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Angels Fall/Winter Leagues prospects update #2

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MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter AND Fall Leagues are a happening place for prospects. The Angels don’t have anyone all that shiny playing in the winter leagues but they do in the Arizona Fall League. Angels minor leaguers are currently playing in 3 different winter leagues + the Arizona Fall League so let’s take a look at who is still playing and how they are doing.

Players who have a strikethrough below have become free agents since the winter/fall leagues started.

LVBP (Venezuelan) - runs through 12/29
LMP (Mexico) - runs through 12/29
LIDOM (Dominican) - runs through 12/17

AFL (Arizona Fall League) - runs though 11/16 (with playoffs on Saturday)

Sometimes writing about the prospects in the Angels system is super fun fun task, and sometimes it’s a painful chore. This off season is much more of the later since there really isn’t a standout int he system playing at any level currently.

Zach Houchins (25, 3B) LVBP
Houchins has proved himself well enough so far with a .252 AVG, .319 OBP, and 4 home runs. The Angels run very thin on 3rd base prospects and Houchins is about the only guy who could be major league ready in the next few years so playing good ball this winter could go a long way toward his development.

Jose Briceno (25, C) LVBP
Briceno has just 1 hit in his 18 ABs. He spent most of last year in AA before logging a few games in Salt Lake where he will probably land this year as catching depth for the big league team, though the pool is starting to get deeper with Taylor Ward and Wade Wass having the potential to end up in Salt Lake at some point in 2018 as well (Wass having already been there).

Julian Leon (21, C) LMP
Leon has only 18 AB and 5 hits. He’s stuck out 7 times with 1 walk. Leon spent most of 2017 in Burlington where he hit .304 with a .386 OBP and 59 Ks over 207 ABs.

Abel De Los Santos (24, RHP) LIDOM

Dayan Diaz (RHP) LIDOM
Diaz has been lights out with a 0.68 ERA and 13 Ks over 13.1 innings. Opponents are so far hitting just .167 off him. Diaz is an intriguing prospect. He’s 28 years old and released by the Astros last year but over his minor league career he has racked up 438 in 433 innings with a 2.41 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. However, over the past 2 seasons he’s thrown 19.2 big league innings and has allowed 23 hits, 5 home runs, and 11 walks so his minor league success has not yet translated to the MLB level.

Luis Diaz (28, RHP) LVBP

Drew Gagnon (27, RHP) LVBP

John Lamb (27, LHP) LVBP

Jhondaniel Medina (24, RHP) LVBP

Osmer Morales (25, RHP) LVBP
Morales hasn’t had a great winter so far, giving up runs in each of his 5 starts for a total of 11 ER in 10 IP. He’s also struck out 6, walked 2, and allowed 2 home runs. Morales had a solid 3.22 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 50 innings in Salt Lake this past season.

Felix Pena (27, RHP) LIDOM
Pena has only tossed 2.2 innings and has given up 1 run. He’s also walked 3 and struck out 3. Pena was picked up in a trade with the Cubs for a PTBNL just a few weeks ago. He had a less than impressive 2017 at the AAA and big league level.

Carlos Salazar (RHP) LMP
Salazar has so far allowed 4 runs in 5 innings along with 5 Ks and 4 walks. The Angels signed him in May as a free agent to a minor league contract. He had a pretty decent season in Burlington but has a very high walk rate that he needs to get under control.

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Wade Wass (C) AFL
Wass ended up on the team after Taylor Ward was taken off the roster due to a shoulder impingement issue. He’s had just 1 hit in 21 ABs and has struck out 12 times. Wass is average catcher in the system but his future role may play out in 2018 when he should see some Salt Lake playing time and a chance to prove himself with his bat. He showed some power and plate discipline in Mobile last year with 11 home runs and a .364 OBP in 59 games. Wass only caught 21 games last year, being used as a DH and 3 times in corner outfield spots.

Troy Montgomery (OF) AFL
Montgomery is only hitting .239 with a .295 OBP and he has struck out 18 times to 6 walks in 18 games. He is a speedy outfielder with solid defense that should start in Mobile next year with a probably call up to Salt Lake if he performs.

Matt Thaiss (1B) AFL
First rounder and future? Angels first baseman Matt Thaiss has had a pretty decent fall but not spectacular. He has hit zero homeruns and has a .266 average but his discipline shows in his .372 OBP. In 2017, Thaiss had an OBP higher than his SLG in AA, so it’d be nice to see a bit more power develop in 2018.

Conor Lillis-White (LHP) AFL
You can barely count the fall league for Lillis-White who only pitched .2 innings. He should land in AAA at some point in 2018 as he has had a pretty dominant career so far. Across 4 levels, he has a 3.26 ERA, .205 BAA, and 1.19 WHIP in 118.2 innings. He also has an 11.7 K/9 in his career but has some control issues with a 3.9 BB/9 rate as well.

Adam Hofacket (RHP) AFL
Hofacket has had a rough fall with 11 runs allowed over 6.1 innings. That number is a bit deceiving though since most of those came in his first appearance and over his last 3 appearances, he has allowed just 3 hist, zero runs, 1 walk, and has struck out 4 over 4 innings.

Samil De Los Santos (RHP) AFL
De Los Santos is not yet ready for prime time and has been pretty much throwing batting practice in Arizona with 14 hits, 2 home runs, and 16 ER allowed over 10.1 innings. He’s also only struck out 5 with 12 walks. He should end up back on the 66ers to start next year and work out the kinks.