Picking in the first round for the first time since 2011, the Angels found a gem in Hartford southpaw Sean Newcomb, who instantly becomes the top prospect for the club. There’s some intriguing talent — Taylor Lindsey, Zach Borenstein, and R.J. Alvarez — but it’s incredibly thin.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE
1. Sean Newcomb, LHP, Age: 21
Owning a first round pick for the first time since 2011, the Angels grabbed the Hartford southpaw with the 15th overall pick. Newcomb immediately steps into a sagging farm system – I ranked the franchise as #30 in baseball – and becomes the club’s top prospect. For his full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
2. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Age: 22
In my book, The 2014 Prospect Digest Annual, I pegged Lindsey as the top breakout prospect for this year and the lefty-swinging second baseman has, well, disappointed – majorly. After topping the league average production by 19% in Class AA last season, Lindsey has hit .230/.320/.366. On the positive side: he’s showing solid peripherals (10.8% BB-rate and 11.0% K-rate) and with decent pop (.136 ISO) considering his age (22) and level of competition (Class AAA).
3. Zach Borenstein, LFRF, Age: 23
For the first time in his four-year professional career Borenstein has failed to top the league average offensive production at any level. He’s hitting .259/.283/.352 during his first 28 games in Class AAA after his promotion in late May. A potential league-average everyday player.
4. R.J. Alvarez, RHP, Age: 23
The former third round pick has missed some time due to a tender elbow – about a month – but has nearly been unhittable during his time on the mound. In 20 innings, Alvarez has fanned 30, walked just 5, and has yet to allow an earned run. Assuming he bounces back from the elbow issue – he tossed an inning on June 25th – Alvarez should be up in the big leagues by the end of the year to help the Angels’ problematic pen.
5. Joe Gatto, RHP, Age: 19
A touch old for a prep player, Gatto, who turned 19 on June 14th, has an ideal pitcher’s build (6-foot-3 and 204 pounds). He’s the highest high school arm drafted by the Angels since Cam Bedrosian in 2010 (29th overall).
6. Jeremy Rhoades, RHP, Age: 21
One of my favorite sleeper arms in the draft, I ranked Rhoades as the 37th best collegiate player this year. The former Eastern Illinois hurler should be given every opportunity to develop as a starting pitcher – a route the franchise is seemingly taking for the time being – but could move quickly as a reliever. An absolute steal in the fourth round. For Rhoades’ full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
7. Hunter Green, LHP, Age: 18
The club’s first pick last June, Green, who was nabbed in the second round, has yet to throw a pitch this year and appears headed back to the rookie ball. Big and projectable.
8. Chris Ellis, RHP, Age: 21
The club’s third round pick this June, 88th overall, pitched extensively for the first time in his collegiate career in 2014. After throwing 52.2 innings in his first two seasons at Ole Miss, Ellis tossed 116.1 innings as a first time starting pitcher. Below-average control with some serious questions about his ability to miss bats out of the rotation. For Ellis’ full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
9. Tyler DeLoach, LHP, Age: 23
A virtual unknown heading into the season – shameless plus alert: I had him ranked him as the club’s #9 prospect heading into the year – DeLoach has handled his promotion to the hitter-friendly Cal League rather well: 9.60 K/9 and 4.02 BB/9. He likely will get pushed to the bullpen at some, but there’s definitely big league value here.
10. Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Age:22
A career .298/.328/.434 hitter, Yarbrough has maintained status quo during his first taste of Class AA action this season: .290/.323/.423 with plenty of gap power (27 doubles, three triples, and three homeruns).
Photo Courtesy of University of Hartford via enterprisenews.com.