The Angels are a funny team. Not the ha-ha kind of funny. More like the “that’s funny, I could have sworn I turned the stove off…why does my house smell like burning?” kind of funny. It’s like they made this weird deal with the devil where they got to draft the best player in the universe twenty spots after Matt Hobgood (edit: HobWELL) and in return they aren’t allowed to do anything in the playoffs. But good news everyone! The farm system is looking a lot better. When I left Razzball to bottle bathtub gin in 2016 this system was a dumpster fire. And the dumpster was full of tires. And the tires were full of cat hair. Flash forward to 2019 and there are several fantasy-relevant options. Friends…let’s pretend heaven exists and peep the 2019 Angels prospects.
1. Jo Adell, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2021
Adell will be the guy from this club that ends up on the top hundred lists, and he could even break the top 25 on some of them. He’s the power/speed combo we all jones for as fantasy players. The bulk of his at-bats came in the Cal league (238), where he slugged .546. He also got a look in Double-A, and as is customary for specs who get pushed early, his average dipped and his strikeout percentage ballooned to over 30%. With time to bake at the higher levels, Adell should continue to adjust. Patience is a virtue. And you’ll need it both with Adell and with the next guy on our list…
2. Kevin Maitan, SS/3B | Age: 18 | ETA: 2022
Putting Maitan in this tier might catch a little flack, but it wasn’t too long ago that he was the hot girl at the bar. The term “bad body” gets thrown around. As a 37 year old who drinks 72 ounces of Coors Light a day to stay hydrated and uses Cheetos dust as a dietary supplement, I just can’t judge the boy. He’s young…and his 2018 season with the Angels was much better than previous seasons with the Braves. Unless he starts to plummet down the defensive spectrum, I think Maitan is going to remain a great upside play for those who are willing to wait him out.
3. Jahmai Jones, 2B/OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019
Jones is a great athlete who split time between High-A and Double-A in 2018. His ability to play middle infield and outfield brings value in fantasy, and his plus wheels (he’s a former wideout) and hit tool should keep him relevant even if the power doesn’t come along. The floor looks like a utility guy with the ceiling somewhere around an OF3. If you’re going to consider anybody on this list for redraft leagues, Jones is the clear favorite.
4. Brandon Marsh, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2020
Right behind Jones in both ETA and ranking, we have another former two-sport outfielder. He held his own in the Cal league with ten homers and 14 steals, and if he can adjust in the higher levels it’ll be fantasy goodness. He’s got a tick more power than Jones but also a tick less speed. True story time. I flew out to one of his games and sat right behind him to get a good look. I kept yelling “Brandon Marsh? More like Brandon DARSH!” but he never even flinched. So that’s like 80 makeup.
5. Jordyn Adams, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2022
Sensing a trend? Adams is a toolsy former wideout drafted 17th overall in 2018. His double-plus speed will work as SAGNOF at the very least. It’s a wait-and-see approach like Maitan, but Adams could vault into the top tier pretty quickly after we’ve seen a full season from him. He’s the best lottery ticket in this tier in terms of overall upside.
6. Luis Rengifo, SS | Age: 21 | ETA: 2020
Rengifo can hit from both sides and he can basically play anywhere on the field. There’s also just enough power to make him really interesting if he sticks in the middle infield. He’ll probably get written off as a super-utility player, but he has a disciplined approach (75 walks, 75 strikeouts across three levels). Oh, and he swiped 41 bags this year to go along with seven homers and a .299 batting average. I know you’re not supposed to scout stat lines…but damn!
7. Jose Suarez, LHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2020
Most lists will likely have Suarez behind Canning, and I don’t think it really matters which one you own since they’re both mid-rotation types. I’m just partial to the guy who reached the same minor league level with essentially the same arsenal and stats and is two years younger. I also think lefties are a lot cooler than righties because they smear their pencil lead all over the GD place and don’t GAF.
8. Griffin Canning, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2019
If this wasn’t a fantasy-centric list Canning would probably rank higher. He’s a college arm and kissed Triple-A already. Triple-A didn’t exactly kiss back though (5.49 ERA), so I doubt he’s going to be running away with a rotation slot in the spring. Like Suarez, he has four better-than-average offerings with decent control and strikeout potential – thanks in part to a plus change. It’s a mid-rotation profile with some injury history so I’m not exactly falling all over myself to scoop him up.
9. Michael Hermosillo, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2019
Basically a carbon copy of the three outfielders in the ‘B’ tier, Hermosillo is just older and more likely to end up as a fourth outfielder. Nothing wrong with that as a depth piece in dynasty leagues, given that he spent all of 2018 in Triple-A. He’s cooked and ready to serve.
10. Jordan Zimmerman, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2019
If you’re looking for that under-the-radar type that might still be available even in the deeper formats, Zimmerman could be the guy. Right, he’s not really on any lists. Right, he was a 23 year old in High-A. But something seemed to click for him in the second half and it won’t cost you much to find out if it’s real.