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Angels add Marsh, Rodriguez to 40-man

@RhettBollinger
November 20, 2020

ANAHEIM -- The Angels added top prospects Brandon Marsh and Chris Rodriguez to their 40-man roster before Friday's deadline, which means they can’t be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 10. The club now has 38 players on its 40-man roster. It was an easy decision to add

ANAHEIM -- The Angels added top prospects Brandon Marsh and Chris Rodriguez to their 40-man roster before Friday's deadline, which means they can’t be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 10. The club now has 38 players on its 40-man roster.

It was an easy decision to add the duo, which is highly regarded by the organization. Marsh is the club’s No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, while Rodriguez is ranked No. 6. Both are considered close to the Majors and trained at the club’s alternate training site in Long Beach, Calif., during the 2020 season.

The Halos also decided not to protect seven players ranked among their Top 30 Prospects: lefty Packy Naughton (No. 12), right-hander Jose Soriano (No. 13), right-hander Oliver Ortega (No. 17), shortstop Livan Soto (No. 19), outfielder Orlando Martinez (No. 23), infielder Kevin Maitan (No. 24) and shortstop Leonardo Rivas (No. 26). All are now eligible to be selected by other clubs in the Rule 5 Draft.

Players who signed at age 18 or younger must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons of their signing date or become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older must be protected within four seasons. For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2016 -- assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 5 of that year -- has to be protected. A college player taken in the '17 Draft is in the same position.

Marsh, 22, is incredibly athletic and can play all three outfield positions. He slashed .300/.383/.428 with seven homers, 21 doubles and 43 RBIs in 96 games with Double-A Mobile in 2019. The left-handed batter also hit .328/.387/.522 with two homers, five doubles and 11 RBIs in 19 games in the '19 Arizona Fall League.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Marsh was expected to open the year at Triple-A Salt Lake before the pandemic forced the cancellation of the Minor League season. He'll likely make his Major League debut at some point next season, joining former top prospect Jo Adell in the outfield. But Marsh has also been subject to trade rumors in recent years, as the club is desperate for pitching and outfield depth isn't a pressing need with veterans Mike Trout and Justin Upton also on the roster.

Rodriguez, 22, has struggled with injuries. He was limited to just three starts due to back issues in 2019, but his talent is undeniable and he's now fully healthy. He's posted a 4.75 ERA with 86 strikeouts over 77 2/3 innings in parts of three Minor League seasons and could make his debut as early as next season. Rodriguez made a solid impression at the club's alternate training site this season, and the Angels believe the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has the stuff and pitch mix to remain a starter.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.