The Los Angeles Angels farm system continued to improve last week despite the organization’s 11-13 overall record. And there is help on the way. The complex leagues started yesterday in Arizona and Florida. The Angels rookie-level club plays in the renamed Arizona Complex League, which was formerly called the Arizona League (AZL). Eight of the Angels top-30 prospects will start their seasons in Arizona. Although they played and won their first game yesterday, we will let them get a week’s worth of games in before adding them to the Angels minor league recap. Okay, okay, here’s something- the Angels #8 prospect Arol Vera had two triples and a double. So stay tuned!
Triple-A: Salt Lake City Bees (21-25)
Last week: 4-2
While the Angels minor league system is lacking in overall depth, the offensive options at Triple-A look pretty good right now. While the best long-term options are definitely Jo Adell and #1 prospect Brandon Marsh, the Bees continue to get prolific output up and down their lineup. Even though Adell has gone yard only once in his last 19 games, he still remains tied for the minor league lead in home runs. Still, the offensive burden has been carried by lesser-known options like Jake Gatewood, Jack Mayfield, and Michael Stefanic. Gatewood slugged three home runs last week, drove in nine, and ended with a .652 SLG despite batting just .217. Stefanic compiled a .538 OBP over six games, showing he is more than capable of excelling in Triple-A. And Mayfield was the best of the lot, slashing .414/.452/.862/1.314 while hitting three home runs and scoring eight times. Game of the week, however, goes to Jose Rojas. After struggling upon his demotion, Rojas collected five hits, including two doubles and two home runs, while driving in five.
Dillon Peters allowed one run over five innings to lead the starting rotation. Andrew Wantz made two appearances totaling 6 1/3 innings, allowing zero earned runs. Wantz’s ERA fell to 2.10 on the season, which is nearly two runs lower than anyone else on the roster with at least 20 innings pitched. Jake Petricka, who the Angels signed out of the independent leagues in early June, has had five scoreless appearances since joining the club.
Double-A: Rocket City Trash Pandas (25-22)
Last week: 3-3
Orlando Martinez continues to mash in June. Playing in five of the Trash Pandas six games, the Angels #16 prospect slashed .333/.364/.714/1.078. Martinez’s OPS has gone up 68 points in June due to increased patience at the plate as his June OBP of .386 dwarfs the .287 he posted in May. David MacKinnon took our advice from earlier this season and has decided to start smashing the baseball. Okay, we know it’s not that easy. Yet, over the last week, MacKinnon has raised his SLG 67 points on the strength of three doubles and two home runs. His .476 batting average didn’t hurt either. MacKinnon might have difficulty moving up, however, as Triple-A Salt Lake has a handful of players shuffling between first base and left field. Mitch Nay and Ibandel Isabel have both continued to stroke the ball after a rough start to their seasons.
Reid Detmers continues to wow on the mound. While the Angels #2 prospect gave up five runs in his last start, he struck out a whopping 16 batters. People are starting to really take notice. Four of the five runs Detmers allowed were the result of two sixth-inning home runs. Just to show he was still game, Detmers struck out the next two batters to end the inning and his night. If manager Joe Maddon is mentioning the possibility of you helping the club this season, you know you are doing something right. Cooper Criswell had a complete game victory before struggling in his second start. Aaron Hernandez bounced back from his worst start by allowing one run over five innings while striking out seven.
High-A: Tri-City Dust Devils (15-32)
Last week: 1-5
The Dust Devils are difficult to highlight on offense. They were outscored 45-17 last week, totaled just seven extra-base hits, and a lone home run. Angels #3 prospect Jordyn Adams continues to underwhelm since his return from an injury. Their best hitter over the past week was Francisco Del Valle. He accomplished this by slashing a mere .286/.375/.381/.756. Eventually, the Angels brass is going to have to find some minor league depth for the Dust Devils if they hope to field a competitive team. In reality it would help the entirety of the Angels minor league system.
Davis Daniel earned his second Pitcher of the Week award this season after another brilliant outing. Daniel pitched seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, two walks, and striking out seven. On the season, the former Auburn Tiger has a 2.04 ERA over 39 2/3 innings. At 24 years old there seems little left for Daniel to prove at this level. Ryan Smith and Brent Killam both excelled on the mound last week despite taking losses. After two rough starts upon his promotion, Killam pitched 5 2/3 innings, striking out ten. He allowed two runs on three hits and three walks. Smith has had no such trouble adapting to High-A. In his latest outing, Smith allowed two runs over five innings. He struck out eight, gave up two hits, and walked one. His ERA over three High-A starts rose to 2.12 after his latest start. Smith’s 12.7 K/9 and 0.82 WHIP are right in line with his numbers from Low-A.
Low-A: Inland Empire 66ers (22-25)
Last week: 3-3
Jeremiah Jackson started fast last week before an injury kept him out of the last three games. The Angels #4 prospect went 5-13 at the plate, with three doubles, to continue his torrid June. The injury bug has bitten many of the Angels top prospects this season, so here’s wishing Jackson a speedy recovery. His .338/.397/.692/1.089 slash line this month has been the key to many 66ers’ victories. Jose Guzman and Jeremy Arocho also played well over the last week. Guzman continues to improve after being demoted from Double-A following a tough start to his 2021 campaign. Arocho continues to get on base at an amazing clip. The former Los Angeles Dodgers farmhand slashed .391/.462/.435/.897 last week, raising his season OBP to .415 in the process. Arocho’s limited power is the only thing restricting his game as his .315 SLG is nearly a hundred points lower than his OBP.
On the mound, Jose Salvador had himself a game. The Low-A West Pitcher of the Week pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only five hits, and no walks while striking out 11. Salvador has a 2.82 ERA over 38 1/3 innings on the season. Julio Goff pitched well in relief, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and a walk, while striking out five. Both pitchers have limited hits this year but continue to walk too many batters. Lastly, Robinson Pina once again showed his early-season struggles are behind him. Pina went six strong innings, allowing one run and striking out eight. Over four Low-A starts, the right-hander has a 1.19 ERA, 13.1 K/9, 0.93 WHIP, and .185 batting average against. He should be promoted up at least one level very soon.
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Arol Vera, Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, Jake Gatewood, Jack Mayfield, Michael Stefanic, Jose Rojas, Dillon Peters, Andrew Wantz, Jake Petricka, Orlando Martinez, David MacKinnon, Mitch Nay, Ibandel Isabel, Reid Detmers, Cooper Criswell, Aaron Hernandez, Jordyn Adams, Francisco Del Valle, Davis Daniel, Ryan Smith, Brent Killam, Jeremiah Jackson, Jose Guzman, Jeremy Arocho, Jose Salvador, Julio Goff, Robinson Pina