Saturday, December 29, 2007


Former Top Prospect, 2B Howie Kendrick

Though there have been some disappointments (Dallas McPherson and Jeff Mathis to name two recent examples), the Angels continue to be a team mindful of the value of player development. We don’t expect that to change much at all with the power shift this off-season from Bill Stoneman to Tony Reagins. One could even make the argument that with Reagins’ background in player development, that he would be the best determiner of whom to deal (if any) among the team’s stable of young talent. Stoneman often received criticism in the media and especially among Angels’ fans for being gun-shy in pulling trades that could have potentially resulted in a longer playoff run. While we laud Stoneman for not dealing the likes of Brandon Wood and Jered Weaver for that “quick fix”, sometimes you have to know when a guy’s value is at its peak (i.e. Mathis circa 2005) and pull the trigger.

Whether the “keep all the prospects and hope some turn out” approach continues under Reagins remains to be seen. What is clear is that this Angels organization has done a commendable job in building from within. If you look the club’s roster, 3 out of the 5 spots in the rotation and the top two relievers are home-grown while Torii Hunter, Vlad Guerrero, and Gary Matthews Jr. are the only free agents in the team’s “current” starting lineup. An enviable track record indeed.

Switching over to the current state of the farm system, it’s hard to say this year’s prospect lists measures up to what the organization has been used to recently. However, that’s primarily due to the defections of guys like Weaver, Kotchman, and Kendrick to the big league roster, with Aybar, Willits and Morales not qualifying as well. Nothing wrong with that, but there are a bevy of prospects that could potentially (but wait, don’t ALL prospects have “potential”?) move up and make the current incarnation of the Angels’ Top 50 look a little deeper. Guys like Jordan Walden and Sean O’Sullivan have the potential to move quickly and be Top 100 overall prospects by this time next year, though you know the drill with the risk inherent in teenage pitching prospects. To this author, Nick Adenhart and Brandon Wood ranks a clear 1-2, though even Wood has slipped a little lately (.272/.338/.497 in the PCL just isn’t that spectacular). It’s a system with a lot to prove and while there is some depth, Angels fans want to see a couple guys step up this year to the Adenhart/Wood level.

- Foreword by David Regan, Rotowire.com writer


It's that time of year again when Angelswin.com releases it's Top Prospects List. This year, we've gone from a Top 20 list (2006) to a top 50, with scouting reports for the top 30.

Rather than release the entire list at one time, I'm going to post the scouting reports from the bottom to the top in a 3 week series which will conclude with the top 10 list (10-1) before the New Year.

Our top prospect list will include Major League Baseball player comparisons, stats, videos, photos (if available) and scouting reports provided by our Angelswin scouts, Eddie Bane & myself. Our rankings are based on ceiling, overall talent & tools, work ethic, age vs. league, 2007 performances and to some level, how quick their ascent to the big leagues may be.

While our prospect list is just a snapshot in time of how we see them ranked now, any of these prospects 1-50 could move significantly up or down the list during the 2008 season as they succeed or fail to reach their potential. Ultimately player performances are the true indicator of their worth to the big league club as potential will just get your name on one of these lists the first couple times out.

Some prospects take longer to reach the big leagues, but their determination and hard work is what ultimately gets them to the show. See Nathan Haynes for an example! It wasn't his potential that finally got him a promotion to the big league club in '07. Nathan earned it with a .386 BA, .462 OBP at Salt Lake (Triple-A) while his speed on the bases and defense in the outfield was an asset to the Angels.

Well let's get on to the list, though with rumors swirling around about a potential blockbuster deal that could see one if not two or three of the prospects in this list gone in another week or two, we're posting our rankings now before their is a possible zip code change.

- Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Senior Editor


Angelswin.com #1 Prospect Nick Adenhart
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'3" 185 lbs. DOB: 8/24/1986
Arkansas (Double-A): 10-8 3.65 ERA, 116 strikeouts, 65 walks

Scouting Report: Nick did a fantastic job as a 20-year old at Double-A Arkansas, posting an ERA that was 5th in the league (3.65) despite going through a tough stretch that saw his ERA bloat nearly 2 runs after a month of struggles in late May and into June that eventually landed him on the DL with a sore shoulder. A nice comeback in July (posted a 2.92 ERA), Adenhart's inconsistency and command issues reared its ugly head again as he was pounded in August at the tune of a 5.01 ERA, while hitting 8 batters. He finished 5th in the Texas League in most walks given up (65 walks).

Be that as it may, when everything is working right for Adenhart he profiles as a top of the rotation starter touching 95-96 MPH with his fastball, a hard biting curveball that generates ugly swings and a changeup, all of which profile as above average offerings. Adenhart's delivery is smooth, though he needs to use his lower half more as his mechanics get out of whack at times which throws off his command and increases his pitch counts, a big bug-a-boo for him in '07. Nick tries to be too fine with his pitches and aim his offerings rather than trying to make the hitter make contact.

Adenhart's 1.45 GO/AO ratio and low home run totals (1 every 21.9 inn) were also an indication that he needs to trust his stuff more and let the hitter go after his stuff rather than trying to spot the corners. Nick's demeanor on the mound is somewhat detached with the batter at the plate and game around him, but that bodes well for handling pressure packed situations and staying away from big innings in the future. Nick needs to hold runners better as he allowed 21 out of 29 base runners to take an extra bag off him.

Nick is a young pup as he'll enter 2008 in Salt Lake, just 21-years old and if he refines his command and lowers his pitch count, he'll be dominate, possibly pushing Joe Saunders & Ervin Santana for the 5th spot in the rotation at some point in the season. More than likely however, the Angels will keep Adenhart in Triple-A for the season and hope he can continue to progress and most importantly, stay healthy. Look for Adenhart to start the 2009 season in the Angels rotation.

MLB Player Comparison: Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Roy Halladay

2.) Brandon Wood, (3B/SS)
Wood.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'3" 185 lbs. DOB: 3/2/1985
Salt Lake (Triple-A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .272-.338-.497


Scouting Report: One could easily argue that Brandon Wood deserves the #1 spot, and if their was a way to share the spot, I'd do it, but no knock on Brandon who would be No. 1 on most other teams' prospect lists. It's really just a testament of how well Tony Reagins, Eddie Bane & Co. have done with drafting and developing as a collective group.

One has to wonder what totals Wood would have if he didn't get recalled 3 times to the parent club in '07, seeing just 21 sporadic at bats before September. Brandon is a legitimate power hitter that can hit the ball out of any ball park and to all fields, though he did have trouble going the other way, pulling off the ball on the outer half. His extra-bases were down in '07 after leading the minors in two straight seasons, failing also to post a .500 slugging pct. in what is an extreme hitter's league & park in Salt Lake. Wood needs to improve his discipline at the plate as opposing pitchers took advantage of his over-aggressiveness which had him fanning once every 3.6 at bats. Though he did match his breakout season in '05 in his walk-strikeout ratio (.38).

Wood was shifted to third-base at the start of the season and he made a seamless transition. Wood has a strong arm, soft hands and has slightly above average range. Though he profiles well at the hot corner, their is no doubt he could be a solid shortstop in the big leagues defensively. Would has some speed, though just a tick above average, but enough to steal 15-25 bases annually down the road.

With the recent backlog of outfielders, infielders and Figgins' anchored at the hot corner, one has to wonder just what is in store for Brandon Wood in the near and long term future. If I was a betting man I'd say he's going to give Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis a run for their money in Spring Training for the SS gig. If he doesn't win that outright a move back to Salt Lake for a half a season to improve his overall skills at the plate wouldn't hurt and is what most likely will happen, forcing the Angels to sort it all out and find a permanent spot for Wood long term.

MLB Comparison: Troy Glaus, Cal Ripken

3.) Hank Conger, (C)
Conger.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Both Throws: Right 6'0" 205 lbs. DOB: 1/29/1988
Cedar Rapids (Low-A) AVG-OBP-SLG: .295-.336-.477


Scouting Report: Conger battled injuries that have slowed his development, suffering a broken hamate bone in his right hand in his pro debut, sapping his power in '07, followed by missing 6 weeks mid-season with a lower back problem, followed by a hamstring injury entering fall ball. Be that as it may, the Angels have themselves a legitimate switch-hitting power threat from the catching position, which is a rare find.

Conger despite the injuries, finished 3rd in slugging pct. in the Midwest League, though he didn't have enough at bats to actually qualify due to the time he missed with injuries. An offensive minded catcher, Conger profiles to hit for power in the big leagues from both sides of the plate. Hank makes hard contact to all fields with an aggressive approach at the plate. Conger is a below average runner, but you wouldn't call him Bengie Molina either.

His critics are split with the talk if he'll remain at the catching position, as he possesses a strong arm, but he threw out just 21% of basestealers. He's not quick around the dish so he must continue to stay in shape and keep his weight in check if he wants to stay behind the plate entering the big leagues. Conger has however been praised for his ability to call a good game.

Look for 2008 to be a breakout season for Hank as the So. California (Huntington Beach) native will begin the season in Rancho (High-A), and if he should stay healthy, look for some impressive offensive totals across the board for Hank "Money in the Bank" Conger.

MLB Player Comparison: Ted Simmons, Thurman Munson, Jorge Posada

4.) Sean O'Sullivan, (SP)
OSullivan.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'1" 220 lbs. DOB: 9/1/1987
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 10-7 2.22 ERA, 125 strikeouts 40 walks
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Scouting Report: The Angels were pleased with O'Sullivan's 2007 in so much that they tabbed him as their minor league pitcher of the ear. O'Sullivan had a microscopic ERA of 2.22 in the Midwest League, winning his second ERA title in consecutive seasons' (2.14 ERA in Rookie Ball in '06).

Despite being one of the youngest hurlers in the league, O'Sullivan looks like a veteran on the hill as he pounds the strike zone with a low 90's sinker, a slider with heavy action and a changeup that projects to be an above average pitch. His fastball is usually in the 91-93 MPH range, but he commands it very well on both sides of the plate. Sean's 6-1, 220 pound frame will need to be kept in check as he'll need to work hard at staying in shape so that can continue to go deep into games and avoid injuries, which he has been able to do thus far.

Look for O'Sullivan to begin the season in Rancho Cucamonga and look to capture what could be his 3rd straight ERA title. Sean has the stuff and makeup to do it in what is an extreme hitters' league, much like fellow Angels prospect did with similar stuff in Brok Butcher.

MLB Player Comparison: Fausto Carmona, Derek Lowe

5.) Jordan Walden, (SP)
Walden_Jordansmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'5" 225 lbs. DOB: 11/16/1987
Orem (Rookie-A): 1-1 3.08 ERA, 63 strikeouts 17 walks


Scouting Report: The Angels much like they did with Adenhart and on a lesser extend with 3rd round draft-and-follow O'Sullivan, got a steal in Jordan Walden who slipped to the 12th round as a draft-and-follow pick by the Angels for $1 million. Tabbed by Baseball America in January of 2006 as the best high school prospect in the nation entering the draft, his velocity dropped into the 87-89 MPH range as did questions surrounding his signability, so the Angels signed Jordan a day before being eligible to go back into the 2007 draft.

According to an observer, writer of the Deseret Morning News, Scott Mansch, after witnessing Walden in 8 innings shut down the Great Falls White Sox, dueling pitcher of the year Aaron Poreda, in game 2 of the best-of-three Pioneer Championship League Series while fanning 10 batters and pitching inside effectively, Walden showed he can pitch under pressure and reminded Scott of a former CY Young pitcher and future Hall of Famer. -"The righthander who resembles Roger Clemens when he steps into the windup, threw 110 pitches in a dominant performance, using a fastball that has been clocked in triple digits." -That is some high praise for the young hurler who has also been compared to post-season dominate, Josh Beckett in a past SI column.

Equipped with a fastball the he works in the 94-97 MPH range, Walden as mentioned has registered 100+ on the radar gun in the past, hitting 98 MPH late in the game in that dominant championship game performance of his. Walden also throws an above average slider that generates whiffs and his changeup is improving. Jordan battled mechanical issues on the mound at the start of the season and at times struggled later on, though he really had everything working down the stretch as he worked out all of the mechanical kinks.

Walden, who helped Orem win their third straight championship in the Pioneer League, thrives pitching in big games. He shouldn't find it difficult finding himself in some important games for the contending Los Angeles Angels in 2-3 years. Walden will most likely start the season in Low-A Ball for the Kernels, but a mid-season promotion to Rancho Cucamonga isn't out of the question if he continues to flash that front-line starter potential.

MLB Player Comparison: Brad Penny, Josh Beckett

6.) Matt Sweeney, (3B)
Sweeney.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Left Throws: Right 6'3" 210 lbs. DOB: 4/4/1988
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .260-.324-.458

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Scouting Report: The 6'3, 210 lb Matt Sweeney resembles former top prospect, recently let go Dallas McPherson in physical presence and power coming from the hot corner. The Angels hope that injuries don't derail this youngster's career much like Dallas' stint with the Halos. The left-handed hitting Sweeney pounded out 18 HR's, clubbed 29 doubles in just 439 at bats in '07, though he missed some time due to injuries but came back to finish the last 10 weeks of the season on a high note after a slow start.

Sweeney projects to hit for power down the road, he has a classic power hitters' swing that generates a lot of topspin. Playing in a league (Mid-West League) that featured some talented arms, Sweeney held his own as one of the youngest players in the league. One of those arms Matt faced was the Dodgers top prospect, Clayton Kershaw and Matt greeted him in the 2nd inning of the MWL All-Star Game with a towering home run off the talented southpaw.

Matt's defense improved over his '06 campaign with the Kernels, though his footwork and accuracy of his throws will need improvement, part of which lead to 28 errors in 2007. Matt has a strong arm and with continued improvement at the hot corner, he should have no problem sticking at the position. Sweeney has average speed, but good range to his left and right at the hot corner.

Look for Sweeney to take advantage of the friendly parks in the California League in '08, as he's ticketed for Rancho Cucamonga. A field of players that should make So. California resident Angels fans to take the trip down to see Sweeney and gang in '08.

MLB Player Comparison: Robin Ventura

7.) Peter Bourjos, (CF)
Bourjos.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'1" 175 lbs. DOB: 3/31/1987
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .274-.335-.426

Scouting Report: Eddie Bane calls Bourjos the most athletic and fastest player in the system, showing a strong 4-tools now, with the hitting aspect of his game improving. Bourjos had his season cut in half with injuries, but finished the latter season on with positive results. Peter profiles ahead of two other toolsy outfielders in Pettit and Evans due to age and overall ceiling. Bane (director of scouting) just loves talking about this kid and says that once he learns how to steal bases with more effectiveness, he can be a strong base-stealer for the Angels in their aggressive style of Baseball.

Bourjos makes hard, solid contact, creating a different sound off his bat. Lashed 9 doubles, 7 triples and 5 home runs in just 237 at bats in '07, while stealing 19 out 28 tries. Profiles to hit more home runs as he fills out, Bourjos could provide Torii Hunter type power, but with Juan Pierre type SB numbers while roaming center field for the Angels in 3 years, a move that would shift Hunter to a corner spot at that time.

Flashes a strong arm and takes good routes to the ball in centerfield, Bourjos has the makings of being a gold glove caliber CF in the future with continued improvement. Ticketed for a return to Cedar Rapids, with the possibility of a Rancho Cucamonga start to the season, Bourjos is hopeful of staying injury free and definitely one to keep an eye on as he's one of the most exciting players to watch in the minor leagues.

MLB Player Comparison: Torii Hunter, Alex Rios

8.) Nick Green, (SP)
Green.jpg Green picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'4" 200 lbs. DOB: 8/20/1984
Arkansas (Double-A): 10-8 3.68 ERA, 107 strikeouts 32walks

Scouting Report: Repeating Double-A Arkansas Nick Green finished 6th the League with a 3.68, limiting opponents to a .243 average, resulting in being named to the Texas League All-Star Roster. Green also led the league in innings pitched (178.1), something the Angels hope can carry over to the big leagues.

Green's fastball reaches the low 90's, but he generally works in the 87-89 mph range for the majority of the game, right now. Showed good command and a improving curve-ball and slider sets up his out-pitch which is a plus changeup that is devastating on right-handed hitters, featuring a lot of late bite. Eddie Bane in our end of the season segment said Nick Green has an organizational best changeup.

Green has tremendous athleticism and strength, and he fields his position very well. Green also holds runners effectively, allowing just 10 out of 19 would be base runners to steal a bag on him all season.

Nick heads to Salt Lake where the PCL can be brutal on fly ball pitchers, Green gave up 17 home runs in 2007, 4th highest in the Texas League, so he's going to need to keep the ball down in order to succeed. Green profiles as a good middle of the rotation to back of the rotation starter in the big leagues. His work ethic, determination to learn and succeed bode well for his development. Green could be the first to get the call in case a starter goes down in '07 due to an injury if he continues to progress.

MLB Player Comparison: Freddy Garcia, Brad Radke

9.) Chris Pettit, (LF)
Pettit.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'0" 193 lbs. DOB: 8/15/1984
Cedar Rapids (Low-A) AVG-OBP-SLG: .346-.429-.579


Scouting Report: Like 10th ranked Terry Evans, not many people were familiar with Chris Pettit prior to the 2007 season, and all he did was lead the entire organization with a .327 average and 95 RBIs to go along with 18 homers. His 30 stolen bases ranked fourth in the system and showed that like Evans, he too has the tools to be productive outfielder in the big leagues down the road.

Their isn't a lot not to like about Pettit who slugged .538 between two levels, posting a .411 on-base pct. and clubbed 44 doubles. He showed a good approach at the plate walk 59 times, while fanning 89 times. Pettit also takes good routes to balls in the outfield, playing primarily in left and center field, his arm profiles as average which will most likely has him ticketed for left field down the road, especially with gold-glove centerfielder Torii Hunter roaming that area in the outfield for the next 5 years.

Pettit who tailed off towards the end of the season showed that he wore down, including his 7 games in the AFL where he hit only .182 before being shut down with a strained back. Look for Pettit to begin the season in Arkansas and get challenged by more experienced, more talented competition. The results at season end could illuminate stardom or role player down the road.

MLB Player Comparison: Aaron Rowand

10.) Terry Evans, (RF, CF)
TerryEvanssmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'3" 205 lbs. DOB: 1/19/1982
Salt Lake (Triple-A) AVG-OBP-SLG: .316-.352-.512

Scouting Report: Coming off an incredible minor league season in '06, the late bloomer Terry Evans' search to duplicate that campaign spun mixed results. Evans who came over in the mid-season deal involving Jeff Weaver showed extra base power clubbing 40 doubles, but with just 15 home runs in what is an extreme hitting friendly league. Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Tucson, Colorado Springs and home, Salt Lake, makes for some bloated numbers when everything is going right for a ball player in the PCL.

For Evans, he has 4 strong tools in that he can field his position well, flashes a strong arm (saw time in right and center field), good speed (24 SB's) & power to all fields. Terry however needs to tighten up his plate discipline at the plate, walked just 24 times in 120 games played, while whiffing 119 times. Hit .316 but he's still swinging at way too many pitches outside of the strike zone right now.

Terry could get another half a season in at Salt Lake to shore up his hitting skills and plate discipline as the Angels are deep in the outfield department with Guerrero, Hunter, Matthews, Anderson, Willits, Rivera, Morales saw some time there late in the season and Haynes, plus if the Angels acquire a third baseman, Figgins can play some outfield as well. Evans first major league hit was a home run in Anaheim in front of his dad and a big crowd. The Angels could hear some loud knocking at the door come mid-season if Evans continues to improve. Whether Evans turns out to be a productive starting outfielder in the major leagues' or a good 4th option off the bench is totally up to him, and at the age of 26, 2008 should could reveal what's in store for his future.

MLB Player Comparison: Reggie Sanders, Mike Cameron

11.) Sean Rodriguez, (SS, CF)
Rodriguez_Sean_March_29_20063.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'0" 190 lbs. DOB: 4/26/1985
Arkansas (Double-A) AVG-OBP-SLG: .254-.345-.423


Scouting Report: It would be hard for any player to duplicate the kind of season Sean Rodriguez had in 2006 when he led all minor league hitters in total bases with 291, hit a career high 29 home runs, 34 doubles while hitting for a combined .307 batting average between High-A & Double-A. Be that as it may, Sean had what was by some a disappointing follow up season where he hit just 17 home runs, hitting .254 while fanning 132 times.

Though Sean doesn't have one standout tool, he rates out as average across the board, with power being best. Sean also displays major league caliber baseball instincts. Quality person, always smiling, who has an excellent work ethic, Sean is an asset to any clubhouse and loves the game of Baseball being raised in a family of ball players (dad and brother).

Sean has a thick frame, thus his range is average at shortstop which may lead the club to start him in left field in '08 where he could hit 25-30+ HR's annually in the big leagues. Some scouts believe Sean has enough range and arm, with improved footwork to be an offensive minded SS however. Look for Sean to have a comeback season in 2008 and re-entrance into the top 10 list. Salt Lake + Rodriguez's power potential = getting back on the top prospect map for Sean.

MLB Player Comparison: Aaron Rowand, Jose Guillen (minus the-tude)

12.) Brok Butcher, (SP)
Butcher_Brok_August_8_20067.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'1" 210 lbs. DOB: 10/13/1983
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A) & Arkansas (Double-A): 6-9 3.36 ERA, 77 strikeouts, 35 walks


Scouting Report: While Brok's fastball velocity is only in the 87-91 range, though when he reaches back for something extra, he can hit 96 MPH, he has incredible command (just 35 walks in 139 2/3 innings). Brok throws a tremendous 2-seam fastball that runs all over the plate, gets a ton of ground balls with this pitch and his ball seems very heavy. Brok also throws a hard slider (79-86) and when his change-up is on it is un-hittable. Brok loves to compete and loves to win every time he takes the mound.

Brok who dominated in the heavy-hitting Cal-League, posting a 2.69 ERA in 15 starts while finishing in the top 10 with quality starts was promoted to Double-A in July where his first two games were shutout affairs, struggled in his next 4 starts when the Angels decided to end his season early with arm trouble, but he should be good to go in the spring.

MLB Player Comparison: Aaron Cook, Jon Garland

13.) Jeremy Moore, (RF)
Moore_Jeremysmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Left Throws: Right 6'1" 190 lbs. DOB: 6/29/1987
Orem Owlz (Short Season A Ball): AVG-OBP-SLG: .272-.329-.535


Scouting Report: Moore is a tremendous athlete who the Angels have high hopes for. Showing good power, above average speed and is a strong defender with a plus arm in the outfield, the Angels have a 4-tool stud in the making, with the remaining tool (hitting), to possibly come down the road. Jeremy hit 14 home runs and stole 17 bases while hitting .272 with the Orem Owlz. That's a 30/30 season in a full season of at bats for Moore.

Despite all the raw talent, Moore needs to make more consistent contact at the plate as he whiffed 68 times in 68 games, walking just 19 times. The Angels may send him to Cedar Rapids for 2008, giving them an athletic outfield of Fuller, Moore and either T. Johnson or S. Smith.

MLB Player Comparison: Corey Patterson, Steve Finley

14.) Hainley Statia, (SS)
Statia_Hainley_August_13_200657.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 5'10" 160 lbs. DOB: 1/19/1986
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .288-.344-379


Scouting Report: Hainley could start for a handful of Major League clubs right now if clubs were just looking for a speedy SS with tremendous defensive skills. Statia has all the tools on defensive that managers love. A strong arm, tremendous range to both sides of the field and most of all his head is always in the game showing Major League caliber instincts.

On offense Statia needs more time and needs to add some strength to his small but lanky frame. Statia can be vulnerable to good fastballs, but he does make good contact in the majority of his at bats. Statia has little to no power. While he showed good plate discipline with the Kernels in '06 he fell back a bit with the Quakes in terms of plate discipline. An above average runner, Statia should steal 25-35 bases in the big leagues. Look for Statia to get a full season with Travs in '08.

MLB Player Comparison: Adam Everett, Omar Vizquel

15.) Mason Tobin, (SP)
Tobin_Masonsmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'3" 210 lbs. DOB: 7/8/1987
Rookie Arizona Angels (Rookie Ball) & Orem Owlz (Short Season A Ball): 4-1 2.08 ERA, 55 strikeouts, 14 walks


Scouting Report: Eddie Bane had this to say about Mason Tobin - I will say that all scouting departments feel giddy about the guys they signed in the draft and we are no different. Mason Tobin is a RHP signed by Casey Harvie in the northwest. I do not know why the Braves did not sign him, but I am happy they did not. Body reminds of big league star, Kevin Brown. He has that kind of life on his fastball at up to 93-94. He completely dominated in Arizona and has not missed a beat in Orem where he and pitching coach Zeke Zimmerman got his breaking pitch on the same plane as his fastball.

Tobin pounds both sides of the strike-zone and has that bulldog mentality on the mound that scouts love, pounding hitters inside. Tobin throws effortlessly and has a bit of deception in his delivery which makes for a harder fastball than it really is to opposing hitters. His slider and change up show flashes of being an above average offering. Hitters hit .204 off him in '07.

Mason may skip Orem and head to Cedar Rapids giving them another solid rotation for the 3rd straight season.

MLB Player Comparison: Kevin Brown, Fausto Carmona

16.) Mark Trumbo, (1B)
Trumbo_Mark_September_7_200710.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'4" 220 lbs. DOB: 1/16/1986
Cedar Rapids (Low A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .272-.326-.427
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Scouting Report: Though it doesn't show during games yet (hit 14 HR's in '07), Trumbo has as much raw power if not more than any player in Baseball according to Eddie Bane. Repeating Low-A Ball Trumbo in 2007, Mark showed significant improvement over his 2006 campaign, especially making more consistent contact at the plate, seeing his batting average rise 52 points to .272. Trumbo runs well for a big guy!

Asked many times if the one-time pitcher from Villa Park High School would return to the mound again, Eddie Bane says not any time soon as they're happy with his progress both in the batters box and at 1B. If you're in So. California make sure you head out to Rancho Cucamonga to see Trumbo hit some big flys at the Epicenter as this could be a huge season for Mark. One that could see him in the top 10 in next years' list.

MLB Player Comparison: Richie Sexson, Troy Glaus

17.) Robert Fish, (SP)
Fish_Robertsmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Left Throws Left: Right 6'3" 185 lbs. DOB: 1/19/1988
Orem Owlz (Short Season A Ball) & Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): 3-5 3.38 ERA, 81 strikeouts, 35 walks


Scouting Report: Robert Fish struck out 13 batters in eight scoreless innings in a playoff game over the Idaho Falls club, allowing just two hits and one walk to help send Orem to the championship series. This is just a glimpse of what the future for the southpaw Fish, who also finished with a successful '07 finishing in a 3-way tie for strikeouts (77 in 72 innings), posting a solid ERA (3.27).

The 6-2, 215 lb southpaw shows solid velocity with his fastball (88-94 MPH), which looks harder to hit due to his delivery, causing deception. Fish shows a solid curveball & change up. If Fish improves the command of his secondary pitches while keeping his body in tip top shape he'll be poised for a solid '08 campaign in Cedar Rapids. Eddie Bane speaks very high of this kid so keep an eye on him in Cedar Rapids.

MLB Player Comparison: Dontrelle Willis, Sid Fernandez, Wilson Alvarez

18.) Rich Thompson, (RP)
RichThompson.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'3" 185 lbs. DOB: 7/1/1984
Arkansas (Double-A) & Salt Lake (Triple-A): 10-8 2.01 ERA, 85 strikeouts, 20 walks


Scouting Report: The Australian dominated two levels in '07 combining for a 2.01 ERA in 76 innings of work, fanning 85 overall. Thompson who rebounded from a an awful showing in '06 posting a 5.58 ERA saw his velocity spike upwards to 94 MPH, hitting in the low 90's consistently, which helped him setup his out-pitch, a hard curve that generates awful swings from opposing hitters.

Thompson got a look in September by the Angels and got knocked around pretty good, but it was only 4.1 innings of work. Look for Rich to get a look in Spring Training and if he impresses don't be surprised if he breaks camp with the club.

MLB Player Comparison: Tom Gordon


19.) Trevor Reckling, (SP)
Reckling_Trevorsmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Left Throws: Left 6'1" 195 lbs. DOB: 5/22/1989
Rookie Arizona Angels (Rookie Ball): 3-1 2.75 ERA, 55 strikeouts, 7 walks


Scouting Report: Scouting Director of the Angels Eddie Bane compared Trevor's curveball thrown left-handed to that of Barry Zito. That's some good company! Trevor fastball hits 88-90 on the radar gun now but scouts feel he'll throw with more velocity down the road. The projections for Reckling are there and though he's one of the youngest players in the Angels system the Angels feel that he'll move quickly. 55 K's in 36 innings in his debut after signing is a solid start to this young mans career. Keep an eye on this kids progress.

MLB Player Comparison: Barry Zito, David Wells

20.) Jeremy Haynes, (SP)
Haynes_Jeremy_August_14_200714.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'2" 180 lbs. DOB: 5/28/1986
Cedar Rapids (Low A): 5-6 3.06 ERA, 75 strikeouts, 41 walks

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Scouting Report: Selected by the Angels in the 37th round (1,123rd overall) of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College...previously selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 17th round (515th overall) of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Haynes started 14 games for the Orem Owlz in 2006 and posted a 2.76 ERA while fanning 68 batters in 58 2/3 innings, followed be another successful campaign in Cedar Rapids posting a 3.06 ERA in 19 starts for the Kernels.

Haynes throws a running 2-seamer with sink action in the high 80's, hitting 90-93 on occasion with his 4-seamer. He locates his fastball well. Shows a solid average slurve & an improving changeup. In 19 starts he gave up just 3 HR's. Haynes needs to command his secondary pitches a lot better if he's going to succeed at higher levels as he walked 41 batters in 94 innings.

The athletic Haynes fields his position well, proof of his college days where he played centerfield and pitched. In one game he went 2-3 at the plate and then came into the game to pitch 7 shutout innings.

Jeremy looks to join an elite group of starting pitchers headed to Rancho Cucamonga in 2008. Make sure you keep an eye on his progress as he's looking to put together what would be his 3rd consecutive quality season in the Angels organization.

MLB Player Comparison: Tom Gordon, Jason Jennings, Jake Westbrook

21.) Andrew Romine, (SS)
Romine_Andrewsmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 6'1" 180 lbs. DOB: 12/24/1985
Orem Owlz (Short Season A Ball): AVG-OBP-SLG: .286-.337-.429


Scouting Report: The Angels drafted Romine in the 5th round of the 2007 amateur draft and he had a solid debut with the Orem Owlz. The switch-hitting Romine is a defensive wizard at shortstop. He has incredible range, a strong and accurate arm and he makes the routine plays while showing some ESPN web gems along the way.

The question with Romine isn't and will never be his defense, but will he hit enough to reach the major leaguers. In his first professional season in the minors, Romine held his own hitting .286 with a .337 on-base pct. but hit just .188 with a .250 slugging pct. from the right-side of the plate. Andrew has enough pop to hit the gaps (hit 6 doubles, 6 triples and 5 home runs) but he might want to think about giving up switch hitting and stick to hitting from the left-side of the plate if he wants to advance quicker. Romine also has above average speed and runs the bases effectively.

MLB Player Comparison: Omar Vizquel, Yuinesky Betancourt, Jack Wilson

22.) Clayton Fuller, (CF)
Fuller_Claysmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 6'2" 180 lbs. DOB: 6/17/1987
Rookie Arizona Angels (Rookie League): AVG-OBP-SLG: .301-.398-.481


Scouting Report: Fuller learned how to switch-hit in his second season in Arizona Rookie Ball and it all came together for Clayton as he hit .301 & posted a .398 on-base pct. at the top of the order. Fuller a 4th round pick in 2005 showed scouts that he can be a top of the order asset in the future. His speed rates at the top of all Angels prospects, he's a real burner on the bases, stealing 21 bases while getting caught 6 times. The 6'2, 180 lb centerfielder is one of the best athletes in the system while displaying some pop hitting 5 HR's, 10 doubles and lashing 4 triples in just 183 at bats.

While his routes to the ball need some work and his arm is just average, he covers an incredible amount of ground in centerfield. Angelswin area scout, Phillip Richmond is licking his chops to see Clayton in Cedar Rapids in '08 as he'll team with 2 other toolsy outfielders in Stantrell Smith & Tyler Johnson who figure to repeat Low-A Ball.

MLB Player Comparison: Kenny Lofton, Reggie Willits

23.) Michael Anton, (SP)
michaelanton.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Left Throws: Left 6'3" 195 lbs. DOB: 4/3/1985
Rookie Arizona Angels (Rookie Ball) Orem Owlz (Short Season A Ball): 10-8 3.28 ERA, 89 strikeouts, 18 walks


Scouting Report: The Angels felt that got a good pick in the middle rounds with Anton. Drafted in the 12th round, Anton spent two seasons at Virgina Military Institute but he didn't pitch since '05 because of grades and an injury related to a December 2004 car accident.

Anton commands three pitches with his best offering his changeup which profiles as a plus pitch. The southpaw also shows a screwball that he can throw for strikes while getting opposing hitters to look bad chasing it outside of the strike zone. Anton fanned 89 hitters in 68 2/3 innings. His curveball is a solid offering as well. Anton's fastball is in the high 80's as of now but scouts feel the velocity will increase as he gains more strength and fills out. Keep an eye on Anton as this lefty has a chance to ascend to the bigs quickly.

MLB Player Comparison: John Franco, Fernando Valenzuela

24.) Jonathan Bachanov, (SP)
nophoto.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'4" 210 lbs. DOB: 1/30/1989
Did not play in 2007 due to injury

Scouting Report: The Angels 1st selection in the 2007 amateur draft, Bachanov is a big, strong right-hander who could have a commanding presence on the mound. Jon has two average or above pitches right now, with a fastball that has the chance to be a plus pitch. When he's balanced and in control, he's dominant. Bachanov can throw his fastball anywhere from 89 mph up to 96 mph. He pitches consistently in the 91-92 mph range. With improved mechanics, it will become a plus pitch. He has a late tail and nice downward plane on his fastball. His curve is more like a slurve and it's a plus pitch when it's on. Bachanov has a changeup, but it's behind the fastball and a breaking pitch at this point. He has a usable cutter.

Jon gets up on his toe a little bit in his delivery, which makes him come down off-balance. That forces him to lose pitches out of the strike zone and his command becomes inconsistent. When his mechanics and body are working well, he has good command. However, he gets off-balance at times and then has command issues. Bachanov doesn't always realize what kind of mound presence he could have with his size and stuff. Once he discovers that, he could become even better.

Bachanov is a relative latecomer to the "draft prospect" stage. It's clear he has some things to learn in terms of mechanics and mound presence, but the arm strength scouts love is definitely there. He has the chance to have a plus fastball to go along with a very good breaking ball. He may be a bit of a project, but it's there.

MLB Player Comparison: John Lackey

25.) Bobby Wilson, (C)
BobbyWilsonsmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'0" 220 lbs. DOB: 4/8/1983
Arkansas (Double-A) Salt Lake (Triple-A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .281-.343-.444


Scouting Report: Wilson is a defensive minded catcher much like Jose Molina, but unlike Jose in that he has more offensive upside. Wilson hit .281 between Double-A Arkansas & Triple-A Salt Lake, knocking out 9 home runs and 22 doubles in just 313 at bats. Wilson makes solid contact and also shows good patience at the plate, walking 30 times, while fanning 44 times posting a .343 on-base pct.

Wilson's defense is what may enable the Angels to trade Jeff Mathis this offseason as he's improved that facet of his game annually in the minors. Wilson shined in Double-A throwing out 48% of would be base stealers, though he didn't fare as well in Salt Lake throwing out just 23%. Wilson has a strong arm and calls a good game behind the plate, taking a page out of Jeff Mathis book. Unlike Mathis, Wilson isn't as athletic or mobile around the dish as Jeff but he continues to work hard at staying in shape.

Bobby was Casey Kotchman's teammate at Seminole High School in 2001 and hopes to be reunited with Casey out of spring training as the Angels primary backup catcher should the Angels deal Jeff Mathis this offseason.

MLB Player Comparison: Paul LoDuca

26.) Trevor Bell, (SP)
Bell_Trevor_August_30_20075.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Left Throws: Right 6'2" 180 lbs. DOB: 10/12/1986
Cedar Rapids (Low A): 8-4 4.14 ERA, 90 strikeouts, 23 walks

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Scouting Report: According to Eddie Bane, despite the mediocre results in Low-A Ball, Trevor Bell showed the kind of stuff that he did as an amateur, making him the Angels 1st round pick in 2005 draft. Bell finished the season in fine fashion notching 5 straight quality starts. Using a low to mid 90's fastball, Bell also flashes a solid curve and improving changeup. Command of his pitches will dictate how much success he has with the Quakes as he was prone to getting the ball up in the zone with the Kernels, resulting in a .292 BAA.

The grandson of Bozo the Clown will head home to High-A Ball in Rancho Cucamonga with Sean O'Sullivan, Jeremy Haynes, Tommy Mendoza & David Herndon, looking for some better weather and less game postponements to stay on a more consistent 4 days rest for the '08 season. His bulldog mentality on the mound should give him the mental edge to succeed at higher levels, but he must get the ball down and continue to pitch inside.

MLB Player Comparison: Kevin Millwood

27.) Ivan Contreras, (2B)
Contreras_Ivansmall.jpg picture by chuckster70
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 5'9" 155 lbs. DOB: 1/3/1987
Rookie Arizona Angels (Rookie Ball): AVG-OBP-SLG: .311-.353-.432

Scouting Report: Only 5'9 but has surprising power to the gaps, Contreras can square up balls, hitting .311 while leading the AZL in hits with 69. Contreras has above average speed and is aggressive both at the plate & on the bases.

Defensively Ivan has tremendous range from the 2B position while showing an accurate & strong arm. At the very worse he should be a solid infield utility player, but according to Baseball America, manager Ty Boykin says Ivan thinks he's Jose Reyes.

Possibly headed to Low-A Cedar Rapids, Contreras along with his double play counterpart Darwin Perez at SS, the tandem looks a lot like Erick Aybar & Alberto Callaspo coming up through Rookie Ball early on in their career.

MLB Player Comparison: Luis Castillo

28.) Ryan Mount, (2B)
Mount_Ryan_September_7_20074.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Left Throws: Right 6'1" 180 lbs. DOB: 8/17/1986
Cedar Rapids (Low A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .251-.320-.376

Scouting Report: Ryan Mount went from a lightly recruited high school player in the spring of 2005 to a second-round pick to the Angels. A left-handed hitting 2B, Mount started off the season battling a hamstring injury followed by a torn quad muscle which resulted in a poor start and just 315 at bats in 2007. Showed good plate discipline at Orem in 2006, but couldn't build upon that in '07, posting just a .325 OBP.

Ryan has some pop, but profiles to hit more doubles at higher levels, though he may enjoy a breakout season in terms of slugging pct. in the hitting friendly California League. Mount runs well, has average speed and moves well going into the hole, while showing a slightly above average arm. Profiles to be an adequate 2B with a chance to provide some offense along the way. Keep an eye on him in '08 as some project him to breakout.

MLB Player Comparison: Marcus Giles, Todd Walker (better D)

29.) Jose Arredondo, (RP)
Arredondo_Jose_March_24_20062.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'0" 175 lbs. DOB: 3/30/1984
Rancho (High-A) Arkansas (Double-A) & Salt Lake (Triple-A): 10-8 3.65 ERA, 63 strikeouts, 25 walks

Scouting Report: The Angels demoted the Travs closer Jose Arredondo after he stormed off the mound and avoided manager Bobby Magallanes during a bad relief outing on June 6. Jose was selected to the Texas League All-Star game, but never had a chance to participate in the event. Arredondo had a 2.52 ERA in 23 relief appearances for the Travs, notching 10 saves.

The demotion didn't seem to help his progress as he was lit up in the California League, the same league that he dominated the year before. Jose posted a 6.43 ERA while opponents hit .317 off him in 28 games. This is a clear sign of his inability to take heed to disciplinary actions and rebound, causing some concern for his ability to succeed as a future closer in pressure situations.

Be that as it may, the Angels feel they have a live arm that can shut the door down on opposing hitters late in the game. Arredondo flashes a mid 90's fastball that can reach 96-97 at times while throwing an average slider & changeup. His slider seemed to flatten out a bit in '07 which is the reason for his decrease in strikeouts from the year before, while his fastball command and decrease velocity with the Quakes was awful. Jose should get another try with the Travs in '08 if he's not included in any trades this offseason.

MLB Player Comparison: Felix Rodriguez, LaTroy Hawkins

30.) PJ Phillips, (SS)
Phillips_PJ_March_29_200624.jpg picture by cubsphill4
Bats: Right Throws: Right 6'3" 170 lbs. DOB: 9/23/1986
Cedar Rapids (Low A): AVG-OBP-SLG: .245-.283-.397
Watch Video

Scouting Report: P.J is the brother of the Reds 2B Brandon Phillips and possesses some of the same tools of his older brother. P.J. has above average speed, stole 34 bases while only being caught 4 times. His quickness also allows him to reach many balls to his left and right from the SS position, more on that later.

At the plate, P.J. shows a quick bat and has raw power that should see an increase in HR's as he learns to lay off bad pitches & hit offspeed stuff with more success. Phillips had an .OBP of .283 and walked just 15 times while he was sent back to the dugout whiffing, 154 times.

P.J.'s plate discipline isn't his only flaw as he was erratic in the field committing 40 errors over the course of the season. A handful of those errors were balls he got to in the hole only to make an errant throw, but he did botch quite a few routine plays as well. P.J. has a strong throwing arm.

2008 is a big season for P.J.'s development and with an improved defense at SS and better pitch recognition at the plate, with his raw tools (power & speed) he could shoot up the list like a rocket in our next prospect list heading into 2009.

MLB Player Comparison: Somewhere between Angel Berroa to Shawn Dunston with more speed than both


Just missed the top 30 (31-50)

31. Young-Il Jung (SP)
Bats: Left, Throws: Right 6'2", 180 lbs. DOB: 10/12/1988
2007 Season - Orem Owlz (rookie): 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 9 IP, 6 BB, 9 SO

32. Tommy Mendoza (SP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right: 6'2", 195 lbs. DOB: 08/18/1987
2007 Season - Arizona League and Cedar Rapids Kernels(Low A): 3-4, 4.45 ERA, 58.2 IP, 18 BB, 42 K

33. Ryan Brasier (RP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'0", 190 lbs. DOB 08/26/1987
2007 Season - Orem Owlz (rookie): 1-2, 2.08 ERA, 30.1 IP, 7 BB, 26 K

34. Anthony Ortega (SP)
Bats: Right, Throws, Right, 6'0", 170 lbs. DOB 08/24/1985
2007 Season - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (high A): 7-11, 4.02 ERA, 163.1 IP, 68 BB, 127 K

35. Stephen Marek (SP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'2", 200 lbs. DOB 09/3/1983
2007 Season - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (high A): 8-10, 4.30 ERA, 134.0 IP, 49 BB, 106 K

36. Miguel Gonzalez (SP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'1", 165 lbs. DOB 05/27/1984
2007 Season - Arkansas Travelers(AA): 8-4, 3.37 ERA, 130.2 IP, 42 BB, 81 K

37. Douglas Brandt (SP/RP)
Bats: Left, Throws: Left, 6'0", 205 lbs. DOB 10/23/1984
2007 Season - Cedar Rapids (low A), RCQ (High A), SLC (AAA): 5-3, 3.04 ERA, 106.2 IP, 31 BB, 115 K

38. Robert Mosebach (SP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'4", 195 lbs. DOB 09/14/1984
2007 Season - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes(high A), Arkansas Travelers(AA): 12-8, 4.35 ERA, 169.2 IP, 57 BB, 96 K

39. Darren O'Day (RP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Left, 6'4", 225 lbs. DOB 10/22/1982
2007 Season - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (high A), Arkansas Travelers (AA): 7-4, 2.53 ERA, 53.1 IP, 20 BB, 48 K

40. Freddy Sandoval (3B)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'2", 205 lbs. DOB 08/16/1982
2007 Season - Arkansas Travelers (AA): .305 AVG, 32 2B, 6 3B, 11 HR, 72 RBI, 67 BB, 78 K, 21 SB, .392/.468/.860

41. David Herndon (SP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'3", 230 lbs. DOB 09/04/1985
2007 Season - Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low A): 13-8, 4.02 ERA, 152.1 IP, 20 BB, 83 K

42. Matt Brown (3B)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'0", 200 lbs. DOB 08/08/1982
2007 Season - Salt Lake Bees (AAA): .276 AVG, 30 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 60 RBI, 45 BB, 106 K, .358/.509/.867

43. Angel Castillo (OF)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'3", 190 lbs. DOB 06/07/1989
2007 Season - Arizona Angels(Rookie): .252 AVG, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 119 AB, 5 SB, 19 BB, 39 K, .364/.403/.767

44. Seth Loman (1B)
Bats: Switch, Throws: Right, 6'3", 190 lbs. DOB 12/16/1985
2007 Season - Arizona Angels (Rookie): .323 AVG, 155 AB, 15 2B, 9 HR, 34 RBI, 29 BB, 69 K, .462/.606/1.069

45. Ben Johnson (C)
Bats: Switch, Throws: Right, 5'11", 205 lbs. DOB 10/17/1981
2007 Season - RCQ (High A), ARK (AA), SLC (AAA): .277 AVG, 22 2B, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 30 BB, 76 K, 14 SB, .351/.493/.843

46. Jay Brossman (3B)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'2", 210 lbs., DOB 01/17/1985
2007 Season - Orem Owlz (Rookie): .346 AVG, 272 AB, 14 2B, 7 HR, 44 RBI, 19 BB, 49 K, .388/.474/.862

47. Anthony Norman (OF)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'0", 185 lbs. DOB 10/20/1984
2007 Season - Arizona Angels (Rookie): .362 AVG, 174 AB, 4 2B, 10 3B, 0 HR, 33 RBI, 19 BB, 19 K, 12 SB, .440/.500/.940

48. Brad Coon (OF)
Bats: Left, Throws: Left, 6'0", 175 lbs. DOB 12/11/1982
2007 Season - RCQ (High A), ARK (AA): .276 AVG, 21 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 44 RBI, 44 BB, 84 K, 56 SB, .337/.362/.699

49. Timothy Schoeninger (SP)
Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6'2", 220 lbs. DOB 09/07/1984
2007 Season - Cedar Rapids (Low A), RCQ (High A): 15-6, 4.57 ERA, 147.2 IP, 28 BB, 121 K

50. Nate Boman (SP)
Bats: Left, Throws: Left, 5'11", 170 lbs. DOB 02/04/1985
Did not play in 2007 due to injury

Keep an eye on: Darwin Perez, Marco Albano, Daniel Davidson, Ryan Aldridge, Barret Browning, Felipe Arredondo, Hector Estrella, Gordon Gronkowski, Tyler Mann, Kelly Shearer, Rafael Rodriguez, Bobby Cassevah, Angel De Los Santos, Kevin Jepsen, Jeff Kennard, Kasey Olenberger, Fernando Rodriguez, Greg Porter, Drew Toussaint, Tyler Johnson, Michael Collins, Alex McRobbie & Blake Holler

Discuss the rankings of our prospect list

*Note - Eddie Bane had nothing to do with order and ranking of this prospect list, just provided his thoughts on these guys throughout the season and based on his reports & our own scouting we've proceeded to assemble this list by our own Angelswin.com staff.

On another note, our MLB Player Comparisons are just what we think the prospects ceiling will be as a major league baseball player in comparison to give our readers an idea of what these players could be like if they reach their potential after reaching the big leagues. Of course, they could fail to reach these comparisons or even exceed them as they look to improve their game and work hard to make it to the big dance.

Friday, December 28, 2007


By Eric Notti - Angelswin.com Feature Writer

Why isn’t one of the best pitchers of his era, and that spans 3 decades, Rik Aalbert Blyleven not in the Hall of Fame? Maybe, because the voting writers all know him as Bert, but don’t know a thing about him?

One of the digs is that he never made it to 300 wins and only recorded a .532 winning percentage. So how good could he be if he was just barely over even odds on the mound? He could just be one of the best.

He pitched for some truly miserable teams; the Twins organization that brought him to the majors were one only one of them. Only in 1970 (his rookie year), 1973 and 1988 did they have a better than .500 record when he pitched for them. In fact, let's look at the winning teams he pitched on and examine them closer.

As a rookie in 1970 Bert pitched in 27 games with a 10-9 record to go with a 3.18 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. He received no votes for ROY. The Twin however went on to win 96 games that year, finishing 1st in the AL West. The Rookie was just behind the veteran Jim Kaat for team lead in era, Katt posted a 3.04.

The Twins were swept in the playoffs by the Orioles; Blyleven only saw action as a stop gap in game 3 after Kaat had given up 5 in runs in 2 and 1/3 innings of work. Bert allowed only one unearned run (Kaats) and was replaced after 2 innings of work. The Twins second best pitcher never really had a chance to help them.

The next year Blyleven leads the team with a 2.81 era but ended up with a 16-15 record pitching 278 innings and striking out 224. Again, he received no award recognition, not one vote for the Cy Young. The Twins managed a paltry 89-82 record finishing 5th in the AL West.

The team didn’t get any better in 1972 putting up a 77-77 record with a 3rd place finish. Blyleven was 17-17 that year with a 2.73 era and again 287 inning pitched. In 1973 the Twins post an 86-76 record and still settle for third. Bert, as reliable as ever, posted his only 20 win season taking with him 17 losses. The team just cannot support his pitching, he ends the year pitching 325 innings and posting a 2.52 era with 258 strikeouts and one single vote for Cy Young.

In 1974 he drops back to a .500 pitcher, if you can possibly describe him as that, posting a 17-17 record with a 2.66 era. The Twins are a .500 team as well. The following year he posts his fewest wins since being a rookie with a 15-10 record and an era of 3.00.

In the 6 years since making the big leagues Bert Blyleven has pitched in 1,658 innings, has walked 403 and struck out 1,327 batters. His only year his ERA was above 3 was his Rookie year. He has pitched 115 complete games including 30 complete game shutouts.

He would be traded the next year to Texas, making him the best pitcher on their team with the worst record, posting a 9-11 win/loss in 24 games with a 2.76 ERA.

The following year 1977, the Texas Rangers record their first 90 win season with Blyleven again leading the team in ERA with a 2.72 and strikeouts with 182 but only recording a 14-12 record. The Rangers, then as now, never learned the value of pitching and sent Blyleven to Pittsburg in a 4 team deal which sent the Rangers back on the road to obscurity.

In Pittsburg it was more of the same for Blyleven, the best pitcher on the squad but only posting 14 wins his first year. In 1979 Blyleven has his worse statistical year of his career so far with a 12-5 record and a 6.60 record. For the first time in 7 years he does not lead his team in ERA and yet the Pirates provide enough punch to win 95 regular season games with no pitcher with a record better than 14 wins.

In the World Series Blyleven pitches 6 innings allowing the Orioles only 2 runs while uncharacteristically striking out only one batter, He does not get the win, it goes to the middle reliever Dave Robinson. The Pirates win 3-2 on 9th inning little ball. That would be Blyleven’s last World Series appearance for the next 8 years.

In 1980 Bert continues to struggle both in the win/loss category but also in ERA. Career lows and his first losing record, Blyleven’s ERA balloons to 3.82 and he only wins 7 while losing 10. His strike out totals drop to only 168 during the season and Pittsburg trades him after the season ends. His NL career consists of a steady decline in all statistical categories and a 34-28 record.

In 1981 it looks as though Blyleven was the same pitcher as the guy Pittsburg had traded, giving up 4 runs in the opener to lose to the Brewers 5-3. Then the young Blyleven appears in his second start and pitches a complete game shutout against the same Milwaukee team that roughed him up the first game. From there Blyleven goes on a 6 game winning streak but what is more impressive is that he pitches 6 complete games, one of them a 10 inning affair. He is again the best pitcher on a bad squad with a bad team surrounding him.

It looks as though Blyleven has transcended even being on a poor team and has become unstoppable, but all streaks end in baseball and sometimes have lasting effects. After starting 6-1, Blyleven takes a few losses in a row and never gets back that rhythm he started with. He ends the year missing all of July and a team leading record of 11-7 and a 2.88 ERA.

The innings, complete games and strikeout totals are taking its toll and 1982 sees him pitch in only 4 games, in 1983 only 24 with his ERA dangerously close to 4. He is 32 years old, has 12 years in the majors and looks to be done.

1984 starts with a rejuvenated Blyleven, he is able to go strong all year and racks up his second best career win/loss record at 19-7, returning also to an ERA under 3. His strikeout totals clearly not what he was capable of his first 7 years but still a respectable 170 in 245 innings pitched. He is by far the best pitcher on the staff but that is not saying much. No pitcher on the staff other than Bert has an ERA under 4.5. Again, his pitching is wasted on a team that finishes with a 75-87 record.

Mid season of 1985 Cleveland throws up the white flag and ships Blyleven back to Minnesota. The hapless Indians only mange 60 wins that year and even with a 3.16 era and 15 complete games including 4 complete game shutouts, Blyleven is only able to squeeze 9 wins out of Cleveland while being saddled with 11 losses. It is one of the most desperate stands since Custer at Little Bighorn, but this time it was too few Indians with any weapons. Mercifully he was traded to the Twins.

With an offense behind him Blyleven continued to pitch complete games but this time with a completely different result. In the final 14 games Bert completes 9 games including a complete game shutout and wins 9. He finishes the year 17-16, just barely above .500 but head and shoulders above nearly every other pitcher when it comes to innings pitched in lost causes.

In 1987 the Twins and Bert Blyleven return to the World Series. Blyleven’s beard has grown and so has his ERA to just over 4 but it still makes him the second best pitcher on the squad. His game 2 start is good enough to hold the Cardinals to 2 runs over 7 innings and leads the Twins to a 8-4 victory. Game 5 Blyleven would rather forget.

Cruising for 5 innings, the Cardinals leadoff the 6th with a single by Coleman. Ozzie Smith bunts Coleman to 2nd but Blyleven is unable to make the play from the mound and Smith is safe at 1st as well. Herr harmlessly flies out to left but then both Coleman and Smith take off and complete a double steal. From the dugout manager Tom Kelly calls for an intentional walk of Driessen. With bases leaded and 1 out Willie McGee stares at strike 3 and it looks like Blyleven and the Twins are out of trouble.

Curt Ford, with a totally unremarkable career, mainly a bench player, manages a single up the middle that scores Coleman and Smith. On the throw to home Driessen and Ford advanced putting them on 2nd and 3rd. Jose Oquendo, another player that is completely forgettable, haven driven in only 24 runners all season, manages to reach on an error by Shortstop Greg Gagne. The final insult to one of the worst luck pitchers in baseball. The Twins lose game 5 by the score of 4-2. When Blyleven left the mound the scoreboard still read zero for his run support. It would be the last World Series game he would pitch.

In 1988 again Blyleven looked as though his career was over. With the same Twins team behind him he had a miserable year with a 10-17 record and a career high 5.43 ERA. The Twins would come in second place to the A's for the American League West title. The following winter, 1989, the Angels trade for Blyleven. He is 38 years old, coming off his worst year, what could he provide the Angels?

After a disappointing loss in the playoffs to the Red Sox in 1986, the Angels shed most of the “Open Saddle Bag” players that had outlived their usefulness and contracts. By 1989 the Angels were a whole new team and with the rise of young arms from the minors, the Angels needed one veteran pitcher to solidify a very young pitching staff of Mike Witt, Kurt McCaskill, Jim Abbott and Chuck Finley.

Blyleven not only solidified the staff, he led them the only way he knew how by keeping his ERA totals the lowest on the team at 2.73, the most innings pitched at 241, throwing 8 complete games with 5 complete game shutouts, but this time placing second in strikeouts to the left hander Finley. Blyleven was able to win 17 games while only taking on 5 losses, the Angels looked like the team to beat.

However, winning 91 games was only good enough to place the Angels in 3rd place that year. They were 1 game behind the Royals but 9 games behind the Oakland A’s. What should have been a triumphant return to the playoffs turned out to be another waste of excellent pitching.

Blyleven would never have another good year in baseball. In 1990 he pitched in only 23 games going 8-7 with a 5.24 ERA. He missed all of 1991 and returned for his last year in 1992 where he went 8-12 with a 4.74 ERA, ranking him as the worst pitcher on the staff, with the fewest innings and strikeouts, Blyleven was finally done.

He played for far more losing teams than winners. He was almost always the best pitcher on the squad when healthy, racking up an amazing amount of innings pitched along with strikeouts considering his curveball, not an overpowering fastball, was his out pitch. In context of the pitchers of his time period He ranks No. 1 in complete games, No. 2 in shutouts (one behind Nolan Ryan), No. 2 in innings pitched (again trailing only Ryan), No. 5 in whiffs all time and No. 6 in wins.

Just to give you an idea of how luck has never been in his favor, Blyleven in 1984 was 3rd in balloting for the Cy Young Award. He had a record of 19-7, pitched 245 innings, and had 13 complete games, 8 in a row at the end of the season, with 4 shutouts, an ERA of 2.87 and a WHIP of 1.135. He lost out to Willie Hernandez, a relief pitcher.

In the end he was just a little better than a .500 pitcher and always better than just about anyone he was facing.

Brandon Webb - Arizona Diamondbacks

According to Dayn Perry at Fox Sports. Personally I think Lackey and Escobar at #7 is a joke, but click on the link at the bottom of this article to give your opinion on the rankings on our message board.

1. Arizona - Webb/Haren
2. Cleveland - Sabathia/Carmona
3. Minnesota - J. Santana/Liriano
4. San Diego - Peavy/Young
5. San Francisco - Cain/Lincecum
6. Los Angeles Dodgers - Penny/Billingsley
7. Los Angeles Angels - Lackey/Escobar
8. Philadelphia - Hamels/Myers
9. Tampa Bay - Kazmir/J. Shields
10. Atlanta - Smoltz/Hudson

Discuss the Perry's rankings here

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

According to Japanese Baseball Daily, the Angels signed son of former Yomiuri Reliever Mitsuo Sumi, Ikko Sumi who is a right-handed hitting 5'8" 187 pounder third baseman who slugged 30 Homers in High School; played in the Dominican Summer League after going undrafted by NPB Teams.

Sumi played with the Angels' Dominican Summer League team this summer, batting .176/.345/.231 with 1 HR and 7 RBI in 31 games and 91 ABs. He will join the Angels' minor league camp in Tempe next spring.

Monday, December 24, 2007



Angelswin.com and our entire staff wishes all of our readers, subscribers, members of our forum community & contributors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay safe and enjoy time with your loved ones, Halos Baseball is right around the corner.

While Arte Moreno & GM Tony Reagins appear to be done shopping this Holiday season, our own Jason Sinner says that this 2008 Angels club is better than the team that won it all in 2002 and likes our chances in 2008. Check out it out for yourself here

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


By Jason Sinner - Angelswin Columnist

We wanted Miguel Cabrera. It would have given every Halo fan that warm fuzzy feeling inside. We would have been able to say that we match up with the big boys......on paper. Maybe!Now we are left with debating the pros and cons of what we have or have not done. Many are left with the notion that regardless of whether we win the AL west, we will not stack up come playoff time. In a previous article, I hypothesized that if we could win it all with the team we had in 2002, then we could easily do the same in 2008, as we may in fact, have a better team than we did that year. The main counterpoint to that being the other 2008 teams are better equipped that those we faced in 2002. So I got to thinking, which is always dangerous. What's the real reason for the perceived inadequacy some harbor?

Let’s start with a side by side comparison of our playoff squads in the MS era:

Lineups

Year

2002 (99-63)

2004 (92-70)

2005 (95-67)

2007 (94-68)

2008

Lineup

Eck SS

Eck SS

Figgy 3b/2b/CF

Figgy 3b

Figgy 3b


Erstad CF

Figgy 3b

Erstad 1b

Cabrera SS

GMJ LF


Salmon RF

Vlad RF

Vlad RF

Vlad RF/DH

Vlad RF


Anderson LF

Anderson CF

Anderson LF/DH

Anderson DH/LF

Anderson DH


Glaus 3b

Guillen LF

Finley CF

GMJ CF

Hunter CF


Spezio 1b

Salmon DH

Cabrera SS

Kotch 1b

Kotch 1b


Fullmer DH

Erstad 1b

Molina C

Kendrick 2b

Kendrick 2b


Molina C

Molina C

DMAC/Rivera/JD

Napoli C

Napoli/Mathis C


Kennedy 2b

Kennedy 2b

Kennedy

Izzy/Willits DH/etc.

Aybar/Izzy SS

Runs

851

836

761

822

?????

*in 2004 we had Glaus at DH for 29 games but lost Guillen for the playoffs.

Pitching

Year

2002 (99-63)

2004 (92-70)

2005 (95-67)

2007 (94-68)

2008

Starters

Appier

Colon

Colon

Lackey

Lackey


Wash

Escobar

Lackey

Escobar

Escobar


Ortiz

Lackey

Byrd

Weaver

Weaver


Sele

Wash

Wash

Santana

Garland


Lackey

Sele

Santana

Colon

Saunders

Bullpen/6th

Schoeneweiss

Ortiz

Escobar

Saunders

Santana


Percy

Percy

Krod

Krod

Krod


Weber

Krod

Shields

Shields

Shields


Levine

Shields

Donnelley

Speier

Speier


Donnelley

Gregg

Yan

Oliver

Oliver


Pote

Donnelley

Greg

Boot

Moseley


Shields

Hensley

Peralta

Moseley

Boot


Cook

Weber

Woods

Carrasco

Bulger

Runs/ERA

644/3.69

734/4.28

643/3.68

731/4.23

????

From an offensive standpoint, Figgy and GMJ can easily equal that of Eck and Erstad. 3-4-5 hit 81hrs in 2002 and I think the 2008 version can come very close to that and hit for a higher AVG. 6-9 are pretty similar with the 2008 squad having a great deal more upside. Overall, the '08 team will have quite a bit more bench depth and the edge in speed. From a pitching standpoint, the 2008 starters are far more dominant 1-5 and a top 3 of Lackey/Escobar/Weaver would be a very strong playoff rotation. The 02 team has the bullpen edge although I think the 2007 pen underachieved and could certainly be quite a bit better in 08. Last years team dealt with a ton of injuries, but if the 08 team stays healthy as the 2002 team did, then watch out.

What about the competition in those years?

2002 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

2004 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

2005 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

2007 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

Halos (99-63) 851/644/3.69 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ANA/2002.shtml

Halos (92-70) 836/734/4.28 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ANA/2004.shtml

Halos (95-67) 761/643/3.68 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAA/2005.shtml

Halos (94-68) 822/731/4.23 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAA/2007.shtml

Oakland (103-59) 800/654/3.68 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/OAK/2002.shtml

BOS (98-64) 949/768/4.18 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2004.shtml

BOS (95-67) 910/805/4.74 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2005.shtml

BOS(96-66) 867/657/3.87 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2007.shtml

Yanks (103-58) 897/697/3.87 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2002.shtml

NYY (101-61) 897/808/4.69 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2004.shtml

NYY (95-67) 886/789/4.52 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2005.shtml

NYY (94-68) 968/777/4.49 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2007.shtml

Minnesota (94-67) 768/712/4.12 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2002.shtml

Minnesota (92-70) 780/715/4.03 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2004.shtml

CWS (99-63) 741/645/3.61 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/2005.shtml

CLE (96-66) 811/704/4.05 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CLE/2007.shtml


2008 outlook

Potential AL Playoff Teams

Halos

NYY

BOS

CLE

DET

Starters

Lackey

Escobar

Weaver

Garland

Saunders

Wang

Pettitte

Hughes

Chamberlain

Kennedy

Beckett

Schilling

Dicek

Lester

Wakefield

Sabathia

Carmona

Byrd

Westbrook

Laffey

Verlander

Rogers

Bonderman

Willis

Robertson

Bullpen

Krod

Shields

Speier

Oliver

Santana

Moseley

Rivera

Igawa

Farnsworth

Mussina

Proctor

Bruney

Papelbon

Okajima

Delcarmen

Lopez

Snyder

Timlin

Borowski

Bentancourt

Kobayashi

Fultz

Mastny

Lee

Jones

Rodney

Zumaya

Seay

Grilli

Byrdak

Lineup

Figgins 3b

GMJ LF

Vlad RF

Anderson DH

Hunter CF

Kotch 1b

Kendrick 2b

Napoli C

Aybar SS

Cabrera CF

Jeter SS

Abreu RF

Arod 3b

Giambi DH

Matsui LF

Posada C

Cano 2b

Mientkiewicz 1b

Pedroia 2b

Youklis 1b

Ortiz DH

Manny LF

Lowell 3b

Drew RF

Varitek C

Ellsbury CF

Lugo SS

Sizemore CF

Cabrera 2b

Hafner DH

Martinez C

Garko 1b

Peralta SS

Lofton LF

Gutierrez RF

Blake 3b

Granderson CF

Polanco 2b

Ordonez RF

Cabrera 3b

Sheffield DH

Guillen 1b

IRod C

Jones LF

Renteria SS

Bench

Morales

Rivera

Willits

Izturis

Mathis

Damon

Phillips

Molina

Cairo

Betemit

Cora

Crisp

Brown

Moss

Shoppach

Marte

Barfield

Michaels

Dellucci

Thames

Inge

Wilson

Rayburn

Infante

Keep in mind that I, personally, take nothing for granted. The team still has to go out and win. This is just a comparison based off of what we currently have on paper.

Going off the raw team numbers, the '02 team had a differential of over 200. Clearly the sign of a damn good team. That year the Yanks also had a similar differential and Oakland was solid top to bottom with a power filled lineup and real good pitching. The outlook for the above teams in '08 is similar. BOS, CLE, and NYY are similar to last years teams and therefore we can assume that on paper they will post a similar differential. Meaning near 200 runs for both NYY and BOS and about 100 for CLE. Last years DET team has made some offensive upgrades adding Cabrera, and Renteria, their pitching is slightly better with the addition of Dontrelle Willis and loss of Miller. They had a power packed offense last year that will likely be even better, but is that enough to turn a 90 run differential into near 200? I doubt it.

Come playoff time one of the above teams obviously cannot make it. The Halos, Boston, Cle and Det certainly have the edge in terms of starters, and the Halos and Boston have the bullpen edge. The Yanks and Det are the offensive minded teams. So let's play a little more 'what if'. What if we perform where I think we can in 2008. None of the above teams are head and shoulders above the Halos, and they are certainly not apples and oranges compared to the playoff teams of 2002.

Now let's tackle the real reason why there is the perception that we are a tier below any of those teams mentioned. It's the giant pink elephant in the middle of the room. The Boston Red Sox! That's right, I said it. The only time we develop a sudden inferiority complex is when our arch nemesis has a team good enough to make the playoffs. Our franchise has made the playoffs 7 times in their 46 year history. We have lost in the playoffs six of those times, and three of them to the Red Sox. Once in extremely dramatic fashion and the other two via old fashion whoopings. We don't fear Oak, or NY, or Det, or Cle. If, in 2008, the Yanks won the East, Det the Central, LAA the West, and Cle the wild card, there wouldn't be even a remote hint of fear in any Halo fans' eyes. But if Boston squeezes in as an 85 win wild card team, all of a sudden we magnify every deficiency our team has.

Let's all recognize this for what it is. Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. Nothing more. We are not a second tier team. If we can come close to the numbers we put up in 2002 then on paper we are better than the Cle's and Det's of the world and on par with Bos and NY. We just can't beat the Red Sox in the playoffs. Recently, we haven't even come close. But, we changed our playoff mojo in 2002, so who's to say we can't do it again.

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