The Los Angeles Angels‘ top prospects were rewarded with new rankings over the last 24 hours. Major League Baseball has just updated their prospect rankings to include this year’s draft class and international signings. For the Angels, this means that top picks Sam Bachman and Ky Bush have moved into the team’s top-10. Also, Cuban catcher Edgar Quero entered the list at #18 after an electrifying start to his career in the Arizona Complex League.
Triple-A: Salt Lake City Bees (42-47)
Last week: 4-1
It’s the same few names moving the Bees offense: Luis Rengifo, Michael Stefanic, and Matt Thaiss. Rengifo had seven hits in his last 15 at-bats and drove in seven. The versatile infielder has nothing left to prove in Salt Lake City, and should be up in Anaheim the moment rosters expand in September. Stefanic continues to be the dream for the many undrafted free agents the Angels signed this year- 21 in all. Stefanic is slashing .339/.377/.661/1.038 in August, including six home runs. Lastly, Thaiss is quickly approaching the Quad-A label as his eye and improving power has proven too much for Triple-A pitchers. Yet, his sporadic playing time in the majors has produced very little in the way of offense.
The hitter’s paradise that is Triple-A West has produced 5.56 ERA and 1.58 WHIP as league averages. So, Packy Naughton’s 4.76 ERA and 1.45 WHIP don’t look too bad in that light. Naughton has thrown five innings over his last two appearances, allowing only one hit, no walks, and four strikeouts. He should have remained in Anaheim as the Angels look to give more innings to their young prospects. Kyle Tyler went two innings and gave up seven earned runs in his first Triple-A start. So, his numbers are going to look rough the rest of the season. Yet, he’s pitched five shutout innings since then, allowing two hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. The Angels will probably move him into the big league bullpen at some point this year. Finally, there’s Andrew Wantz. So far, he has logged 30 1/3 innings, a 1.78 ERA, and a 0.92 WHIP. Why isn’t he in the big leagues?
Double-A: Rocket City Trash Pandas (45-44)
Last week: 4-3
After using his power to get promoted in July, Brendon Davis has spent August displaying an excellent eye at the plate. With a slash line of .278/.437/.556/.993 for the month, Davis has put himself in position for one more promotion this season. Yet, he might not get it with the deep rotation of infielders the Angels have in Triple-A. Michael Cruz drove in all four runs in a game last week, by hitting two home runs. The 25-year old backstop has been a pleasant surprise this season. Although he struggled out of the gate with a .212 average in May, Cruz used a blistering July to get back on track. On the season, he’s slashing .258/.376/.500/.876.
The new MLB prospect rankings have noticed what Ryan Smith is doing this season. The Angels new #28 prospect continued to get back on track with two starts last week, going 11 total innings, allowing four earned runs, and striking out 14. The team’s #22 prospect Davis Daniel saw his Double-A ERA move to 2.90 in his sixth start. Yet, Davis continues to show his ability to miss bats by striking out eight over 4 2/3 innings. Despite his promotion, Davis has seen his strikeout ratio improve in Double-A, from 12.34 to 12.77 K/9. Cristopher Molina once again proved his versatility pitching in long relief. The tall right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.70 in 16 1/3 Double-A innings after allowing one earned run over 4 1/3 innings.
High-A: Tri-City Dust Devils (36-56)
Last week: 3-4
The Angels’ #4 prospect Jordyn Adams remains high on that list because of his unreal athleticism. While he’s struggled at the plate this year, there are signs that Adams is beginning to turn it around. Adams has hit .333 over his last ten games, with two walks in his last two contests. Jeremy Arocho shined in his first seven games in High-A, hitting .385 with a .500 OBP and stealing four bases. Kenyon Yovan was signed as an undrafted free agent and assigned to Tri-City on July 28th. Since then, he’s been the team’s best hitter with a .250/.371/.519/.890 slash line.
2021 first-round draft pick and Angels #3 prospect Sam Bachman has struck out five over four innings in two appearances. After a scoreless debut, Bachman allowed three hits and hit a batter, and gave up two runs in the process. Second-round pick and Angels #8 prospect Ky Bush has pitched 3 1/3 innings and struck out eight hitters. Yet, he’s given up five hits and walked two while allowing one earned run. Angels #21 prospect Robinson Pina was promoted to Double-A after striking out 11 in his last start. Pina posted a 2.65 ERA over three August starts, striking out 28 over 17 innings.
Low-A: Inland Empire 66ers (46-46)
Last week: 3-5
Kyren Paris remains one of the Angels’ top prospects settling in at #5 on the team rankings. With Reid Detmers and Brandon Marsh already on the Angels’ major league roster, Paris will be in the running this off-season for the team’s #1 spot. His excellent eye at the plate has led to a .429 OBP and his power has seemed to pick up after his return from injury. Two undrafted free agents have helped the 66er’s offense improve with excellent starts to their careers: Gabe Matthews and Cade Cabbiness. Matthews has a 1.261 OPS in his first ten games while Cabbiness has a .905 OPS in 17 games.
A 2021 7th round pick, Ryan Costeiu has pitched like someone selected much higher. In his first three appearances, the University of Arkansas hurler has thrown 5 2/3 innings, allowed zero hits, three walks, and struck out ten. He doesn’t seem long for Low-A. Taken two rounds earlier, Brett Kerry has also proved far too polished for Low-A in his first two appearances. The South Carolina alum has pitched four innings, allowed two hits, one walk, and struck out eight. Lastly, Emilker Guzman continues to shine with a season ERA of 1.94 and a 0.98 WHIP. All three could be Angels top prospects with strong finishes to their seasons.
Angels Future: Rookie Ball
Arizona Complex League (19-16)
Dominican Summer League (15-10)
The ACL squad is heavy with Angels top prospects. #7 Arol Vera, #9 Alexander Ramirez, #16 Adrian Placencia, #18 Edgar Quero, #19 Alejandro Hidalgo, and #25 David Calabrese are all currently in Arizona. More importantly, they are playing very good baseball. Vera has a .400 OBP. Ramirez has an .875 OPS. Placencia has played excellent defense at multiple positions while posting a .374 OBP. Quero has been on base 24 of 25 games and has posted a 1.037 OPS, second-best in the league. Each of them is only 18-years old.
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Sam Bachman, Ky Bush, Edgar Quero, Luis Rengifo, Michael Stefanic, Matt Thaiss, Packy Naughton, Kyle Tyler, Andrew Wantz, Brendon Davis, Michael Cruz, Ryan Smith, Davis Daniel, Cristopher Molina, Jordyn Adams, Jeremy Arocho, Kenyon Yovan, Robinson Pina, Kyren Paris, Reid Detmers, Brandon Marsh,Gabe Matthews, Cade Cabbiness, Ryan Costeiu, Brett Kerry, Emilker Guzman, Arol Vera, Alexander Ramirez, Adrian Placencia, Alejandro Hidalgo, David Calabrese