The Los Angeles Angels Low-A affiliate, Burlington Bees, announced their roster just prior to the weekend, and it's loaded with hidden talent. Here are 15 prospects you'll need to pay attention to in the Midwest League this upcoming season:
1. Sean Newcomb, Left-Handed Pitcher
How could we not begin with Newcomb? You don't have to be a die-hard Angels fan to know who Sean Newcomb is. The Angels gained a serious boost in this past Amateur Draft and it all began with Newcomb. Everyone got a glimpse of him during Spring Training, but only a small glimpse. In Newcomb's last appearance with 10 strikeouts, including five in a row at one point. Fans in Burlington will get a nice look at Newcomb's mid to high 90's fastball and filthy off-speed offerings as he looks to fix command "concerns."
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #2
2. Keynan Middleton, Right-Handed Pitcher
Middleton has steadily dropped in our rankings from year-to-year. After being the second pick by the Angels in the 2013 Draft, in the third round, Middleton has struggled mightily with poor numbers and raw pitching thus far in professional baseball. Middleton will be getting his first taste of A-Ball this upcoming year, and will be facing tougher competition. He showed strong signs at the end of last year, and looks to take that into a year that will put him in a category of higher praise and flash that third round talent in Burlington.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #44
3. Jake Yacinich, Shortstop
The local boy. Yacinich grew up in Iowa and couldn't be more excited to play in front of his "home crowd." Yacinich is one of the best defensive infielders in the Angels farm system, and brings a high level of game speed in his game. Yacinich lost the latter part of this past season with a foot injury and is looking to make his mark as one of the top prospects in the Angels farm system with a strong year of developing his bat and all around play in Burlington during the 2015 campaign.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #49
Eduardo Paredes, Right-Handed Pitcher
No pitcher in the Angels farm system put up better statistics than Paredes in 2014. He's been good his entire career with a minor league career 1.86 ERA, 1.047 WHIP, 7.1 H/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 10.5 K/9. Last year, right handed bats had a slash of just .073/.208/.098 against Paredes. He's now at a higher level, and is only a month beyond his 20th birthday. Paredes may show that the numbers aren't just a fluke, as he flashes his strong command and mid 90's fastball in Low-A.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #45
Natanael Delgado, Outfielder
The tool in the back of the shed is now in the front. Delgado is a scary talent the Angels have hidden for some time, and he's finally reached a plateau of serious talent. He has a good mix of power and speed. He needs some work in the outfield, but with his bat, Delgado has potential to take Low-A by storm and be one of the best prospects in the league.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #15
Jonah Wesely, Left-Handed Pitcher
Someone call the cops because the Angels got a steal. In the 11th round of the 2013 draft, the Angels nabbed Wesely from both the league's teams looking to draft him and four free years at UCLA. It was no mistake as the young talent who's just 20 as well has thrived for the moment in the bullpen. Wesely is scary good against lefties, and nearly as good against right-handed hitters. He's been coached into one heck of a pitcher, and is only getting better. With natural athleticism and a great baseball IQ, Wesely is ready to take the higher levels of the Angels minor leagues in strides.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #23
Miguel Hermosillo, Outfielder
Scary to think that he's only been committed to baseball for a year. Hermosillo is easily the best athlete in the Angels minor league system currently, and is now ready to take on some of the best talent the minor leagues have to offer. This raw talent is still improving every day, and Chad Tracy will take his focus to turn Hermosillo into not just a gifted athlete, but into a real deal baseball player.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #37
Zach Houchins, Third Baseman
Keep the cops on the phone for an extra minute, because the Angels got another steal. Zach Houchins was one of the most dominant bats in Rookie Ball last year. Houchins and the Angels are still working out the process of what they'll do with him in the field, and whether he'll be set as a shortstop. Burlington is a new challenge for Houchins, but there was no mistake in him taking a leap to Low-A for 2015. Houchins is a rising star in the Angels system, and with a strong year in Iowa, could only rise to higher and higher levels with each game.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #57
Jonathan Van Eaton, Right-Handed Pitcher
Van Eaton is an interesting piece. He's had to deal with injuries throughout his career and is beginning 2015 on the disabled list. Don't let that hold you back from finding out he's a strong possibility of closing out games throughout the season in Burlington. He comes in as our dark horse to make some serious noise in 2015.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : Unranked
Andrew Daniel, Second Baseman
The 11th round has been nice to the Angels for the past two years. Daniel was taken in the 11th round of this past draft and it seemed no one knew where this kid came from. A Southern California talent took Rookie Ball by storm and put up scary good numbers (.340/.408/.510). Daniel is a contact hitter, which is the best equpped thing for Burlington. His baseball IQ is off the charts, and Daniel is slowly becoming one of the highest rising stars in the Angels farm system.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #32
Austin Robichaux, Right-Handed Pitcher
First thing is first, we're dumbies for leaving Robichaux off our Top 100 Prospects list. Though the numbers weren't kind to Robichaux in his professional debut, he's the real deal and that's the only comment we can really make. A pitcher friendly league is what will show how talented this late teen pick truly is.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : Unranked
Jordan Piché, Right-Handed Pitcher
Piché is a fun guy to get excited about. In college, he had to go from closing games out to starting them off. His knowledge of pitching is what will put him above everyone else. He's also a relatively local kid to the Iowa area, going to Community College just an hour outside of Burlington. His season was cut short to an ACL injury, but he's healthy now and prepped for a great 2015 campaign.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #100
Jeremy Rhoades, Right-Handed Pitcher
You can never ignore the high draft picks. He's coming to Class-A some mechanical questions, and will need some coaching. However, you don't earn top prospect status without something special in the package. If it weren't for Newcomb, Rhoades would be the most gifted, and well prepared pitcher Burlington has coming into this season.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #13
Jake Jewell, Right-Handed Pitcher
Another high draft pick, Jewell comes in with a few more questions than Rhoades, but is also a special pitcher. Jewell sits in the mid 90's with ease, and can load some more in the tank to jump into the high 90's with his fastball. The big question is whether the Angels will place him in the bullpen as a potential late innings guy, or have him develop his changeup more as a starter.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #30
Ronald Muck, Right-Handed Pitcher
Muck is a D.J. on the side, and we're working on a cool nickname for him that includes something along the lines of "strikeouts" and "filthy cutter." Muck is the most dark horse guy to bring out in this article, but he'll make some noise like he already has in his short professional career.
Pre-season Angels prospect rank from InsideTheHalos.com : #70
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.
Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.