MADISON, Alabama — After a dominant start to the 2023 season for the Rocket City Trash Pandas, infielder Zach Neto, the Los Angeles Angels’ No. 2 prospect, has been promoted to the Los Angeles Angels. Neto will make his MLB debut tonight at Fenway Park, batting eighth and playing shortstop when the Angels battle the Boston Red Sox.
Neto will become the 17th former Trash Pandas player to make his MLB debut and the first to do so during the 2023 season. When Neto debuts for the Angels tonight, he will become the first player selected in the 2022 draft to reach the big leagues.
Drafted by the Angels in the first round with the 13th overall pick in the 2022 draft, Neto starred during his brief time in the Rocket City. In 2022, joined the Trash Pandas on August 9 and was among the best players in the Southern League for the remainder of the season. In 30 games, he batted .320 with four home runs, 23 RBI, and eight stolen bases. He posted at least one hit in 24 of his 30 regular season games for the Trash Pandas.
In the playoffs, Neto doubled on the first postseason pitch in Trash Pandas history on September 20 at Tennessee. Two days later, he hit the first playoff home run in Toyota Field history, a game-tying solo homer in the first inning.
In 2023, Neto spent his first professional spring training at big league camp, batting .261 in 16 Cactus League games for the Angels. He returned to the Trash Pandas and was brilliant over the season’s first week. In seven games, Neto batted .444 with three home runs, 10 RBI, and three stolen bases, adding 10 runs.
This week’s series in Birmingham has been especially stellar for Neto, who began it with his first career four-hit game including a leadoff home run in Tuesday’s 9-2 win. Last night, Neto hit two home runs and drove in five for his first career multi-home run game.
Neto, 22, is originally from Miami, Florida where he starred at Miami Coral Park Senior High School as both a pitcher and a hitter. He then played three college seasons for Campbell University and became the highest draft pick in school history with the Angels’ selection last year.