Mark Shannon, Outfielder
HT : 6'0
WT : 185 lb.
DOB : April 12, 1991, Littleton, CO
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : University of Nevada-Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
Acquired : Drafted in 24th round (727th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets fan
One of the most underrated prospects in the organization, Mark Shannon is also one of the best grinders in the Los Angeles Angels system. A tough force from the left-side of the plate, and solid center fielder, Shannon is starting to turn heads and make some big noise in his early career.
Shannon was described by UNLV coach, Tim Chambers as, "the best centerfielder I have ever coached." Shannon is a natural center fielder, with good speed, a grinding passion, and an above average glove.
Shannon is known for laying out and making the big play when necessary, but his instinct allows him to not make mistakes in doing so. He has electric break to the ball, and can cut down space with ease. His glove is far above average, and could be one of the best outfield gloves in the system.
Shannon is a natural athlete, playing wide receiver and point guard in high school, and has taken that to his game, with a mix of speed, power, and grinding ability. Shannon may have the best ability to play while banged up and has a high standard for competition.
Shannon has a good amount of power from the left-side of the plate, helped with an uppercut swing and good bat speed. He has good contact ability, and despite the uppercut swing, has been able to avoid swing and miss qualities due to his quick hands.
Shannon has great arm strength, splitting his college days as a pitcher and outfielder. This has helped him cut down the running game against him.
We don't like drawing comparisons, but if you've read this steadily, one name might come to mind (Kole Calhoun?). Though Shannon doesn't have the natural abilities Calhoun did when he was coming through the minors, he has some very similar qualities. Don't let this make you believe he'll be a Kole Calhoun or better, or worse. Mark Shannon is Mark Shannon, and could fit well as a fourth outfielder, or eventual split time outfielder.
Shannon was a three-letter winner at Chatfield Senior High School, where his team finished with a 33-12 record over the last years when he attended. Shannon helped Chatfield to a third-place finish in the Colorado State Championship his junior season. He was named an All-Conference honorable mention as a sophomore, and was honored as a First-Team All-Conference and All-State member his junior and senior seasons.
Shannon was a standout at Northern Colorado University. During his one season with NCU, Shannon put up a .326 batting average in 40 games, with three home runs, six triples, and eight doubles, six stolen bases, with 34 runs batted in and 34 runs scored. Shannon also posted a 6-3 record on the mound in 14 appearances with a 4.52 ERA, 64 strikeouts in 83.2 IP, and one complete game. Shannon was named the 2010 Great West Conference Newcomer of the Year, and earned Louisville Slugger and Ping Baseball All-American honors.
Shannon transferred to Central Arizona the following year, where he put up a .294 batting average with one home run, nine double, 25 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases in 54 games. Shannon also compiled a 8-2 record with a 2.19 ERA, and 48 strikeouts in 49.1 IP. Shannon allowed just eight extra-base hits and walked just 18 batters in his two save season. Shannon was selected to the ACCAC All-Conference and NJCAA All-Region Teams. With all this, Shannon helped lead CAU to a ACCAC Conference Championship, Region 1 Championship, NJCAA West District Championship and runner-up finish at the NJCAA World Series.
In his final college season, at UNLV, Shannon posted a 6.11 ERA in 35.1 innings pitched, striking out 30 and walking 18. He struck out seven in a start against Southern Utah. At the plate, Shannon hit .313, with five stolen bases.
Shannon earned an early spot at both Rookie Ball affiliates, going to Orem after eight games in Tempe. In Orem, Shannon put up a .300/.364/.526 slash in 54 games, with 33 RBI and 50 runs scored. Shannon reached base in 20 of his first 21 games in Orem. Right after that streak was broken, Shannon went on a 15-game hit streak, and reached base in 22 straight. Over that stretch, Shannon posted a .376/.448/.688 slash, with 23 runs scored and 19 runs batted in.
Shannon continued with his hot bat in Class-A in 2014, hitting .284/.327/.474 in his first 26 games. Shannon reached in 19 of his final 20 games in Class-A and was a nightmare leading off posting a .364/.364/.727 slash.
Shannon earned a callup to High-A, where nothing ceased, where he reached base in 80 of his 107 appearances. He finished the season with a .288/.327/.419 slash, bringing in 53 runs with his bat, and scoring 58 runs. Shannon collected 37 multi-hit games. With runners on with two outs, Shannon went 28-for-86 (.326) with 27 runs batted in.
Shannon thrived at the High-A level, and is destined for a season in Double-A come 2015. For a player who might be the best centerfielder at the higher levels, facing tougher competition will be a great test for Shannon to see if his bat and level of play matches the soon to be future of baseball.
Shannon has been fast tracked since the draft, and for good reason. He has Major League talent, and next year's test will be the perfect scenario to figure if how close he is. Currently, his ETA to the Majors is 2017, but it could be much sooner.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.