MLB.com released their top 100 prospects list for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. The Angels have two of their own prospects on the list looking to break into the big leagues. Outfielder Jo Adell and right-handed pitcher Griffin Canning were the only Angels representatives on the MLB pipeline. The Angels farm system doesn’t have many players in the top 100, but they are a system that is trending in the right direction. GM Billy Eppler has made it very clear that he wants to not only build up the minor league system but also compete at the same time. Eppler has been very cautious when it comes to making trades at the big league level that include prospects in the same deal.
Adell is a player that every franchise would want in their minor league system. He has all the tools that teams look for when selecting a player in the draft. Adell proved to the Angels his ability to hit, field and run, which paved his way through the minors ending his 2018 season in Double-A. Adell’s power has developed pretty fast for a 19-year-old and may even take another leap forward this season. Adell still has the ability to put some weight on, as he currently sits at 208 pounds. If he puts on another 10 pounds of muscle his power may take his home run total from 20 to the 25-30 range.
He will begin spring training with the big league club and look to break through by getting playing time in right field. The Angels haven’t had a prospect ranked inside the top 10 since Mike Trout was in 2012. Adell is the closest prospect the Angels have had to reaching the top 10. His bat really plays well, and if it continues to develop in the Angels minor league system he may get an opportunity to share the outfield with Justin Upton and Mike Trout. The Angels are in need of a leadoff hitter to set the table ahead of Mike Trout, Adell could be the answer in the leadoff spot as a long-term solution.
Canning is a young-talented arm that came out of the highly regarded UCLA program. He was drafted by the Angels as a second-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. Since then, Canning has flown through the minor league system finishing his first season in the minors at Class (AAA) Salt Lake City. In Canning’s season through Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A, he had a 4-3 record, 3.65 ERA, with 125 strikeouts through 113 1/3 innings. His ERA was inflated at the Triple-A level, where he has a 5.49 with the Salt Lake City Bees.
Canning has a fastball that sits mid 90’s and has a four-pitch mix that consists of a curveball, slider and changeup. His command is further along than most minor league pitchers. With great command of his pitches, it also helps him produce ground ball outs and keep the ball from leaving the park. Canning was awarded an invitation to big-league camp for spring training. With the invitation to big-league camp, he will still likely start the season back in Triple-A where he scuffled late last season. Once he bounces back to his original form the Angels might not have a choice but to bring him up once he produces at every level he’s pitched at.
Where do they rank on the top 100 list?
Jo Adell comes in at No. 14 and the sixth best outfielder on the list. He only has two seasons under his belt after entering the draft straight out of high school. The five-tool outfielder is already ahead of schedule and should continue to rise through the Angels system as he grows into his body. A big benefit of Adell’s ability is how he can spray the ball to all ends of the field.
Griffin Canning listed at No. 63 on the list. He would be ranked higher based off of his successful season last year, but his body of work isn’t much to go off of. Just one season in the minor leagues already lands him on the top 100 list, so after the 2019 season, it shouldn’t be any surprise if Canning is one of the top pitchers in Triple-A.
(Top photo: Donn Paris/Four Seam Images)