Angels Top Prospects

Who Are the Los Angeles Angels’ Top Prospects Heading into 2024? finally revealed its rankings for each team’s top 30 prospects. Unsurprisingly, the Los Angeles Angels have one of the lowest-ranked farm systems in all of baseball again, a label that the team seems unable to shed, regardless of who’s running the front office. Also, the Angels aren’t viewed as a playoff team, and some seem to believe they might finish with fewer than 70 wins.

But Spring Training is in full swing, and there’s no shortage of optimism at this point in the calendar. The Halos have some intriguing young players, both on the major league roster and in the minors, and prospect rankings are anything but a sure thing. So, Angels fans would sure love to see the team’s prospects prove people wrong. In this piece, we will dive into the Angels’ top 10 prospects according to, and highlight some of their key stats and skills.

Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Prospects

10. Jack Kochanowicz – RHP

Age: 23; 6’7, 228 lbs; Bats: L, Throws: R; ETA: 2024

The Angels drafted Kochanowicz in the third round of the 2019 Draft out of high school, and were very high on his upside, as they gave him $1.25 million to sign. He spent 2021-2022 at Single-A Inland Empire and had a 5.95 ERA in 37 games. The 6’7 starter made it to Double-A in 2023, pitching 70.1 innings and accumulating a 1.46 WHIP and 6.53 ERA.

He turned 23 in December and is still young enough to reach his potential, but 2024 will be an important year for him. His best pitch is his fastball, which averages 95 mph and can top out at 99 mph. His two off-speed pitches, a slider and changeup, are still in need of work.

9. Joswa Lugo – SS

Age: 17; 6’3, 187 lbs; Bats: R, Throws: R; ETA: 2029

Lugo signed with the Halos for $2.3 million during the 2024 international signing period; he was the 37th-ranked prospect in that class. He just turned 17 in January, meaning he still has multiple years before he should even be considered for the 40-man roster.

It seems like scouts like his raw power more than the rest of his tools, although he doesn’t sacrifice contact to get to his power. He has a decent glove, and depending on how he develops, he could move over to third base instead of shortstop.

8. Dario Laverde – C

Age: 19; 5’10, 160 lbs; Bats: L, Throws: R; ETA: 2027

Laverde is LA’s top-ranked catching prospect and he’s been with the organization for two years, after signing as an international free agent in 2022 for $350,000. He’s played two seasons in the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Complex League, batting .302 in 88 games between his two stops. He also sports a very impressive 50:49 strikeout-to-walk ratio, highlighting his plate discipline. He figures to add some muscle to his frame, which should make his inherent power more accessible. His arm is ahead of his fielding skills as a catcher, but he’s still young and should develop as he plays more.

7. Denzer Guzman – SS

Age: 20; 6’1, 180 lbs; Bats: R, Throws: R; ETA: 2026

As the 28th-ranked international prospect in 2021, Denzer Guzman signed with the Angels for $2 million. He made it to Single-A in 2022 and then spent all of last year at that level, playing in 111 games and slashing .239/.309/.371 for the 66ers. His strikeout numbers were alarming last year (he struck out 131 times in 426 at-bats), so he’ll certainly need to work on his swing decisions as he develops.

He’s only hit 13 home runs in three years in the minors, although if he keeps growing and putting on muscle, he might be able to add some pop. But given his current power numbers, he profiles more as an average defensive shortstop instead of a mashing third baseman.

6. Barrett Kent – RHP

Age: 19; 6’4, 215 lbs; Bats: R, Throws: R; ETA: 2027

The Angels’ sixth-ranked prospect is Barrett Kent, who was drafted out of Pottsboro High School in Texas in the eighth round of the 2023 MLB Draft. He appeared briefly in the minors last year, pitching in three games between the ACL and Single-A. His best and most consistent pitch right now is his fastball, which averages about 93 mph and can reach as high as 96. He also throws three off-speed pitches: slider, curveball, and changeup.

At just 19 years old, Kent still has a ways to go in his development. But, if he can be more consistent with his fastball velocity and find a go-to secondary pitch, he can develop into a solid starter.

5. Ben Joyce – RHP

Age: 23; 6’5, 225 lbs; Bats: R, Throws: R; ETA: 2023

Many Angels fans will be familiar with the flamethrower known as Ben Joyce. The Halos drafted the former Tennessee Volunteer in the third round of the 2022 Draft. He made his major league debut in 2023 but then missed three months with ulnar neuritis (a nerve issue in the arm). He also had Tommy John surgery in college, so if he can make it through the entire season unscathed, that would be a pretty successful season.

It’s no secret that Joyce’s fastball is his premier pitch; he was clocked at 105 mph in college and consistently sits at 100 now. Other than injuries, Joyce’s other problem has been controlling his fastball and slider/sweeper. In 12 MLB games last year, he pitched ten innings, striking out 10 and walking nine. The Angels would love for Joyce to pitch in late-inning situations this year and beyond, but at the very least, he needs to stay healthy and improve his command.

4. Kyren Paris – SS/2B

Age: 22; 6’0, 180 lbs; Bats: R, Throws: R; ETA: 2024

Paris was drafted in the second round of the 2019 Draft and made his debut with the Angels in 2023. He only had 40 at-bats in 15 games and had just a .100 average. But he’s still young and will probably start the season in the minors. That said, he will also certainly play in the majors again this year (whether due to injuries or poor performances) and can fill in at shortstop, second base, or even the outfield. He’s a good athlete and collected 44 bags during his time in Double-A last year.

He’ll certainly need to improve with his bat though. In 2023, he had a .393 OBP in 113 Double-A games but also struck out 151 times. It may be as simple as being more aggressive with his swing choices, but Paris needs to do more damage with the bat in his hands.

3. Caden Dana – RHP

Age: 20; 6’4, 215 lbs; Bats: L, Throws: R; ETA: 2026

The Angels’ best pitching prospect is the 20-year-old Caden Dana who appeared in both Single-A and High-A last season. He was drafted in 2022 in the 11th round and was given a sizable signing bonus of $1.5 million. Between both his minor league stints last year, he started 14 games and had a 3.56 ERA and 89:30 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He was also invited to minor league camp this year and has appeared in three games thus far.

He’s still a few years away from being MLB-ready, but he uses up to for pitches and his fastball can top out at 96 mph. Dana’s slider is his next best pitch and he works in a curve and changeup. Expect to see an uptick in innings this year as he works to increase arm stamina and arm strength.

2. Nelson Rada – OF

Age: 18; 5’10, 160 lbs; Bats: L, Throws: L; ETA: 2026

Rada probably has the highest ceiling of anyone in the Angels’ system. He’s just 18 and was signed during the 2022 international signing period as the 28th-best prospect in the class. In 50 games in the Dominican League in 2022, he slashed .311/.446/.439 with 12 doubles and 27 stolen bases. He excelled again in 2023 in Single-A, slashing .276/.395/.346, and led the league in steals with 55.

He has good discipline and walks at a good clip, but hasn’t shown a lot of power yet, although he still has plenty of time to add muscle. He is also a good defender in center field and could be Mike Trout’s heir apparent. He isn’t ready for the majors yet, but the Angels may have found a gem in Rada.

1. Nolan Schanuel – 1B

Age: 22; 6’4, 220 lbs; Bats: L, Throws: R; ETA: 2024

Much has been written and talked about in Halos circles regarding first baseman Nolan Schanuel. He was drafted 11th overall in 2023 and debuted just a few months later. He reached base safely in all 29 games he played in and finished with more walks than strikeouts.

He obviously has a great eye and a very solid hit tool, so 2024 will be about finding more power for Schanuel. He has a large frame that should lead to more power and hard-hit balls than he’s produced thus far, but this will be his first full MLB season. So, given more experience in big-league pitching, he will hopefully hit a few more doubles and homers this year.

Main Image:  Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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