The Los Angeles Angels have struggled in recent years to build out a strong developmental system. They have routinely ranked towards the bottom of farm systems in MLB, usually gambling for big league talent over Minor League prospects.
However, during the 2021 MLB Draft, they attempted to change these fortunes in a major way. Lacking organizational pitching depth, the Angels opted to make history by selecting pitchers in all 20 rounds of the draft. It was a move that — while amusing on the surface — clearly served a legitimate purpose.
But all of those new arms in the organization have not yet done their job of improving the outlook of the Angels’ farm system, as according to Keith Law of The Athletic, the Halos still rank towards the bottom:
The Angels’ all-pitching draft in 2021 might have seemed like a gimmick, but 1) they really needed pitching, and 2) they did quite well with that constraint, finding several guys after the 10th round who either impressed in their pro debuts or look like good bets on paper. That helps a system that has been struggling to recover after bottoming out in 2016, when the Angels had the weakest farm system I’ve seen since I started doing this for a living. There was some improvement in the interim, but it proved mostly illusory, with only Brandon Marsh panning out from the previous wave of prospects, although the jury is still out on Jo Adell. There’s huge risk in building your system around arms, but they’ve at least acquired a nicely mixed portfolio of upside guys and safer bets.
According to Law, the Angels’ 20-pitcher draft may not pay dividends in the rankings for a little while, as it remains to be seen how all of the new arms will develop through the lower levels.
As for the top end of the scale, Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell are now out of the system and into the Majors, meaning top-level talent remains lacking within the Angels’ system. Of course, Marsh and Adell are likely to be a part of any trade rumors if the Angels are aggressive for a starting pitcher.
As of now, Reid Detmers and Sam Bachman, first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, are the team’s highest ranked prospects. If they can take leaps at their respective Minor League levels in 2022, it may elevate the status of the team’s farm system. Even better, it could give the Angels more options at the Major League level.
CBA proposal from owners expected soon
As we await the status of the ongoing lockout, owners are spending three days meeting in Orlando to discuss the next steps in their negotiation. Most recently, the MLBPA declined a request for mediation. Now they are waiting for a counter-offer from the owners, which is expected to come on Thursday or Friday of this week.