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MLB draft 2018: Angels farm depth report - Starters

Canning, Castillo, and?

The MLB draft is about a week 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 relief pitchers.

Last year we were talking about Parker Bridwell (has risen and fallen), Nate Smith (out all year), Vicente Campos (released), Troy Scribner (still plucking away), Grayson Long (traded), and Jaime Barria (finally making the cut).

This year we have promising young arms in Mobile like Griffin Canning. Next year’s rotation looks interesting and we’ll see if Shoemaker, Ramirez, or Meyer are back and ready. We also don’t yet know what will happen with Garrett Richards but the rest of the bunch is under team control or arbitration eligible and I don’t see them going anywhere. This is good since there aren’t many strong and ready arms to join this team at the onset of 2019 though Canning should be on the big league club at some point next year.

Big League Guys

Garrett Richards, 30, RHP
Contract: 1 year $7.3 Million

Tyler Skaggs, 27, LHP
Contract: 1 year $1.875 Million, Arb eligible

Andrew Heaney, 27, LHP
Contract: 1 year $.8 Million, Arb eligible

Nick Tropeano, 27, RHP
Contract: 1 year $545K, Arb eligible

Jaime Barria, 21, RHP
Contract: 1 year $545K, Team Control

Shohei Ohtani, 24, RHP
Contract: 1 year $545K, Team Control

Disabled List

Matt Shoemaker, 31, RHP
Contract: 1 year $4.125 Million, Arb eligible

JC Ramirez, 29, RHP
Contract: 1 year $1.9 Million, Arb eligible

Alex Meyer, 27, RHP
Contract: 1 year $551K, Team Control in 2019

Major League Ready:

Parker Bridwell, 27, RHP
Drafted: 9th Round 2010 (BAIL)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: Been there done that
Bridwell was a pleasant surprise for the Angels last year and rose to the occasion. However, he’s pretty much turned into a pumpkin in 2018.

Nate Smith, 27, LHP
Drafted: 8th Round 2013
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2017
Smith is still waiting for his big break and it will have to wait a year since he’ll miss 2018 due to shoulder surgery.

Felix Pena, 28, LHP
Drafted: International free agent, 2009 (CHC)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: Been there done that
Pena came over from the Cubs in last 2017 and has 46 not-so-impressive innings of big league experience. He was a starter but has mostly been closing games the past few years until the Angels turned him into a starter for Salt Lake this year.

John Lamb, 28, LHP
Drafted: 5th Round 2008 (KC)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: Been there done that
Yep, he’s still around and having a decent season so far with a 3.83 ERA over 42 innings along with 47 Ks. He’s also given up 7 home runs.

Osmer Morales, 25, RHP
Drafted: International free agent, 2010 (SEA)
Current Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2018
Wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Morales make his major league debut at some point in 2018 and maybe that will happen after September call-ups. He’s not off to a great start though with a 5.80 ERA and .305 BAA.

Near Future Major League Ready:

Jose Suarez, 20
Drafted: International free agent, 2015
Current Level: AAA
Suarez has made quick work out of the farm system in 2018 moving from high A to AAA where he landed last week. Suarez is the #11 ranked prospect in the system according to MLB with a plus changeup and control as well as above average curve and fastball. His 2018 numbers are good with a 2.74 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 72 Ks over 42.2 innings. So far in Salt Lake he’s allow 1 hit and run (a homer) over 4 innings. Looks for him to possibly make a big league appearance some time in 2018 and if not - 2019 for sure.

Probably Major League Some Day:

Griffin Canning, 22, RHP
Drafted: 2nd round, 2017
Current Level: AA
Canning is on some type of innings limit this year and probably a pitcher per game limit. Still - he has absolutely dominated hitters even after he was moved up to AA early in the season. Canning has a 1.35 ERA, .141 BAA, and .098 WHIP this year and has started 3 games in which he didn’t allow a hit or run. He has also struck out 47 over 40 innings and if there is any weak spot it may be his walk rate of ever other inning. This is a guy to get excited about and the first one in the system since Sean Newcomb that is destined for the big league roster.

Jesus Castillo, 23, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2011 (ARI)
Current Level: AA
Castillo came over in the Joe Smith trade and instantly become a top prospect in the Angels system. He’s worked his way up the ladder and is doing okay in Mobile with a 4.33 ERA and .121 WHIP. He doesn’t have much plus stuff or overwhelming arsenal so is perhaps a bit like Jaime Barria in that sense.

Luis Pena, 23, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2013
Current Level: AA
Pena is a bit of a long spot for a future starting role and has some growth to do. He could end up as a long man out of the bullpen in the future.

Jose Rodriguez, 23, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2013
Current Level: AA
Rodriguez has good control of his 90ish MPH fastball and his changeup which generates a lot of weak contact. His not outstanding in any tool and profiles at best as a back end rotation guy. His ERA, WHIP, and BAA are all down this year which is a good sign.

Luis Madero, 23
Drafted: International free agent, 2013 (A)Z
Current Level: AA
Madero just barely sneaks in the top prospect list at #30 so he’ll be bumped off after the draft next week. He doesn’t have any plus stuff but does have a low 90s fastball and above average slider. He’s having a decent season for Burlington and his 1.12 WHIP is the best of his career and down from 1.57 in 2017.

Joe Gatto, 23, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round 2014
Current Level: AA
Gatto has remained a top prospect in the system and climbed from 27 to 26 over the past season though was #12 in the thin 2016 system. He has an above average curve and fastball with a changeup and control that still need some work. He was just recently moved up to Mobile and in high A this year had a 1.41 WHIP with 18 walks in 43 innings.

Too soon to know:

Jeremy Beasley, 22
Drafted: 30th round, 2017
Current Level: A+
Beasley is probably not a guy you’ve heard much about and he was a late round pick last summer, but he has impressed so far. Over 67.2 minor league innings, Beasley has a 2.66 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and .218 BAA. He has a low 90s fastball and split finger changeup and throws them both well.

Isaac Mattson, 23
Drafted: 19th round, 2017
Current Level: A
Mattson was a post season All Star for Orem in 2017 and is working on his first full season of pro ball. So far he’s been okay with a 3.82 ERA over 9 starts. He has a low 90s fastball and above average curve but still needs some work on his changeup.

Oliver Ortega, 21, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2015
Current Level: A
Oretga is a bit small (listed at 165#) for a starter but has time to grow a bit. He’s been impressive since debuting in 2015 and has improved his stats as he moved from the Dominican rookie team to Arizona and off to the Iowa for his first full season. In 14 innings for the Bees he has allowed only 2 runs and 6 hits with just 1 walk. In his minor league career he’s thrown 86 innings with 75 Ks, 29 walks, and a 1.08 WHIP.

Cole Duensing, 20, RHP
Drafted: 6th round 2016
Current Level: ROK
Duensing is soon to turn 20 but the Angels still have time with him. He needs to grow a bit, and he will at his age and currently can throw a low 90s fastball. He has a huge upside but needs to add weight (only 175# at 6’4”) and work on his secondary pitches. Last year in hitter friendly Orem he was overly friendly to hitters with a 10.74 ERA and .323 BAA over 9 starts.

Chris Rodriguez, 20, RHP
Drafted: 4th round, 2016
Current Level: Rok
Rodriguez will start the year in Orem when they play later this month. He ha a rough 2017 but is a well regarded prospect and he’s young with time to work on his stuff. He’s got a mid 90s fastball, great slider, and a mix of 4 and 2 seam fastballs. He has a great arsenal already at a young age and just needs some polish.

Hector Yan 19, LHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2015
Current Level: ROK
One of the few standout lefties in the lower levels of the system. He has a big sweeping curve and a plus fastball in the mid 90s and he’s not even 20 until next spring. Last year for the Arizona Angels he pitched 16 innings and struck out 21 with a .179 BAA and 11 walks. The later he’ll need to get under control as he moves up. Overall he has 26 walks in 46 minor league innings.

Jose Soriano, 19, RHP
Drafted: Signed as International free agent 2016
Current Level: ROK
Spent most of his time in Arizona before a late season call up to Orem where he will start this year. So far in his career over 27 games and 109 innings he has 84 Ks, 48 walks anda .213 BAA.