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…

2015 Graduates
Andrew Heaney | Cam Bedrosian | Taylor Featherston | Nick Tropeano

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.

Others: Ji-Man Choi, Rey Navarro, Rafael Ortega, Sherman Johnson, Alex Yarbrough


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.

Others: Taylor Ward, Jose Suarez, Jake Jewell, Hunter Green, David Fletcher


2016 Minor League Preview Index

73 Comments
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S
S
6 years ago

Mike what deal is better for Jose Fernandez a return of Soler Tom Murphy ,and a mid first round pick in the first year player draft. Or Gausman and Skaggs or Soria and a late first. Or would you hold Fernandez

Left Hangs Lower
Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

Mike,

What’s there to know about MIL’s Jorge Lopez and his breakout? Did he change any mechanics or pitches?

He actually went undrafted in my 192 man MiLB draft and I’m thinking of dropping my last pick (Braxton Davidson) for him.

Theo
Theo
6 years ago

10 team, 10 keeper league
A guy is after my closers. Which side do you like?
Chapman, Giles, and Adam Jones
For
Lindor and Heyward

Mike
Reply to  Theo
6 years ago

I kinda like the Chapman side TBH

Theo
Theo
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

How high should Chap be valued in a keeper format?
Top 40? 50? 60?

Mike
Reply to  Theo
6 years ago

prolly 60

claw dog
claw dog
6 years ago

Hey Mike,

Quick question about 1B prospects. Who would you put in the top 3 upside wise? I don’t care too much about ETAs since I will have encarnacion for a couple more years probably. I’m trying to get a great young 1B for the future(which it doesn’t seem like there are many of). Obviously I want Reed in our minor league draft, but I’m starting to think he won’t fall to me at the 7th pick. I’m thinking if I can’t get him, I may pick Bobby Bradley later in the draft since he is still very under the radar and looks like his power is the real deal. What are your thoughts on that move?

Thanks,
Claw dawg

Mike
Reply to  claw dog
6 years ago

I like Bell, Smith, Mancini, and Bradley

claw dog
claw dog
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: Thanks Mike! I had been looking at bell but he just doesn’t excite me with his lack of power. Looks like Bradley already has the most power and is also the youngest which is why I will probably go with him. Hopefully he can get the K rate under control a little next year. I just want a good old fashion power bat at first

Mike
Reply to  claw dog
6 years ago

anytime

Left Hangs Lower
Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

Before anything, let me just say thanks for having your dynasty write ups on this site. While I certainly gleaned from all over the web, yours proved especially useful with its fantasy-only focus.

Here is my team from my league’s inaugural MiLB draft. Picks go in order. I had 14th pick to begin with.

Joey Gallo, 3B (TEX)
Bradley Zimmer, OF (CLE)
Austin Meadows, OF (PIT)
Raimel Tapia, OF (COL)
Jorge Mateo, SS (NYY)
Jameson Taillon, SP (PIT)
Dillon Tate, SP (TEX)
Hunter Renfroe, OF (SD)
Trey Mancini, 1B (BAL)
Hyun-Soo Kim, OF (BAL)
Roman Quinn, OF (PHI)
Braxton Davidson, OF (ATL)

Overall thoughts? Strengths and weaknesses? Does it matter that I have 7 OF?

Finally, should I let this roster dictate anything when it comes to drafting my MLB team in a couple of months? Perhaps go heavy on SP because I drafted only to here?

Left Hangs Lower
Left Hangs Lower
Reply to  Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

@Left Hangs Lower:

16 teams in the league, by the way.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

@Left Hangs Lower: if only my draft would start later, so’s i could use all of them to my biggest advantage for my deepest league. draft is about done now.

Mike
Reply to  Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

thanks for the kind words guys! the farm looks solid. depth is a good thing and when it’s your turn to compete you can use it to cover the inevitable injuries or trade from. I wouldn’t change your MLB draft strategy based on your farm, no

Ryan
Ryan
6 years ago

Great stuff Mike. I have a question for you. 16 team dynasty keep 6. My current keepers are Aberu, Soler, Bogaerts, Sonny, Grichuk, Moustakas.
I have 2 offers for Bogaerts.
(1)Arrieta, Confor to and a pick upgrade
(2)Dozier, Rodon or Giolito and a pick upgrade.

Which one or do I hold X? Thanks in advance

Joe Shmoe
Joe Shmoe
6 years ago

Happy New Year Mr. Mike,
Couple of questions:
1. Cron, C. Santana or Moreland… Drop one in a keeper league? Is Santana done? Is this Cron’s year? Is Moreland worth holding?
2. What do you think of V. Velasquez? He’s a NL East pitcher now. Is he going to be a star?

Thanks for your attention.
Peae

Mike
Reply to  Joe Shmoe
6 years ago

you too!

1. I think I’d lose Moreland there
2. I like him, especially if he can start. Star prolly not but high#3/low#2 starter upside which is pretty good.

Joe Shmoe
Joe Shmoe
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: Do you like how the Phillies pitching has turned out? Do you think they are on the path to a dominant pitching staff? How many starters away are they? I count Velasquez, Nola and er um… as long term holds. Anyone else? Who will close for them now that Giles is gone?

Mike
Reply to  Joe Shmoe
6 years ago

yeah, seems fine…Thompson is solid too. Appel. Plus a bunch of depth in the upper minors. Not sure how closer will shake out.

MB
MB
6 years ago

Hello Mike, for my last milb spot, should I go Edwin Diaz or Michael Feliz?

Thanks man

Mike
Reply to  MB
6 years ago

I’d go Feliz

Left Hangs Lower
Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

Mike,

Down to my final two picks of my 16-team, 12-man MiLB draft.

Not sure if it matters, but I have 5 OF, one 1B, one SS, one 3b and two SP.

Which two of these guys do you fancy? It’s a H2H league that has OBP and we count SVS+HLD.

Max Pentecost
Braxton Davidson
Pedro Avila
Roman Quinn
Jharel Cotton

Mike
Reply to  Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

Quinn and Davidson

ScreechOwl
ScreechOwl
6 years ago

It’s nice to see that Kyle Kubitza has a nice career going on. I’d like to see him as the regular 3b for the Angels in the near future. That’s more about seeing him play in college than anything else, though.

I don’t see much else of interest in the Angels’ system. That team is going to be awful for a while, isn’t it? It’s sort of strange to look at a list of minor leaguers and think, “Wow, the Padres sure look good in comparison!”

Booya
Booya
6 years ago

15 team 5×5 dynasty
Would you rather have Calhoun or McCullers? Fair enough swap?

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

Better chance of making it long term: Pompey or Starling

Mike
Reply to  Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

Bubba or Marte?

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: Marte?

Mike
Reply to  Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

Is it Bubba Starling or Starling Marte

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: Bubba Starling

Mike
Reply to  Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

Pompey

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: really? I thought Bubba wud have better upside

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

@Malicious Phenom: I’m pretty sure Bubba died like two years ago, and Forrest Wall started a shrimping business in his honor, but I could be confused.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Ralph Lifshitz
6 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Thats the best comment today. Bravo Ralph

J-FOH
J-FOH
6 years ago

For next year you should do the teams in order from worst minor leagues to best. Are the Angels the worst?

Been hearing they are exploring trades to get the outfielder they need. If that’s the case then what could they get for 3 nickels and bottle cap?

Mike
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

Been hearing Grey is exploring trading you to Bleacher Report

Angels are the worst IMO yeah

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: that will never happen. My poor fantasy insight is easily a week before their extremely poor and late to the party advice. You’re pushing for the trade….aren’t you?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: but mike, I thought we were friends? How can you do this without even a fight?…..are you playing candle in the wind for the show?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: how dare you! Im hurt

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: *throws bobblehead collection against block wall* sure, they are all yours

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

damn you for making lemonade with my lemons

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: Is it all screenshots of Razznasty chat and his aggressive emails in Devil’s rejects? Oh and at least one shot of he and the boss at Dodger games!

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Ralph Lifshitz
6 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Im hoping my pre writing days are profiled when I went as Jack Full of Hate and would berate commenters and pick fights.

Ra'zbahl Al Ghul
Ra'zbahl Al Ghul
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: thought you had a no trade clause?

Vegans
Vegans
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: Although they were one-sided, I liked the Jef “interactions” best.

Booya
Booya
6 years ago

15 team 5×5 dynasty
Which side would you want?
Cmart & Hicks or heyward & winker? I’m liking the heyward side…

Mike
Reply to  Booya
6 years ago

hmmm…Heyward

Shill Team 6
Shill Team 6
6 years ago

Your top 2. K/9 league.
Nola, Tropeano, Heaney, Gausman, VV, Berrios, or Severino?

Mike
Reply to  Shill Team 6
6 years ago

Gausman and Sev

Shill Team 6
Shill Team 6
6 years ago

Brilliant!!!

Mike
Reply to  Shill Team 6
6 years ago

exclam

Mike, Myth, Legend.
Mike, Myth, Legend.
6 years ago

Mixmaster Mike…..Dynasty League, would you rather own the 27 year old Tanaka in the AL with a potential time bomb in his elbow, or the 30 year old Cueto in the NL?

Danke.

Mike
Reply to  Mike, Myth, Legend.
6 years ago

Cueto

Left Hangs Lower
Left Hangs Lower
6 years ago

“Some of the players listed might not even be worth your time in really deep ones.”

Can confirm. Not one LAA prospect drafted yet after 144 picks in my MiLB draft.

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

So Gatto is a RHP with 30 homer power who also can play 3B and OF..cool

El Famous Burrito
El Famous Burrito
6 years ago

Uh…Gatto’s blurb is interesting, for a pitcher.

Ra'zbahl Al Ghul
Ra'zbahl Al Ghul
6 years ago

Oh no! I drafted Joey Gatto! MIKE

Ra'zbahl Al Ghul
Ra'zbahl Al Ghul
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: Bitmin and Lucius Fox are dead. The league of shadows now meets at Disneyland cafeteria B for our meetings, Ja’hmai Baldoquin is chairm’ahn, Finkle IS Arte Moreno