Who are next Angels prospects to shine?

October 9th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger’s Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ANAHEIM -- The Angels saw several of their youngsters make an impact in the Majors this season, including catcher Logan O’Hoppe, shortstop Zach Neto, first baseman Nolan Schanuel, right-hander Chase Silseth and reliever José Soriano.

And several of their other prospects got their first taste of the Majors, such as outfielder Jordyn Adams, infielder Kyren Paris and relievers Ben Joyce, Sam Bachman, Kelvin Caceres and Victor Mederos. But their already thin farm system also took a hit when they traded away several of their top prospects at the Trade Deadline, especially in their trade for White Sox pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López, when they sent away catcher Edgar Quero and lefty Ky Bush.

The Angels, though, are aggressive by nature and are especially that way with their prospects, as evidenced by how quickly players such as Silseth, Bachman, Joyce, Neto, Mederos and Schanuel reached the big leagues after being drafted.

Here’s a look at how their farm system stands after the 2023 season and who could make an impact next season:

3 players who forced their way onto the radar this year

RHP Caden Dana

Dana, ranked as the club’s No. 2 prospect, posted a combined 3.56 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings across Single-A Inland Empire and High-A Tri-City. Dana, 19, has the look of a frontline starter and was one of the youngest players to reach the High-A level this season. But he made his final start of the season on July 15, when he was dealing with general fatigue and the organization was watching his workload.

OF Nelson Rada

Rada, the club’s No. 3 prospect, had a breakout season at Inland Empire, slashing .276/.395/.346 with two homers, 13 doubles, six triples and 55 stolen bases in 115 games. Rada, 18, projects to be an above-average defensive center fielder and a prototypical leadoff hitter who knows how to use his speed on the basepaths.

RHP Jorge Marcheco

Marcheco, ranked as the club’s No. 11 prospect, posted a 4.06 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 93 innings with Inland Empire before getting promoted to Tri-City, where he excelled with a 1.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. Marcheco, 21, has the pitch mix to remain a starter but doesn’t have overwhelming stuff.

2 possible breakout players to watch in 2024

RHP Ben Joyce

Joyce got his first taste of the Majors in 2023, posting a 5.40 ERA with 10 strikeouts and nine walks in 10 innings. The 23-year-old dealt with ulnar neuritis in his right elbow in June but finished the season healthy. Joyce, ranked as the club’s No. 7 prospect, has elite stuff, his fastball averaged 100.9 mph and he is expected to be a key reliever in the bullpen next year.

RHP Kelvin Caceres

Caceres, 23, started the season at Tri-City but made his way to the Majors as a September callup. He had a 4.12 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings across three levels, including a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings at Triple-A Salt Lake. Caceres, ranked as the club’s No. 24 prospect, could be a factor in the Angels’ bullpen next season, much like Soriano was this season.

1 big question for next season

Can Schanuel win the AL Rookie of the Year Award?

Despite being called up just 40 days after being drafted, Schanuel fared well with the Angels, slashing .275/.402/.330 with one homer, three doubles and six RBIs in 29 games. He reached base safely in all 29 of those games, which is tied for the third-longest such streak to open a career in AL/NL history, and walked 20 times compared to 19 strikeouts. Schanuel, ranked as their No. 1 prospect, needs to show more power to be a serious contender for the award but the 21-year-old has elite bat-to-ball skills.