Ranking the Los Angeles Angels’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014
After a 2013 offseason stacked with bringing in talent that and in previous offseasons, the Los Angeles Angels would seem to be a team well stocked for winning within the next few years. After a surprisingly mediocre campaign in 2013 however, many are wondering what all needs to change for the Angels to be successful. Some of their soon and more distant stars might be best to come from their minor league system.
To be fair, the Angels system isn’t the strongest in all of baseball but that isn’t to say there are no future stars either. Don’t forget how many of their current stars came from that same system just in the same way that Mike Trout did. Trout is basically a star that was born a star but they are able to build star players as well. To that end, we are going to look at their current top 10 ranking prospects heading into the 2014 season.
Some of these guys have shown themselves worthy of a shot at a roster spot in Spring Training, some got their shot at the end of last season and will get more and still other prospects are still years away from being ready. No matter what the individual case for each player, as a whole the Angels appear to be heading in the right direction by signing free agents and hopefully not trading away all of their plus minor league talent.
10 – R.J. Alvarez
Alvarez is a right-hander with a great looking fastball. If his slider and change come along this next season he could be looking at strong potential as a set-up man or even in a closer role soon.
9 – Luis Jimenez
Though the Angels trade for David Freese could put a damper on Jimenez’s progress at third base in the major leagues, he still provided a decent MLB debut late last season and could potentially make the MLB roster out of spring training regardless. He could also be a potential trade chip given the right situation.
8 – Mike Morin
This righty has just about reached full potential in the way of how good his pitches are individually. Still, he could use a little more seasoning perhaps at the triple-A level to learn even better how to use his tools. He won’t be long getting ready for the bigs however.
7 – Eric Stamets
Stamets presents a slap-style of hitting that gives scouts nervous twitches with thinking of how he will be as an everyday shortstop. Defensively there are no such questions as he provides basically solid play. His hitting style has worked well so far and if it continues to work well, could override any shortcomings or questions in his game.
6 – Alex Yarbrough
Yarbrough profiles as a good all-around second baseman who will be more a contact hitter than anything else from the offensive side. Defensively he is plenty solid enough to get a shot at the show.
5 – Nick Maronde
This lefty might have seen MLB time a tad early but that short debut doesn’t take away from his strong potential to get hitters out at the big league level. Only time and evidence will show what he is truly capable of.
4 – Mark Sappington
Sappington is a righty that needs more time but given the time should be able to develop three plus pitches that will allow him to develop into a very good starter at the major league level.
3 – Taylor Lindsey
Lindsey is basically decent defensively but his bat will get him to the bigs. He already is showing power beyond what some may have thought he was capable of and could get a shot at the major league second base role if the Angels choose to trade Howie Kendrick away this offseason.
2 – C.J. Cron
Cron is your standard power-hitting first baseman and is basically ready for a shot at the MLB level. Do not be surprised if the Angels give him a serious look for some type of roster spot this upcoming season at one point or another.
1 – Kaleb Cowart
Cowart is the number one prospect for a reason as his potential tools are through the roof. He isn’t quite ready yet but given time to further develop his hitting and power at the triple-A level, he could really show out at the hot corner within a few years for the Angels.