The Los Angeles Angels farm system took it to another level over the last week with the help of many Angels prospects. The inclusion of the Rookie-league Angels helped the organization to a winning record over the past week: 18-17. The Angels were one of three organizations to have three players win the Player of the Month award in June. David MacKinnon for Double-A South, Davis Daniel for High-A West, and Robinson Pina for Low-A West.
Triple-A: Salt Lake City Bees (26-27)
Last week: 5-2
Jack Mayfield was rewarded for his play with a call-up to the Angels after Anthony Rendon returned to the 10-day IL. Mayfield hit .368/.400/.684 over four games and left Salt Lake City with an OPS of 1.039 over 14 games. Michael Stefanic showed some pop over the last week, hitting three home runs for the Bees. Matt Thaiss found different ways to get on base with five walks and three hit-by-pitches. Thaiss posted a .452 OBP last week. Lastly, Jo Adell has turned it around after a difficult stretch. Adell snapped an 0 for 18 slump with a three-hit game where he homered and drove in five runs. He has seven hits in 16 at-bats and has only struck out three times in 23 July at-bats.
On the rubber, the Bees were led by Angels #21 prospect Packy Naughton. Over two starts, the southpaw threw 12 innings, allowed 10 hits, two earned runs, issued five walks, and struck out 11. While Naughton seems like he would help the Angels bullpen, he isn’t currently on the team’s 40-man roster. Jaime Barria threw six shutout innings to rebound from his worst Triple-A start of the season. And Dillon Peters pitched a solid 4 1/3 innings as he continues to rebound from a terrible May. Peters ended May with a 7.88 ERA and 1.94 WHIP over 16 innings. Since then, the lefty has a 2.33 ERA over 19 1/3 innings to go with a 1.18 WHIP.
Double-A: Rocket City Trash Pandas (26-28)
Last week: 1-6
While the Trash Pandas had been the winningest team in the Angels farm system until last week, the holes in their roster remained. Despite the hitting of David MacKinnon, the team could not push enough runs across the board. As a result, they lost six of seven. MacKinnon seems fated to waste away in Double-A despite leading the league in every slash category. His .955 OPS is 71 points higher than second place. The 26-year-old seems intent on winning another Player of the Month award as he slashed .440/.533/.680 over his last seven games. The only help he received on offense came from Izzy Wilson who posted a 1.287 OPS in five July contests.
The pitching staff remains potent, even more so recently with the inclusion of Chris Rodriguez. He pitched twice last week where he totaled 6 2/3 innings, one earned run, five hits, one walk, and struck out nine. Rodriguez was matched by Cooper Criswell, who went six and allowed one run while striking out nine in his one start. Angels #2 prospect Reid Detmers continues to show his potential as well. Detmers went five innings, allowing two runs, both on solo home runs, with three walks, and eight strikeouts. Detmers inability to limit the long ball has been the biggest issue during his 2021 season. Nonetheless, his 16.4 K/9 rate speaks to one of the highest ceilings out of all of the Angels prospects.
High-A: Tri-City Dust Devils (19-35)
Last week: 4-3
The Dust Devils were led to a winning record over the last week behind the hitting of Brendon Davis, Carlos Herrera, and Francisco Del Valle. Davis was named High-A West Player of the Week for his performance. Although none of these Angels prospects are in the team’s Top-30, each of them has the capability of moving their way up the ladder and eventually helping out in Anaheim.
Brendon Davis: .400/.412/.933, three doubles, two triples, three home runs, eight runs, seven RBI
Carlos Herrera: .478/.520/.870, three doubles, two home runs, six runs, four RBI
Francisco Del Valle: .435/.552/.739, one double, two home runs, five runs, six RBI
Ryan Smith continues to show that the lower levels of the minor leagues prove no match for his polished arsenal. The southpaw started twice last week, going seven innings both times, allowing a total of six hits, three earned runs, two walks, while striking out 13. Smith should be on the fast track for Double-A. Speaking of promotions, Davis Daniel struck out 13 in his final start in High-A before being moved up a level. Daniel did allow three solo home runs but he continues to impress the Angels brass with his ability to strike people out.
Low-A: Inland Empire 66ers (26-28)
Last week: 4-3
The 66ers continued to be carried by the bat of Braxton Martinez. The 27-year-old has obliterated Low-A pitching the whole season with an epic .337/.456/.596/1.053 slash line that was bolstered by a .458/.594/.667/1.261 line last week. While every organization needs depth, Martinez should be moved up to see if his bat plays at higher levels. After all, every season there’s more than a handful of late bloomers that surprise the baseball world. The other star of the week for Inland Empire was 22-year-old Edwin Yon. The Angels grabbed him in the minor-league portion of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft. Yon is built like a linebacker and, not surprisingly, he hits like one too. Last week he slashed .364/.417/.955/1.372 with three home runs. The power is there for the big fella…but so are the strikeouts. Yon has struck out 30 times on the season in only 52 at-bats.
Starters had a difficult time last week for the 66ers, but they were picked up by three guys who have been doing it all season: Jack Dashwood, Dakota Donovan, and Emilker Guzman. Dashwood pitched eight innings of relief over two appearances and allowed only one earned run. The 23-year-old has a 2.95 ERA on the season with an exceptional 0.96 WHIP. Donovan pitched four shutout innings over two appearances to lower his ERA to 1.78 on the season. Guzman has excelled since moving into the closer role. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last six appearances. Over those 10 1/3 innings, Guzman has allowed just four hits, two walks, while striking out 13. Relievers have been a revelation in the Angels farm system this season.
Rookie: Arizona Complex League (ACL) Angels (4-3)
Last week: 4-3
The ACL Angels struggled out of the gate to start their season before winning their last three games. While it’s pointless to put much value in seven games, their top offensive performer is their top-rated player, Angels #8 prospect Arol Vera. He is tied for the league lead with 11 hits, two triples, and seven runs. Plus, he has a 1.124 OPS. Angels #20 prospect Adrian Placencia also performed well, slashing .294/.478/.588/1.066 while showing an amazing eye. Angels #1 prospect Brandon Marsh, who was on a rehab assignment, went six for ten in three games, with a 1.867 OPS that shows why he is rated best of the Angels prospects.
Pitching usually takes a little bit longer to come around and this is definitely the case for the ACL Angels. Edwin Sanchez has pitched well over 8 1/3 innings, putting up a 0.96 WHIP and posting a 1.08 ERA while striking out seven. Angels #28 prospect Alejandro Hidalgo has shown an ability to strike out batters with 11 punchouts through 9 1/3 innings. Yet, the youngster has been touched up for six runs, including three long balls in his two appearances. The season is brand new in Arizona and the sample size isn’t big enough to make any true assessments. Thus, these young players have plenty of time to show their talent throughout the rest of the season.
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David MacKinnon, Davis Daniel, Robinson Pina, Jack Mayfield, Anthony Rendon, Michael Stefanic, Matt Thaiss, Jo Adell, Packy Naughton, Jaime Barria, Dillon Peters, David MacKinnon, Izzy Wilson, Chris Rodriguez, Cooper Criswell, Reid Detmers, Brendon Davis, Carlos Herrera, Francisco Del Valle, Ryan Smith, Davis Daniel, Braxton Martinez, Edwin Yon, Jack Dashwood, Emilker Guzman, Dakota Donovan, Arol Vera, Adrian Placencia, Brandon Marsh, Edwin Sanchez, Alejandro Hidalgo