Tuesday, June 29, 2010

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Los Angeles Angels 2010 Mid-Season Prospect Performance Grades

Feature by Chuck Richter – Executive Director
and David Saltzer – Angelswin.com Senior Columnist

As the Minor League seasons reach the midpoint, with many leagues holding the All-Star Breaks, it’s time for AngelsWin.com to review and evaluate how the players throughout the organization have done so far. For a refresher as to where each of the prospects ranked at the start of the 2010 season, please click here.

Unlike the 2010 Top-50 Prospects List which we produced in January, the Mid-Season Performance Grades are not an absolute ranking of the prospects within the organization. Instead, it is a letter grade evaluating the prospects development and future potential as demonstrated by their performance to date. The players are listed alphabetically specifically to avoid confusion about their rankings.

These performance grades will help determine the prospects rankings for next year’s Top-50 Prospect List, but we recognize that there will be more movement as players return from injury, adapt and adjust to new leagues, refine skills, etc. As with any formative evaluation, this will become a part of our summative evaluation at the end of the year.

At AngelsWin.com, we consider a variety of factors when making our rankings. We base our rankings on our own direct observations of the players, the comments that we have heard from Angels’ personnel, and the comments we have received from scouts outside of the organization. We consider the age of the player, the league in which he plays, the position he plays, the player’s potential to be a Major League player, and the player’s potential ceiling as a Major League player. In short, we consider more than just the raw statistics.

Our grading scale for the Mid-Season Top-50 Performance Grades is based on what the player is showing definite signs of becoming and is as follows:

A Exceeding expectations; deserving of a mid-season promotion
B Solidly meeting expectations; deserving of a promotion next year
C Barely meeting expectations; has some work to do to earn a promotion
D Regression; will need to repeat at the level before promotion next year
F Failure; deserving of a demotion this year
NA Unavailable for evaluation because the season has not begun
+/-  Strength or weakness of the grade

In making our Mid-Season Top-50 Prospects Review, AngelsWin.com did not include any of the players drafted in the most recent draft. Since the Angels have not signed all of their players from the 2010 draft, and, because we have not had the opportunity to see all of the players who have signed from the 2010 class, we will hold off on evaluating them until the end of the season.

Overall in the first half of the Minor League season (with the exception of Triple-A where we used the record as of June 22nd), the Angels organization posted a Minor League record of 144-135 (.516).

The record for each club was as follows:

Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
36-35, 2nd place 1.0 game back.

Double-A Arkansas Travelers
26-44 (.371), last place 16.0 games back.

High Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
39-31 (.557), 2nd place 7.0 games back.

Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels
43-25 (.532), 1st place, 3.5 games in front.

Because of our work on the Mid-Season Prospect List, the All-Star break for many of the Minor Leagues, and because of our upcoming AngelsWin.com Summer Fanfest, we will not be presenting a Weekly Hot Prospect List for this week.

With all that in mind, below are the AngelsWin.com 2010 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects. All stats are combined for the Minor League Season to date and all teams listed are the most recent team for which the player has played.

1. Ryan Aldridge                               Grade: B
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                Position: RP
DOB: 9/10/83                         HT: 6’2” WT: 210
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  0-0                           Saves: 1                 ERA: 1.80 with 19 Ks and 6 BBs in 15.0 IP

Quick Hit: Aldridge might have been playing his way into Anaheim with all of their bullpen troubles when an injury interrupted his season. Had he stayed healthy, he would have rated an “A” grade, but, when he comes back, he will have to show that the injury didn’t overly affect his development. At 26, he’s getting a bit old for a prospect, but, if healthy, could be a boon to the bullpen.

2. Terrell Alliman                             Grade: NA
Team: Rookie-A Orem                                         Position: OF
DOB: 10/15/88                       HT: 6’3” WT: 185
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .133/.188/.133              with 0 HRs and 0 SBs

Quick Hit: Alliman was assigned to the short-season Orem team, so his season has just gotten under way. Drafted in the 43rd round of the 2007 draft, Alliman has speed and gap power. Defensively, he profiles as a corner outfielder. Last year he made strides in walking more, but it cost him some power. This season, he has batted third in the few games on the season so far and needs to put the improved plate discipline together with higher power potential.

3. Alexi Amarista                    Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: 2B
DOB: 04/06/89                       HT: 5’8” WT: 150
Bats: L                                    Throws: R
Stats: .304/.351/.450             with 4 HRs and 17 SBs

Quick Hit: As one scout put it, “Amarista will go as far as his bat will take him.” Abe Flores described him as a 5-tool player with more doubles power than HR power. Amarista is a contact hitter who is tough to strike out with plus speed. He plays a lot bigger than his size suggests, and could be a pest to the opposition. As Abe Flores said, “Amarista can hurt you [the opposition] in a lot of different ways.” He needs to work on improving his jumps and spots when trying to steal as he’s been caught 10 times so far.

4. Orangel Arenas                  Grade: A-
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: SP
DOB: 3/31/89                         HT: 6’0” WT: 200
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  5-6                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 3.36 with 53 Ks and 32 BBs in 80.1 IP

Quick Hit: Arenas needs to work on developing his breaking pitch and putting hitters away. He has the stuff to be better, but right now is being exposed by better and older hitters and playing in hitter-friendly parks. He already was promoted this year from Cedar Rapids, and, barring any serious issues, should finish the year in Rancho.

5. Tyson Auer                         Grade: A
Team: Double-A Arkansas               Position: OF
DOB: 10/24/85                       HT: 6’0” WT: 150
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats: .328/.382/.448             with 3 HRs and 42 SBs

Quick Hit: While Auer appears to be a late bloomer, he has shown plus speed at all levels so far. He presently holds the organizational lead for SBs and has nearly as many SBs in half a season this year as he did for all of last year. He profiles as a future 4th OFer with plus defense and plus base running.

6. Jon Bachanov                     Grade: C-
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids               Position: RP
DOB: 1/30/89                         HT: 6’4” WT: 230
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  2-0                           Saves: 2                 ERA: 5.47 with 53 Ks and 32 BBs in 80.1 IP

Quick Hit: While Bachanov is still young, and has time develop as a prospect, he needs to learn how to pitch better and more efficiently. The hard heat that would allow him to blow batters away at the lower levels can get hit at the higher levels. He needs to do more to keep batters off-balanced and to put them away when he is ahead.

7. Dillon Baird                        Grade: B
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: 3B/1B
DOB: 1/13/88                         HT: 6’3” WT: 188
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats: .273/.352/.527             with 6 HRs and 2 SBs

Quick Hit: Jumping over Single-A Cedar Rapids, and, moving from 1B to 3B, Baird was showing tremendous potential when an injury interrupted his season. Although he got off to a slow start, in his last ten games prior to his injury, Baird posted a line of .350/.422/.625. Expected to start a rehab assignment with the AZL-Angels this week, Baird should have plenty of time to develop while splitting the 3B duties with Jimenez and the 1B duties with Jacobo.

8. Peter Bourjos                      Grade: C
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                    Position: OF
DOB: 3/31/87                         HT: 6’1” WT: 180
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats: .256/.315/.386             with 6 HRs and 19 SBs

Quick Hit: One scout described Bourjos with the old cliché: “The hardest base to steal is first base” meaning that Bourjos needs to improve his ability to get on base. The same scout did describe Bourjos as “a player”, and at the least a 4th OFer with excellent defense. In his opinion, players with speed will become more valuable over time as baseball moves away from steroids, so, a player like Bourjos is a top-tiered prospect. We agree. Bourjos is starting to warm up, and starting to steal bases in the last 2+ weeks, but may need to spend some time in Triple-A in 2011 before forcing his way onto the Angels’ roster.

9. Ryan Braiser                       Grade: C-
Team: Double-A Arkansas                                 Position: SP
DOB: 8/26/87                         HT: 6’0” WT: 200
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  5-6                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 6.01 with 45 Ks and 38 BBs in 73.1 IP

Quick Hit: A flyball pitcher, Brasier has been falling behind too many batters and then grooving pitches that either get hit hard or over the fence. He’s on pace to give up nearly twice as many HRs as he did last year. He needs to work more on getting ahead of hitters and putting them rather than letting them wait for their pitches and crushing them.

10. Ryan Chaffee                    Grade: D
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: SP
DOB: 3/31/89                         HT: 6’2” WT: 200
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  3-3                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 7.44 with 21 Ks and 21 BBs in 80.1 IP

Quick Hit: Abe Flores recently told AngelsWin.com that Chaffee needs to work on getting himself under control and not letting the game speed up on him. His season started off with an injury, and he’s starting to show signs of improvement. The good news is that his stuff is there.

11. Tyler Chatwood               Grade: A+
Team: Double-A Arkansas              Position: SP
DOB: 12/16/89                       HT: 6’0” WT: 185
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  8-5                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 2.31 with 71 Ks and 43 BBs in 89.2 IP

Quick Hit: Chatwood had a tremendous run at Single-A Rancho, earning a promotion to Double-A Arkansas. His first outing at Double-A was rough, but, his second was much better. In one of our chats, Eddie Bane has singled out Chatwood as deserving praise for the excellent season he was having. Abe Flores says that Chatwood is a “gifted guy” and that he has “no worries” about him. Neither do we.

12. Hank Conger                              Grade: A
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                    Position: C
DOB: 1/29/88                         HT: 6’1” WT: 220
Bats: S                                    Throws: R
Stats: .280/.372/.427             with 5 HRs and 0 SBs

Quick Hit: While Conger hasn’t shown the same level of power that he has in the past, we are still convinced that the power is there. Discussions with several scouts included a debate as to who hit the louder and longer homeruns in the past: Conger or Trumbo. The good news is that Conger is emerging defensively as a catcher, throwing out 28% of opposing base runners and calling solid games at Triple-A. He should be ready soon.

13. Pat Corbin                        Grade: A
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: SP
DOB: 7/19/89                         HT: 6’3” WT: 178
Bats: L                                    Throws: L
Record:  10-2                         Saves: 0                 ERA: 3.86 with 78 Ks and 22 BBs in 91.0 IP

Quick Hit: Corbin started off the season 8-0. That run earned him a promotion to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga where he has posted better numbers in a hitter-friendly league. The big change for Corbin has been has maturity on the mound. He’s having fewer meltdown innings where his pitch counts and the game would get out of control. He’s been able to adjust more to situations in the game on the fly, and the results are there.

14. Terry Evans                      Grade: D+
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                  Position: OF
DOB: 1/19/82                         HT: 6’3” WT: 205
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats: .241/.293/.393             with 8 HRs and 10 SBs

Quick Hit: At age 28, age is working against Terry Evans at this point. An adept and capable fielder, Evans has speed and power that should have translated into at least a 4th OF job. But, with declining numbers and a low walk rate, that seems to be a reach for him at this point.

15. Robert Fish                       Grade: B+
Team: Double-A Arkansas                                 Position: RP
DOB: 1/19/88                         HT: 6’3” WT: 225
Bats: L                                    Throws: L
Record:  4-3                           Saves: 2                 ERA: 3.25 with 51 Ks and 17 BBs in 36.0 IP

Quick Hit: Going from a starter to a reliever, Fish has emerged as the Angels’ top left-handed reliever in the system. Ironically, though, lefties have been hitting better off of Fish than righties have. He’s still generating plenty of ground balls, but also showing that he has the stuff to put hitters away. One more year of seasoning may be in order for him before he is fully ready to be a Major League reliever.

16. Steven Geltz                      Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: RP
DOB: 11/01/87                       HT: 5’10”               WT: 170
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  3-1                           Saves: 2                 ERA: 4.13 with 37 Ks and 6 BBs in 24.0 IP

Quick Hit: Eddie Bane and Co. have been known to buck the traditional trends in baseball. They did so with Steven Geltz, and it’s paying off handsomely. At 5’10”, he doesn’t have the typical pitcher’s build. But, with a mid-90s fastball, he has a gifted arm. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, he missed out on the draft because he failed to be registered for the draft. But, Greg Mohardt, a regional area scout for the Angels had been following him, and when he saw Geltz put on a tremendous display for the New England Collegiate Baseball League, signed him for the Angels the next day.

17. Randal Grichuk                Grade: B-
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                                              Position: OF
DOB: 8/13/91                         HT: 6’1” WT: 195
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .229/.280/.431              with 4 HRs and 3 SBs

Quick Hit: Grichuk’s season was cut short with an injury sustained in early May. Thus, the low ranking for the season to date. That was unfortunate as he was just starting to adjust to the league at Cedar Rapids. The good news is that Grichuk is expected back in early August and has shown the power that made him a high draft pick for Angels, slugging 4 HRs in just 109 ABs. Grichuk still needs to work on improving his walk rate and cutting down on his strikeouts in order to become an elite Angels’ prospect.

18. Casey Haerther                 Grade: B
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: 1B
DOB: 10/05/87                       HT: 6’2” WT: 220
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .310/.337/.419              with 4 HRs and 7 SBs

Quick Hit: Haerther has had some offensive streaks that earned him high praise in our weekly Hot Prospect List. He also has a tremendous road split hitting much better while on the road. Haerther lacks the power to be a typical first baseman. And, with just 9 walks on the season, needs to work more on getting on base in order to be successful at higher levels.

19. John Hellweg                    Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: RP
DOB: 10/29/88                       HT: 6’9” WT: 210
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  0-1                           Saves: 7                 ERA: 3.15 with 27 Ks and 18 BBs in 20.0 IP

Quick Hit: At 6’9”, it’s hard not to notice Hellweg on the mound. With a mid to upper-90s fastball, it’s even harder not to notice him. Hellweg also complements his fastball with a good slider and is working on a changeup. Control is an issue with Hellweg, but he still has a big upside—and that’s not just because he stands so tall.

20. Gabe Jacobo                              Grade: B
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: 1B
DOB: 4/14/87                         HT: 6’2” WT: 190
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .301/.333/.469              with 8 HRs and 5 SBs

Quick Hit: Like Haerther, Jacobo is showing tremendous splits favoring the away parks. And, like Haerther, Jacobo needs to work more on getting on base to become successful at higher levels. However, unlike Haerther, Jacobo has more power potential, but not as much power potential as Roberto Lopez.

21. Pil Joon Jang                    Grade: NA
Team: Single-A Orem Owlz                            Position: SP
DOB: 4/08/88                         HT: 6’3” WT: 190
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  2-0                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 4.50 with 14 Ks and 6 BBs in 20.0 IP

Quick Hit: One of the top two Korean players signed by the Angels, Abe Flores described Jang as a “strike-thrower” with an average fastball and a breaking ball that needs some work. He’s very poised on the mound. We’re hoping to get more of a look at him now that the season has gotten under way to see how he’s developing.

22. Luis Jimenez                     Grade: B-
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: 3B
DOB: 1/18/88                         HT: 6’1” WT: 205
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .300/.344/.482              with 4 HRs and 8 SBs

Quick Hit: Recovering from a shoulder injury that cost him all of 2009, Jimenez is playing his way back to being considered a top prospect. Recently named to the Future’s Game for the World Team, Jimenez has drawn comparisons to Adrian Beltre and Melvin Mora both offensively and defensively. Although he has only hit 4 HRs to date, we believe that the power will return as he further recovers from his shoulder injury. When Dillon Baird returns, he will split time at third base, but should have plenty of at-bats to develop and earn a promotion next year.

23. Tyler Kehrer                     Grade: C+
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: SP/RP
DOB: 11/01/89                       HT: 6’3” WT: 210
Bats: L                                    Throws: L
Record:  2-3                           Saves: 3                 ERA: 5.86 with 48 Ks and 45 BBs in 50.2 IP

Quick Hit: Tyler Skaggs and Tyler Kehrer share a lot more in common than just a first name. Both are young lefties in the Angels system who are being kept on short leashes for their innings pitched. While Kehrer has been generating plenty of groundballs and has held opponents to a .232 BAA, he needs to work more on cutting down the number of free passes that he’s giving up. The stuff is there for Kehrer, it just needs refinement.

24. Michael Kohn                   Grade: A+
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                           Position: RP
DOB: 6/26/86                         HT: 6’3” WT: 210
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  4-3                           Saves: 9                 ERA: 2.08 with 48 Ks and 16 BBs in 34.2 IP

Quick Hit: Pronounced Kahn, like Jame Caan the actor, Kohn opposing batters have considered Kohn more like the Kahn from Star Trek, the nemesis to Captain Kirk. Kohn’s had success at every level in his development, and is capable closing out a game or setting up. Abe Flores says that Kohn’s time will come. We believe that it will come soon.

25. Stephen Locke                  Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: SP
DOB: 5/06/86                         HT: 6’1” WT: 188
Bats: L                                    Throws: L
Record:  3-1                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 3.37 with 26 Ks and 5 BBs in 38.0 IP

Quick Hit: Locke’s season didn’t get underway until May 25th. But, he’s been accomplishing quite a lot, generating a lot of groundballs and tackling left-handers very well. Locke recently was named the Midwest League’s Player of the Week honors after throwing a 3-hit gem with no walks and 6 strikeouts.

26. Roberto Lopez                  Grade: B+
Team: Double-A Arkansas                                 Position: 1B
DOB: 10/01/85                       HT: 6’0” WT: 195
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .287/.371/.451              with 7 HRs and 5 SBs

Quick Hit: Possessor of a .400 season two years ago, Lopez has struggled since being promoted to Double-A Arkansas a month ago. With little offensive support from the rest of the team, Lopez has been exposed and he pressed at the plate. But, he is still walking at a tremendous rate (10 BBs in 92 PAs). This is reminiscent of last year, when he also struggled and pressed at first before settleing down in the second half. As Lopez adjusts to the league, we should see a surge in his offense, but, we still expect a drop in the number of HRs as his home field is rather cavernous.

27. James Mallard                 Grade: NA
Team: Rookie AZL Angels                 Position: 1B
DOB: 8/23/90                         HT: 6’0” WT: 265
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .250/.333/.375              with 0 HRs and 0 SBs

Quick Hit: All stick and no glove is the description on Mallard. He reminds scouts of Cecil Fielder. He needs to work on developing defensively so that he can work his thunderous bat into the lineup. Like the others on the Rookie AZL Angels, we have been unable to rank him to date since his season just started. But, he can do something special with a bat, and, we’re hoping that he can stick defensively at first base.

28. Fabio Martinez-Mesa       Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: SP
DOB: 10/29/89                       HT: 6’3” WT: 190
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  4-2                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 4.11 with 100 Ks and 54 BBs in 70.0 IP

Quick Hit: Martinez Mesa is a strike-throwing machine. He’s leading the Midwest League in strikeouts by 18. Martinez Mesa has a power arm that just needs to gain better control. Like most young pitchers, he needs to learn to get ahead of hitters and then put them away before any damage can be done. That’s a lot easier to say than it is to do. But, with the power and talent that Martinez Mesa has, he should more than be able to make those changes, and, with being so young, the Angels can afford to give him the time to develop.

29. Eddie McKiernan             Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                           Position: SP
DOB: 3/21/89                         HT: 5’11”               WT: 190
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  2-1                           Saves: 12               ERA: 4.08 with 32 Ks and 12 BBs in 28.2 IP

Quick Hit: It’s hard to give relievers the respect that they deserve when making the weekly Hot Prospect list. That’s because in a good week, a reliever might only have a couple of appearances for 2 or 3 innings. And, one bad inning can do him in statistically speaking, to the point of not getting noticed. McKiernan has fallen into that category. He’s having a solid season in a tough league, but hasn’t been getting the publicity attendant to his accomplishments.

 30. Paul McAnulty                 Grade: A+
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                            Position: 1B
DOB: 2/24/81                         HT: 5’11”               WT: 225
Bats: L                                    Throws: R
Stats .343/.414/.448              with 16 HRs and 1 SB

Quick Hit: They say you can’t teach an old dog a new trick, but, they might want to talk to McAnulty. Originally signed to provide offensive support for the rest of the Double-A Arkansas team, McAnulty has played his way into consideration as an internal solution for first base should any other problems arise with the parent club. Although his age limits his potential as a prospect, he is truly having a remarkable season and is doing everything that the Angels are asking of him.

31. Tommy Mendoza              Grade: C
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                    Position: SP
DOB: 8/18/87                         HT: 6’2” WT: 195
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  1-2                           Saves: 12               ERA: 4.41 with 21 Ks and 17 BBs in 34.2 IP

Quick Hit: Mendoza hasn’t been as overpowering or efficient as we’ve seen him in the past. At 22, he has plenty of time to develop. But, so far in Salt Lake, he has been exposed by better hitters.


32. Ryan Mount                      Grade: B-
Team: Double-A Arkansas                            Position: 2B
DOB: 8/17/86                         HT: 6’0” WT: 190
Bats: L                                    Throws: R
Stats .249/.305/.420              with 7 HRs and 3 SBs

Quick Hit: Named as a reserve infielder to the Texas All-Star Game, Mount was leading all second baseman in the league at the time with 7 HRs and 26 RBIs. He posted those numbers despite losing three weeks of playing time due to injuries. Mount needs to level out the streakiness to his offense in order to continue to develop and needs to just stay healthy.

33. Jeremy Moore                  Grade: C+
Team: Double-A Arkansas                            Position: OF
DOB: 6/29/87                         HT: 6’1” WT: 190
Bats: L                                    Throws: R
Stats .273/.337/.404              with 6 HRs and 11 SBs

Quick Hit: Moore mixes speed and power as an outfielder, but needs to make more consistent contact in order to be productive and successful. He profiles best as a corner outfielder, although he can play centerfield in a pinch. He is still raw, but has the tools to develop into a future Major League player with better pitch recognition.

34. Darwin Perez                    Grade: B
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                    Position: SS
DOB: 7/27/89                         HT: 5’10”               WT: 160
Bats: S                                    Throws: R
Stats .268/.340/.391              with 3 HRs and 9 SBs

Quick Hit: Recently promoted to Triple-A Salt Lake from Single-A Rancho to fill in for injuries, Perez is a slick fielding switch hitting shortstop. At 20, he’s very young for the Pacific Coast League, and may be a bit overmatched. But, he is definitely one worth watching, especially once he returns to a level more appropriate for his age.

35. Jose Perez                         Grade: B
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: RP
DOB: 9/14/87                         HT: 6’2” WT: 180
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  0-0                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 2.70 with 41 Ks and 20 BBs in 40.0 IP

Quick Hit: Jose Perez missed most of 2009 with injuries, so, we’re just getting our first looks at him. Here’s what Abe Flores had to say about him in our Mid-Season Interview: “Two pitch guy. I would say two average pitches, fastball, slider. Physical guy, who can show a plus fastball at times. It’s just good to get him back on the field.”

36. Carlos Ramirez                Grade: D
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: C
DOB: 3/19/88                         HT: 5’11”               WT: 205
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .203/.326/.333              with 4 HRs and 3 SBs

Quick Hit: The good news: Ramirez is throwing out 46% of all opposing base runners. The bad news is that the hitting and power that we saw in him last year haven’t been there. While Ramirez is still drawing walks (22 so far), he’s striking out over once a game on average (47 Ks in 41 games). Scioscia does place a premium on defense from his catchers, so, the improvements in that part of his game are a pleasant surprise. But, he needs to slow down his game and not get ahead of himself to increase his offensive value. It appears that he is starting to make the transition and is having a solid month of June.

37. Trevor Reckling               Grade: F
Team: Double-A Arkansas              Position: SP
DOB: 5/22/89                         HT: 6’2” WT: 205
Bats: L                                    Throws: L
Record:  4-7                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 8.37 with 49 Ks and 50 BBs in 71.0 IP

Quick Hit: It’s hard to give a player an “F” grade, especially one who started the season off in Triple-A at age 20. But, unfortunately, that’s the case for Trevor Reckling. He’s struggled with his mechanics, with his efficiency, and with his ability to repeat quality pitches. As a result he was hit hard in Triple-A, where hitters have the skills to exploit a struggling pitcher. Recently demoted to Double-A, Reckling will be working on regaining his mechanics that led him to be such a highly regarded prospect. The talent is there, it just needs to be recovered.

38. Garret Richards               Grade: A-
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: SP
DOB: 5/27/88                         HT: 6’3” WT: 210
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  6-3                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 3.18 with 78 Ks and 23 BBs in 82.0 IP

Quick Hit: Richards has gone from being a questionable draft pick to a premium prospect within 2 years. The Angels organization has worked with him to improve his pitches and pitch efficiency and dropped his ERA to half of what it was in college. The Angels have made some tweaks to his delivery and routine, but mostly, have given him the confidence to go out there and take the mound every fifth day. The results have paid off handsomely.

39. Fernando Rodriguez        Grade: C-
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                    Position: SP/RP
DOB: 6/18/84                         HT: 6’3” WT: 215
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  1-3                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 3.18 with 43 Ks and 24 BBs in 46.1 IP

Quick Hit: Moved into the rotation, Fernando Rodriguez has been posting subpar numbers. His numbers as a starter this year have been better as a reliever, but not by a substantial margin. He’s been leaving a lot of pitches up in the zone where the Triple-A hitters have been able to take advantage of them. At 26, he may be reaching his limit.

40. Francisco Rodriguez        Grade: A-
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                    Position: RP
DOB: 2/26/83                         HT: 6’1” WT: 195
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  2-1                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 3.63 with 19 Ks and 6 BBs in 22.1 IP

Quick Hit: Angels fans should be familiar with Francisco Rodriguez. That’s because he’s been pitching for the Major League club. Although he’s struggled in his last few outings, he appears to be making the adjustments to be an effective relief pitcher. With all the struggles that Major League bullpen has had this season, there appears to be room for someone to emerge and win a permanent job. We’re including Francisco Rodriguez in here because he hasn’t quite reached our limit for exclusion on the list and may continue to bounce back and forth to Salt Lake for now.

41. Andrew Romine                Grade: B+
Team: Double-A   Arkansas                        Position: SS
DOB: 12/24/85                       HT: 6’1” WT: 190
Bats: S                                    Throws: R
Stats .262/.352/.333              with 1 HRs and 13 SBs

Quick Hit: Romine is a solid defensive shortstop who makes all the routine plays. His range isn’t as great as Aybar’s, but he makes all the plays that he should. He’s consistently squared up the ball and make good contact. Named as a starter for the Texas League All-Star Game, Romine was leading all shortstops with a .985 Fielding Percentage and is tied for fourth place with 13 SBs. Romine’s game is deceptive. He doesn’t excel in any one area, but is solid across the board.

42. Jean Segura                      Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: C
DOB: 3/17/90                         HT: 5’11”               WT: 165
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .288/.337/.394              with 3 HRs and 28 SBs

Quick Hit: The Angels have something special in Segura, and they are going to take it slowly with him for now. He is a 5-tool player who is capable of being an offensive force in the middle of the infield. The Angels want him to work on getting better primary and secondary leads so that when he steals a base he actually does get the base and that he can take the extra bag on a hit. So far, he’s only been caught stealing 4 times, and been amongst the league leaders in runs and RBIs.

43. Matt Shoemaker              Grade: B+
Team: Single-A Rancho Cucamonga                Position: SP
DOB: 9/27/86                         HT: 6’2” WT: 225
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  6-5                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 4.19 with 96 Ks and 32 BBs in 92.1IP

Quick Hit: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, Shoemaker has been putting up solid numbers at each level of development. Last year he got a brief taste of Rancho, and we won’t be surprised if he gets a promotion to Double-A Arkansas by the end of the year. In a very hitter friendly league, Shoemaker has done a good job keeping the ball in the year and not getting himself into deep trouble with walks.

44. Tyler Skaggs                              Grade: A+
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                                             Position: SP
DOB: 7/13/91                         HT: 6’4” WT: 195
Bats: L                                    Throws: L
Record:  5-3                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 3.45 with 63 Ks and 14 BBs in 60.0 IP

Quick Hit: The Angels have something special in development with Skaggs—the other half of the Tyler combination in Cedar Rapids. For now, the Angels are taking it very slowly with him as he is a very young player. They do not want to risk overthrowing his arm. He has a plus breaking ball and a plus changeup to go along with an average fastball. He mixes his pitches well and keeps them all in the strike zone. Although he most likely won’t jump a level this year, his play has earned him an A+ grade for the season so far.

45. Will Smith                         Grade: A
Team: Double-A Arkansas                                 Position: SP
DOB: 7/10/89                         HT: 6’5” WT: 235
Bats: R                                   Throws: L
Record:  4-6                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 5.18 with 71 Ks and 33 BBs in 90.1 IP

Quick Hit: Statistics don’t always tell a complete story. In the case of Will Smith, they definitely do not tell a complete story. Smith was promoted to Triple-A Salt Lake, jumping over Double-A Arkansas for the time being, where he struggled at first and then started to hold his own. His velocity picked up and he was adjusting to the league. The Angels recently sent him back down to Double-A Arkansas in recognition of his development at the higher level, rather than sending him all the way back to Single-A. At 20 years old, he’s still ahead of the curve.

46. Andrew Taylor                 Grade: A-
Team: Double-A Arkansas                                 Position: RP
DOB: 8/18/86                         HT: 6’1” WT: 190
Bats: R                                   Throws: L
Record:  4-2                           Saves: 0                 ERA: 2.49 with 43 Ks and 16 BBs in 43.1 IP

Quick Hit: Andrew Taylor’s career with the Angels seems to be following a pattern: mid-year promotion, followed by struggles, only to overcome those difficulties in the first half of the following year and earning another mid-season promotion. While fans would like to think that moving up a level shouldn’t be that much of a challenge, it often is. The competition gets substantially better at each level, and the Angels expect their players to earn each promotion. AngelsWin.com wants to see how well and how quickly Taylor can adjust to Double-A in the second half to determine how highly he will be ranked in the 2011 Top-50 Prospects List.

47. Mike Trout                       Grade: A+
Team: Single-A Cedar Rapids                            Position: C
DOB: 3/19/88                         HT: 5’11”               WT: 205
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .372/.453/.551              with 6 HRs and 38 SBs

Quick Hit: What can’t Trout do? He can hit, hit for average, hit for power, get on base, drive in runs, move runners over, play great defense, etc. Abe Flores can’t help but rave about this kid. Whenever people question what the Angels are doing in a draft, they need to remember Mike Trout. A lot of teams passed on him before the Angels got him. A lot of teams are now wishing they had Eddie Bane and Co. scouting out, drafting, and signing players like this. The Angels may take it slowly with Trout for now, but, that shouldn’t negate his A+ season so far.

48. Mark Trumbo                  Grade: A
Team: Triple-A Salt Lake                                    Position: 1B/RF
DOB: 1/16/86                         HT: 6’4” WT: 220
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .271/.319/.531              with 18 HRs and 2 SBs

Quick Hit: Trumbo is leading the PCL in RBIs and tied for second in HRs. In the past, Trumbo has taken time to adjust to each new league and struggled at first. Then, he’s gone on a tear. If this was the time when Trumbo was adjusting to the PCL, then he should be poised to go on a tear. Abe Flores told AngelsWin.com that Trumbo is on the 40-man roster for a reason. He is an internal option at either first base or right field. His bat is capable of hitting tape-measure homeruns. Where he will play defensively remains to be seen with what the parent club does.

49. Jordan Walden                 Grade: A
Team: Double-A Arkansas                                 Position: RP
DOB: 11/16/87                       HT: 6’5” WT: 240
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Record:  0-0                           Saves: 5                 ERA: 3.73 with 32 Ks and 15 BBs in 31.1 IP

Quick Hit: Walden has a special fastball—a triple digit fastball. Converted to a reliever, he could become a future closer with his arm. Keeping Walden healthy for a full year will be a major goal for the Angels as Walden needs to get more experience coming out of the pen. At AngelsWin.com, we believe that Walden may be getting a promotion soon, especially if Kohn moves up from Triple-A, opening up a spot for him.

50. Travis Witherspoon         Grade: NA
Team: Rookie-A Orem                                         Position: CF
DOB: 4/16/89                         HT: 6’2” WT: 190
Bats: R                                   Throws: R
Stats .176/.308/.289              with 3 HRs and 3 SBs

Quick Hit: The Angels are taking it slowly with Witherspoon for now, having him repeat at Orem for now. He struggled a bit there last year, showing raw tools. He needs to work on his pitch recognition and strike zone discipline. But, he has a good mix of power and speed, which could develop into a talented player.


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