The Los Angeles Angels selected Zach Neto in the first round out of Campbell University, and the 21-year-old already made strong enough of an impression to earn a hasty promotion.
In his final pre-draft college season, Neto slashed .407/.514/.769 which garnered him enough praise to be worthy of a top selection. With shortstop being his primary position, Neto’s strong suit is his defensive ability and strong arm which allowed him to log time as a reliever.
Neto was assigned to High-A Tri-City Dust Devils after signing his rookie deal in July and showed enough in his seven games there and posting a .755 on-base plus slugging.
WE ARE LOADED. @ZachNeto25 IS NOW A TRASH PANDA!
The 2022 @Angels first round draft pick has been promoted from High-A Tri-City to Double-A Rocket City! 🚀 #GoHalos pic.twitter.com/Qt9oNjwcTH
— Rocket City Trash Pandas (@trashpandas) August 9, 2022
Neto was ranked 17th in MLB.com’s pre-draft prospect rankings and as a college prospect, his promotion as a 21-year-old isn’t as surprising as it may seem. However, with Jeremiah Jackson(Angels’ No. 8 prospect) also on the Trash Pandas roster, playing time could come into question.
ESPN ranks Angels farm No. 27 of 30
The Angels have been void of impactful major league-ready prospects in recent years with the underwhelming, or inconsistent production out of their recent crop of young players. They have routinely ranked towards the bottom of farm system algorithms for several years.
After Angels general manager Perry Minasian dealt outfielder Brandon Marsh to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Logan O’Hoppe at the trade deadline, they acquired a catching prospect who is ready to produce as early as this season.
Prior to the deal, Sam Bachman was the club’s top-ranked prospect, but Minasian understood that Marsh was at a difficult crossroads in his development and took a route with O’Hoppe who has yet to tap into his next level. The Angels also added depth in their prospect pool after making a few additional moves to free up salary and banking on a change of scenery for some young players.
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