It was a winning week for the Los Angeles Angels minor league system due to the excellent play of the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The Trash Pandas went 5-1 last week, while the organization ended up 14-12. The strong week pushed the Trash Pandas over .500 on the season. They are the only Angels farm team who can currently claim that. The key for the Angels was excellent pitching. Davis Daniel, the Angels #19 prospect, led the way with a dazzling performance for the Tri-City Dust Devils. Daniel was named High-A West Pitcher of the Week for his efforts.
Angels Minor League Review
Triple-A: Salt Lake City Bees
Last week: 4-3
A couple of ex-Angels have set the tone for the Bees since the beginning of June. Matt Thaiss has absolutely destroyed the baseball to the tune of a .333/.440/.881/1.321 line since the calendar flipped. Thaiss has been hitting for average and getting on base all year, as his season line of .319/.430/.637/1.067 proves, but the extra-base hits have come in bunches as of late for the former Virginia Cavalier. After playing 20 games in May and only getting six extra-base hits, Thaiss has 11 in 11 June contests. The other ex-Angel who is terrorizing Triple-A West pitching is Luis Rengifo. The 24-year-old has hit three home runs over the last three games, raising his June slash line to an impressive .391/.440/.783/1.223. Rumor-mill favorite Jo Adell has hit a rough patch over the last week, going homerless in seven games. Even worse, Adell has struck out 14 times and walked zero. Despite the bad week, Adell still leads all of Minor League Baseball in home runs with 15.
Unlike the next three teams, the Bees have very little to write home about on the mound. The one bright spot was Jaime Barria, who started two games last week. Barria threw a total of ten innings, allowing six hits and only one earned run. With the ongoing struggles of Dylan Bundy and the injuries that have plagued the Angels pitching staff, Barria will certainly be recalled in the upcoming weeks.
Double-A: Rocket City Trash Pandas
Last Week: 5-1
The Trash Pandas paced the Angels farm system with good hitting and better pitching. Angels #17 prospect Orlando Martinez has raised his batting average 55 points in June, up to .308 on the season. Martinez and David MacKinnon have set the table for Izzy Wilson, who has been on fire at the plate. After finishing May with a pedestrian .147/.264/.347/.611 line, Wilson has been unstoppable to the tune of .406/.472/.906/1.378 in June, which narrowly beats Thaiss for best in the Angels minor league system.
Reid Detmers, the Angels top pitching prospect, went four innings in his latest start for Rocket City. Detmers was pulled after allowing four hits, two walks, and one earned run while striking out six. This marked the fourth straight start where Detmers did not allow a home run after giving up at least one in each of his first three starts of the season. He lowered his ERA to 3.41 and raised his K/9 to an incredible 14.28. Kyle Tyler also shined for Rocket City last week. He lowered his season ERA to 2.08 after going 9 2/3 innings over two starts and only allowing two earned runs. Tyler seems destined for promotion in the next couple of weeks. The last pitcher who deserves some love is Aaron Hernandez. The #23 Angels prospect pitched well in his Double-A debut, striking out eight over five innings. Hernandez gave up only two hits but walked three, which resulted in two earned runs.
High-A: Tri-City Dust Devils
Last Week: 2-4
As a team, the Tri-City Dust Devils struggled through another week. The Dust Devils’ Achilles heel is their anemic offense, which produced very little over the last six games. Yet, the Angels have two very big reasons to be happy when checking in on the Dust Devils: Davis Daniel and Ryan Smith. As mentioned earlier, Daniel earned pitcher of the week honors after his sterling outing on June 10. Call it an early birthday present to himself, as Daniel turned 24 the very next day. This isn’t the first time Daniel has appeared in the Angels weekly recap.
How amazing was he? Over seven shutout innings, Daniel allowed one hit, hit a batter, walked four, and struck out 16 in what was easily his best start of the season. Daniel lowered his ERA to 2.35 over 30 2/3 innings and looks primed to hit Double-A any day now. Not to be outdone in his High-A debut, Ryan Smith carved through six shutout innings the very next day. After embarrassing Low-A batters over the first month of the season, Smith proved too much to handle for High-A West hitters as well. He allowed only two hits, issued one walk, and struck out nine. Across two levels, his numbers remain mind-boggling: 1.34 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 14.17 K/9 over 33 2/3 innings.
Low-A: Inland Empire 66ers
Last Week: 3-4
The Jeremiah Jackson train is picking up steam in June. Jackson’s struggles in May seem behind him as he’s hit .351/.442/.676/1.118 this month. The Angels #5 prospect has been amazing since fellow top prospect Kyren Paris went down with an injury. While Jackson made waves in 2019 by hitting 23 home runs in 65 Pioneer League games, his power numbers have dipped this season. Yet, his recent improvement could indicate an upcoming power surge.
Inland Empire had a handful of excellent pitching performers last week, starting with the recently demoted Robinson Pina. The #16 prospect in the Angels farm system, Pina struggled to find his control in High-A to start the season. Maybe a wake-up call was all he needed. Pina struck out eight over 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing six hits while walking two. After walking 24 batters over 15 innings with Tri-City, two is a dream come true for the Angels brass.
Jose Salvador had another strong week over two starts. The 21-year old Dominican threw 8 2/3 innings and gave up only one earned run. He struck out 11 batters while giving up four hits and walking seven. While they are the furthest from the major leagues, the Angels minor league talent is noticeably higher at the lower levels.
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Matt Thaiss, Luis Rengifo, Jo Adell, Davis Daniel, Orlando Martinez, David MacKinnon, Izzy Wilson, Reid Detmers, Kyle Tyler, Aaron Hernandez, Ryan Smith, Jeremiah Jackson, Kyren Paris, Robinson Pina, Jose Salvador