Many roster crunches have taken place across baseball today in anticipation of the 5 PM deadline for teams to add players to their 40 man rosters.
Most moves are minor transactions or obvious moves but a few big ones have stood out, including former #1 pick Mark Appel being designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the Angels, their moves were rather straight forward. They added 4 key prospects to their 40 man roster, deeming them unattainable for other teams.
Jaime Barria and Michael Hermosillo were obvious picks, given their upside potential and their proximity to the majors. Jake Jewell and Jesus Castillo were less obvious selections but they seemed likely for similar reasons as the other two players.
Jaime Barria burst onto the scene with a monster 2017 season, throwing 141.2 innings across 3 levels with a 2.80 ERA. He struck out 117 batters while walking just 31, displaying plus command his arsenal. Barria is only 20 years old, is poised beyond belief and is already physically mature for his age. With a plus fastball(92-94 mph) and change up along with a strong slider and developing curveball, there is a clear package for a legitimate starting pitcher here. Any improvements in 2018 will likely put Barria on top 100 prospect lists and, more importantly, land him in the Angels MLB rotation. Barria is personally the #3 Angels prospect on my list.
Michael Hermosillo, like Barria, has blossomed in the past few seasons and finds himself as a potential 4th outfield option in Anaheim as soon as 2018. Hermosillo hit .267/.366/.397 with 9 home runs and 35 stolen bases across 3 levels, finishing off in AAA Salt Lake. The former 28th round pick is extremely athletic, makes hard contact, runs well and handles himself well at all 3 outfield positions. He has less upside than his outfield counterparts(Jahmai Jones, Jordon Adell, Brandon Marsh) but his floor and proximity to the big leagues makes him an intriguing option. With Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun in the fold, Hermosillo likely profiles as a bench piece when he first arrives. Hermosillo ranks #10 on my prospect list.
Jake Jewell doesn’t get recognized in an improving Angels system but he has quality reliever written all over him. His 4.54 ERA and 96:44 strikeout/walk ratio in 140.2 innings in 2017 doesn’t scream a legit prospect but his stuff is good enough to pitch in the majors. Jewell has a heavy fastball that he can sink(91-95 mph) or cut(87-91) while also throwing a quality slider. In short stints, many scouts believe he can excel in a relief role. Jewell ranks #12 on my prospect list.
Jesus Castillo is much less flashy than these other 3 players but his results have been great since being acquired for Joe Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. Castillo had a 3.43 ERA in 124.2 innings in 2017 while striking out 118 and walking just 26 batters. Castillo commands his 90-92 mph fastball very well along with an average changeup and mixes in a useful curveball. Castillo is a little behind these other 3 players in upside and proximity to the majors but he could be a real rotation option in 2019. He’s #20 on my prospect list.
With these additions, the Angels 40 man roster currently sits at 36 players. Any more transactions will be periodically updated here as they occur.