In his first couple years in the Angels’ farm system, since getting drafted in the 11th round in ‘14, Andrew Daniel was giving prospect hounds lots and lots to like, and his stock was rising with every game.
Coming off a great collegiate career, which included some all-american honors and capped off with a senior season where he slashed .369/.421/.554 , there was plenty to like about the athletic infielder. The main attraction with Daniel is his bat, but not so much for power, but for his great hand speed and ability to make consistent contact. Oh, and the guy barely ever struck out. This is a guy that can get the most out of at-bats, and knock hard-hit liners all around the diamond.
He brought those heralded hitting chops to rookie ball, where he hit .340 and earned himself a shot at low-A ball for the 2015 season. Once there, he was finally facing some legit competition and while he considerably cooled down, he still showed enough to get promoted to high-A Inland Empire halfway through the season. His time in Burlington was almost identical to his time in San Bernadino (he hit .263 AVG and .327 OBP in the former, .265 AVG and .333 OBP in the latter), and while he had finally come down to Earth, the organization seems to still have a lot of faith in the youngster.
Daniel was promoted to AA for the 2016 season, and he pretty much mirrored his 2015 numbers ( .266/.331/.355), but he also showed off his stout glove and extremely high baseball IQ. Honestly, the numbers don’t exactly pop out at you, but he’s still one of the better infielders in the Angels’ admittedly weak farm system. Our very own Ryan Ghan will do a rundown of the top minor league performances of 2016 in the next month or two, and SPOILER...Daniel was actually 7th overall in WAR (2.3).
Again, the farm isn’t great...or good...but Daniel is putting in some work, enough for him to stand out a bit, at least. He’s primarily played 2B throughout college and first couple seasons in the minors, but he’s now been at 3B enough to make him a well-rounded infield option for the future.
Honestly, for a guy towards the bottom of the league’s most lackluster minor league system, I honestly think there’s plenty to like about Andrew Daniel.