Los Angeles Angels Top 28 Prospects

Stan Szeto-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 my own observations. This is the third 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 I 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 Logan O’Hoppe 23.3 MLB C 2024 50
2 Zach Neto 22.4 MLB SS 2023 50
3 Edgar Quero 20.2 AA C 2025 50
4 Nelson Rada 17.8 A CF 2027 45
5 Jack Kochanowicz 22.5 AA SP 2024 40+
6 José Soriano 24.7 MLB SIRP 2023 40+
7 Jake Madden 21.5 A SP 2026 40+
8 Coleman Crow 22.5 AA SP 2024 40
9 Ky Bush 23.6 AA SP 2025 40
10 Walbert Urena 19.4 A SIRP 2026 40
11 Caden Dana 19.5 A+ SP 2025 40
12 Sam Bachman 23.7 MLB SIRP 2023 40
13 Ben Joyce 22.7 MLB SIRP 2023 40
14 Jorge Ruiz 19.0 A LF 2026 40
15 Jadiel Sanchez 22.1 A RF 2025 40
16 Chase Silseth 23.1 MLB MIRP 2023 40
17 Kolton Ingram 26.6 AA SIRP 2023 40
18 Mason Albright 20.6 A+ SP 2026 40
19 Kyren Paris 21.6 AA SS 2024 40
20 Denzer Guzman 19.4 A SS 2026 40
21 Davis Daniel 26.0 AAA SIRP 2023 40
22 Capri Ortiz 18.2 R SS 2027 35+
23 Keythel Key 19.7 R SP 2027 35+
24 Werner Blakely 21.3 A+ 3B 2025 35+
25 Landon Marceaux 23.7 AA SP 2025 35+
26 Kelvin Caceres 23.4 AA SIRP 2024 35+
27 Mo Hanley 23.9 A SIRP 2026 35+
28 Jordyn Adams 23.7 AAA CF 2023 35+
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50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 23th Round, 2018 from St. John the Baptist HS (NY) (PHI)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 50/50 30/40 30/30 50/55 45

O’Hoppe started the 2022 season at Double-A in the Phillies system before the Angels snagged him as part of the Brandon Marsh deadline deal. His pre-trade numbers (.275/.392/.496 at hitter-friendly Reading) were impressive and only improved when he joined Rocket City: In his 29 games with the Angels’ Double-A affiliate, O’Hoppe slashed .306/.473/.673 and walked more than he struck out, good for a 194 wRC+ over that span. He was skipped over Triple-A and promoted straight to the majors for a five-game cup of coffee at the end of 2022, and played so well during 2023 spring training that he broke camp as the big club’s primary catcher. After 16 games, during which he slashed a robust .283/.339/.547, an incredible two-week line for a 23-year-old rookie catcher, O’Hoppe suffered a torn left labrum that will keep him until at least late August.

Healthy O’Hoppe has a pull-heavy style of hitting that works for him, as just about all of his impact contact comes against inner-third pitches that he can open up on and yank to left field. Aside from his arm, which was curiously poor in 2023 and ran counter to our past notes, O’Hoppe’s defense is very advanced and projects to plus. His pop times hovered around 2.10 before his injury (it’s his left shoulder), but his mobility, ball-blocking, receiving and framing are all excellent, and this defensive competence is a big part of why he broke camp with the big club. He’ll be the Angels primary catcher for the next half decade.

2. Zach Neto, SS

Drafted: 1st Round, 2022 from Campbell (LAA)
Age 22.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/55 50/50 40/50 55/55 50/50 55

Neto had an incredible statistical 2021, a performance he reinforced by hitting on the Cape and then again by slashing (checks notes) .407/.514/.769 (!) as a junior at Campbell in 2022. He was the fifth-ranked prospect on our 2022 Draft Board but was picked 13th overall. So far he looks like a steal. After a week at Double-A, the Angels elevated Neto straight to the big leagues and he’s seized their everyday shortstop job, posting a 113 wRC+ as of list publication. There was some pre-draft consternation about Neto’s swing, which is noisy and elaborate but very athletic, the way Neto (who’s a smaller guy) gets the most out of his body. He has a cartoonish leg kick and his hands load similarly to Javier Báez‘s, and while Neto doesn’t have quite the same all-world whip as Báez, he is a plus rotational athlete who hits some epic pull-side homers. The huge swing doesn’t detract from Neto’s feel for contact. He dials down his footwork with two strikes and becomes even tougher to put away. Also a plus athlete on defense, Neto does some acrobatic things at shortstop and shows plenty of arm for the left side when he puts his whole body into a throw. He was projected as a second baseman before the draft, but he’s proven he can play shortstop. Despite a chase-prone approach so far in the majors, there’s enough of a hit/power combination for Neto to be a first-division regular.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Cuba (LAA)
Age 20.2 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/50 50/55 30/45 30/20 30/45 50

Quero is a switch-hitting catcher who only had 39 professional games under his belt entering 2022, the majority of which were played on the complex the previous year. To say he had a breakout 2022 is an understatement, as Quero hit .312/.435/.530 with Low-A Inland Empire. While his line was certainly inflated by the Cal League hitting environment, Quero’s peripherals (17.7% K%, 14.2% BB%) and underlying TrackMan data (including a 41% hard-hit rate, already better than the average big league catcher) supported the notion that there’s impact offensive potential here. The Angels skipped him over High-A and sent Quero straight to Madison when camp broke in 2023, and while his triple slash line and power output hasn’t been as loud, Quero’s performance for a 20-year-old catcher at Double-A has still been fantastic, especially his plate discipline. Compact and strong, Quero’s lefty swing is more explicitly geared for lift. He tends to drive most of his airborne contact to the opposite field from this side of the plate, and often struggles with up/away fastballs. As a righty, Quero’s approach is more about contact. He takes a flatter approach to the ball and sprays contact across the whole field, showing the most power from this side against breaking balls he tracks and pulls. He cuts his stride with two strikes from both sides of the plate and becomes harder to make whiff.

This is still a bat-first prospect. Quero’s defense is lacking in all facets but, at his age, it’s good enough to project him as a viable defender behind the plate. He’s a heavy-handed receiver and an uncoordinated ball-blocker with an average arm that you could argue plays up because of how accurate he tends to be (his stroke is short and consistent). These issues will prevent Quero from having an O’Hoppe-paced rise, but they aren’t much worse than what’s typical for any 20-year-old catching prospect and likely aren’t long-term barriers to him playing the position. Because he clearly has stuff to work on and his 40-man evaluation year isn’t until 2025, there’s no “catching logjam” here — the Angels have time to let the Quero/O’Hoppe situation play out naturally, with no immediate pressure to decide or anoint one of them as the guy. Quero is similar to Victor Caratini, but he has better on-base skills and is more advanced at the same age.

45 FV Prospects

4. Nelson Rada, CF

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Venezuela (LAA)
Age 17.8 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 30/45 20/45 60/60 45/60 30

Rada was among the youngest players in the 2022 international class and was written up as a power projection bat. Instead, so far in pro ball he’s been a glove-first prospect with an impressive bat-to-ball track record early on. The Angels skipped him over domestic complex ball and sent him straight to Low-A Inland Empire when camp broke in 2023. His range and comfort in center field is very impressive for a 17-year-old. His reads and routes are decisive and crisp, his ball skills are plus, and Rada has the speed to play the position at a high level. He has flaws (his arm) and things to work on, like fielding the baseball on the ground and deciding to take a more conservative approach to 50/50 balls when the situation allows, but Rada would be young for the 2023 draft’s high school class and is currently playing a premium position in full-season ball.

Rada’s on-paper contact rates are better than his actual feel to hit. He has a low-ball swing that will be vulnerable at the top of the zone at the upper levels unless Rada makes adjustments, which might happen through sheer strength and maturity. There isn’t huge physical projection here, as Rada is well-built but not very big, like a slightly shorter Dennis Schroeder. We’re looking at a balanced combination of about average contact and power that gives Rada a shot to be an everyday center fielder but probably not a star. The defense creates a modern fourth outfielder floor, in so far as a 17-year-old can have a floor.

40+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Harriton HS (PA) (LAA)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 228 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 45/55 40/40 50/55 45/50 95-97 / 99

Kochanowicz came out of the gate in 2023 looking totally different than he did in the Arizona Fall League, dropping his arm slot and finding three ticks of velocity. After sitting 92-94 mph in the Fall League, he’s become a power sinker guy whose fastball has been parked in the 95-97 range and is touching 99. He’s still trying to get comfortable finishing his breaking balls from this slot (Kochanowicz’s curveball was his only above-average pitch until this mechanical tweak), but he’s been able to rely on his changeup to miss bats at Double-A. Kochanowicz isn’t going to be a strikeout machine, but he now looks like an inning-eating backend guy who might have another gear if he can find a more tempting breaking pitch that plays better with his new style of fastball.

6. José Soriano, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 24.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 70/70 30/40 30/40 93-97 / 99

Soriano was an exciting teenage pitching prospect who would show you 94-97 mph and a plus curveball on the complex. While he had a near ideal pitcher’s frame, his tightly-wound delivery could never really be reined in, and after seven years of starting, Soriano finally transitioned to the bullpen in 2023.

Soriano had Tommy John in February of 2020, and then Pittsburgh made him the first pick in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft knowing he’d likely be on the shelf for a huge chunk of 2021, which arguably made him easier to roster for the required time in order to retain him as a long-term prospect. He came back to make minor league rehab appearances in May, but his velo tanked into the low-90s after just a few innings. He had blown out again and needed a second Tommy John procedure in June of 2021. The Pirates returned him to the Angels in November to clear roster space. The timing of the second TJ meant Soriano could only throw a handful of innings in 2022.

Assigned to Double-A Rocket City in 2023, Soriano was moved to the bullpen and struck out 12/9 IP there across 23 walk-addled innings before he was promoted to the big leagues. Soriano’s stuff is great. His sinking fastball touches 100 and he has a plus-plus curveball that averages a whopping 86 mph. It’s a dominant reliever’s two-pitch mix undercut by Soriano’s mechanical stiffness, which impacts his control. It’s delightful to see him healthy and thriving after he had a weird and frustrating three-year window clouded by the pandemic and injury. With all three option years intact, there is time for Soriano to polish his command as an up/down guy and root into the back of the Halos’ bullpen as he does.

7. Jake Madden, SP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2022 from Northwest Florida State (LAA)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/55 40/55 50/60 30/45 92-95 / 97

Madden had some of the most electrifying arm strength among the junior college prospects in the 2022 draft, sitting 93-95 mph and touching 97 early in the calendar year, while also flashing a plus changeup. He presented a rare combination of arm strength, athleticism, and body projection for a junior college pitcher, and the Angels gave him a mid-second round bonus in the fourth round. Madden was the second Pennsylvania high school pitcher to head to Northwest Florida State and become a famous draft prospect, after Beck Way (drafted by the Yankees and traded to the Royals) did it a few years ago.

Madden has begun his first full season at Low-A Inland Empire, where the strike-throwing issues that gave him pre-draft relief risk are still present. He sure looks the part, though, at a high-waisted 6-foot-6 with limbs for days. His delivery isn’t the same, but Tyler Glasnow is a good body comp for Madden. He is so projectable and athletic that it’s likely Madden will continue to improve control of his body and also throw harder than his current 92-95 mph range deep into his mid-20s. And it’s important that he does, because Madden’s natural fastball shape tends to find wood. He’s either going to need to augment the shape of his heater or mature into 96-plus mph heat for it to play. He also has a great distance to travel as a strike-thrower and overall craftsman. Madden’s slider length and finish are inconsistent, and his changeup has taken a back seat to his fastball and slider so far in 2023. Both secondaries flash plus, and I’m inclined to project heavily on them based on Madden’s frame, delivery, and general athleticism. “This is what they look like,” and over time, pitchers with frames and deliveries like this tend to be big league starters. If you line Madden up with the 2023 draft’s college pitchers, he’d be among the top 10 arms.

40 FV Prospects

8. Coleman Crow, SP

Drafted: 19th Round, 2019 from Pike County HS (GA) (LAA)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/40 50/55 55/55 30/40 50/60 88-92 / 94

Crow, an athletic, low-slot righty, had success as a Double-A starter throughout 2022 and might have gotten the Ben Joyce treatment if not for elbow inflammation that landed him on the IL after just four 2023 starts. He looks like a righty specialist on first blush, but his surgical east/west command and breaking ball quality, especially his ability to vary the shape and depth of a couple different breakers, gives Crow the platoon-neutralizing weapons to be a starter.

Crow’s carrying tool is his command. He hammers the zone with his upshot fastball and two different breaking balls, throwing basically all of his pitches for strikes at a 70% clip in 2022. He is a fantastic on-mound athlete who repeats his mechanics with robotic consistency. This enables Crow’s slow fastball to stay out of danger, because it’s not usually left in the meat of the zone. His even fastball/breaking ball usage and ability to throw either for a strike at any time makes Crow very unpredictable. He’s going to be a reliable member of a big league staff in some capacity, either as a fifth starter (projected here) or a strike-throwing long man.

9. Ky Bush, SP

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2021 from St. Mary’s (LAA)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 250 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/40 55/60 50/55 45/50 30/50 92-93 / 96

After a rough freshman season at Washington State, Bush transferred and began to right the ship at Central Arizona before he kicked back to D-I ball, had a velo spike, and posted big numbers as a junior at Saint Mary’s. He whiffed 112 hitters and allowed just three homers in 76 innings, a performance that propelled him all the way into the second round of the 2021 draft. He had a very steady 2022 at Double-A Rocket City even though his velocity settled down into the 91-94 mph range, relying on his trio of above-average secondary offerings.

Bush began 2023 on the shelf with oblique and groin issues that prevented him from pitching until the end of extended spring training. He seemed fine during my June 1 look, in his usual 92-93 range, with rusty feel for a changeup and slider that flashed above-average, and a shapely mid-70s curveball that has in-zone utility. His first actual rehab outing went very poorly, but there’s not really a reason to alter Bush’s evaluation right now. He didn’t have an arm injury and was pitching well with only fair velocity last year. If you could assure me that Bush would throw harder in a bullpen role, I’d probably prefer him there because his heater is very hittable as it’s currently constituted. His secondary stuff and strike-throwing track record give him a backend starter floor, and lefties with fastballs like this tend to fall into that bucket. Unlike a lot of the Angels’ college pitching prospects, Bush isn’t on the fast track. He needs to keep building innings as a starter, and because of his 2023 injuries, he’s a Fall League candidate. He’s likely to have a chalk 40-man timeline, putting him on pace for an up/down starter role in 2025 before hopefully transitioning into a no. 4/5 starter role in 2026.

10. Walbert Urena, SIRP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 19.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/70 50/55 45/55 20/30 94-97 / 100

Urena is still mostly an arm strength dev project who is running an ERA over 9.00 at Inland Empire as of list publication. He routinely sits 94-97 mph and tops out at 99-100, but he’s only throwing strikes with his fastballs about 58% of the time. There isn’t obvious, low-hanging mechanical fruit to pick here. Urena’s delivery is already simple and his arm action is already pretty short, he just needs to improve his feel for location with reps. While he’ll occasionally flash a plus changeup (some of them have ridiculous tailing action) and curveball (big depth), his feel for those pitches is also sushi raw. His control needs to improve by a couple of grades for him to be a big leaguer at all, and of course Urena is much more likely to get there as a reliever. His fastball might be even harder in single-inning outings, and as a reliever, only one of the two secondaries would need to improve. He should be developed as a starter for as long as possible to give him more reps. There is indeed potential impact here because of Urena’s rare arm strength, but it’s tough to grade him in an impact FV tier right now because of how undercooked everything else is.

11. Caden Dana, SP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2022 from Don Bosco Prep (NJ) (LAA)
Age 19.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 55/60 50/50 30/40 25/50 92-95 / 96

Dana was a fairly advanced and physically mature high school prospect from North Jersey who signed for $1.5 million as an 11th rounder in 2022. He’s been pushed pretty quickly in pro ball and is currently the youngest pitcher at Anaheim’s Tri-City affiliate in the Northwest League by three years. Dana throws hard for a 19-year-old and creates plus vertical break on his fastball, though his relatively upright delivery creates steep plane that takes away from his fastball’s effectiveness. His slider command is very precocious, as Dana peppers the glove-side edge of the plate and below with vertically-oriented breakers. With a relatively easy-looking delivery, advanced strike-throwing ability, and an inning-eating frame, Dana is a high-probability starting pitching prospect. Because his build make him seem unlikely to add velocity, his ceiling is relatively modest. Changeup development will be key to outpacing this fifth starter expectation.

12. Sam Bachman, SIRP

Drafted: 1st Round, 2021 from Miami (OH) (LAA)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 30/40 35/40 95-97 / 99

A low-slot slingin’ relief prospect, Bachman sat 91-94 mph during the short 2020 college season, then began to show a velo uptick in that fall, working 94-96 with huge tail. He was often throwing harder than that in 2021 at Miami of Ohio, sitting 96-97 most of the time and touching 101. The huge uptick put him firmly in the first round picture. Some teams thought he should go close to pick 10, while others had him slotted closer to 40 due to relief projection and his injury history (hip, shoulder). He’s had further health issues in pro ball (back, biceps). After 26 walk-prone innings with Rocket City to start 2023, he was promoted to the big leagues and moved to the bullpen.

Bachman utilizes a slider-heavy approach in the extreme, as his 63% usage is top 10 in the majors among pitchers with at least 10 innings. It looks and plays more like a cutter in the strike zone, and has almost exactly zero vertical and horizontal movement. It’s most obviously a slider when Bachman is locating it for swings and misses. Because he uses his mid-90s fastball as more of a chase pitch than one geared for in-zone strikes, Bachman will probably always be walk-prone, but his true talent for strike-throwing is better than what he’s put on paper so far in 2023. He has more or less scrapped his changeup so far in the big leagues, but if Bachman is going to be more than just a generic middle inning guy, that has to be a part of his repertoire, if only to give lefties a third thing to worry about. He’s tracking in line with his pre-draft floor as a quick-moving rank and file reliever.

13. Ben Joyce, SIRP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2022 from Tennessee (LAA)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
80/80 45/50 30/30 98-101 / 103

Memes and highlight reels have made Joyce famous because he (incredibly) lives in the triple digits with a fastball that has touched an eye-popping 105 mph. Joyce wasn’t like White Sox prospect Garrett Crochet, who had a chance to start and a 70-grade breaking ball, and so Joyce wasn’t a first round prospect and instead signed for just shy of $1 million, the slot value of pick 73 or so. He’s a remarkable athlete who has to have worked incredibly hard to make his body be able to do this, and Joyce has elite velocity in an era of historically high velos.

But recall that Mauricio Cabrera and Thyago Vieira also threw 103. There has to be other stuff happening, and it’s unclear if Joyce’s control (especially of his slider) will end up being good enough for him to be more than just an up/down sideshow. He was hovering around 90% fastball usage in college and that’s trended down to about 75% in pro ball. His sliders also have incredible velocity, but they’re often nowhere near the zone. He was promoted to the big leagues at the end of May despite an 18.6% walk rate at Double-A, and Joyce left the mound with an uncomfortable sensation in his pitching hand in just his fifth appearance a few days before list publication. An MRI showed no structural damage to the ligament and Joyce has been diagnosed with ulnar neuritis. It will be fascinating to see how his career pans out, as Joyce is a singular sort of talent with issues that are often insurmountable for those who have less arm strength. On balance, he’ll probably perform like a middle reliever, but his career is likely to be quite a roller coaster.

14. Jorge Ruiz, LF

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Venezuela (LAA)
Age 19.0 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 20/30 20/30 50/50 30/50 40

Ruiz is a small-statured bat control savant with incredible plate coverage. His swing is evocative of Eddie Rosario’s, especially the way his hands stay back and adjust to breaking balls, and his ability to spray outer third fastballs the other way even though he tends to step in the bucket when he strides. Hitters with ultra-compact builds and swings like this are typically able to turn on just about anything, but Ruiz actually struggles with inner-half fastballs right now. If he can get stronger, perhaps he can be more direct to heaters in this area. Ruiz has mostly been playing left field for Inland Empire in 2023 in deference to Nelson Rada, but he played a lot of center on the complex in 2022. I’ve timed him in the 4.2s from home to first this year, which is about average for a left-handed hitter, probably not enough to play center. As a corner bat without power, Ruiz needs something approaching Steven Kwan-like bat control to be an everyday player. He’s very skilled for an 18-year-old and stands a chance to attain something like that, though his swing-happy approach is going to add a degree of difficulty to that pursuit.

15. Jadiel Sanchez, RF

Drafted: 12th Round, 2019 from Escuela Natividad Rodriguez Gonzalez (PR) (PHI)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 40/45 30/40 50/50 30/55 55

The switch-hitting Sanchez is off to a very strange and statistically underwhelming start with Inland Empire in 2023. That’s somewhat concerning considering he’s 22 and, as a bat-first prospect, should be cruising through the Cal League in his second A-ball season. The eyeball reports here are pretty much the same here, however, and it sounds like Sanchez is the same hitter the Angels traded for last year as part of the Syndergaard deal with the Phillies — he’s just dealing with tough ball-in-play luck so far. He has two simple, good-looking swings, he’s tough to beat in the strike zone, and he can sneak up on you with decent pop to his pull side. There aren’t big showcase tools here, like power or speed, but Sanchez is a potential plus-hitting switch-hitter who still has a shot to be a part-time outfielder.

16. Chase Silseth, MIRP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2021 from Arizona (LAA)
Age 23.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 217 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Cutter Command Sits/Tops
45/45 50/50 55/60 50/50 40/40 93-95 / 99

Silseth was talented enough to be drafted out of Southern Nevada, but instead he transferred to Arizona, where he became one of the hardest-throwing college pitchers in the 2021 draft; he signed for $485,000 as the Angels’ 11th round pick. He was the guy from that historic pitcher-only class who was pushed up the minor league ladder the fastest, and he debuted in 2022. He’s been back and forth from Salt Lake City as a swingman so far in 2023, at times throwing as many as six inning in the minors while never throwing much more than three at a time in the big leagues. Silseth bullies hitters with velocity and a panoply of pitches. He scatters firm stuff with variable shapes — a four-seamer, a sinker, and an upper-80s cutter — early in counts, and then has a more traditional low-80s slider and a splitter to put hitters away. His splitter usage has yo-yo’d over the last several years, but it’s still his most potent way to miss a bat. His fastballs tend to play down due to ineffective movement, and Silseth’s velo has been trending down throughout the last year or so. He’s probably a lower-leverage long reliever in the end, as there aren’t two plus or better pitches here to facilitate a high-leverage role. The Angels don’t have a ton of optionable starters in the minors and that may impact how Silseth is used in the short-term.

17. Kolton Ingram, SIRP

Drafted: 37th Round, 2019 from Columbus State (DET)
Age 26.6 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 55/60 45/50 50/50 92-93 / 95

Ingram was a Division-II senior sign by the Tigers in 2019 and was released after less than a year, having only pitched for the org in the GCL. He continued to pitch and work out at a facility in Georgia and was signed by the Angels in 2021; he has now ascended to Double-A. Though short, Ingram is an explosive on-mound athlete with a powerful delivery that gets the most out of his body. He only sits 92-93 mph, but his height and the shape of his fastball give it bat-missing carry, and his sweeping low-80s slider, which has near elite spin rates, is above average. Throw in a passable changeup and Ingram has the tools to work the middle innings — he isn’t just a lefty specialist. It’s probable that his 2022 walk rates (which were a career low) were an anomaly rather than a progression, but there’s still enough here to keep big league hitters from crushing his fastball.

Drafted: 12th Round, 2021 from IMG Academy (LAA)
Age 20.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/45 55/60 30/45 35/55 91-92 / 94

The Angels spent most of their all-pitcher 2021 draft selecting college arms, many of whom came in under slot. This allowed them to take a late, $1.25 million flier on Albright. Originally from Maryland, Albright played his senior year at IMG Academy in Florida. He gives the Angels interesting raw stuff with which to work, but he is not all that projectable for a 20-year-old and will have to find velocity via means other than physical maturation. He sits 91-92 mph, but his fastball does have diverse utility, as Albright can create sink and tail from his low slot, but can also run his heater up the ladder because his slot creates such a shallow approach angle. He also has a dandy curveball, a shapely mid-70s pitch with an above-average combination of depth and bite. Guys with this slot and arm-side fastball shape are fairly well-suited to develop a changeup with shape that mimics the two-seamer, but Albright’s arm action and athleticism aren’t round-up traits when it comes to projecting on that offering. He’s a fine long-term starting prospect whose middle-of-the-road outcome is probably that of a second lefty reliever in the ‘pen.

19. Kyren Paris, SS

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Freedom HS (CA) (LAA)
Age 21.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/30 45/50 30/40 60/60 45/50 45

Paris entered 2022 having played only 50 career pro games due to the pandemic and many injuries — broken hamate, strained hamstring and fractured fibula — so it was essentially his first full season in affiliated ball. The Angels didn’t mess around and had Paris at Double-A by the end of the year. He’s still just 21 and is so athletic that, even though his hit tool is going to be an impediment to an everyday role, he is still likely to have big league utility as a multi-positional utilityman over time. Paris’ arm isn’t a great fit at shortstop, but he finds a way to make a lot of the plays over there by virtue of his other tools. His range and body control are especially good. He has experience at both middle infield spots and could probably play all over the diamond if he was asked to, which at some point he probably should be, as it will give him the best chance of being rosterable.

Paris can only hit center-cut mistakes, swinging through the center of the zone with little barrel control. He has enough power to do damage when he runs into one, but even though he’s still just the age of a college prospect, it’s unlikely Paris develops better than a 30-grade hit tool. This is a long-term bet on his athleticism. Paris projects as an extremely versatile defender who can also impact the game with his legs.

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 19.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 40/45 20/40 50/50 40/50 50

Guzman was the Angels’ top 2021 international amateur signee, but he hasn’t yet had an impressive season with the bat and his strikeout rates are trending up at a troubling rate as he enters full-season ball. While he isn’t spectacular, Guzman has held serve at shortstop and continues to project there. His ability to bend and backhand balls in the hole is especially impressive, though his arm stroke is inconsistent and sometimes looks atypical for a viable shortstop, especially on plays in on the grass. He needs to stay there to play a big league role, and it’s encouraging that he has retained the range for that position as he has begun to fill out. He hasn’t really added power, though. While his swing has a lovely finish and rotational look, there simply isn’t big bat speed here. Unless he can stop his strikeout rate’s bleeding, he projects as a bench infielder.

21. Davis Daniel, SIRP

Drafted: 7th Round, 2019 from Auburn (LAA)
Age 26.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
30/55 50/55 55/55 30/35 45/50 90-93 / 94

Daniel was up to 96 mph (sitting 90-94) at Auburn and had a very pretty 12-to-6 curveball, but he blew out early during his draft spring and needed TJ in April of 2019. While we were high on Daniel entering 2021, his rapid ascent across three levels, all the way to Triple-A, was unexpected. It was largely enabled by his strike-throwing, which was better than when he first came off surgery (that’s typical for TJ rehabbers). Daniel was less good in 2022. He still avoided walks, but his strikeouts were down (only 19% after being close to 33% the prior season) and so was his velocity. Daniel’s fastball punches above its weight, but he was only sitting 90 mph last year. He was put on the 60-day before the start of the 2023 season with a shoulder strain and has yet to throw a pitch in a rehab game on the complex. I haven’t altered his FV grade, but he does slide to the bottom of this tier because of his injury; he’ll be re-evaluated when he’s pitching again.

Healthy Daniel mixes his riding fastball with a low-70s curveball and a low-80s slider with above-average length and bite. His curveball has limited utility because of its speed, but it does give him a third offering with which to navigate lineups multiple times. If he returns full strength from the shoulder issue, you can expect him to make his big league debut at some point in 2023, as he’d provide the Angels with the optionable spot starter they’ll need in the event of an injury.

35+ FV Prospects

22. Capri Ortiz, SS

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 18.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 20/30 20/30 70/80 40/50 55

Ortiz signed for $150,000 in 2022 and hit .241/.305/.361 in the DSL last year. He’s a tiny teenage speedster running close to a 4.00 home to first time, poking and slashing grounders and liners around the field a level of play where defenses can’t deal with his speed. He needs to add strength during the next three or so years to have a big leaguer’s physicality, as he’d get the bat knocked out of his hands by upper-level pitching right now. But his speed and ability to play shortstop (the range and arm strength are both there) make him a very interesting low-level prospect with a definite impact tool at a premium position. He’s begun switch-hitting but is still listed as a R/R guy on his player page.

23. Keythel Key, SP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Venezuela (LAA)
Age 19.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 50/60 30/50 20/50 93-94 / 95

Key barely pitched in 2021 and 2022 for reasons that aren’t yet clear, but he’s surfaced in the Arizona Complex League as teenage pitching prospect of note. Key is an athletic and projectable 6-foot-3 righty with a three-quarters delivery, sitting 93-94 mph in short outings thus far. His combination of present arm strength and breaking ball quality make him a, uh, key low-level dev sleeper to monitor.

24. Werner Blakely, 3B

Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Southfield HS (MI) (LAA)
Age 21.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/30 45/55 30/40 45/45 35/70 55

The ultra-lanky Blakely took just shy of $1 million to eschew a commitment to Auburn. Drafted as a raw, long-levered SS/3B from Michigan, Blakely has been barbecuing in the lower levels for the last few years. His strikeout rates are untenable, and after an improvement in 2022, they are back in the 40% range early in 2023. But Blakely is capable of some incredible things over at third base, and I tend to give projectable left-handed hitters like this a little while longer to grow into their bodies and swings. Readers should consider him a low-probability prospect at this point, but he brings potentially elite defense to the table, something none of the other struggling bats at Tri-City can tout.

25. Landon Marceaux, SP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from LSU (LAA)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 199 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
30/30 55/55 55/55 45/50 50/55 88-92 / 94

Marceaux is still only sitting about 90 mph, but his secondaries are all pretty good and he commands them well enough to profile as a spot starter. Breaking ball shape and depth are Marceaux’s most impressive traits, and even though they don’t have especially different shapes, the gap in speed between his curveball and slider gives hitters different looks. His changeup has also taken a step forward in pro ball. He is currently in the Double-A rotation and is near-ready injury depth.

26. Kelvin Caceres, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (LAA)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 20/30 95-98 / 99

Caceres is an electric little righty with huge arm strength, sitting 95-96 mph and touching 98-99 on occasion. He has very inconsistent feel for release, which impacts his fastball command (less than 60% strikes with his fastball in 2022) and curveball quality. His curveball spin rates are near the top of the scale, so that pitch has bat-missing potential if it’s actualized. If his delivery ever gets ironed out, even if it’s just for spurts, then Caceres will be a big league relief weapon. He’s athletic enough that there’s still a chance for that to happen. He’s currently in the Double-A bullpen.

27. Mo Hanley, SIRP

Drafted: 13th Round, 2021 from Adrian College (MI) (LAA)
Age 23.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/60 30/40 93-95 / 96

Hanley was a small school sleeper who generated buzz late in 2020, as he showed mid-90s lefty stuff during indoor sessions in shorts and a t-shirt. A TJ ended his 2021 season early and meant the team that drafted him would be responsible for finishing his rehab. He was finally back on the mound during 2023 extended spring, where Hanley sat 93-95 mph for an inning at a time. He was recently assigned to Low-A Inland Empire. He is clearly rusty and is just trying to get his footing in pro ball. Things are rough for Hanley right now, but in addition to the time off, he’s making quite a leap from the hitters he faced at tiny Adrian College. He’s an older dev project who could be a lefty middle reliever.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Green Hope HS (NC) (LAA)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 181 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/30 50/50 30/30 70/70 50/60 50

Adams was a wide receiver prospect whose baseball stock blew up when he held his own against advanced pitching at NHSI. He hasn’t developed as an offensive player, but his speed still plays in center field. Actual center fielders are scarce, and even though Adams’ routes aren’t always crisp and precise, his ability to flip his hips and change direction while still tracking the baseball is incredible. Gen Z’s Bubba Starling will likely don a big league uniform at some point — how long he sticks around will depend on whether his glove out there has another gear.

Other Prospects of Note

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

The 2021 Arms
Brett Kerry, RHP
Luke Murphy, RHP
Eric Torres, LHP
Ryan Costeiu, RHP
Nick Jones, LHP
Braden Olthoff, RHP
Andrew Peters, RHP
Brandon Dufault, RHP
Mason Erla, RHP

We’re now two years removed from the 2021 draft that saw the Angels mostly target fast-moving college pitchers who could help them win during the short window where they still had both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. We’re in Ohtani’s contract year now, so how is this going? It has yielded two current members of the big league 40-man roster (Silseth and Bachman), a few other prospects ranked above, and this group. I’ve included the round the pitcher was drafted in behind their name. Kerry (5th, South Carolina) is pitching well in the Double-A rotation despite only sitting 90-92 mph. His breaking ball command is also quite good, and he’s tracking like a spot starter with 40 stuff and plus command. Murphy (4th, Vanderbilt) is pitching out of the Double-A bullpen and sitting 94 with an average slider. He’s upper-level relief depth with two average pitches. Torres (14th, Kansas State) is a soft-tossing lefty reliever who’s having upper-level success. Costeiu (7th, Arkansas) had success in 2022 with a low-90s fastball (which was down from college), an above-average changeup, and an average curveball before being shut down with an elbow issue that has lingered into 2023. Big Nick Jones (8th, Georgia Southern) reached Double-A last season but is currently at High-A, where he’s gotten his walks under control in the bullpen. Olthoff (9th, Tulane) was a one-pitch wonder with a weird delivery and a great slider. Peters (10th, South Carolina) was a durable college starter with a big frame and mid-90s arm strength, but below-average secondaries. Both Olthoff and Peters are on the IL and haven’t pitched this year. Dufault (16th, Northeastern) and Erla (17th, Michigan State) looked good early on after the draft, each sitting 93-97 mph, but Dufault is struggling to throw strikes right now and Erla’s velocity has backed up significantly.

Guys I Overevaluated
Natanael Santana, OF
Jeremiah Jackson, UTIL
D’Shawn Knowles, CF
Adrian Placencia, 2B
Arol Vera, SS
Alexander Ramirez, OF
David Calabrese, OF

Most of this group was working out five miles from my house for two years and I mistakenly thought several of them would hit. I’m endlessly fascinated by the 21-year-old Santana, who has one of the most impressive physiques in pro baseball. He is so fast for a guy his size that I wonder if any college football recruiters reading this post might want to fly in to watch him play and see if he can have some kind of Chris Weinke-like career as a linebacker or running back. He has just missed too many reps because of the pandemic and a 2022 knee injury. Jackson has above-average raw power and a 20-grade hit tool. He’s begun to play several other positions, including center field, an experiment that’s in its very early stages. He could be a piece if he takes to center. Knowles runs well enough to play center field, but his offensive performance has been way below an acceptable level for a prospect for several years now (RIP Pioneer League numbers). My biggest whiffs from this group are Placencia and Vera, who both have swings that are just far too long to be viable, something I should have seen way faster than I did. Vera has filled out considerably at this point and is barely a shortstop anymore. Placencia is still super athletic and projectable, but his arm only fits at second base. Ramirez has plus power and is striking out a ton. Calabrese I was never on all that much; aside from his speed, he was more of a model darling because of his draft day age than a scouting favorite.

Some Complex Dudes
Felix Morrobel, SS
Randy De Jesus, OF
Dario Laverde, C
Anthony Scull, OF
Manuel Cazorla, LHP

I wrapped up seeing the complex group a few nights ago. Morrobel is in the DSL, so I haven’t seen him in person. He signed for $900,000 in January and is a projectable switch-hitting shortstop with a gap-to-gap-approach at present. De Jesus, who signed for $1.2 million, is the big name in Arizona. He’s physically mature, and has strength and modest feel for the barrel. I don’t love how his hands work, as they don’t really load and just fire from a dead stop right now. It’s a tough R/R corner outfield profile. Laverde signed for $350,000. He’s a well-rounded, low-level catching prospect who has only played the position for a few years. There’s no standout tool right now, but he’s a good player to have in your system. Scull is a lefty-hitting Cuban outfielder with 50 speed. With center field probably not in the cards, he’s more of a fifth outfielder type, maybe a Jake Fraley sort of 45 if you like him and he keeps hitting. Cazorla is a projectable lefty who is sitting 88-91 mph and flashing an occasionally good curveball and changeup.

Carve Your Own Path
Kenyon Yovan, RHP
Victor Mederos, RHP
Gustavo Campero, C
Erik Martinez, RHP
Hayden Seig, RHP

This entire group was either acquired by non-traditional means or took some weird, circuitous path here. In high school, Yovan looked like he might grow up to be J.D. Davis, but instead he’s turning into Joe Savery. Yovan dealt with injuries in college at Oregon and tried just hitting for a while. He’s back to pitching and is sitting 94 mph, touching 98, and trying to find a big league slider. Mederos was a famous high schooler with mid-90s heat and a plus breaking ball, but no feel for location. He transferred from Miami to Oklahoma State (neither is especially good at developing arms) and has now been in the Angels system for a year and is still largely the same dude. Campero is a favorite of mine, an athletic 25-year-old switch-hitting catcher and outfielder who crushed 2022-23 winter ball, and is now hitting at High-A. He needs a promotion (and a lot of work on defense still). Martinez, 27, went to Cal through 2018, then pitched in Indy ball and in Mexico for four years before signing his first pro contract in the offseason. His fastball has effective rise/run movement and he has a pretty nasty two-plane sweeper. Seig, a 6-foot-5 24-year-old, was a 2021 undrafted free agent senior from St. Joe’s who somehow has a low-slot delivery that produces a downhill fastball because of his height and upright lower half. He’s currently having A-ball success as a sinker/slider reliever.

System Overview

This is not a good farm system. There’s no one reason for it, and not all of the reasons are bad. Reid Detmers is a big leaguer while a lot of players from the 2020 draft are still prospects. Kyle Bradish and others (mostly pitchers) from the 2018-20 draft classes have been traded and are in other systems. The hit rate on the toolsy athletes who the Halos gravitated toward in the draft for a while has been mixed. Brandon Marsh panned out, Jo Adell looked like he was going to but hasn’t, and Jordyn Adams, Jeremiah Jackson, and a few others have not. At the time, I thought the two-way player experiments (Erik Rivera, William Holmes) were worthwhile, but they cost meaningful draft capital and didn’t work. The players signed by the international program (and I think this is the biggest issue) are not hitting, with guys who received close to $6 million of combined bonus outlay currently hitting a collective .240 at Tri-City. The conservative, need-based approach the Angels took to the 2021 draft meant they failed to cultivate a class with real upside, as the cement was mostly dry on the pitchers they took. Those effects can be felt here.

The big league team is currently 38-32, and scouts are hitting this system hard in anticipation of the team being deadline buyers for the first time in a while. If the Angels are confident Logan O’Hoppe is their catcher of the future, they could move Edgar Quero as the centerpiece of a meaningful trade. Or maybe there’s a club out there that thinks Nelson Rada (who’s really exciting) is already good enough to carry similar weight. Other than that, Los Angeles seems likely to either make some small trades or be outbid by teams with more minor league ammunition. Is there a big fish lurking in the DSL? The Angels really spread their 2023 international bonus pool out among a lot of high-six-figure guys, and that group should be a priority for teams that might be a trade fit come July because the rest of this system is so light.

If the Angels somehow fall comfortably out of contention during the next six weeks and seek to trade Shohei Ohtani, who knows how this system will look. His looming free agency complicates the question, but Shohei is his own thing, and it’s difficult to gauge what they might get for him in return. The Scherzer/Turner trade might offer a fair recent proxy because two premium players moved in one deal, and that’s essentially what Ohtani is (not to mention the marketability, handsomeness, etc.). You can bet that the centerpiece(s) of such a deal would either be plug-and-play big leaguers or the top prospect(s) on this list as soon as it’s consummated.

Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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Antonio Bananas
11 months ago

Would they be better off over the next 5 years if they trade Trout and Ohtani?

11 months ago

If you can’t build a winner around them (granted they’ve been solid this year) what makes you think they can build one without them?

11 months ago

Definitely if they trade Ohtani; they’d get a major haul back, and he’s not re-signing with the Angels. But they won’t do it, so it’s probably irrelevant.

I don’t know about Trout. They’d be better off if they ate most of his salary to get a ton of big-time prospects back, but if they’re just dumping his salary they would just be a worse team without anything to show for it. But he has a no-trade clause, so again, I don’t think this is happening.

11 months ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

Michael Harris for Trout, who says no?

11 months ago
Reply to  dukewinslow

The Braves. It’s tempting but although Harris isn’t as good as he was in 2022, he’s also not as bad as he has been so far in 2023.

Antonio Bananas
11 months ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

Harris is heating up too. But I agree ATL says no. Unless the Angels take a ton of his salary.

11 months ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

Pfft. The only reason the Braves turn this down is if they think the number of years left on Trout’s deal is _literally_ too much.

11 months ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

Trout enjoys golfing and going to Eagles games in October way too much to sign off on a trade to a contender

sports media loves bashing Damian Lillard for not forcing a trade out of Portland. Yet they never mention the fact Trout is seemingly content to finish his career with just 3 playoff games played

11 months ago

Trout is Angels baseball. Ohtani might be another story; however, you don’t want to be the one that trades the new Babe Ruth…

Sonny Lmember
11 months ago
Reply to  Manco

If the Angels do trade Ohtani Arte Moreno should be forced to stage a production of No No Nanette

11 months ago
Reply to  Manco

The Red Sox fans wouldn’t care at all if the team traded two months of Babe Ruth. Contracts back then were obviously different from what they are now. The Angels could always offer him the biggest contract this offseason if they want him back.