Prospect Countdown #20 : Brendon Sanger

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #20 : Outfielder, Brendon Sanger (photo : Brian Philbrick)

Brendon Sanger, Outfielder

HT : 6'0
WT : 185
DOB : September 11, 1993 (22)
Throws : Right
Bats : Left
School : Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, FL)
Acquired : Drafted in 4th Round of 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked


There's been something drastically missing from the Los Angeles Angels farm system in recent years - players that can produce offensively. Though some players have been able to put up strong offensive numbers, they aren't known for their offensive styles and abilities as a true hitter. Brendon Sanger became the answer to that problem for the Angels in this past year's draft, going from one of the best pure hitters in college to a professional baseball player with huge offensive upside.


SCOUTING REPORT:

It's hard to deny that Sanger is one of the best pure hitters in the entire Angels system. It all begins with his repetitive swing pattern that allows optimal contact points as his bat travels through the zone. He loads well with his hands as a timing and propeling mechanism, beginning high and bringing them down to create his swinging motion. As he follows, he rotates his core to create torque. This leads to power stemming from all points in his body and puts a thud behind the ball in a line drive swing.

There is concern that Sanger's swing could get lengthy due to the timing mechanism and his hands creating too much time in his swing, but it hasn't proved to be a problem yet. He also has average bat speed, but with a heavier wooden bat, it's something worth watching to see if power and a lengthened swing will become a problem in the future. For the time being though, Sanger rarely misses the ball and creates optimal contact, getting the barrel of the bat to the ball with ease.

Sanger's approach at the plate is outstanding, being very patient in finding his pitch. He has good pitch recognition, which he'll need to keep his advanced approach competitive against aggressive pitchers as he progresses to higher levels in the minors. Though, with the approach, Sanger is a great student in the art of hitting and should excel as he progresses. He has good confidence in the box, which is evident when stepping in, and has no fear of going deep into counts or working from behind if necessary. He expands the zone with his keen eye and uses strong hand-eye coordination to make even better contact.

As a strong student in hitting, Sanger knows where to put the ball, when to swing away and when to pull. The biggest concerns rise in if his swing will get too long against high velocity and aggressive pitchers, as well as if power will stay with just average bat speed. Regardless, Sanger is a pure hitter and with strong study of his swing and pitchers could become a consistent threat to hit at every level of the minors and into Major League Baseball.

When Sanger began his collegiate career, he was recognized as one of the top prep shortstops in the state. He was soon moved around though, as his range was questioned, and after some stints at second base was put in the corner outfield. He has enough arm to play up and keep runners honest, and isn't much of a liability in the field, but isn't premier by any standard. He does have the versatility of maybe moving around from second base to third and the corner outfield spots, but his bat will carry him.

Sanger shows good athleticism though, which will help in the field and on the base paths. He's quick on his feet and shows good enough speed to play in the field and keep him as a threat on the base paths. He doesn't make mistakes on the paths, and has a strong mentality of when to go and when not to go when trying to steal. In short, Sanger is about as much of a "sure thing" as can be.

VIDEO : Minor League Baseball

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

After breaking multiple school records in high school, Sanger put together three very strong years at Florida Atlantic. While at FAU, Sanger never hit below .332 and never held an OPS under .891. In his three years and 161 games, he finished with a .351/.462/.505 slash with 37 doubles, 10 triples, 11 home runs, 137 runs scored, 102 RBI and 13 stolen bases. He became the first player in FAU school history to earn Conference-USA Player of the Year honors after hitting .372/.491/.583 slash - yes, he nearly reached in 50% of plate appearances - along with 20 doubles and six home runs.

Last season, Sanger put together a strong second half to finish the year batting .300/.420/.456 with 20 doubles, four home runs, 45 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. In his final 40 games, Sanger hit .357 with a 1.043 OPS, collecting 16 of his 20 doubles on the season, while walking 35 times and striking out just 19 in 179 plate appearances. In those final 40 games, Sanger reached base in all but three games and had multiple hits in 12.

 photo Brendon Sanger_HeatMap_zpszj50gu7y.png
 photo chart 18_zpsq6nvqxvg.jpeg


EXPECTED FUTURE:

Sanger came on very strong in the second half of last season, and proved he's beyond the talent of Rookie Ball. This should mean an obvious promotion to Single-A next season, but it is likely undertermined whether that will be Burlington or Inland Empire. Spring Training will be the tale-tell sign as to his landing place.

There should be steady progression for Sanger, meaning his ETA to the Majors should be around 2019. Many feel that even at his floor, Sanger is a fourth outfielder, which leads his ceiling to be much, much higher. His abilities at the plate speak for themselves, and with improvement in his all around game, Sanger could become a quality Major League player.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



Inside The Halos Top Stories