It’s that time of year where ESPN’s Keith Law is a busy, busy guy, publishing not only his farm system rankings, but team by team top prospect analysis, as well. We here at Halos Heaven have been more excited about the Halos’ farm lately, and that excitement was bolstered by Law’s recent rankings, in which the Angels were not only out of the cellar, but had jumped up to the #27 spot.
Today, Law has expanded on that ranking as he released his top 10 Angels prospects list. Here’s what he came up with:
1. Jahmai Jones, OF (Ranked No. 90 in the Top 100)
2. Matt Thaiss, 1B
3. Brandon Marsh, OF
4. Jaime Barria, P
5. Michael Hermosillo, OF
6. Keynan Middleton, RHP
7. Nate Smith, LHP
8. Alex Meyer, RHP
9. Chris Rodriguez, RHP
10. Nonie Williams, IF
This is pretty similar to some of the other prospect rankings for the Angels, including our own here at Halos Heaven. But there are a couple interesting differences. One that jumps out is the absence of Taylor Ward, the 2015 first rounder, on Law’s top 10. We had Ward at #7, and other sites like Baseball America still have Ward cracking the top 10 as well. Law just isn’t sold on him, though:
Catcher Taylor Ward (11) hit .249/.323/.337 as a 22-year-old in Inland Empire in the hitter-friendly California League. He threw out 38 percent of runners but did not catch especially well, and at this point, I’d project him as a backup.
Ouch. Another discrepancy between our own list and Law’s is Grayson Long, who he didn’t rank in the top 10, but we had him at #8. Here’s what Law said of Long:
Right-hander Grayson Long (12) missed almost three months of 2016 because of injuries. He pitches with his fastball and locates it well, but the secondary stuff just isn’t there to make him a future starter.
Law also has Michael Hermosillo and Nonie Williams in his top 10, while we had those guys in the #10-20 range. Minor differences, really, but still interesting. Also of note, Law sees Alex Meyer, Nate Smith and Vicente Campos as having the best shot at making an impact in 2017, due to the Angels’ need for a 5th starter, but he ultimately sees Meyer as a bullpen piece, not a starter. He also sees Keynan Middleton as not too far behind those guys, when it comes to seeing some MLB action.