Angels Three Who Rose
For a farm system previously described as the worst in Major League Baseball by Keith Law, any move would be bound to be an upward one. After years of looting their farm system for deadline deals, the Angels have drafted sensibly in recent years to make up for previous disastrous drafts. Still the Angels have a long way to go to re-stock their system.
Jamie Barria The Panamanian right hander made large strides in 2017, having not only survived the hitter-friendly California League, but also putting up a strong showing at Mobile too before earning a promotion to AAA. The knock on Barria in the past was too many hits allowed to negate his solid control, but Barria reduced his H/9 this year to 7.6. The numbers suggest some smoke and mirrors as his BABIP at Class A Inland Empire was a paltry .236 and his ERA of 2.48 was well below his FIP of 4.1. His AA numbers reveal similar trends. However, in a weak farm system, a 20 year old who progresses through three levels of the minor league in a season can be counted as a riser.
Jesus Castillo The Angels received the lanky right hander in a little noticed deadline deal that sent Joe Smith to the Cubs in 2016. Castillo has put up good numbers at every stop, albeit with a fastball that tops out at 91 with some solid movement. Some added heft could help take Castillo to the next level, but he already has plus control. We will give Castillo a pass on his high home run rate at Inland Empire (17.3% HR/FB) due the hitter’s paradise known as the California League. Castillo also made his way through three levels of the Angels’ farm system, acquitting himself well (3.04 ERA, 8.4 K/9) after his late season promotion to AA.
Michael Hermosillo The fact that Hermosillo makes this list shows how devoid the Angels’ system is of position players. Hermosillo rose through three ranks of the minors. He earns a pass for his subpar numbers at AAA for his performance at Salt Lake City. At his best, Hermosillo will offer a medium power and speed combination perhaps on the order of 15/30, which could make him a valuable fantasy contributor. Hermosillo was an on-base machine at the lower levels of the minor league and saw a nice jump in his ISO to .213 upon his promotion to Salt Lake. The Angels may have an opening in left field next season depending on Justin Upton’s status and could conceivably give Hermosillo a shot there.