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Los Angeles Angels Top Fantasy Prospects

The Los Angeles Angels prospects to know for 2024 fantasy baseball.

Our journey today takes us out west to visit the L.A. Angels. The Angels are coming off the loss of Shohei Ohtani in free agency with an aging Mike Trout as their lone viable superstar. Things are bleak in L.A. with a very young MLB roster and a farm system that’s among the worst in baseball. Outside of their “top tier” listed below, the organization has few players likely to be impactful in real life or fantasy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Halos!

 

The Top Tier

 

1) Caden Dana, RHP, Age: 20
2023 MiLB (A, A+): 68.1 IP/3.56 ERA/1.19 WHIP/31.7 K%/10.7 BB%

Dana is one of the most intriguing young arms in the game, a pitcher who’s very underrated in prospect circles. Dana was a University of Kentucky commit who received a $1.5M bonus, well over the slot, as an 11th-round pick in 2022. The money was enough for Dana, and he made his way to the Complex League. As a 19-year-old, Dana was outstanding in his first year in pro ball this summer, finishing at High-A Tri-City.

Dana has a smooth, controlled delivery, utilizing his 6-foot-4, 215 lb frame to generate a high-velocity arsenal. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and explodes in the zone, especially up. The curveball has outstanding depth and a slider-like sweep away from RHH. The lack of a third offering is a concern, although Dana has experimented with a changeup. Dana has no problems missing bats with his repertoire, and if he can produce consistent control, he has an exciting upside.

The Angels are beelining towards another rebuild. While the organization has been hyper-aggressive with prospects, notably Nolan Schanuel and Zach Neto, Dana will not fast-track to the big leagues. I’d anticipate Dana starting 2024 in High-A again and working towards Triple-A, with an eye on a 2025 MLB debut. That said, it’s the Angels, and you never know. I have Dana as a top-15 SP prospect and would expect him to rise steadily over the next 12 months.

 

2) Nolan Schanuel, 1B/OF, Age: 21
2023 MLB: .275/.402/.330/1 HR/0 SB/14.4 K%/15.2 BB%
2023 MiLB (ROOK, A, AA): .365/.505/.486/1 HR/2 SB/13.5 K%/28.4 BB%

The baseball world was shocked when the news broke about Schanuel’s promotion on August 18th. The bump for the 2023 first-round pick was less than six weeks from Draft Day, signalling a mix of confidence and desperation for the Halos. Schanuel starred at FAU, leading the nation in on-base percentage (.615) while finishing second in batting average (.447) and slugging (.868). Following his promotion, Schanuel reached base in all 29 MLB games, walking more than he struck out as a college junior turned major leaguer.

Schanuel has a fully developed frame (6’4″, 220lbs) and is a decent athlete overall. Offensively, he has complete control of the zone, recognizes pitches well, and has elite bat-to-ball skills. Aside from reaching base at extraordinary rates, Schanuel is a safe source of batting average. The big question is what type of power output to expect. In his brief major league debut, he posted below-average exit velocities with poor barrel and hard-hit rates. In addition, Schanuel offers no speed to speak of.

I love Schanuel as a corner infielder in dynasty leagues and a bench player in redraft, but he lacks the power and production to be your lone first-base option. Schanuel seems like a lock to be the Angels’ everyday first baseman in 2024, and he will graduate from prospect lists within the first month of the season.

 

3) Nelson Rada, OF, Age: 18
2023 MiLB (A): .276/.395/.346/2 HR/55 SB/22.3 K%/16.9 BB%

Of all the prospects in the Angels’ organization, Rada has the highest range of outcomes. As a 16-year-old, Rada signed with the Angels in 2022, earning a $1.85M bonus. In his debut season at 17, he slashed .311/.446/.439 in the DSL with 27 steals and as many strikeouts as walks (26 each). He followed that up with a similar outcome in 2023, leaving scouts and the organization eager to see more.

Rada is a very thin 5’10”, 160lbs, but possesses impressive straight-line speed and an advanced approach at the plate. He makes solid swing decisions, has impressive bat-to-ball skills, and rarely chases. The big question with Rada is, will he produce power? In 165 games, Rada has three home runs. Granted, he just turned 18 in August and has room to add to his body. Rada does not produce elite exit velocities or high barrel rates, so the likely outcome is a high average and OBP guy with stolen base upside. OR, he could transform his body over the next year and start hitting home runs to add to his high BA/OBP, vaulting to an upper-tier outfielder.

Use caution when valuing Rada and make sure to assess a realistic outcome. I’ve got Rada inside my top-175 prospects, but any development of power, paired with continued contact and speed, could rocket Rada way up and very quickly.

 

4) Alberto Rios, C, Age: 21
2023 MiLB (ROOK, A): .182/.274/.307/3 HR/8 SB/27.0 K%/11.7 BB%

Rios was a late-blooming star at Stanford, appearing in a handful of games over his first two seasons before his 2023 breakout. In that 2023 season, Rios was named Pac 12 Player of the Year and earned several All-American honors. Rios posted a 1.192 OPS, which included 18 homers, 73 RBIs, and a 15.7% walk rate. In addition, he set a single-game school record with 11 RBI. The Angels grabbed Rios in the third round this past July and promoted him up two levels despite subpar results. Rios appears headed to A-ball to start next season, looking to maximize at-bats given his lack of experience as he enters the organization.

With only one season to evaluate, Rios is still an unknown commodity. After reviewing some videos on Rios, he has a solid feel for the zone and a quick bat. His pre-swing setup has a lot of movement, but his hands and feet are well positioned at the time of delivery, allowing him to explode toward the ball. I have concerns about his hit tool, but he has some raw power, particularly to the pull side. Rios saw time at both catcher and outfield in college, although based on his body, I’d imagine he moves to the outfield long-term.

There are so many unknowns about Rios entering the 2024 season. If he continues to hit, he could be a fast riser through the organization. The Angels have many needs, and although he’s inexperienced, Rios had a productive collegiate bat with an MLB-ready body.

 

5) Jack Kochanowicz, RHP, Age: 23
2023 MiLB (A+, AA): 94 IP/5.27 ERA/1.36 WHIP/17.0 K%/6.1 BB%

Jack Kochanowicz stands out among the Angels’ prospects, literally. The 6’7″ right-hander is the tallest pitcher in their organization. The Angels signed Kochanowicz out of HS (PA) following his selection in the 2019 Draft, luring him away from his commitment to Virginia. In three seasons, he has established himself as a control specialist, consistently posting walk rates well below 10% while posting reasonable strikeout rates.

Kochanowicz has a three-pitch mix featuring a mid-90s four-seam fastball, a sinking changeup, and a sweeper. Although his changeup rates as a plus offering, his fastball is sub-par and offers little resistance for hitters. A lack of consistent command with the four-seamer has led to his elevated ERA and WHIP, and the pitch must improve to reach his ceiling.

At his best, Kochanowicz has mid-rotation upside, but that’s solely dependent on an improved fastball. Based on current construction, he is a bottom-tier long reliever. I’m hopeful he can improve his fastball and develop into a viable fantasy option, but 2024 could be a make-or-break for his chances to remain a starter.

 

6) Kyren Paris, SS/2B, Age: 22
2023 MLB: .100/.200/.300/0 HR/3 SB/42.5 K%/10.0 BB%
2023 MiLB (AA): .255/.393/.417/14 HR/44 SB/36.4 K%/21.2 BB%

Paris is one of the most talented players in the Angels’ organization but has battled injury and inconsistency at the plate, dropping his prospect value. Paris was a 2nd round pick in 2019 but was injured following his debut. He missed all of 2020 due to the pandemic and broke his leg after 47 games in 2021. Essentially, 2022 was Paris’ first real season, and in 105 games across three levels, he had 12 homers with 33 steals. The season did not end as anticipated after a disappointing performance in the AFL. Paris posted similar numbers in his 2023 campaign, but most importantly, he stayed healthy for 128 games. Paris made his big league debut in September, but surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb ended his season after 15 games with the Angels.

Paris has a lean body, standing 6 feet, 180 lbs, but at 22 years old, he’s unlikely to add any additional mass. Scouts noticed improved swing decisions and better plate discipline in the 2022 season, producing higher walk rates. The problem for Paris is that his strikeout rate is comfortably over 30%, with contact rates well below 70%, both poor compared to the league average. When he does reach base, Paris is a threat to run at any time. Since the start of 2022, Paris has converted 80 of 89 stolen base attempts (90%), which is incredibly efficient and valuable as a fantasy asset. But as the adage says, “You can’t steal first base.”

With all young players, the range of outcomes is vast, and Paris is no different. At his peak, he’s got 20 HR-30 SB upside while producing a decent average. Unfortunately, Paris has several warts in his game that he must overcome to reach his full potential. 2024 is critical for Paris, especially if he’s given another shot with the Angels. In an organization undergoing a rebuild, he has a realistic opportunity for significant playing time, which may be make-or-break for the young outfielder.

 

7) Denzer Guzman, SS, Age: 19
2023 MiLB (A): .239/.309/.371/7 HR/8 SB/30.8 K%/9.9 BB%

The Angels’ 2021 International Class featured Guzman, a 16-year-old Dominican shortstop, who many considered among the most complete players of the group. The Angels inked Guzman to a $2M bonus and immediately assigned him to the Dominican Summer League. He hit the ground running in the DSL, belting three homers with 11 steals in his debut. From day one in the DSL and at every level since Guzman has continued to show his offensive and defensive abilities.

Guzman has a typical shortstop build, standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing a lean 180 lbs. Guzman shows a patient approach and has quick hands that put bat to ball. His power is still developing, but with his quick hands and strength, he should come into it soon. Guzman is athletic but lacks speed, leaving any stolen base output as a bonus. Defensively, he can play either of the middle infield positions at a league-average level.

This past season, Guzman was the first time he showed any weaknesses as his strikeout rate jumped to over 30%. The thing to remember is that Guzman is still a teenager and was making his stateside debut. The future looks bright for Denzer Guzman, and he could be atop this list in January 2025.

 

Prospects Every Dynasty Manager Should Know

 

8) Ben Joyce, RHP, Age: 23
2023 MLB: 10 IP/5.40 ERA/1.80 WHIP/20.8 K%/18.8 BB%
2023 MiLB (A, AA): 17.2 IP/4.08 ERA/1.25 WHIP/33.8 K%/18.2 BB%

Joyce is best known as the college pitcher who threw 105.5 mph in a game in 2022. The velocity is elite, but his command and control need work. Elbow injuries stalled out his MLB debut last Spring, but Joyce returned to make seven appearances in late September for the Halos. The 6’5″ right-hander is a high-leverage bullpen option entering 2024.

 

9) Barrett Kent, RHP, Age: 19
2023 MiLB (ROOK, A): 8.2 IP/ 0.00 ERA/ 0.92 WHIP/ 27.8 K%/11.1 BB%

Kent was a 2023 8th-round pick out of high school in Texas. The young righty has an athletic frame (6’4″; 215lbs) and a three-pitch mix featuring a mid-90s fastball with two breaking pitches. He is still years away in his development, but Kent is an intriguing name to watch.

 

10) Felix Morrobel, SS, Age: 18
2023 MiLB (DSL): .286/.322/.335/0 HR/11 SB/8.1 K%/5.0 BB%

Morrobel signed with the Angels in January 2023 as part of the J-15 class. He’s a switch-hitting shortstop who is also considered an advanced defender. Keep an eye on Morrobel’s physical development, which will key his long-term positional and fantasy output.

 

11) Jorge Marcheco, RHP, Age: 21
2023 MiLB (A, A+): 121.2 IP/3.55 ERA/1.03 WHIP/25.6 K%/5.4 BB%

Marcheco offers a little bit of everything on the mound. He uses a crafty, well-placed three-pitch mix with a quirky delivery to keep hitters off balance. What he lacks in velocity, Marcheco makes up for with creativity and consistency. He profiles as a back-end starter but offers solid strikeout numbers with plus ratios.

 

12) Jordyn Adams, OF, Age: 24
2023 MLB: .128/.125/.253/0 HR/1 SB/41.0 K%/ 0.0 BB%
2023 MiLB (AAA): .267/.351/.465/15 HR/44 SB/32.0 K%/12.8 BB%

Adams is equal parts Kyren Paris, equal parts Jo Adell. Adams has not lived up to his hype since being a first-rounder in 2018. He struggled his way up to Triple-A for the first time as a 23-year-old. While the numbers look good on the surface, the hitter-friendly PCL inflates the stat sheet, and a 30% career strikeout rate looms large. I still have hope that athleticism and talent prevail, but this could be Adams’ last shot to prove himself in the organization.

 

13) Adrian Placencia, 2B, Age: 20
2023 MiLB (A+,AA): .212/.341/.323/10 HR/24 SB/35.4 K%/19.4 BB%

Placencia is a versatile middle-infield prospect from the Dominican that the Angels signed in the 2019 International Class. Placencia has shown improved power recently and has a good feel for the zone but has yet to refine his contact skills. Placencia is a 40-grade runner but has posted back-to-back 20-steal seasons, offering production despite the opinions on his ability to do so.

 

14) Jorge Ruiz, OF, Age: 19
2023 MiLB (A): .304/.379/.419/3 HR/13 SB/18.2 K%/9.8 BB%

Ruiz has the ability to impact the game on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he’s hit-over-power with consistent contact skills and good speed on the bases. Defensively, he is above average at all three outfield positions. Ruiz lacks the physicality to be an impact power hitter and likely fits the mold as a fourth outfielder.

 

15) Dario Laverde, C, Age: 18
2023 MiLB (ROOK): .306/.419/.455/1 HR/7 SB/23.1 K%/ 20.9 BB%

Laverde is an outfielder turned catcher who carries his athleticism behind the dish. In the box, Laverde has a patient approach, walking as much as he strikes out, and has shown the ability to produce extra-base hits. His defensive skills are still developing, but it’s hard to find a left-handed hitting catcher, so keep an eye on him.

 

The Next Five

Although these players do not crack the top 15, dynasty managers should keep their on these five players.

 

16) Werner Blakely, 3B (Age: 21): 2020 4th rounder with plenty of untapped talent, but has struggled mightily to gain his footing in the minors.

 

17) Walbert Urena, RHP (Age: 19): Electric young right-hander with a 70-grade fastball and 40-grade control. With some development, Urena has intriguing potential.

 

18) Camden Minacci, RHP (Age: 21): Dominant collegiate reliever at Wake Forest with a legit two-pitch mix, a four-seam fastball, and a slider. With a reliever background, Minacci could be on a quick trajectory to the Show.

 

19) Trey Cabbage, OF (Age: 26): Cabbage had a rough MLB debut, striking out nearly 50% of the time. His minor league profile shows plenty of pop in his bat, but how much is the PCL factor? Cabbage should see additional MLB time this season.

 

20) Jadiel Sanchez, OF (Age: 22): Produced a solid 2023 following his trade to the Angels organization. Sanchez has a well-rounded offensive profile but may not get to the power to be an impactful MLB bat.

Martin Sekulski

Martin is a Dynasty writer for PitcherList. He is a lifelong member of Red Sox Nation and contributes his love of baseball to his father, Marty. As a father and a husband, Martin now loves sharing his love of America's pastime with his family. You can find his work on Twitter and SubStack

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