In light of the looming MLB draft which is a few weeks away, we bring you part 3 of our look into the Angels' farm system depth. Part 1 was all about catchers, part 2 was pitchers, and we will focus on the outfield to see if we have any more Mike Trout's stashed away. Spoiler: We don't.
We have a lot of minor league outfielders, which should be no surprise since most teams have 4-5 on their roster. We'll take a look at the more promising ones. If I left anyone off the list, my apologies :)
Salt Lake Bees (AAA) / MLB
Rafael Ortega, Bats Left, 25
Signed in 2008 (by Rockies), Amateur Free Agent
22nd in MLB Pipeline
Ortega played in the Dominican Summer league when he was not far removed from his 17th birthday. In November, Eppler signed him as a minor league free agent. He's been with the Rockies, Rangers and Cardinals before he made his way to Salt Lake. He had a spectacular 2010 season in the rookie league when he went .358/.416/.510 with 7HR and 23 SB. 2013-2014 were down year for him before he picked back up last year for the Cards in AAA. Ortega has limited power potential, but a very strong arm, great defense, best speed in the org, and a low strikeout rate. He's on the fringe as a 4th outfielder / platoon player right now, but he could easily fill in as a 3rd full time player in the outfield.
Todd Cunningham, Switch Hitter, 27
2nd Round Pick, 2010 (Braves)
28th in MLB Pipeline
Cunningham was claimed off waivers this past off season after spending his minor league career with the Braves, and thanks to the Braves crowded outfield, he waits for his moment while having a great season for Salt Lake. Another speedy outfielder with limited power, Cunningham has the skills to play any outfield position, and it doesn't hurt him that he's a speedy switch-hitter either. He's going to have to compete for a roster spot with Ortega, who has already proved to be more than capable in the bigs.
Nick Buss, Bats Left, 29
5th Round Pick in 2008 (Dodgers)
Buss has been around the block and has a minor league career .291 AVG in 9 seasons and had a cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 2013. Buss dropped rapidly in the Dodgers organizational prospect rankings, but they have a GREAT farm system. Buss is yet another outfielder with good speed and not much power. He's had a hard time cracking a regular spot on a big league roster and with Ortega and Cunningham in front of him (Not to mention Nava), 2016 isn't looking so promising for him either. He's no spring chicken at 29 years old.
Arkansas Travelers (AA)
Chad Hinshaw, 25
15th Round Pick in 2013
#9 in MLB Pipeline
At the beginning of the season, Hinshaw was one of the top outfield prospects the Angels have. Given our thin talent pool, that is not too surprising. He's been struggling to make contact and doesn't have a lot of power. He has a K rate near 26% this year and that was around 30% for the first part of the season. There was a chance he'd crack the roster some time in 2016 as a 4th outfielder, but his best bet is some time in 2017 at this point. It probably didn't help that he missed 10 weeks mid season last year with a thumb ligament tear. Hinshaw played in the Arizona Fall League and hit 2 HR with a .349/.397/.508 line in 15 games.
Jabari Henry, 25
18th Round pick in 2012 (Mariner's)
Henry was a top prospect in the Mariner's org last year, but was released and picked up as a free agent by the Angels in March. He went from a 19-21% K rate in A ball to 30% in AA. Henry has some pop and blasted 30 HR in 2014 single A ball, along with a .291 average. He's holding down a .375OBP for The Travelers, but has a 31% K rate and abysmal.025 ISO through 13 games.
Cal Towey, Bats Left, 26
17th Round Pick in 2013
Towey is "old" for AA where the average age is around 24, but he was drafted at 23. He has shown some decent speed (though won't steal alot of bases) and small amounts of power, but is also striking out at rate of about once per game during his minor league career (337 games / 347Ks). Towey is an on base guy with a career .386 OBP and an average defender with a pretty solid arm. He was expected to make the big league by 2016 but I don't see that happening.
Bo Way, Bats left, 24
7th Round Pick in 2014
Bo knows! One of the cooler names in our minor league system, Way was moved up from the 66ers in 2015. The Angels have a plethora of speedy outfielders with little power in the org (Thanks Jerry!), and Way is another one. Way has moved pretty quick through the system and has a .297 AVG to go with it. He's stolen 46 bases in 234 games and has hit just 6 homeruns. He's quick, athletic,and having a decent (though not overwhelming) year in Arkansas. His ETA may be some time in 2018/2019.
Inland Empire 66ers (Adv A)
Caleb Adams, 23
10th Round Pick in 2014
#21 in MLB Pipeline
Adams is an athletic, speedy outfielder who actually has some power potential. He is expected to be a 4th outfielder at worst, and is probably destined for an every day role. He is hitting .316 in high A this year with a home run and 5 triples. Big League ETA would be 2018/2019.
Ayendy Perez, Bats Left, 22
Signed as free agent in 2011
Perez is probably destined to be a 4th outfielder or server as depth in AAA. He's super fast with zero power and an average arm. He has stolen 99 bases in 132 attempts during his career and gets out of the box faster than anyone currently in the organization. Physically, he's not very big so may have to work on that to crack a big league roster.
Zach Welz, 24
Signed as undrafted free agent in 2015
Welz was overlooked in the 2015 draft and signed by the Angels after seeing him at a private workout. He moved from rookie ball to A ball to start the season, and on May 3rd was moved up to high A. Welz has a .300 AVG with 6SB and a HR in his short minor league career, and has a .410 OBP so far in 2016.
Burlington Bees (A)
Brendon Sanger, Bats Left, 22
4th Round Pick in 2015
#17 in MLB Pipeline
Sanger has a great arm, decent power, and above average speed. He's an outfielder that is playing second base for the Bees right now (not sure why). Seems to be a waste of speed and an excellent arm to be playing second. So far in 2016 he's struggled a bit, but he had an amazing rookie year with a .300/.420/.456 line. He hit 4 HR and stole 13 bases in 60 games for Orem. Will be interesting to see if the transition to second base sticks as he moves up the ladder.
Alex Abbott, Bats Left, 21
6th Round Pick in 2014
Abbott is young and still growing into his body. He's a toolsy player that needs polishing. He hit 8 HR for Orem in 52 games last year, but he's not even batting .150 in A ball this season. He needs to work on his contact and develop his power more if he's going to keep moving up the ladder.
Ranyelmy Alberto, 21
Signed as free agent in 2011
Alberto gives the Angels a power option from the right side, but he has a 30% strikeout rate. He needs more polishing before he moves up past A and High A ball.
Jared Foster, 23
5th Round PIck in 2015
#20 in MLB Pipeline
Foster is one of the more promising athletes in the farm system. He could have been a quarterback at LSU and chose baseball instead. He is aggressive at the plate and doesn't walk much. In his rookie season, he hit for the cycle.
Orem Owlz (Rookie)
Kyle Survance Jr., Bats Left, 22
8th Round Pick in 2015
#19 in MLB Pipeline
Survance has major league speed already, and is an excellent base runner. Currently, he'd slot as a 4th outfielder, depending on how he develops. He has yet to play in 2016 since he cut his hand and needed stitches. In rookie ball he hit .363 with 2HR and 17SB in 29 games.
AZL Angels (Rookie)
Jahmai Jones, 18
2nd Round Pick in 2015
#2 in MLB Pipeline
Jones is probably the highest upside player currently in the system. He is only 18, but strong and athletic (was an all state wide receiver in high school). He's very fast with an average arm and good contact. Jones only hit .244 his rookie season, but stole 16 bases in 40 games and had a .330 OBP. Looking forward to seeing him play once his season starts up.
Jimmy Barnes, 18
11th Round Pick in 2015
Barnes has all the tools to be a major league starter some day but it will take some time. Barnes has patience at the plate and some power, but has not seen many talented arms, so will need time to adjust. He had a pretty horrible rookie season, so will look to improve in round 2 this season.