This system is what’s known as a three-bagger. You’ll need one brown paper bag for its head, one brown paper bag for your head, and a third brown paper bag handy in case one of the two paper bags currently in use happens to rip. Sean Newcomb was a lefty arm that would have easily topped this list if he hadn’t been traded to the Braves. Sad trombone. The Angels had a first round pick in 2015 (26th overall) but used it on Taylor Ward, a glove-first catcher with pretty limited fantasy value. All in all, you’re going to have a tough go finding prospects worth your time in shallower formats. Some of the players listed might not even be worth your time in really deep ones. And yet together, hand in hand, we march on…
Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.
Roberto Baldoquin, MI | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 309 PA, .235/.266/.294, 1 HR, 4 SB, 3% BB, 23% K
Baldoquin was a player likely taken a tad too high in dynasty drafts last winter. He should see the upper levels this season which will give us a better idea of what his tools might look like in the majors. However, I’d say average power (15 homers) and a handful of steals is about the most you’ll get here. Obviously, sticking at short is the best, but second and third are possibilities as well, with the latter being the worst for his fantasy value.
Kaleb Cowart, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: A+/AAA/MLB
2015 Stats: 474 PA, .285/.363/.442, 8 HR, 12 SB, 11% BB, 23% K
It got really dicey there for a while…so much so that some were speculating that the Angels should just turn Cowart back into a pitcher. He rebounded in 2015, but we’re still not completely out of the woods. He should get more at bats in the majors in 2016 and if he can carry over some of the success he had in AAA last year, there could be something positive here. He was, after all, a first round pick back in 2010.
Kyle Kubitza, 3B | Age: 25 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AAA
2015 Stats: 526 PA, .271/.357/.433, 7 HR, 7 SB, 11% BB, 24% K
Like Baldoquin, Kubitza’s power is average. That’s not ideal at the hot corner in shallow leagues, but could play enough in deep leagues to be worth a look. He won’t kill your average and has decent plate discipline, but this isn’t somebody you want as the up-and-coming third base spec on your dynasty team.
Kody Eaves, 2B | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 575 PA, .248/.308/.387, 11 HR, 21 SB, 8% BB, 26% K
Eaves put up good numbers in 2015, showing power and speed at second base. But we have to exercise at least a little bit of caution considering they were put up in the California League. I’m also not a huge fan of the strikeout rate and I think that the overall package will look more like a utility guy again once he reaches the upper levels.
Chad Hinshaw, OF | Age: 25 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AA
2015 Stats: 347 PA, .291/.399/.374, 1 HR, 30 SB, 12% BB, 23% K
Hinshaw is a little long in the tooth at 25 years old, but there’s some speed here that could be useful in fantasy. It’s most likely a fourth outfielder profile that you’ll get more mileage out of in only formats or super deep dynasties, but Hinshaw’s on-base skills and wheels make him interesting. He’ll presumably get reps in AAA to start the year with a chance to contribute with the Angels later this summer.
Todd Cunningham, OF | Age: 26 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AAA/MLB
2015 Stats: 375 PA, .261/.325/.337, 2 HR, 9 SB, 6% BB, 9% K
Cunningham was claimed off waivers from the Braves. He might be a 26-year-old floorbored, but right now he’s penciled in as the starting left fielder. Cunningham is a switch hitter who doesn’t strike out much, but I would be shocked if he’s sought after in many fantasy leagues even with a starting job. There’s still time for the Angels to bring somebody in and push him to a reserve outfielder role as well.
Caleb Adams, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A/A+
2015 Stats: 485 PA, .298/.390/.438, 7 HR, 10 SB, 11% BB, 28% K
Adams is difficult to put my finger on because it looks like there are good on-base skills and some pop, but there’s also a lot of swing and miss. He could see some time in Double-A by the end of the season, which will give us a better feel for what he brings to the table. If he can get the strikeouts under control there might be something here with the bat, even if it’s just a left field/4th outfielder profile in the bigs.
Nate Smith, LHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AA/AAA
2015 Stats: 137.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 6.8 K/9
Smith has a good chance to stick in a rotation as a command/control lefty, but the upside is limited in fantasy given the lack of strikeouts. I’ll say that even in the bottom of a rotation, starting pitchers can have value in deep leagues, and Smith could get a shot in the majors this year. He’ll fare better in the Angels’ pitching-friendly home park than he does in the PCL.
Victor Alcantara, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 136 IP, 5.62 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 8.3 K/9
I traded Brandon Kintzler for Victor Alcantara in a 30-team/75-man roster dynasty league because I “had room” for him on my farm. That should tell you just about all you need to know in terms of his fantasy value. I don’t think there’s enough upside here as a starter to be worth the bullpen risk, but I suppose if your league values middle relievers there’s an argument to roster him.
Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs.
Jahmai Jones, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 183 PA, .244/.330/.344, 2 HR, 16 SB, 9% BB, 18% K
In my humble opinion, Jones is the most interesting fantasy piece in this whole system. The plus speed should contribute steals, and there’s enough pop in his bat to get to double-digit homers one day. He’s also very young and projectable, so there’s upside – something a lot of the other names on this list lack. The drawback is the long ETA, so while there’s at least something to get excited about here, it’s going to be a long wait for it to materialize.
Natanael Delgado, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats: 438 PA, .241/.276/.355, 6 HR, 2 SB, 4% BB, 24% K
Delgado cracked the top ten in last year’s weak Angels list. He didn’t exactly take any major steps forward, although there are still some tools that make him interesting in deep dynasties. The tool I’m most interested in is his power, which could continue to develop as he matures. He’s playing corner outfield now, which puts more pressure on his bat to make it as an everyday guy.
Julio Garcia, SS | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 188 PA, .217/.245/.257, 0 HR, 15 SB, 3% BB, 23% K
Without power, Garcia is going to rely on his speed and contact skills to gain traction in fantasy. He’s still a pup, but his defense already looks good enough to stick at shortstop according to scouts. That will relieve some of the pressure to perform offensively, but at 18 years old there’s too long of a wait and not enough upside to sweat him in most formats.
Brendon Sanger, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 270 PA, .300/.420/.456, 4 HR, 13 SB, 17% BB, 14% K
Whoa, hey, whoa what’s this!? He walked more than he struck out? That’s something positive. Sanger’s power isn’t enough to make a fantasy impact, but his approach and speed should help him move quickly in the minors and eventually carve out a role as a fringe everyday outfielder.
Kyle Survance, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 143 PA, .363/.434/.484, 2 HR, 17 SB, 10% BB, 16% K
Survance is faster than Sanger, but there’s even less power. He might run into a center field gig (literally) but more likely he’s a reserve outfielder whose stolen bases would be worth something in only formats. It’s another college profile that should move quickly in the minors and jump into the floorboreds tier at this time next year.
Joe Gatto, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 54.1 IP, 4.31 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 6.3 K/9
Gatto has been a top prospect for a while now thanks to his big power. It would be better if he stuck at third base instead of left field and strikeouts are always going to be a part of his game, but most fantasy owners will happily overlook those warts if they get 30 homers a year. After a brief taste of the majors in 2015, Gatto should get a longer look in 2016 and will be a sexy rookie target in redraft leagues.