The Angels announced Friday that they’ve selected two of their top prospects to the 40-man roster: outfielder Brandon Marsh and righty Chris Rodriguez. Both would’ve otherwise been eligible for selection in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The Angels’ roster is now up to 38 players.
Marsh, 22, has been considered the Angels’ best prospect behind Jo Adell for some time now. The 2016 second-rounder spent the 2019 season in Double-A, where he posted a hearty .300/.383/.428 clip in an overwhelmingly pitcher-friendly setting — good for a 137 wRC+. He entered the 2020 season as a consensus Top 100 prospect and still holds that designation, ranking 30th at FanGraphs, 38th at Baseball America and 73rd at MLB.com. He draws praise for plus speed, a plus arm and plenty of range to play center field, although he obviously won’t be manning that position for the Halos. Marsh also draws good marks for raw power that he’s yet to tap into, as well as an above-average hit tool. There was never any doubt that he’d be protected from Rule 5 status.
Rodriguez’s selection to the roster is similarly unsurprising. Although the 2016 fourth-rounder has barely pitched since 2017 due to a back injury that eventually required surgery, FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen writes that when healthy, Rodriguez has better stuff than any pitcher in the Angels’ farm system. He’s pitched just 77 2/3 frames since being drafted and has a lackluster 4.75 ERA to show for it, but scouting reports on Rodriguez praise him for possessing a true four-pitch mix, including a plus heater and a pair of potentially plus breaking balls, as well as the command to locate that arsenal.