The Angels announced today that they’ve claimed infielder Nolan Fontana off waivers from the Astros and designated catcher Juan Graterol for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Fontana, 25, long rated as one of Houston’s top prospects but has seen his stock decline steadily in recent seasons. Baseball America rated him 29th among Astros farmhands last winter, and by midseason, he’d fallen off MLB.com’s top 30 Astros prospects entirely. The former second-round pick batted a combined .203/.282/.273 in 451 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A this year. While the ’Stros once hoped that he could eventually man an up-the-middle infield spot, BA noted last winter that his ceiling now looked to be a utility infielder who draws plenty of walks but has bottom-of-the-scale power. BA did note that Fontana is a reliable defender at second base, even if he lacks the range or arm to handle shortstop on a regular basis. Fontana did hit .241/.369/.357 in a full season at Triple-A in 2015, so he does at least have a history of somewhat better performance at that level.
Graterol, 27, made his Major League debut and tallied 15 PAs with the Halos this past season. The former Royals farmhand spent the 2015 season in the Yankees organization before inking a minors pact with the Halos last offseason. He’s a career .274/.306/.338 hitter in parts of three seasons (95 games) at the Triple-A level.
Had decent obp, low average, and versatile
He never whiffed the 25 man, so it’s not a surprise move
Mariners: Claim Graterol, DFA Sucre. 2 option guy to increase flexibility with great MiLB track record
Another waiver claim by the halos that will likely wind up in their top ten-fifteen prospect list.
Meanwhile the A’s are sitting comfortably in last place, forcing them to trade Gray
Hey now, just two years ago we were dominating the AL. You angel fans always bring up 2014.
The angels are in a good position where their farm system is so bad they can claim other teams misfits. Give them a chance to turn around into a real player. Angels fan should laugh at the A’s because they might be the worst team in baseball next year.
Lol. How does having the worst farm system in baseball put the Angels in a good position?
They don’t have many players to protect. They can sit in waiting while teams with good farm system must drop players to get under 40 man limit.
RyÅn W Krol
Top prospects aren’t always protected and the Angels are taking advantage of that. Plus, a farm system is only one of several ways to build a contender.
Haha so true!
The Angels organization will fix him! NOT.
Anyone seen enough of Graterol t0 comment on his defense? Does Graterol field, frame, and/or call a game well enough be a major-league backup for a season or two?
He frames pretty well. I would say he is depth or backup on a rebuilding club
I find it interesting how many claims the Angels make, just lets you know how bottom-light (opposite of top.heavy) they are all the way through their whole minors.
I mean they can’t possibly be bad forever, Trout is like 2 superstars or 3 borderline all stars’ production added up into 1 player. Itd take some pretty big incompetence to not be able to form a 80 win team (before adding trouts’ 7-9 wins onto the 80 wins) with that sorta budget an a likely increasing of the 189 max payroll b4 penalties. I mean id rather see the best player on the planet play in meaningful games instead of not, even if I despise the Angels as an opposing fan.
RyÅn W Krol
The Angels have been making these claims left and right all throughout the Scioscia era and have gained a reputation in that time for taking other teams’ failed prospects and maximizing their value through giving them more specific roles, even if it only lasts for a short time. That’s where the David Ecksteins, the Brendan Donnellys, and the Collin Cowgills came from. And of course right now it is definitely an indication of the state of their farm system, but it’s also a good situation for them to take advantage of clubs having to make a decision to leave certain top prospects unprotected. It’s a sneaky way that they can improve their farm system rather quickly. Jefry Marte was a good example of this in 2016.