The Angels plan to promote middle infield prospect Kyren Paris from Double-A Rocket City, reports Taylor Blake Ward of the Sporting Tribune (on Twitter). He’ll take one of a number of open roster spots for the Halos.
Paris, whom Baseball America recently ranked the #5 prospect in the Angels’ system, was a second round pick out of a Bay Area high school in 2019. He has been among the better prospects in the organization since then even though the canceled 2020 minor league campaign combined with hamate and leg fractures to keep him from playing regularly until 2022.
The righty-swinging infielder spent most of last season in High-A, where he hit .229/.345/.387 over 89 contests. The Angels bumped him to Double-A late in the year. He has spent all of 2023 in Rocket City, putting up a .255/.393/.417 batting line through 514 trips to the plate. It’s a solid showing for a 21-year-old overall, although Paris’ profile is fairly volatile.
Prospect evaluators praise his athleticism and plus speed. Paris has stolen 44 bases and been caught just five times this year. He has connected on 14 home runs, 23 doubles and a triple despite a fairly slight 6’0″ frame. Scouting reports raise questions about whether he has the arm strength to stick on the left side of the infield but suggest he could be a good defensive second baseman.
At the same time, there are questions about Paris’ inconsistency making contact. He’s striking out at a near-30% clip in the minors. His youth and lack of professional experience have surely played a role, but Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs wrote in June that Paris is always likely to have well below-average contact skills because of middling bat control.
Even for an organization that is very aggressive about promoting prospects, jumping Paris past Triple-A when he’s striking out so frequently in Double-A is a surprising decision. He’ll likely have some growing pains in his initial look at big league pitching. The Angels are content to live with potential early struggles to get Paris some experience as they close out another disappointing season.
Paris could step in as the primary shortstop with Zach Neto on the injured list. The Halos have been playing Luis Rengifo there. The utilityman is capable of moving around the diamond and could see increased outfield reps after Hunter Renfroe was moved on waivers.
Also taking a 40-man roster spot is right-hander Davis Daniel. The Angels reinstated him from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Triple-A Salt Lake this afternoon. Daniel has missed the entire season with a shoulder strain. He was called to the majors for a point last summer but has yet to make his MLB debut. Los Angeles still has three open 40-man spots.