Once upon a time Mike Trout was a top prospect of the Los Angeles Angels. Now he’s undoubtedly one of the best hitters in baseball and a perennial MVP candidate. He’s also stuck on a team that has not enjoyed success over the years Trout has been in the big leagues. The Angels have made the playoffs just once since Trout debuted in the bigs and still have yet to even win a playoff game(they were swept by the Royals). The team has yet to put a team around Trout capable enough to contend for a World Series, let alone a trip to the playoffs.
The Angels must put a winning team around Trout if they want him to stick around and even if he decides to be a lifelong Angel by signing another extension, the team needs to stop wasting his prime years by putting a team that’s barely capable of making the playoffs at best. That’s the reality that Trout is facing. One positive that perhaps could help the Angels is that there are prospects that could help the team in the next couple of years that could either somewhat soften the blow that the team would take in the event that Trout would leave in free agency after the 2020 season or could help convince Trout that these players can put this team in a better position to make the playoffs. Let’s take a look at prospects the team could see debut while the Mike Trout era continues in Los Angeles:
According to MLB.com, Adell is the 15th best prospect overall in the game and has the potential to be a perennial all-star in his big league career. He reached the Double-A level late in 2018 and will most likely begin there in 2019. A big season could make the 19-year old Adell ready for the 2020 season when Trout is still with the team.
While an above average prospect and potentially ready by 2019, Canning will probably take some time before he establishes himself as the mid-level starter that he’s expected to be. Expect him to be another prospect that will make an impact in 2020.
The pattern here continues, Marsh may not be ready until 2020. Regardless, he’s another above average prospect that has the potential to make an impact in the Angels outfield both defensively and offensively once he’s ready.
Second baseman Jahmai Jones and First baseman Matt Thaiss are much closer to big league readiness and could very well make their way to the bigs next season. MLB.com has Jones ranked as the 5th best second base prospect in the game and Thaiss the fourth best first base prospect in the game with both coming with an above average hit tool.
Angels GM Billy Eppler has done a nice job building a better farm system over the past few years and while none of them will come close to matching Trout’s ability on the field, they could either help keep Trout around by making strong debuts or once again somewhat help soften the potential blow the team would take in losing Trout.
And it’s of course mentioning what a speculative trade package that would bring the Angels in return in the event of a Mike Trout trade if the team would even be willing to listen to offers for the face of the franchise and one of the faces of the entire league.