Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Angels instructional league roster was announced by Baseball America. Some typical high end prospects show up on the roster, but it's highlighted with talent few have seen or know much about.
Scout.com breaks down the Angels instructional fall league roster, with highlight prospects, who to pay special attention to, hidden gems and which prospects have the most to prove with their extended season.
HIGHLIGHT PITCHER: Joe Gatto
Gatto was named the Angels eighth top prospect by Scout.com last off-season and his stock rose following a strong season. Gatto is still raw, but has gone from being a "thrower" to becoming a "pitcher" with development. Gatto had control problems when he joined the system, but not pitch control. Instead, it was body control that Gatto needed to work on. He has now grown into his frame and used his arsenal to put together an All-Star season in rookie ball.
PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO: Hunter Green
Where has Hunter Green been? It's a commonly asked question, and it seems instructional league will finally give everyone an answer. As the former second round pick has battled with injuries, the pitches and arsenal should show why he was taken so high and he'll advance quickly next season.
HIDDEN GEMS: Adam Hofacket
The Angels took Hofacket in the 10th round of this past draft and turned the starter into a closer immediately in pro ball. It worked well, as Hofacket's ability to throw strikes and command his low to mid 90's fastball, mixed well with his knowledge of how to change speeds and attack with his sinker, changeup and slider, put him in a versatile spot for the future.
SOMETHING TO PROVE: Zach Hartman
Though Hartman had a small sample size between two levels, where he was older than the average bunch, he posted a 1.80 ERA and 1.167 WHIP, while striking out 12 per nine and walking less than one per nine. Hartman went undrafted this season, and the instructional league will be a sign for Hartman and the Angels as to why he was an important pickup and was just overlooked in the draft as opposed to being more advanced at the lower levels.
Los Angeles Angels Instructional League Roster : Pitchers
RHP Victor Alcantara, 22, Inland Empire (A+)
RHP Jaime Barria, 19, AZL Tempe/Orem (Rk)
RHP Nathan Bates, 21, Orem (Rk)
LHP Nathaniel Bertness, 20, AZL Tempe (Rk)
RHP Tyler Carpenter, 23, Burlington/Inland Empire (A/A+)
RHP Taylor Cobb, 22, AZL Tempe/Orem (Rk)
RHP Aaron Cox, 21, Orem (Rk)
RHP Lianmy Galan, 19, DSL (Fgn Rk)
RHP Joe Gatto, 20, Orem (Rk)
LHP Ronnie Glenn, 22, Orem (Rk)
LHP Hunter Green, 20, AZL Tempe (Rk)
RHP Zach Hartman, 23, AZL Tempe/Orem (Rk)
RHP Andres Heredia, 19, AZL Tempe (Rk)
RHP Travis Herrin, 20, AZL Tempe/Orem (Rk)
RHP Adam Hofacket, 21, Orem (Rk)
LHP Winston Lavendier, 23, AZL Tempe (Rk)
LHP Conor Lillis-White, 23, AZL Tempe (Rk)
RHP Grayson Long, 21, Orem (Rk)
RHP Jake McDavid, 23, AZL Tempe (Rk)
RHP Crusito Mieses, 20, AZL Tempe (Rk)
RHP Cristopher Molina, 18, DSL (Fgn Rk)
RHP Anderson Montilla, 19, DSL (Fgn Rk)
RHP Garrett Nuss, 22, Burlington/Inland Empire (A/A+)
RHP Eduardo Paredes, 20, Burlington/Inland Empire (A/A+)
RHP Sam Pastrone, 18, AZL Tempe (Rk)
RHP Luis Pena, 20, AZL Tempe/Orem (Rk)
RHP Cody Pope, 22, Orem (Rk)
RHP Aaron Rhodes, 22, Orem (Rk)
RHP Jose D. Rodriguez, 20, Orem (Rk)
RHP Jared Ruxer, 23, Orem (Rk)
LHP Jose Suarez, 17, DSL/AZL Tempe (Fgn RK/Rk)
LHP Jefry Yan, 19, DSL (Fgn Rk)
HIGHLIGHT CATCHER: Taylor Ward
The Angels were heavily criticized when they took a "defense first" catcher in the first round. Well, Ward's bat was the big talk this season, as he lead all first round picks in batting average at .348 and showed a great combination of patience and discipline with power at the plate. Defensively, everything stood out the same. As the game gets quicker at the higher levels, instructional league will help Ward have the game come to him.
PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO: Dalton Blumenfeld
The numbers didn't flash the tools in the Angels most recent prep catcher pickup. When it comes to power, few have as much as the 18-year-old Blumenfeld in the Angels organization. Instructional league will give him added time to develop against pitching more talented than that of the outer Los Angeles high school region. Primary focus should be to have Blumenfeld make more consistent contact, which may cause power numbers to decrease next season, but will make him a more developed player.
HIDDEN GEMS: Keinner Pina
Many might not known this name, but that's why they call him "hidden." Pina has a good mix of defense, speed, and line drive skills, but has a lot of development to go before he can create serious sound. He's put up fair numbers thanks to his discipline at the plate, and will advance with many coaches seeing what he does at every moment of the game.
SOMETHING TO PROVE: Tanner Lubach
Lubach isn't a guy who had a poor season by any means. What he has to prove is that he is more than just "the guy who signed for $10K when going in the ninth round." Bleh, money, where's the fun in talking about someone elses money? Despite it, he was a senior sign from a Darin Erstad program, and from an outside perspective, isn't really being looked at the way he should be. With instructs, Lubach could become a top notch catcher and should be at an advanced level sooner than later, but he has to prove he belongs there.
Los Angeles Angels Instructional League Roster : Catchers
C Dalton Blumenfeld, 18, AZL Tempe (Rk)
C Tanner Lubach, 22, Orem (Rk)
C Keinner Pina, 18, DSL/AZL Tempe (Fgn Rk/Rk)
C Michael Strentz, 23, Inland Empire (A+)
C Taylor Ward, 21, Orem/Burlington (Rk/A)
C Wade Wass, 23, Burlington/Inland Empire (A/A+)
HIGHLIGHT INFIELDERS: Roberto Baldoquin
The season Roberto Baldoquin had is one of the most intriguing in recent Angels history. After starting the season 0-for-17 with nine strikeouts, questions rose as to why he was worth the $8 million the Angels spent on him. Baldoquin was in the middle of culture shock and did not seem to have signs moving forward for the first few months. However, he adapted and hit .287 over his final 39 games, which was a large step forward. It's an uphill climb for the young Cuban prospect but the tools are evident.
PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO: Gleyvin Pineda
Pineda is an odd case because there is so little known about him. He hit .221 with a .633 OPS in the Dominican this summer, which isn't bad for the league. He also held a .932 fielding percentage as an 18-year-old who'd never seen professional baseball before. He may be something special but no one will know until they see him, which instructs will be perfect to show what he has.
HIDDEN GEMS: Gabriel Santana
Ignore the numbers, and take the opportunity to watch Santana swing a bat. He just recently turned 20 and not only drives the ball, but smashes the ball to the gaps. He hasn't had the opportunity to show his speed, but his glove is fine to hold up at first base. There is a lot of rawness to Santana, but we think he'll be something very special moving forward.
SOMETHING TO PROVE: Michael Pierson
You may be asking why a guy who hit nearly .400 needs to prove something. Well, he was 23 the entire year in Rookie Ball, and was far advanced from the competition. Instructs will show if Pierson, who is a serious work horse, will be able to maintain the strong numbers offensively, and hit for consistent power as well.
Los Angeles Angels Instructional League Roster : Infielders
3B Tim Arakawa, 23, Orem/Burlington (Rk/A)
SS Roberto Baldoquin, 21, Inland Empire (A+)
1B Jeff Boehm, 22, Orem (Rk)
2B Andrew Daniel, 22, Burlington/Inland Empire (A/A+)
2B Kody Eaves, 22, Inland Empire (A+)
SS David Fletcher, 21, Orem/Burlington (Rk/A)
SS Julio Garcia, 18, DSL/AZL Tempe (Fgn Rk/Rk)
3B Zach Houchins, 23, Burlington (A)
2B Hutton Moyer, 22, Orem (Rk)
3B Michael Pierson, 23, Orem (Rk)
SS Gleyvin Pineda, 19, DSL (Fgn Rk)
1B Gabriel Santana, 20, AZL Tempe/Inland Empire (Rk/A+)
SS Franklin Torres, 19, AZL Tempe (Rk)
HIGHLIGHT OUTFIELDERS: Jahmai Jones
The second pick for the Angels last year brings some of the best athleticism the Angels have had for some time. Though he is raw, Jones is a far advanced prep bat playing in professional baseball and making it work. He's strong and quick, which just makes him even more exciting.
PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO: Jimmy Barnes
Barnes is another fantastic athlete, but the performance didn't show the way it did with Jones. He was also drafted nine rounds later. Barnes has a nice swing, but may be trying to do too much - 36.3 K% - and could use some good coaching to have the game come to him.
HIDDEN GEMS: Yefry Santana
It's hard to say a guy with 25 plate appearances can be a hidden gem, but it's true. Santana flashed power, and speed, and consistency, along with strong defense. Santana had five of his nine hits go as extra base, including his final game of the season falling a single short of the cycle.
SOMETHING TO PROVE: Jared Foster
One thing Foster doesn't have to prove is that he's probably the best natural athlete in the Angels organization. With that, this is the first time in his life where baseball is the only priority. He was even expected to return to LSU and potentially take over the starting role. With that said, instructs, Spring Training, long seasons are all something Foster will have to get used to, but with a good mindset and his athleticism, he could be scary good.
Los Angeles Angels Instructional League Roster : Outfielders
OF Alex Abbott, 20, Orem/Burlington (Rk/A)
OF Jimmy Barnes, 18, AZL Tempe (Rk)
OF Natanael Delgado, 19, Burlington (A)
OF Jared Foster, 22, Orem (Rk)
OF Jahmai Jones, 18, AZL Tempe (Rk)
OF Sam McDonnell, 20, AZL Tempe (Rk)
OF Brendon Sanger, 22, Orem (Rk)
OF Yefry Santana, 19, DSL (Fgn Rk)
OF Ryan Vega, 20, AZL Tempe (Rk)
OF Bo Way, 23, Inland Empire (A+)
Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.