New draftees bolster Angels' system

New draftees bolster Angels' system

KANSAS CITY -- The Angels' first two selections from the 2016 Draft are now among the top five prospects in their entire system, with first baseman Matt Thaiss ranked first and outfielder Brandon Marsh ranked fourth.

Outfielder Jahmai Jones and catcher Taylor Ward, the top two picks from the 2015 Draft, are now second and third, respectively, in the Angels' Top 30 Prospects list.

The ranking of baseball's top prospects is done by Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status are eligible for the list. The rankings follow the Collective Bargaining Agreement guidelines for which players fall under the international pool money rules: Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.

The Angels, still with the consensus worst prospect base in the industry, don't have any players listed among the Top 100 in the game. Their rankings speak to a system that is in dire need of replenishment through the Draft, with five of their top six prospects -- and 10 of their top 20 -- taken over the past two summers.

Thaiss, a catcher at the University of Virginia, was selected 16th overall and was deemed "one of the top hitters in this year's Draft," according to Angels scouting director Ric Wilson. Marsh, an athletic high schooler who also played football, was taken 60th overall, but he is dealing with a stress reaction in his back that will keep him out until the start of next year's Spring Training.

Triple-A Salt Lake starting pitcher Nate Smith is ranked fifth, and 18-year-old shortstop Nonie Williams, a third-round pick in 2016, is sixth.

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.