Eppler’s Domain: MLBTR Offseason Outlook, Baldoquin, Top Prospects

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The 2016 season was over for the Angels a long time ago. With a 74-88 campaign due to major pitching injuries that will linger into 2017, numerous additional questions loom for the Halos. Although Garrett Richards is returning, and Huston Street is expected to be ready, there is much concern over the club’s pitching depth, as well as holes at second base and left field. MLB Trade Rumors recently took a look at the team’s situation and gave a full detailed analysis of their needs, as well as what the front office can possibly do to bounce back next season. And the cornerstone of any return to contention of course is the young man in the thumbnail below…


More From The GM’s Office

  • In the wake of two disappointing seasons from prospect Roberto Baldoquin, the Angels are still hoping the 22-year-old infielder can get it together. After signing an $8 million dollar bonus that nearly doubled due to penalties, and restricted the organization’s international spending, the young Cuban has been plagued by injuries that have slowed his development to being being stuck at High-A ball with a .219 /.269 /.267 career slash line. Conditioning may also be a factor; however, the club’s endorsement of Baldoquin centers around the fact that he works hard on and off the field, which is buying him more time to get back not track.
  • The Angels have had their farm system ranked at or near the bottom for a few years now. That might change very soon, however, as some of their newer prospcts had good seasons to start their professional careers. The Halos recently named top prospects Matt Thaiss (No. 1) and Jaime Barria (No. 7) as their Top Prospects of the Year.
    • Thaiss was the farm system’s position player of the year, hitting .338 /.394/ .569 with 10 extra-base hits over 15 games with the Rookie Ball Orem Owlz, and slashing .276/.351/.427 with 19 extra-base hits in 52 games at Class A Burlington. The recently converted first baseman (from catcher) is already getting noticed, and could rise the ranks quickly.
    • Barria was the organization’s pitching prospect of the year. At Class A Burlington, the young hurler was 8-6 with a 3.85 ERA, and career high 117 innings in 25 starts.
  • The Halos sent a list of prospects to the Arizona Fall League, where a couple of them are putting up good numbers. One of them includes a 2015 first round catcher who was doubted by some. These are the following players are participating in the AFL:
    • David Fletcher, SS/2B: .174 / .269 / .435 w/ 1 HR in 6 G
    • Michael Hermosillo, OF: .267 / .353 / .400 in 8 G
    • Taylor Ward, C: .280 / .308 / .400 in 9 G
    • Victor Alcantara, RHP: 0-1 / 10.80 ERA / 5 IP
    • Adam Hofacket, RHP: 0-1 / 5.79 ERA / 4 2/3 IP
    • Grayson Long, RHP: 0-1 / 6.75 ERA / 9 1/3 IP
    • Eduardo Paredes, RHP: 0-1 / 5.40 ERA / 5 IP
  • Looking ahead to the 2017 MLB Draft, there are a couple of Orange County pitching prospects who were on the Ocean View Little League team that won the 2011 Little League World Series. They are Hagen Danner and Logan Pouelsen. I covered these two in 2010 and 2011 up to the Little League Western Regionals. Both are committed to UCLA, but may go into the draft, and early. Keep an eye on those two names going into next June.