Wednesday, September 8, 2010

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Fug5nS6G78I/TIhVEinbc5I/AAAAAAAAFHU/AXU9oCSJ5fI/s1600/Trumbo12.jpg
(Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF)

It is with great pleasure that AngelsWin.com presents our last Hot Prospect List for the 2010 Angels. In our weekly column, we take a look at who has been hot down on the farm. Unlike our annual Top-50 Prospects, our Hot Prospects List is not ranked based on the ceiling of the prospect or the likelihood of him achieving that ceiling. Instead, it is weekly snapshot that reflects the players’ accomplishments based on their performances against their competition. With the Minor League season coming to an end, AngelsWin.com will prepare an organizational report on each team after the conclusion of the post season and will release its annual Top-50 Prospects List in early 2011.

1. Mark Trumbo, RF/1B, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 12/39 (.308), 0 Doubles, 0 Triples, 6 HRs, 11 Runs, 16 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .301/.368/.577 with 36 HRs and 3 SBs

What’s Up: While the Bees fell short of making the playoffs, it wasn’t because of a lack of effort on Trumbo’s part. He muscled the team to a final-game elimination and, in so doing, demonstrated the power potential that he has. Trumbo finished the season tied most homeruns for any player in the Minor Leagues with 36 HRs. Ken Forsch, the Assistant to General Manager Tony Reagins recently said in his exclusive interview with AngelsWin.com that “I’d really like to get a power hitter somewhere in the lineup. It looks like we have one right here in Mark Trumbo.” He also told us that the possibility still remains that Trumbo could see some time in the outfield and that Trumbo’s defense and arm has done well out in right field. As Ken Forsch said, “I know that bats play. . . If he can swing a bat, there will be a position for him.” At AngelsWin.com, we know that Trumbo has a bat. We just hope that the Angels can find a place for it to play on the field in Anaheim. Now that the Bees’ season is over, we look forward to seeing him in Anaheim, where we hope he becomes a fixture for a long time.

2. Hank Conger, C, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 16/41 (.390), 3 Doubles, 1 Triple, 2 HRs, 9 Runs, 7 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .300/.385/.463 with 11 HRs and 0 SBs

What’s Up: While Trumbo provided the HR power for the Bees’ final push, Conger was doing all he could to help as well. Conger finished up the season with 55 walks and 58 strikeouts—solid plate discipline. He threw out 34 out of 118 would-be base stealers (29%) and posted a solid .979 FLD%. Conger finished the season with a flare. In the first half of the season, he posted a .791 OPS, but in the second half, he posted an impressive .941 OPS. Conger’s numbers weren’t inflated so much by the high altitude of Salt Lake; he hit for more power and a higher on base percentage on the road than at home. At AngelsWin.com, we are excited to see how Conger performs in Anaheim and believe that he can help make some sense of the building logjam at catcher for the team. We look forward to seeing how he performs this September and believe he should be part of next year’s catching team where he could be a boost to the offense and producing solid defense behind the plate.

3. Garrett Richards, RHP, High A Rancho Cucamonga
Past 10 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 1.80 ERA, 15.0 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 17 K, 1.13 WHIP
Overall: 12-5, 0 Saves, 3.52 ERA, 143.0 IP, 130 H, 41 BB, 149 K, 1.22 WHIP, .242 BAA

What’s Up: In an informal poll at AngelsWin.com, Richards came out as the top pitching prospect in the Angels’ organization. He mixes four plus pitches (fastball, curveball, slider and changeup) in his repertoire, and has dominated at two levels this year. He is inducing twice as many ground outs as he is air outs, and also generating 1 strikeout per inning. He only allowed 10 home runs on the season, and only 4 of them in Rancho, which is a tremendous feat considering the league. Having just made 7 starts in Rancho, most likely Richards will start 2011 in Rancho. But, he most likely will earn a quick promotion to Double-A and it’s not unrealistic that Richards could make his Major League debut in 2012. Angels’ fans should go out to see Richards pitch for the Quakes in their upcoming playoff series as his talents will play an important role in determining how far the Quakes go in the post season.

4. Mike Trout, OF, High A Rancho Cucamonga
Past 10 Games: 14/37 (.378), 1 Double, 0 Triples, 2 HRs, 12 Runs, 7 RBIs, 3 SBs
Overall: .341/.428/.490 with 10 HRs and 56 SBs

What’s Up: It just wouldn’t feel right if Mike Trout didn’t appear on our final Hot Prospect list. With the way he dominated this season, he was all over our Hot Prospect lists. Luckily, he obliged us and went on a tear. Trout’s storied season has been one for the ages. He’s jumped all the way up to being considered one of the top, if not THE top prospect in the Minor Leagues, and he’s only 19. While his numbers at Rancho weren’t as high as they were in Cedar Rapids (.306/.388/.434 versus .362/.454/.526) they were extremely impressive given his age. In his most recent chat with AngelsWin.com, Eddie Bane said when talking about the best speed in the Angels’ organization “Best speed. People would pay a lot to see Trout and Bourjos in the 60. Maybe we could make some money for charity if those 2 raced.” Trout has explosive speed out of the box. He gets down the line like Ichiro. Trout has power potential, and has a bright future in front of him. So far, the Angels have shown no desire to rush him through the organization. But, it’s not unrealistic to think he could be playing in the Angels’ outfield in 2012.

5. Alexi Amarista, 2B, Triple A Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 16/45 (.356), 4 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 8 Runs, 5 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .309/.350/.421 with 5 HRs and 25 SBs

What’s Up: When AngelsWin.com asked Ken Forsch about how close Amarista was to making the Majors, his first remark was “He’s quite a player.” Defensively, Amarista is ready for the Major Leagues as a second baseman. He’s a spark plug to a lineup which could make Howie Kendrick expendable in the offseason. While Kendrick may have more power, Amarista has more speed. And, while Kendrick may have a potentially higher ceiling in terms of batting average, Amarista is fully capable of posting similar numbers as Kendrick is currently posting. While Amarista most likely would start 2011 in Salt Lake, he could give Tony Reagins the opportunity to make some deals this offseason to improve the parent club in other areas. Amarista could be, and should be ready sometime in 2011, and should get a long look in Spring Training.

6 (Tie). Dillon Baird, 3B, High A Rancho Cucamonga
Past 10 Games: 15/42 (.357), 3 Doubles, 0 Triples, 1 HR, 7 Runs, 8 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .269/.323/.460 with 13 HRs and 3 SBs

Luis Jimenez, 3B, High A Rancho Cucamonga
Past 10 Games: 13/39 (.333), 5 Doubles, 0 Triples, 3 HRs, 6 Runs, 8 RBIs, 3 SBs
Overall: .288/.326/.506 with 14 HRs and 21 SBs

What’s Up: Going forward, the Angels are going to have an interesting choice at third base: Whether they should go with Luis Jimenez or Dillon Baird as the regular third baseman in Arkansas next year. They may just have to continue to share the position. Born just five days apart (although thousands of miles away from each other) the two have posted similar numbers in Rancho. Jimenez, a right-hander, has more power, speed and better defense, but Baird is no slouch. He jumped over an entire level of development, changed defensive positions, and recovered from a serious injury this year. Baird has a nice left-handed swing which he can use to hit for power to all parts of the field. His defense has not been horrible (15 errors in 53 games at third) considering that he played first base last year, but he will need to improve on that. Baird could be a future corner infield backup or could develop into a legitimate starter depending upon how his defense and plate discipline develop, whereas Jimenez could develop into a solid third baseman, built along the lines of Melvin Mora or Adrian Beltre.

7. Andrew Heid, OF, Class A Orem Owlz
Past 10 Games: 17/40 (.425), 1 Double, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 10 Runs, 3 RBI, 1 SB
Overall: .360/.434/.495 with 8 HRs and 9 SBs

What’s Up: While Heid fell short in his quest to win the Pioneer League batting title (he finished in 4th place), his season is nothing to complain about. He has been a hitting machine for the Owlz, getting hits in almost every game this season. His consistency has made him the leadoff hitter for most of the season for the Owlz. However, as a left-handed hitter—one who strikes out rarely (35:40 BB:K ratio in 67 games)—he could be dropped to second in the lineup with a speedier leadoff hitter in front of him. AngelsWin.com would like to see Heid challenged with a jump to High-A next year in Rancho Cucamonga, where he could bat behind Mike Trout or Jean Segura, both of whom have exceptional speed. That combination should result in some tremendous scoring opportunities for the heart of the order and would allow them all to develop playing Angels’ style baseball.

8. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Class Rookie A AZL Angels
Past 10 Games: 16/40 (.400), 5 Doubles, 2 Triples, 0 HRs, 7 Runs, 3 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .284/.325/.407 with 0 HRs and 8 SBs

What’s Up: As the first of the Angels’ five 2010 first round prospects to appear on the AngelsWin.com’s Hot Prospect List, Lindsey is also one of the youngest. When AngelsWin.com interviewed Abe Flores after the draft, he said “[W]ith Lindsey we have a bat—an offensive player.” Defensively, Lindsey handled the transition from shortstop to second base well. He only made 6 errors in 45 games, and posted a .971 FLD%. For the low minors and those are good numbers. Don’t be surprised, though, if the Angels try him at third base as he continues to develop. He has the body build to project more power as he matures and has the arm to handle the hot corner. Next year, it will be interesting to see how he develops playing for Kotchman in Orem.

9. Aaoron Sookee, RHP, Class Rookie A AZL Angels
Past 10 Days: 1-1, 0 Saves, 1.64 ERA, 11.0 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.45 WHIP
Overall: 1-2, 0 Saves, 4.60 ERA, 31.1 IP, 28 H, 12 BB, 27 K, 1.28 WHIP, .235 BAA

What’s Up: Signed in February, 2009 as a 17-year old out of New South Wales, Australia, Sookee is a 6’3” right hander. At the time the Angels signed him, Grant Weir, the Angels’ scout in Australia, said “The Angels are very excited with the signing of Aaron and we believe he has an enormous future in professional baseball. He has physical attributes that are going to help him have a long and fruitful career - but more importantly he is a great kid who works hard.” Sookee did not play in the Minor Leagues during 2009 because he was finishing up school in Australia. But, he toured the U.S. playing on the Australian Schoolboys team. AngelsWin.com is excited to see what Sookee can bring to the table and what talent the Angels’ international scouting department can uncover.

10. Jean Segura, 2B, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 17/43 (.395), 4 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 12 Runs, 7 RBIs, 8 SBs
Overall: .313/.365/.464 with 10 HRs and 50 SBs

What’s Up: In AngelsWin.com’s most recent chat with Eddie Bane, an interesting bomb shell was dropped: “Segura might even be looked at as a shortstop in the future as he has that kind of range and arm.” If Segura can handle the defensive duties of a shortstop, he’d become an elite prospect, as he has all five tools and could become a potent force in a future Angels’ lineup. Segura blends speed, power, and solid plate discipline with strong defensive skills. Defensively, he only committed 13 errors (.979 FLD%) and turned 77 double plays. Offensively, Segura can bat anywhere in the lineup. Segura scored 89 games this season and at the same time drove in 79. At just 20 years old, Segura could explode next year in Rancho, where, as a shortstop, he could move quickly in the organization. If he cannot make it at shortstop, the Angels could also try him in the outfield to find a way to get his bat into the lineup.

Honorable Mentions
This past week saw an abundance of stellar performances from players as they pushed hard to make the playoffs or just to finish the season strong. The Salt Lake Bees alone could have filled most of a Top-10 Hot Prospects spots with all their strong performances. As a result, we are including an extended and extensive Honorable Mention category to note as many other of the strong performances as possible.

1. The Rest of the Bees, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees

What’s Up: There were several other notable performances from players on the Bees who are veteran Minor Leaguers. While many of these players are older, and not likely to be highly ranked prospects in our Top 50 Prospect List, some, such as Cory Aldridge, did spend time on the Major League roster. And others, such as Terry Evans and Nick Gorneault have had followings on AngelsWin.com and in Anaheim. We, at AngelsWin.com, congratulate these players for their fine performances to help the Bees make a strong finish at the end of the season and wish them luck wherever they play next year.

Cory Aldridge, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 12/33 (.364), 4 Double, 0 Triples, 1 HR, 8 Runs, 1 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .318/.388/.535 with 13 HRs and 2 SBs

Gabe DeHoyos, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 3-0, 0 Saves, 2.35 ERA, 23.0 IP, 21 H, 8 BB, 23 K, 1.26 WHIP
Overall: 5-1, 1 Save, 3.06 ERA, 82.1 IP, 72 H, 33 BB, 80 K, 1.28 WHIP, .235 BAA

Terry Evans, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 21/40 (.525), 7 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 12 Runs, 12 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .283/.323/.455 with 15 HRs and 19 SBs

Luis Figueroa, SS, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 15/39 (.385), 1 Double, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 5 Runs, 5 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .299/.335/.566 with 11 HRs and 4 SBs

Nick Gorneault, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 9/26 (.346), 3 Double, 1 Triple, 2 HR, 6 Runs, 7 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .256/.324/.438 with 12 HRs and 5 SBs

2. Darwin Perez, SS, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: 15/35 (.429), 1 Double, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 9 Runs, 12 RBIs, 3 SBs
Overall: .262/.335/.339 with 3 HRs and 15 SBs

What’s Up: There’s more to him than the raw numbers show. Offensively, Perez needs to cut down on his strikeouts (96: 39 K:BB ratio) and pick better spots for trying to steal a base (8 times caught stealing). Perez has jumped around the organization this year, filling in for needs in Arkansas and Salt Lake which hurt his offensive numbers, but has not reached his full potential as a player.

3. Jeremy Berg, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 0-0, 1 Save, 0.00 ERA, 12.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 8 K, 0.57 WHIP
Overall: 2-0, 5 Saves, 1.37 ERA, 65.2 IP, 48 H, 11 BB, 73 K, 0.90 WHIP, .200 BAA

What’s Up: With the promotion of Michael Kohn and Jordan Walden, the next best relief pitching prospects in the Angels’ organization is Jeremy Berg. He went from Single-A Cedar Rapids to Double-A this season and dominated all along the way. More importantly, he got stronger as the season wore on. Definitely keep an eye out for him next year.

4. Steven Geltz, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 0-0, 0 Saves, 1.54 ERA, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 20 K, 1.20 WHIP
Overall: 4-1, 2 Saves, 3.08 ERA, 52.2 IP, 29 H, 26 BB, 87 K, 1.04 WHIP, .159 BAA

What’s Up: Another one of the Angels’ emerging relief pitching prospects is Steven Geltz. He split time between Single-A Rancho and Double-A Arkansas. Like Berg, he too got stronger as the season wore on. Geltz will be one of the seven Angels’ players in the Arizona Fall League, where he looks to continue to develop his skills.

5. Brandon Decker, 1B, Rookie A Orem Owlz
Past 10 Games: 14/36 (.389), 4 Doubles, 0 Triples, 3 HRs, 8 Runs, 11 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .343/.431/.663 with 13 HRs and 0 SBs

What’s Up: Decker finished tied for 3rd place in the Pioneer League in HRs with only 166 ABs. Had he had enough ABs to qualify, his batting average would have ranked 7th in the league. With 27 out of his 57 hits going for extra bases, Decker has some strong power potential, but, will need to watch his strikeouts (42 Ks) in order to avoid being exposed at the higher levels.

6. Pil Joon Jang, RHP, Class A Orem Owlz
Past 10 Days: 1-0, 0 Saves, 1.06 ERA, 17.0 IP, 17 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 1.06 WHIP
Overall: 3-3, 0 Saves, 3.81 ERA, 85.0 IP, 98 H, 17 BB, 48 K, 1.35 WHIP, .287 BAA

What’s Up: Jang’s stuff is not overpowering; he relies more on location and deception to get batters out. During the final run towards the playoffs, Jang pitched well, but the defense behind him did not help, yielding 7 unearned runs in three starts. Jang will need to focus on throwing strikes and mixing his pitches up well if he is going to continue to have success at the higher levels.

7. Travis Witherspoon, CF, Rookie A Orem Owlz
Past 10 Games: 13/38 (.342), 2 Doubles, 2 Triples, 0 HR, 9 Runs, 7 RBIs, 5 SBs
Overall: .310/.367/.465 with 9 HRs and 20 SBs

What’s Up: Witherspoon has the speed and power to be a Major League centerfielder. He has the defensive skills and arm to play the position and can cover good ground. He needs to improve his plate discipline (24:72 BB:K ratio in 288 ABs) in order to be successful at the higher levels. But, at 21, he is young enough to make these adjustments and refine his skills.

8. Casey Haerther, 1B, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 15/41 (.366), 5 Doubles, 0 Triples, 1 HR, 5 Runs, 9 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .307/.352/.432 with 8 HRs and 10 SBs

What’s Up: Haerther is working his way up the depth charts at first base. He posted a solid season, but improved as it went on, striking out less and hitting more doubles in the second half. He has solid gap power, but projects to hit 10-15 HRs a year as he continues to develop.
Love to hear what you think!

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