Angels hope their prospects will soar in 2015

Catcher Bandy, third baseman Kubitza look to make their mark for the Halos

Angels hope their prospects will soar in 2015

ANAHEIM -- The Angels' offseason has been mostly about adding layers of depth to their farm system with the hope of making them a more sustainable winner.

In tune with that, the third of a seven-part preview series looks at the prospects to watch in Spring Training, with all except the first one working out in Major League camp this year.

SS Roberto Baldoquin: The Angels got the 20-year-old Cuban infielder with an $8 million signing bonus, which ended up being about a $15 million commitment due to the dollar-for-dollar tax overage. They like his ceiling, but they also believe his floor is high. He'll be in Minor League camp this spring, is expected to spend most of 2015 in Double-A and projects to take over for Erick Aybar at shortstop in 2017.

Top Prospects: Baldoquin, LAA

C Jett Bandy: The 24-year-old is 6-foot-4, but he moves well behind the plate, has a good arm -- he threw out 40 percent of would-be base stealers in Double-A last year -- and pitchers love throwing to him. Bandy's bat finally came around a little bit last year, with a .250/.348/.413 slash line, and he's a dark-horse candidate to win a job as the Angels' backup catcher this spring.

RHP Cam Bedrosian: Bedrosian, ranked No. 9 in the Angels' system by, torched through the Minors last year and wound up debuting in the Majors at age 22. He struggled in the big leagues, giving up 17 runs (14 earned) in 19 1/3 innings. But he has the bulldog mentality and the stuff -- high-90s fastball, sweeping slider, developing curve -- to eventually succeed. He'll probably get another shot this year.

RHP Trevor Gott: The Angels got Gott in the July 2014 trade that saw them send four prospects to the Padres for closer Huston Street. Gott finished the season with a 1.56 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings in the Angels' Double-A affiliate. The 22-year-old right-hander throws his fastball mostly in the 93-mph range and backs it with a slurvy slider. If he can command that slider better, or get more comfortable with a changeup, he can develop into a solid back-end reliever.

3B Kyle Kubitza: Promising 17-year-old pitching prospect Ricardo Sanchez was sent to the Braves on Jan. 8 because the Angels needed someone to take over at third base once David Freese hits the free-agent market after this season. The Angels are hoping Kubitza can be that guy. Kubitza is a 24-year-old left-handed hitter who took a big step forward by batting .295/.405/.470 in Double-A last year. He has a good eye at the plate and a line-drive approach, with soft hands and a strong throwing arm at the hot corner.

Kubitza excited to join Halos

RHP Danny Reynolds: The Angels protected Reynolds from exposure in the Rule 5 Draft this offseason after a promising move from starter to reliever in 2014. The 23-year-old right-hander posted a 2.90 ERA in 42 appearances out of the bullpen last year, adding a 1.24 WHIP while striking out 9.1 batters per nine innings at three levels. As a reliever, his fastball can reach triple digits.

RHP Drew Rucinski: The 26-year-old right-hander went undrafted out of Ohio State University in 2011 and was pitching in the independent Frontier League when the Angels picked him up late in 2013. Rucinski then went 10-6 with a 3.16 ERA in Double-A Arkansas in 2014, a year that also saw him make three appearances in the big leagues. He creates deception with a herky-jerky delivery, throws his fastball in the 91-94-mph range and uses a splitter as an out pitch.

LHP Nate Smith: Taken in the eighth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, Smith has posted a 3.18 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in the Angels system, walking 3.0 batters per nine innings and striking out 8.8. The 23-year-old left-hander barely touches 90 mph with his fastball, but he's a pretty consistent strike thrower with good feel for a changeup.

SS Eric Stamets: Stamets is one of the top defensive shortstops in the Minors and is deemed perhaps the best athlete in the Angels' system, but he needs to make strides with the bat. The 23-year-old right-handed hitter saw his batting average (.281 to .235), on-base percentage (.335 to .293) and slugging percentage (.375 to .314) drop precipitously when he jumped from Class A Advanced to Double-A in 2014.

2B Alex Yarbrough: The hard-nosed, 23-year-old switch-hitter ranks No. 11 in the Angels' system and could be on the doorstep to the Majors now that Howie Kendrick is with the Dodgers. Yarbrough's numbers fell off a little bit in Double-A last year, but he still posted a .285/.321/.397 slash line. He needs to cut down on his strikeouts -- Yarbrough struck out 124 times in 136 games last year -- and still has improvements to make defensively.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.