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Brandon Marsh, the consensus top 60 prospect

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Marsh enters 2021 as the Angels’ top prospect

2019 Arizona Fall League Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Angels have high hopes for outfielder Brandon Marsh, who was added to the 40-man roster in November. Now one step closer to the majors, Marsh figures to make his mark on the team at some point in 2021. He enters the season as the Angels best prospect.

A pair of national prospect lists were revealed this week, with Keith Law at The Athletic unveiling his top 100 and MLB Pipeline doing the same.

Law remains high on Marsh, having him No. 36 this year after he was ranked 39th last year.

“He cut his strikeout rate significantly from 2018 to 2019 despite moving up to Double A for the full season, and if he holds that while also adding a grade of power, he could be a 5+ WAR player in center, or maybe something like peak Brett Gardner with more pop in a corner spot,” Law wrote.

Marsh, the Angels’ second-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Denver, turned 23 in December. He was rated 53rd by MLB Pipeline, up from 79th last year. That 26-spot improvement was the sixth-best among returning prospects on the MLB Pipeline list.

MLB Pipeline’s scouting report cited a change in Marsh’s setup at the plate in late 2019 that unlocked some of his power:

With strength and bat speed, there’s always been raw power to tap into, but he hadn’t done much of that until 2019, when a change in his setup at the plate — standing more upright — helped him slug .520 in August and .522 in the Arizona Fall League. He continued to get to his power at the Angels’ alternate camp in 2020, hitting seven homers in just over 100 at-bats, showing power to all fields, while still walking at a 20-percent clip.

Coupled with his rankings by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, Marsh is a consensus top-60 prospect in baseball, with an average ranking of 43 across those four sites.

The other Angels prospect recognized by both The Athletic and MLB Pipeline is Reid Detmers, the Angels’ first-round draft pick in 2020 out of Louisville. Law ranked the left-hander 65th overall, and MLB Pipeline has him No. 74.

“Detmers has the chance to have a solid four-pitch mix, with his feel for using all of them ahead of how the stuff grades out. He’ll usually throw his fastball in the 90-94 mph range and was more consistently at the upper end of that spectrum with the Angels after he signed,” said the MLB Pipeline scouting report. “It plays up because of deception and Detmers’ ability to command the pitch well, something that was on display in the summer and fall, particularly after he settled in.”

Detmers was also listed in the top 101 on Baseball Prospectus’ list.

Of the national lists to date, outfielder Jordyn Adams is the other Angels prospect to get mentioned, showing up at No. 76 on the BP list. Jo Adell, who already exhausted his rookie status, still gets counted by Baseball America as a prospect because he hasn’t yet reached 130 at-bats.

But among the actual prospects, Marsh is the one who enters 2021 as the Angels’ top prospect.

Angels on 2021 top 100 prospects lists

Player Pos 2021 age* Acquired Baseball America Baseball Prospectus ESPN FanGraphs MLB Pipeline The Athletic
Player Pos 2021 age* Acquired Baseball America Baseball Prospectus ESPN FanGraphs MLB Pipeline The Athletic
Jo Adell OF 22 2017 draft (1st rd) 13
Brandon Marsh OF 23 2016 draft (2nd rd) 38 44 19 15 53 36
Reid Detmers LHP 21 2020 draft (1st rd) 86 74 65
Jordyn Adams OF 21 2018 draft (1st rd) 76 75 90
*age as of June 30, 2021