Get To Know The Angels Foreign Prospects

Taylor Blake Ward gives you a look at the foreign Angels prospects, playing with the Dominican Summer League affiliate.

The most overlooked affiliate for the Los Angeles Angels comes in the form where you'd have to fly to a different country to catch games. Luckily for us at Scout.com, we don't have to fly and can rely on information from coaches and scouts. Here is an overview of the prospects you need to know about, playing with the Dominican Summer League affiliate of the Halos.

Catchers:

Keinner Pina departed from the Dominican recently to head stateside and play with the Arizona League affiliate, but not before showing that he could be a strong prospect moving forward. Pina boasted a .246/.359/.279 slash while in the Dominican, while flashing some speed with seven stolen bases. Where the 18-year-old foreign prospect truly shined was defensively, only having one passed ball in 23 games, a 7.26 RF/G and throwing out 42% of 43 potential runners. Though no foreign prospect has flashed the arm Pina has, Jeans Flores has hit the radar with a .972 fielding percentage while throwing out 38% of 74 potential runners, all going along with his .246 batting average and .660 OPS. Flores has yet to see his 18th birthday, and could be a name to watch in the future.


Corner Infielders:

Angel Molina has taken the bulk of defensive time at first base and is tops on the team in batting average (.288) and OPS (.799). He's flashed some power potential and can hit the ball to the gaps with ease. The soon-to-be 18-year-old is the biggest offensive threat for the DSL Angels. Utility players, Jonathan Arias and Darlyn Mota have split time at third base for the majority of the season. Though he's fallen off slightly from a strong 2014 campaign, Arias is beginning to show an advanced understanding of the game offensively with a .308 on-base percentage as well as an adjustment to his swing bringing gap power to his game. Mota is beginning to come into his own offensively as well with a .261/.352/.346 slash, and he leads the team in RBI (26) in roughly ten games less than the "regulars." Both could use help defensively as they are both very raw in the field, sharing a combined .865 fielding percentage.


Middle Infielders:

The Angels have found some middle infield depth among foreign prospects, and this year's DSL team is showing signs of new names hitting those depth charts. Julio Garcia, who is among the ranks of most Angels top prospect charts, has yet to show strong numbers, but the tools are flashy and he earned himself a trip state side after batting .214/.242/.256, all near team lows. A breakout star is utility man, Leonardo Rivas. He's shown strong defensive skills that show statistically at a .965 fielding percentage at second base. Where he really stands out is his process at the plate where he leads the team in reaching base at .402. Rivas has shown the ability to take a high load of pitches with a great approach. The 17-year-old also leads the team in walks (35) and hit by pitch (17). Goldny Mills has split time at second base with Rivas but has yet to show the bat and approach Rivas has while being two-years-old with two-years more experience. Gleyvin Pineda has taken the rest of the defensive work in the middle infield, playing 33 games at shortstop and 12 at second but is another young talent still finding a strong approach at the plate.


Outfielders:

The standout outfield prospect in the Dominican has been Yefry Santana. The only problem? He's played in just seven games (no note as to why). Santana has 21 at bats where he's collected hits in nine (.429 BA), and had five of those nine hits go as extra-base-hits (.810 SLG). Joining Santana in that impressive outfield is Johan Sala. Sala is boasting a .230/.295/.277 slash which may not standout off the page but the tools have been prevalent from the 17-year-old, particularly his defensive ability with four outfield assist and gap power with eight doubles. Ricky Martinez went a step down from being state side to back in the Caribbean, and has hit some struggles. His power and speed combination are still being shown but the contact has yet to come back and thrive like expected. Deyvi Castillo could be the best hidden secret in the Angels system, as he holds a .241/.313/.276 slash at 17-years of age. Castillo's athleticism has been a conversation starter among scouts, which could cause his stock to rise more and more as he becomes more knowledgeable in the game.


Starting Pitchers:

No foreign prospect had as much flare coming into this season as Jose Suarez. He did not disappoint, posting a 2.13 ERA and 0.927 WHIP during his 11 starts with the Angels foreign affiliate. With his strong arsenal, he earned a trip state side about a month ago, and will soon be seen at your local minor league ballpark. A pair of relief pitchers have been the other most impressive pitchers in the Dominican. Geovanny Acosta was signed just prior to the season, and the eldest member of the team has shown that his experience will thrive at the lower levels of the minors. His 2.45 ERA and 9.8 K/9 jump off the page at you, along with the movement of his mid 90's fastball. Slightly younger comes Jefry Yan in his second year with the affiliate. His 1.57 ERA is tops on the team, and he's used his high 80's fastball to create outs in the latter innings of games. With some control issues being taken care of in recent games, he could be someone to watch moving forward in the loogy ranks. Along with Suarez, Lianmy Galan and Cristopher Molina have picked up where they left off last season, putting up good numbers once again. Galan has taken over the "ace" roll since Suarez's departure and the lefty has stayed strong, posting a 2.55 ERA and 1.378 WHIP. Molina has slowed down slowly since the beginning of the season, but is still using his sinker/slider mix to create weak contact and a high ground ball rate, helping his 4.09 ERA (5.5 BB/9 is biggest problem).



Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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