last year and ended up only throwing 8.1 pro innings in 2023 after striking out 34.3% of opposing batters in his final collegiate season. Minacci is a fastball/slider reliever who throws from a high three-quarters slot with significant effort in his delivery. His four-seamer, which has averaged 95 mph so far in 2024 and has touched 97 mph, has solid life in the form of carry and will also flash late running action. His slider lives in the mid-80s and relies on the lateness of its break more than overwhelming spin. He’s shown advanced feel for landing the breaker in the zone, as well as expanding out of the zone to finish hitters off. His slider will take the form of vertical downer as well as a more traditional two-plane version. Minacci has a lot less volatility in his strike-throwing ability than most of the reliever profiles in the system, and even though an elite pitch is absent from his arsenal, he projects to be a consistent performer in a middle-relief role sooner than later.

10. Joel Hurtado, MIRP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/55 35/45 30/35 93-97 / 98

Hurtado appeared in 22 games last season working mostly as a starter or in a piggy-back role, but there were also a handful of 1-2 inning outings of the Inland Empire bullpen. Hurtado has a lean, projectable frame that can easily handle more weight in the coming years. Over his 78 innings of work in 2023, he struck out 26.3% of batters and walked 9.1% on his way to posting a 5.42 ERA in the Cal League as a 22-year-old.

Hurtado throws both a four- and two-seam fastball that average 95 mph and touch 98 mph. The four-seamer tends to play down from that velocity because it lacks plus life, but the two-seamer will show significant late running action. Hurtado has a sharp mid-80s slider that features both horizontal and vertical break, but his feel for the offering is very hit-and-miss at present. There’s also a rarely utilized changeup in the arsenal, which at its best is thrown with quality arm speed and will feature fade and varying degrees of depth. While Hurtado continues to be developed as a starter, his inconsistent strike-throwing ability makes him best suited for a relief role, one that would hopefully allow him to tap into a few more ticks of velocity and unlock additional life on his four-seamer.

11. Francis Texido, MIRP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Cuba (LAA)
Age 19.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
30/45 40/55 50/60 30/50 86-90 / 91

The Angels signed Texido for $250,000 out of Cuba in 2023 and he threw 50.2 frames for their DSL club, where he struck out 30% of the batters he faced and only walked 5.9%. Texido has a medium frame that has limited projectability, but he appears to be an above-average athlete. Texido’s fastball is light on velocity at present (ranging between 86-90 mph), but it plays way, way up because his extreme crossfire stride direction creates a unique and deceptive angle that’s especially tough on lefties. Ryan Yarbrough‘s delivery is as close a mechanical comp as we can make, but Texido’s stride direction is more akin to DJ Herz or a younger Sean Manaea.

The headliner offering here is the changeup, which Texido sells with fastball arm speed. It features 8-10 mph of velocity separation from his heater and has substantial late depth that allows it to regularly slip under barrels. Texido also has a slider (75-80 mph) that has traditional two-plane shape, but with an extra element of length to it that is created by his drastic crossfire direction. The secondary offerings carry the profile at present, but there’s outlier deception here that has the potential to enable a fastball that otherwise wouldn’t be effective. The fastball will hopefully add at least a few ticks if Texido’s going to have a long-term future as a starter, but even if that doesn’t happen, he profiles as a plus-deception reliever who can cover multiple innings by leaning heavily on his secondary pitches.

12. Joswa Lugo, SS

Signed: International Signing Period, 2024 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 17.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 40/60 20/55 60/60 40/50 60

Lugo’s rare power/speed combination drove his amateur clout, and he signed for $2.3 million. His range and arm strength will give him a chance to develop into a viable shortstop defender. Swing length and bat path efficacy create hit tool risk here, which is why we’re a bit lower on Lugo than we tend to be on players who get that big of a bonus in the international space.

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Harriton HS (PA) (LAA)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 228 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
35/35 50/55 45/45 50/55 45/50 95-97 / 99

Kochanowicz dropped his arm slot and added three ticks of velocity to his fastball in 2023, but that pitch’s plane and movement simply aren’t effective, and he generates shockingly little chase and whiff on a pitch that is averaging 95 mph again to start 2024. Kochanowicz’s most reliable bat-missing offering is his changeup, which is regularly average or a tick above and moves enough to stay off the barrel even when it’s in the zone. Meanwhile, his most reliable pitch from a strike-throwing standpoint is his mid-80s slider/cutter, which has added a couple ticks of velo this spring and currently sits 86-87 mph. Kochanowicz has worked hard to not only keep his big frame in check but to improve his conditioning in a substantial way (for all their issues developing players, the Angels strength program seems to make a consistent and noticeable difference across their system). He should be able to eat innings as a backend starter who liberally mixes in his secondary stuff to keep hitters off his fastball.

14. Walbert Urena, SIRP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/70 45/50 45/55 20/30 94-97 / 100

Urena spent the entire 2023 season in the starting rotation at Inland Empire, where he covered 98.2 frames while striking out 21.7% of batters and walking 13.5% on his way to a 5.66 ERA as a 19-year-old. The easy effort in Urena’s delivery is starter-like, but his erratic strike throwing pushes his profile to the bullpen rather emphatically. Urena already sits 94-98 and touches 100 mph, and that velocity is likely to tick up in a single-inning role where he could air it out in short bursts. Urena’s changeup projects to be his best secondary pitch. He does a good job of mirroring his fastball arm speed when he throws it, the pitch shows significant depth and fading action, and he can deploy it against hitters of either handedness. The third pitch in Urena’s mix is a slider that more often than not has fringe-average tightness; its shape often varies due to his inconsistent timing and tendency to get on the side of the breaker. We love Urena’s stuff in some ways but are skeptical about it in others (he weirdly tends to get swings and misses in the bottom of the zone and nowhere else), and we consider him more likely to be a middle relief prospect who won’t be trusted in leverage situations due to his control issues.

15. Juan Flores, C

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Venezuela (LAA)
Age 18.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 30/40 20/30 20/20 45/55 70

Flores is an unbelievably skilled thrower of the baseball. He has fairly average raw arm strength, but the quickness of his exchange and his ability to turn around poorly located pitches with pace and accuracy is remarkable. Flores’ hands are also an asset when picking pitches in the dirt. He’s a smaller athlete who needs to get stronger so his receiving can be quieter, but the other aspects of his defense are already plus.

On offense, Flores is a relatively slow-twitch swinger with below-average bat speed and a very conservative approach. He tracks pitches pretty well, but his ball-striking power is near the bottom of the scale. Still just 18, Flores was skipped over the Arizona Complex League and sent straight to Low-A to start 2024. He can keep up with the pace of a full-season game behind the dish, but he’s physically overmatched in the batter’s box. Hopefully he can become stronger and a bit more dangerous on offense; his current projection looks more like a good backup.

35+ FV Prospects

16. Davis Daniel, SP

Drafted: 7th Round, 2019 from Auburn (LAA)
Age 26.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/45 50/50 55/55 30/35 50/50 91-94 / 96

Daniel has dealt with injuries (a 2019 Tommy John and 2023 shoulder strain) and fluctuating velocity (at times sitting 90, at times sitting 93 and up to 96) during the last half decade, but he appears healthy and effective early in 2024. Daniel is again sitting 91-94 and commanding his fastball to the belt. He mixes in two distinct breaking balls (a slow mid-70s curve and low-80s slider) and, to a lesser extent, a mid-80s changeup. Nothing is plus, but Daniel is a loose-bodied, big-framed righty whose direct line to the plate makes him a reliable strike thrower. Currently at Salt Lake, he’s an up/down starter who seems likely to lose rookie eligibility at some point in 2024.

17. Caleb Ketchup, SS

Drafted: 15th Round, 2023 from Lipscomb (LAA)
Age 22.3 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/30 45/50 35/40 60/60 45/60 60

Ketchup didn’t play at all during his freshman year at Georgia and transferred to Lipscomb for his sophomore and junior years; he hit for power (including a 35 extra-base hit, 31 stolen base junior year) but struck out a lot. The Angels more or less leapt him right to High-A, and he has been striking out roughly a third of the time there. He has power against pitches he can get extended on, those away from him on the outer third of the zone. It’s unlikely Ketchup will ever make enough contact to be a lineup mainstay, but he’s a remarkable athlete who plays a special, acrobatic style of shortstop defense. It should allow him to wear a big league uniform (probably a couple) because of his rare ability, and he’ll have some other in-game utility as a pinch-runner.

18. Felix Morrobel, SS

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 18.6 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 45/55 20/45 50/45 40/50 70

Morrobel is a toolsy developmental shortstop prospect who signed for just shy of a million bucks in 2023. Stocky and physically mature, Morrobel’s rocket arm strength is what gives him a shot to stay at shortstop even if he continues to fill out more and slows down a bit. He’s capable of sizzling the baseball to first base from deep in the hole and his arm could compensate for what might be below-average range during the bulk of his career. On offense, Morrobel swings with impressive bat speed from both sides of the plate, but it takes him a ton of effort to generate it. His lefty swing has a downward-cutting bat path that looks rather ineffectual. You can clearly see why Morrobel got the signing bonus he did, but at this stage, he’s much more of a toolsy dev project than an ascendant everyday shortstop.

19. Adrian Acosta, SP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 19.0 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/50 40/55 30/45 20/50 92-94 / 95

Acosta was the hardest-throwing teenage pitcher in the Angels’ system in 2023 and their complex team’s Opening Day starter in 2024. He’s got a medium QB build at a strong 6-foot-1; it’s well-composed but not especially projectable, and will likely trend toward barrel-chested. Acosta sits 92-94 and will flash a plus slider, but the shape and quality of that pitch varies pretty heavily. He has a simple, relatively upright delivery with a high three-quarters release and lovely, efficient arm action. It’s a fastball with vertically oriented spin but downhill plane. Acosta will probably be able to get on top of his breaking ball more consistently with time because of his vertical slot, and you can project on his changeup because of the relatively effortless nature of his delivery. Because he’s more physically maxed than most prospects his age, Acosta’s best shot at accessing big ceiling is likely through sharper command rather than velo growth.

20. Guillermo Zuñiga, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Colombia (ATL*)
Age 25.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 45/45 40/40 95-98 / 101

Of all the players whose lives were upended by Atlanta’s 2017 international scandal, Zuñiga has the best chance to wear a big league uniform for a while. Once a Braves sleeper prospect, Zuñiga was made a free agent due to the fallout from the John Coppolella-era scandal and signed with the Dodgers; he climbed through the minors with LA before reaching minor league free agency and signing with the Cardinals, who traded him during the offseason to the Angels for cash.

This is the Colombian giant’s eighth appearance on a prospect list, as he’s remained relevant as a middle relief prospect due to his arm strength and, more recently, his breaking ball consistency and changeup. Zuñiga has long sat in either the mid- or upper 90s depending on the night. His velo was down several ticks from last year prior hitting the IL with a pec strain. His feel for locating his slider (which bends in anywhere between 81-91 mph) has improved, and its spin rate spiked a couple of years ago, as if he found a new grip or release. The lack of consistency here means Zuñiga will probably be up and down from Triple-A once he’s healthy.

21. Keythel Key, SIRP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Venezuela (LAA)
Age 20.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 50/55 35/50 20/40 93-94 / 95

Key is a max-effort, uber-projectable right-hander who threw 52.1 innings in 2023, all but 8.2 of which were in the Complex League. In those frames, he punched out 21.4% of batters and had a worrisome 16.7% walk rate as a 19-year-old. Key works out of the stretch, utilizes an exaggerated leg lift, and throws from a high three-quarters slot with a head whack prior to release; he falls off to first base after release. His four-seamer averaged 93.6 mph in 2023, but the above-average carry it has gives a much higher perceived velocity than the radar reading does. His shotgun command ultimately hinders the offering’s effectiveness because of how erratic he tends to get. His breaking ball often displays slurvey, tweener shape and will flash above-average bite at its best. Much of the time, Key shows more strike-throwing ability with his breaking ball than he does with his heater. He also has a changeup that can vary in quality pretty drastically from pitch to pitch — there are times when it shows very minimal action and others when it has late sink. Key needs to take a giant developmental step forward, particularly with his fastball control; until that happens, he has the ceiling of a future single-inning middle-reliever and will likely end up as a up/down type.

22. Jadiel Sanchez, RF

Drafted: 12th Round, 2019 from Escuela Natividad Rodriguez Gonzalez (PR) (PHI)
Age 23.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 40/45 30/40 50/50 30/55 55

Sanchez looks like the same player he was when the Angels acquired him from Philly as part of the Noah Syndergaard trade, which is a positive in some ways and a negative in others. The good: Sanchez is a lean and lanky switch-hitter who has demonstrated above-average overall feel for contact. The bad: He’s been rail thin for basically his whole career and has yet to get any stronger, and his performance has mostly come as an old-for-the-level hitter. Sanchez is 23 and still at High-A, and he needs to get stronger if he’s going to have the power to play right field in the big leagues. We’ve kept him alive on the list because of his switch-hitting contact profile, but we’d really like to see him add strength.

23. Alberto Rios, LF

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2023 from Stanford (LAA)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 203 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 45/45 30/40 50/50 30/55 50

A high school infielder who became a reserve catcher during his underclass seasons at Stanford, Rios didn’t really get consistent reps until his junior year when he moved into a vacant spot in the outfield. He responded by slugging a jet’s worth, hitting .384/.485/.707.

Rios doesn’t have the prototypical offense of a corner outfield prospect, and his best chance to profile is by improving at the catcher position. He’s catching about a quarter of the time so far in 2024 and looks predictably raw. He’s a one-knee, bottom-up receiver, and has a tendency to stab at pitches that miss the location where he’s set up. This needs to quiet down, and Rios’ ball blocking needs to improve. There are amateur scouts who liked Rios’ bat enough to give him a shot in an outfield corner. He was especially good at getting on top of high fastballs in college, but his hand path, which is remarkably similar to Keston Hiura’s, is not the kind for which this is typically true. It’s possible Pac-12 pitching just wasn’t good enough to expose the upper-zone hole in Rios’ swing (which seems to be true early on in 2024 as he K’s north of 30% of the time). If it turns out his hit tool can hold water, then Rios is going to be a doubles machine capable of playing a part-time corner role, but we think it’s more important for him to catch.

24. Joe Redfield, CF

Drafted: 4th Round, 2023 from Sam Houston (LAA)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 40/45 30/40 50/50 30/50 50

Redfield transferred from Temple College to Sam Houston and had an absurd draft year, slashing .402/.485/.683 with as many walks as strikeouts. He’s similar to former Mississippi State outfielder Jake Mangum in that his super simple, downward-cutting swing allows him to cover the whole plate but produces mostly grounders and line drives. How Redfield develops in center field will be key to his big league future. He could have a very low-end, part-time corner role with his style of contact alone, but if he can actually play center field, then his chances of having a long career improve sizably. He looked just okay there during Eric’s 2023 WAC tourney viewing, but it was hot and teams were playing marathon games all day for a week, so he may not have had his legs. So far in 2024, Redfield has played a mix of all three outfield positions and looks about the same, a little too inconsistent to comfortably project him in center.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Tweener Outfielders
Bryce Teodosio, OF
Anthony Scull, CF
Werner Blakely, CF
Jorge Ruiz, OF

Teodosio is a speedy, backwards-profiled (bats right, throws left) 24-year-old outfielder undrafted out of Clemson. His hitting hands have some thump to them and he’s performing well at Salt Lake, but his feel for contact is suspect. Scull, a 20-year-old Cuban outfielder, has been a slower burn in rookie ball and is as tweenery as tweeners get. He’s smaller but twitchy, and a little too aggressive at the plate for someone who isn’t a center field lock. Blakely, 22, was drafted as a toolsy, high-upside high schooler, but he’s made bottom-of-the-scale rates of contact as a pro. He has moved from third base to center field. He would do sensational things at the hot corner at times, while having issues with throwing accuracy at others. It’s feasible his athleticism could translate to center in a big way, enough for Blakely to reach the bigs. Ruiz is about to turn 20 and has a pretty good bat-to-ball track record in the low minors. He’s on the smaller side.

Higher Profile Guys
Kyren Paris, SS
Kenyon Yovan, RHP
Jordyn Adams, CF
Victor Mederos, RHP

Paris looks very lost at the dish early in 2024 (he’s striking out at a 40% clip), and while he’s fine at shortstop at times, his defense there isn’t consistent enough to be the driving force of his rosterability. Yovan was a good two-way amateur prospect who began his pro career as a hitter and has now reached Triple-A as a reliever. He sits 93-94 and has a fairly nasty cutter/slider. We hoped Adams might make a late leap as a center field defender and be good enough to hold down a defensive specialist/pinch-runner role, but he still presents a dicey look out there at times. Mederos has become a prime example of the importance of fastball shape. He’s been a mid-90s/breaking ball bully since high school, but his heater just doesn’t play.

Lefty Specialists
Nick Jones, LHP
Eric Torres, LHP

Jones (Georgia Southern) and Torres (Kansas State) were both part of the Angels’ 2021 Pitchers Only draft class and have reached the upper levels. Jones is a funky lefty who creates tough angle, while Torres has more of a vertical fastball/curveball combo.

Sleeper 2023 Draft Hitters
Cole Fontenelle, 3B
Rio Foster, OF
John Wimmer, SS

Fontenelle hopped from the University of Washington to McLennan Community College (TX) to TCU in his three college seasons and was a seventh rounder last year. The Angels have already pushed him to Double-A. He has explosive hitting hands and would be our top pick of the entire Honorable Mention group, but his swing is pretty grooved for a corner guy. Foster is a 2023 Day Three pick out Florence Darlington Tech in South Carolina. He’s a well-built outfielder with a pretty, inside-out style swing. Wimmer was a $400,000-bonus high schooler from 2023 whose bat looks very raw in the early going of his pro career.

Hard Throwers
Brady Choban, RHP
Jose Fermin, RHP
Jared Southard, RHP

Choban is a 2023 undrafted free agent who spent five years in college — three at Marshall and two at University of Rio Grande, an NAIA school. He topped out at 98 this spring and has prototypical power reliever size at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, but his delivery is very stiff and kind of odd looking. He’s leapt to High-A. Fermin is a fairly stiff 250-pound 22-year-old righty with big arm strength. He’s an open strider with a high slot, the combo of which is somewhat deceptive, and was sitting 93-97 this spring with 30 control. Southard, a 2022 12th rounder from Texas, sits 95 and has a 45-grade slider.

Funk and Deception
Hayden Seig, RHP
Jorge Marcheco, RHP

Seig is a super weird undrafted arm (St. Joe’s) from 2021 who has performed into the upper levels of the minors. He’s a 6-foot-5 low-ish slot guy who produces a downhill fastball because of his height and upright delivery. He fills the zone with his funky sinker/slider combo. Marcheco, 21, sits in the upper-80s, but he’s had A-ball success because of his long-armed delivery’s deception and extension. He has the low release height du jour, and a rise/tail fastball and sweeper combo.

Injured Pitchers
Kelvin Caceres, RHP
Sadrac Franco, RHP
Mo Hanley, LHP

This is a pretty self-explanatory group. Caceres was in the big leagues for a second last season. He has upper-90s arm strength, elite curveball spin rates, and 20-grade control when healthy. Smaller Panamanian righty Sadrac Franco, now 23, was a rookie ball arm of note way back in 2019, but the pandemic and injuries cost him 2020-2022. He moved to the bullpen last year and had a velo spike (sitting 96 with an occasionally good slider), but he’s back on the 60-day IL to start 2024. Hanley looked like an exciting dev project coming out of Adrian College, but he’s nearly 25 year old and has thrown single-digit innings as a pro due to injuries.

System Overview

There is an alternate reality in which the 2023 Angels decide to proactively trade their departing/aging stars rather than make an ill-fated effort to support them. Even if they had only moved Shohei Ohtani, the return might have made a meaningful difference not only to the quality and depth of this system, but probably to their big league roster’s talent as well. In the latter portion of the Ohtani era, the Angels’ decision-making was consistently geared toward immediate contention. They prioritized player polish and proximity in the draft, high-floor/low-ceiling types who aren’t as likely to bring impact, in order to put talent around Mike Trout and Ohtani. This has come in the form of (theoretically) quick-moving pitching (Reid Detmers) and college hitters considered to be polished (Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel). We’d count Detmers and Neto (who’s struggling, but is only 23, and who we still think will be a good player) as hits of this sort, but the plan to race a bunch of college arms to the big leagues before Ohtani left has fallen flat.

The big league roster isn’t totally barren for the long-term — in addition to Detmers and Neto, Logan O’Hoppe is a foundational piece, Taylor Ward is only entering his arb years, and Jo Adell is showing signs of life — but the farm system is in a pretty rough spot. It’s devoid of high-ceiling talent on both sides of the ball (we like Nelson Rada, but we’d be surprised if he hit for star-level power) and might be the shallowest system in baseball.

Clearly, we like the players on this list, but even the ones we’re most excited about realistically project to be utility guys, back-end starters, or middle relievers.

Outside of signing Rada in 2022, the Angels’ last few international classes have come up short in terms of producing anyone significant bat-wise. Players like Denzer Guzman and Capri Ortiz project to be quality role players whose skill sets are headlined by their up-the-middle profile on defense rather than multiple water-carrying offensive traits. That said, the international group has had some success in finding highly intriguing, low-cost arms, with guys like Joel Hurtado, Francis Texido, and Walbert Urena all signed for $250,000 or less.

The Angels’ domestic scouting department is one of the more shorthanded groups in the sport. They’ve had to utilize their few pro scouts to cover the blind spots of their thinly staffed amateur group due to how few scouts ownership has on payroll.

It’s safe to assume the Angels will be in sell mode leading up to the trade deadline, and it will be interesting to see how Perry Minasian and Co. navigate a market where their goal isn’t just to support their big money guys. Aside from the Brandon Marsh trade, most of Minasian’s deals have been for multiple depth-type pitchers at a time.

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Brian Reinhartmember
21 days ago

I’m going to relish all the Caleb Ketchup jokes.

21 days ago
Reply to  Brian Reinhart

I don’t know if I am. The broadcast teams are going to have the worst jokes.

21 days ago
Reply to  Brian Reinhart

He will be the king of Dad jokes from announcers.

He put a little mustard on that one..He couldn’t ketchup to the high heat…etc, etc

21 days ago
Reply to  PC1970

…. but we’ll relish the opportunities to see him on the field.

21 days ago
Reply to  Brian Reinhart

His family’s original name was Catsup, but the person at Ellis Island couldn’t pronounce that so they had to change it