A Minor Review of 2015: Los Angeles Angels

Welcome to the annual series: ‘A Minor (League) Review of 2015.” This series is a great way to receive a quick recap of the ’15 minor league season for your favorite club(s), while also receiving a brief look toward the 2016 season and beyond. It can also be a handy feature for fantasy baseball players in keeper and Dynasty leagues.

A Minor Review of 2015: Los Angeles Angels

The Graduate: Carlos Perez, C: A former Blue Jays and Astros prospect, Perez landed in LA for his rookie season and performed well — although hardly spectacular. He’s become a more aggressive hitter than he was early in his career and he doesn’t posses anything more than gap power. His strongest value comes from his defence and ability to control the running game (He threw out more than 30% of base runners in ’15), which doesn’t help at all in fantasy baseball. He’ll split playing time during the 2016 season with import Geovany Soto.

The Riser: Joey Gatto, RHP: Although one of the club’s top pitching prospects, Gatto would be much lower on the totem pole if he were in an organization with a strong system. If everything breaks well for the right-hander he might develop into a mid-rotation starter but he’s still a long way from realizing that potential after spending 2015 in short-season ball. Gatto, 20, could also end up as a back-end starter with a solid fastball and promising breaking ball. He’ll be challenged with his first full-season assignment in 2016.

The Tumbler: Natanael Delgado, OF: A promising, toolsy outfielder, Delgado had a disappointing year in ’15. His overly-aggressive approach caught up with him during his first taste of full-season ball. In 108 games, he walked just 19 times and struck out 104 times. He has plus raw power but hit just 19 doubles and six home runs. He probably needs to return to Low-A again in 2016 but the Angels might push him to the offence-boosting California League to try and kickstart his bat and build his confidence.

The ’15 Draft Pick: Taylor Ward, C: There were a lot of raised eyebrows when the Angels selected Ward with the 26th overall selection. Most clubs had him tabbed in and around the third round on their draft boards. Known as an outstanding defensive catcher in college, there were questions about his ability to hit in pro ball. Ward put those questions to rest in his pro debut when he hit .348 and had a BB-K rate of 39-23 in 56 games.

The Lottery Ticket: Jose Suarez, LHP: Suarez, 17, isn’t a big-time prospect but he has a chance to develop into a solid No. 3 or 4 starter. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he stands just 5’10’’ but he has a good idea how to pitch. He shows a lot of potential with his secondary offerings and throws strikes — impressive for a pitcher at such a young age. Suarez will likely open 2016 back in short-season ball so he’s a long way away from realizing his full potential.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Pat's Bat
Pat's Bat

Wouldn’t Heaney be the graduate? I’d much rather read about him than a catcher who isn’t remotely fantasy relevant.