The LA Angels had eight players who are playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. With the league coming to an end this weekend we check in to see how the Angels prospects are faring.
The LA Angels farm system has been much maligned over the past five years, but things are looking up recently. Eight Angels prospects were invited to participate in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) this year. Although some of them have struggled, the experience is invaluable and will serve them well in the future. Pitcher Adam Hofacket left the team after three weeks and Victor Alcantara is still on the team, but he is now part of the Detroit Tigers organization after the trade for Cameron Maybin.
Scottsdale Scorpions infielder David Fletcher of the Los Angeles Angels against the Mesa Solar Sox during an Arizona Fall League game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Shortstop/Second Baseman David Fletcher – .236 AVG. one homer, six runs batted and two stolen bases in 13 games.
David Fletcher who played in both Single-A Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas this season has struggled at the plate in Arizona Fall League, but he has held his own in the field. Fletcher is a middle infielder who has a good glove and above average arm.
Fletcher played for Loyola Marymount University in college where he stood out in his two seasons there. Fletcher was a Freshman All-American as well as being named West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He also was chosen First-Team All-West Coast Conference in both his freshman and sophomore year. In addition Fletcher was named Loyola Marymount Athlete of the Year in his sophomore year before being drafted in the sixth round by the Angels in the June 2015 Amateur Baseball draft.
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Fletcher started slowly in the AFL as he hit only .125 with a homer and one RBI in the first six games. However, he has raised his average to .236 and driven in five runs in his last seven games.
Overall, Fletcher has gained some great experience which he can put to use next season in whatever level he plays for the Angels. Who knows, you might just see him in the majors.
Oct 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels outfielder Michael Hermosillo of the Scottsdale Scorpions against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Hermosillo – OF – .267 average no homers two RBI’s one stolen base .353 OBP
Michael Hermosillo is an outfielder that began the year in low Single-A at Burlington. Hermosillo was promoted to High Single-A Inland Empire. Combined for the season Hermosillo hit .317 with six homers and 39 RBI’s. He also stole 10 bases and had an on-base percentage was an amazing .402.
Hermosillo has above average speed and is also good defensively in the outfield. He came straight out of high school in Ottawa, Illinois where he attended Ottawa Township High School. The Angels drafted Hermosillo in the 28th round in 2013 Amateur Draft.
In the Arizona Fall League Hermosillo was limited only to nine games where he hit a respectable .267 with no homers and three RBI’s. He only played in nine games in the Arizona Fall League, but Hermosillo showed what kind of talent he possesses. Hermosillo will most likely be invited to Spring Training in 2017 and almost assuredly will be promoted to at least Double-A next season for the Angels.
Scottsdale Scorpions catcher Taylor Ward of the Los Angeles Angels makes a diving slide into second base against the Surprise Saguaros. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Taylor Ward – Catcher – AVG. .283 no homers with nine RBI’s .321 OBP
Taylor Ward has said to be a can’t miss prospect when the Angels drafted him in the first round in June 2015 amateur draft. Ward has always been known for his defense and prides himself on it. He has a cannon for an arm throwing out 38% of would be base stealers in 2016 (48 for 77). Ward had an .994 fielding percentage in the 2016 season as well.
What has been the knock on Ward has been his hitting. For much of the 2016 season Ward was floundering around the .220 to .230 mark. However, over the last six weeks of the season Ward got hot hitting close to .400 pushing his average up to .249. Ward also finished with 10 homers and 56 runs batted in, with a .323 on-base percentage.
Ward continued his strong hitting during the Arizona Fall League hitting .320 through the first eight games which helped Ward to be chosen for the AFL All-Star Game. Ward finished the AFL season hitting .283 and driving in nine RBI’s.
You will see Ward in Spring Training and there is a slim chance that you may even see him in Anaheim during the September call-up period. If Ward continues to progress he could again be labelled the “Catcher of the Future”.
Justin Anderson – RHP – 0-0 ERA 6.75 with eight strikeouts & OPP. Avg .269
Justin Anderson is a tall (6’4) right-hander who pitched for Single-A Inland Empire in 2016. Anderson the season off very rough as he had an ERA close to seven most of the first-half. However, Anderson started righting his ship in the second-half putting together some very good starts which helped him to lower his ERA to 5.70 and he finished with an 8-12 record.
Anderson has a mid-90’s fastball who is from Houston, Texas. He pitched for the University of Texas at Arlington where the Angels drafted him in the 14th round after his junior year season in 2014.
Anderson was a late addition to the Scottsdale Scorpions roster and has pitched in only five games posting an ERA of 6.75. However if you look deeper Anderson has been pretty effective in the Arizona Fall League in four of his five outings. In his first four outings Anderson pitched in 5.2 innings allowing only four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. His ERA was 0.00 in those four appearances. Only Anderson’s last outing where he allowed five runs on four hits in one inning made his numbers not look so good.
If Anderson keeps pitching the way he has been since August, you could see him in Anaheim in the not to distant future.
Scottsdale Scorpions pitcher Eduardo Paredes of the Los Angeles Angels against the Salt River Rafters during an Arizona Fall League game Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Eduardo Paredes – RHP – 0-2 5.91 ERA 11 Strikeouts
Eduardo Paredes is a right-handed reliever from Valera, Venezuela. Paredes split his 2016 season with Single-A Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas. He posted a 1-5 record with a 3.35 ERA and 12 saves. Paredes pitched in 54 games and a total of 70.1 innings with a 1.19 WHIP. He struck out 75 batters while only walking 20.
In the Arizona Fall League the right-hander has struggled going 0-2 with a 5.91 ERA. He has allowed seven runs in 10.2 innings while striking out 11 batters. Paredes has been victimized by the long ball giving up three homers.
If Parades pitches well in the spring he could compete for a bullpen spot for the Angels.
Scottsdale Scorpions pitcher Grayson Long of the Los Angeles Angels against the Salt River Rafters during an Arizona Fall League game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Grayson Long – Right=Handed Pitcher – 2-2 ERA 6.75 18 Strikeouts in 17.1 IP
Grayson Long is a hidden gem in the Angels minor league system. Long was drafted in the third round of the 2015 amateur draft. Long struggled in the first four games he pitched in the minors in 2015 after leaving Texas A&M compiling a 0-1 record with a 6.55 ERA.
However, in 2016 Long started to showed the stuff that may the Angels draft him. Long pitched both in Single-A Burlington and Single-A Inland Empire. He compiled a 2.50 ERA in 54 innings with a 5-4 record. Long struck out 60 batters and only walked 25 batters and had a 1.13 WHIP.
Unfortunately for Long his Arizona Fall League experience did not go as well as Long went 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA. Long struck out 18 batters in 17.1 Innings. Long showed some promise, but he may be still a few years away from the majors. i However, keep an eye on Long as he is a star in the making.