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MLB draft 2018: Angels farm depth report - Middle Infield

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Fletcher time

Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

The MLB draft is a few weeks away, so we’ll be taking look at the Angels farm system. Where are they strong? Where are they weak? In this edition, let’s take a look at the middle infielders.

Fortunately, the Angels shouldn’t need to worry about SS for a few more years (at least until 2020) with Andrelton Simmons locked up. Second base in another story though. The middle infield pipeline is thin (but getting better), with David Fletcher and Jahmai Jones maybe being the next best things at second base and a few others like Connor Justus, Roberto Baldoquin, Luis Rengifo, and Julio Garcia currently in the lower levels working on their game.

Big League Guys

Andrelton Simmons, SS, 28
B-T: R-R
Contract: Signed through 2020, 7 year $58 Million

Ian Kinsler, 2B, 36
B-T: R-R
Contract: One year $11 Million

Major League Ready:

David Fletcher, SS, 24
Drafted: 6th Round, 2015
B-T: R-R
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2018
It’s just a matter of time before we see Fletcher at the big league level and he’s been on a tear in AAA - making his best case. He has a .364 AVG, .410 OBP and 5 home runs. He also has 12 walks to 10 Ks and 5 stolen bases. Tick tock!

Nolan Fontana, SS, 27
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2012 (HOU)
B-T: L-R
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: been there done that
He’s mostly just a depth piece as we saw last season and for a few games earlier this year. He’s been injured for the past month and just came off the DL on May 21st.

Sherman Johnson, 2B/OF, 28
Drafted: 14th Round, 2012
B-T: L-R
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2018/2019
Once a promising prospect, he’s become more major league depth at this point. He’s been bumped from second base - probably because of Fletcher and we may see him as a 4th outfielder in the big leagues some day rather than in the infield. He’s getting older and still waiting for that big break.

Ryan Schimpf, 2B, 30
Drafted: 5th Round, 2009 (TOR)
B-T: L-R
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: been there done that
He’s a depth piece (barely). Move along, nothing to see here.


Probably Major League Some Day:

Tim Arakawa, 2B, 25
Drafted: 23rd Round, 2015
B-T: L-R
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2019
Hasn’t played in 2018

Cody Ramer, 2B, 23
Drafted: 19th Round, 2016
B-T: L-R
Current Level: A+
Not much info to be found on Ramer who is not off to the best start for the 66ers. He skipped over A ball after tearing it up in Orem last year.

Jake Yacinich, SS, 24
Drafted: 8th Round, 2014
B-T: L-R
Current Level: A+
Yacinich is said to maybe have the best SS arm in the system (at least last year). Defense isn’t a concern for him, but he doesn’t have the best hit tool or power. He will have to develop more at the plate before his potential in the majors is fully known.

Jahmai Jones, 2B, 21
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2015
B-T: R-R
Current Level: A+
Jones has officially been converted away from the outfield and has played all 32 of his games at second base this year. HIs .934 fielding percentage is not great but when learning a new job that is to be expected. He looks to line up behind David Fletcher at this point in the system.

Too soon to know:

Connor Justus, SS, 23
Drafted: 5th Round, 2016
B-T: R-R
Current Level: AA
Justus has some great defense and a knack for drawing walks. Unfortunately his bat hasn’t really come along all that well and he’s hitting .198 this year with a .202 average in 2017. He’s a great kid with potential so hopefully this is the year is bat clicks.

Julio Garcia, 2B/SS, 21
Drafted: Signed as an International free agent in 2014
B-T: S-R
Current Level: A
A middle infielder with an as yet to develop bat and a career .241 AVG in the minors over 177 games.

Nonie Williams, SS, 20
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2016
B-T: S-R
Current Level: Rookie
Williams was a pretty exciting pick back in 2016 but his bat hasn’t materialized. It’s still to be determined if he’ll stick at shortstop and if his bat will come around. Hopefully he’ll make strides this year and looks to be starting back in Arizona or Orem in rookie ball.

Roberto Baldoquin, SS/3B, 23
Drafted: Signed as an International free agent in 2014 for way too much money
B-T: R-R
Current Level: A+
Baldoquin is having a heck of a season though he spent one month on the DL. He may have been converted away from shortstop as the team is listing him at 3rd but he’s split his team along 2B/SS/3B this year so far. The good news is that he’s hitting .361 with a .425 OBP and may finally be starting to put it together.

Leonardo Rivas, SS, 20
Drafted: Signed as an International free agent in 2015
B-T: S-R
Current Level: A
Rivas had a standout 2017 with a .286 AVG and .443 OBP along with 19 SBs in 20 attempts. He has struggled with the bat this year so far but still has a .396 OBP.

Franklin Torres, 3B, 21
Drafted: Signed as an International free agent in 2013
B-T: R-R
Current Level: Rookie
Torres has been pretty decent since debut in 2014 but nothing that has really stood out as of yet.

Riley Unroe, 2B, 23
Drafted: 2nd round, 2013 (TB)
B-T: S-R
Current Level: AA
The Rays org let Unroe go last off season so Eppler grabbed him. He hasn’t been too impressive so far but was worth a shot I suppose.

Luis Rengifo, SS, 21
Drafted: Signed as an International free agent in 2014 by the Mariners
B-T: S-R
Current Level: AA
Rengifo is the PTBNL from the CJ Cron trade and he’s been impressive. He’s hitting .323 for IE with a .426 OBP and 22 stolen bases in 41 games. Most of his games have been played at shortstop with a few backup games at second base. Could be a good future utility player type if all goes well. He was promoted to AA on May 22nd.

Kevin Maitan, SS, 18
Drafted: Signed as an International free agent in 2017
B-T: S-R
Current Level: Rookie
Maitan was one of the pickups Eppler grabbed from the Braves after their sanctions. He is only 18 so has a long way to go before we know what he’s capable of. Boom or bust prospect perhaps who should start out in Tempe this year.

Manuel Guzman, SS, 23
Drafted: Signed as an International free agent in 2013 by the Twins
B-T: S-R
Current Level: Rooklie
He’s pretty old to be playing rookie ball and despite his .360 AVG and .459 OBP last year in Orem he appears to be heading back to start the season there again this year.