Monday, July 28, 2014

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By Adrian Noche, Staff Reporter - 

1. Tyler DeLoach, Starting Pitcher, Inland Empire 66ers
Last two starts: 2-0  11.0 IP  0.00 ERA  6 H  3 BB  13 SO  0.81 WHIP  .152 BAA
Overall: 10-4  3.21 ERA  112.0 IP  87 H  49 BB  122 SO  1.19 WHIP  .213 BAA

Tyler DeLoach has quietly become one of the California League’s finest pitchers this season. The 6’6’’ southpaw is among the league leaders in many pitching categories this season: Wins - 10 (1st), ERA - 3.21 (3rd), IP - 112.0 (8th), Strikeouts - 122 (1st) and WHIP - 1.21 (3rd). DeLoach tossed his 7th straight quality start on Monday, hurling 6 shutout innings while giving up 3 hits, no walks and striking out 7. DeLoach has also won his last 4 starts, bringing his record to 10-4 on the season.

2. Andrew Daniel, Second Baseman, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .372 AVG  16 H  3 Doubles  0 Triple  2 HR  4 SB
Overall: .367/.450/.570

Andrew Daniel continued his strong hitting in the Pioneer League this week, recording multi-hit games in all but one game this week . The second baseman has raised his average from .359 last week to .367. Along with his .409 average for the week (5 games), Daniel has also chipped in 2 doubles, 1 home run, 7 runs and 3 stolen bases in 3 attempts.

3. Harrison Cooney, Starting Pitcher, Burlington Bees
Last two starts: 0-1  11.0 IP  0.00 ERA  7 H  3 BB  10 SO  0.91 WHIP  .175 BAA
Overall: 8-5  2.19 ERA  102.2 IP  81 H  36 BB  69 SO  1.14 WHIP  .216 BAA

Since Cooney’s complete game shutout on May 30th, Harrison has tossed 9 straight quality starts for the Burlington Bees. During that stretch, (including his shutout) Cooney is 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA  and 1.11 WHIP in 59.0 innings pitched. Despite his low strikeout numbers (5.7 SO/9), Cooney has sustained success due to allowing just 3.2 BB/9 and an opposing average of just .216 so far this season. Cooney’s latest start on Sunday saw him go 5.0 innings, allowing 1 run (0 earned) on 4 hits, 2 walk and 7 strikeouts.

4. Cam Bedrosian, Relief Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
Last 5 appearances: 0-0  4 Saves  6.0 IP  3 H  0 BB  14 SO  .142 BAA
Overall: 1-0  14 Saves  1.19 ERA  30.1 IP  9 H  9 BB  42 SO  0.64 WHIP  .094 BAA

Despite his rocky stints in the big leagues, Cam continued being lights out for the Travelers this season. In 30.1 innings pitched for the Travs, Bedrosian has struck out 52 (49.1 K-rate) while allowing just 9 walks  (8.5 walk-rate). Cam has pitched a perfect inning in 5 of his last 6 appearances, striking out the side twice. 

5. Trevor Gott, Relief Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
Overall: (4 appearances w/ Travelers): 0-0  0.00 ERA  7.1 IP  2 H  3 BB  8 SO  0.68 WHIP  .095 BAA

Trevor Gott was the other player acquired by the Angels alongside Huston Street in the trade that sent top prospects Taylor Lindsey, R.J. Alvarez, Jose Rondon and Elliot Morris to the Padres. Since being acquired by the Angels, Gott has been brilliant filling in for Alvarez as a late-innings guy for the Arkansas Travelers. Gott has made 4 appearances for the Travelers, putting up a 0.00 ERA in 7.1 innings pitched, striking out 8 with just 2 hits allowed and before Sunday, no walks. Gott was drafted in the 6th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft by the Padres out of a successful career with the Kentucky Wildcats. In Gott’s final year, he set the program-record for saves with 12 in 30.0 innings. In those 30.0 innings, Gott struck out 35 and walked just 5. According to Baseball Prospectus, Gott is armed with a plus-fastball that sits in the mid-90s and a plus-curveball. Being drafted in 2013 and already in AA, Gott has been a fast-riser and could probably contribute to the Angels’ pen as early as next year.

Minor League Affiliate Report

Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
The Bees went 3-4 this week, which puts them in last place with an overall record of 45-64 (15.5 GB).  Outfielder, Brennan Boesch, launched his 16th home run of the season on Friday while Roberto Lopez led the team with 13 hits on the week (.565 AVG). Jarret Grube pitched a nice game on Tuesday, going 6.0 innings without giving up an earned run while allowing 5 hits, 1 walk and striking out 5. Newly acquired Chris Volstad bounced back from a rough debut last week. Volstad pitched a quality start, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits, 2 walks in 6.0 innings pitched while striking out 3.

Double-A Arkansas Travelers
The Travelers had another winning week, going 4-3 and bringing their 2nd half record to 20-17 (1st place in Texas League North). 1st baseman, Brian Hernandez, is currently on a 6-game hitting streak where he is hitting .320 with 2 doubles. Nate Smith pitched 6.0 shutout innings on Thursday, striking out 8 while allowing just 2 hits and 1 walk. The southpaw now owns a 2.89 ERA and has 67 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched. Relief pitcher, Michael Brady, extended his scoreless inning streak to 8.2 and has struck out 7 and walked just one during that span.

High-A Burlington Bees
Burlington managed to split 6 games this week, going 3-3 and bringing their record to 19-16 for the second half (3.0 GB). Third baseman, Angel Rosa, collected 9 hits and 3 doubles for Burlington this week. Rosa is now batting .251 on the season. Victor Alcantara lowered his season ERA to 3.91 after his start on Saturday. The Futures Game participant struck out 6 and allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 0 walks in 5.0 innings pitched. Yency Almonte pitched 5.2 innings on Wednesday and allowed just 1 earned run on 3 hits and 1 walk (5 strikeouts). Garrett Nuss struck out 8 in 5.0 innings pitched on Friday, allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks. Ben Carlson, Brian Loconsole, Greg Mahle and Cole Swanson allowed 0 runs on 17.2 innings pitched this week.

Class-A Short Season Orem Owlz
The Owlz’s first half ended on Saturday, sitting at first place with a 24-14 first half record and won their first game of the second half on Sunday. Catcher, Michael Strentz, raised his season average to .377 after picking up 6 hits in three games played this week. Ryan Seiz homered for the 7th time this season on Tuesday. Outfielder, Caleb Adams, homered as well, giving him 5 on the season. Jordan Kipper extended his scoreless streak to 8.0 innings. He has allowed just 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10 during that stretch. Jacob Kopra has yet to be scored upon this season in 8.0 innings pitched. Jonah Wesely continued to pitch well, going 3.0 innings without an earned run on 3 hits and 1 walk (4 strikeouts) on Thursday.

AZL Angels
The AZL Angels won their first two games of the second half after ending their first half with an overall record of 18-10 (1st place in Arizona League East). 1st baseman, Fran Whitten, collected 7 hits this week and currently has an average of .340 on the season. Austin Wood pitched in 2 games this week, going a combined 6.0 innings and only allowed 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4. Kyle McGowin appeared in his first rehab game and struck out 2 in 2.0 scoreless innings (2 hits, 1 walk).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

By David Saltzer and Rick Dykhuizen

For many fans, the road to the Major Leagues seems pretty straight forward. Players play in high school, maybe college, get drafted and work their way up the organization. Although that sounds good on paper, there’s a lot more to it than that.

Jeremy Rhoades is a prime example of how the path might take a few twists and turns. Drafted in the 4th round out of Illinois State, Rhoades saw time in both the rotation and the bullpen. So the first question for this big righty (he’s 6’4” and 225 lbs) is what will be his future role as a pitcher.

Right now, the Angels are having him work both as a starter and as a reliever. There’s a good chance, though, that he will move to the pen long-term. He has a low 90s fastball that he can crank up to the mid-90s in short bursts. He has a true wipeout slider that shows good tilt. In 117.2 college innings, he did not give up a single homerun and sported a 139:35 K:BB ratio. So far at Orem, he’s continuing to put hitters away, generating a 12.27 K/9.0 IP ratio. If he can master his changeup, he may stay in the rotation. If not, he has a solid future in the pen.

In our interview, Rhoades talks about making the transition from college ball to professional ball. He tells us how the Owlz have come together as a team (which has helped them become the 1st half league champions), and how being a Business Administration major helps him on the mound.

Please click here to watch our interview with Jeremy Rhoades.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By David Saltzer and Rick Dykhuizen

Fans always hear about the top-drafted prospects every year. But, often, it’s in the middle rounds where drafts can be made into something special. The 2013 draft is turning into quite a good haul for the Angels, and one of the absolute steals of the draft for the Angels was left-hander Jonah Wesely. Taken in the 11th round out of high school in Tracy, CA, Wesely was signed away from a commitment to UCLA.

Wesely throws a low-90s fastball, a wicked slider, and a developing changeup. He is all business on the mound, and pitches with passion. Presently, Wesely is in the pen, where he is dominating, but the potential to revert back to the rotation is there, especially if he refines the changeup. That wouldn’t be unprecedented, as one of his favorite players, C.J. Wilson, made the same transition.

Already a fan of, our interview with Wesely was one of the best we’ve had in a while. From his yoga stretches to his hasty candy consumption, Wesely shared some great insights into his life as a professional pitcher. This is a great interview that all Angels fans should enjoy. Jonah has the stuff and the makeup to be pitching in Anaheim, and hopefully in a few years, he will be.

Please click here to watch our interview with Jonah Wesely.

Monday, July 21, 2014

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

Before you all start worrying, no, I didn’t just forget basic math. And, unlike some of my students, I can solve that problem without using a calculator (the answer is 3988, not 2014). But that’s not the point of this title and article. Sometimes things don’t just add up to the numbers. That’s especially true in baseball. As Yogi Berra once said “90% of the game is half mental.”

In the history of the Angels organization, two teams have really stood out more than the rest (aside from the original Angels): the 1986 team and the 2002 team. Both had different qualities that made them great. Both are cemented in Angels’ history.

The 1986 team will forever be known as the “Comeback Kids”. Throughout the summer, they seemed to be able to overcome any deficit. Nothing seemed out of their ability. Baseball history will forever record the Angels comeback against Detroit, down 12-5 going into the 9th inning on August 29th. With maybe 500 fans left in the stadium, Dick Shofield—a lifetime .230 batter with all of 56 career HRs—hit a grand slam, on an 0-2 count, to win the game. That was an incredible moment—one of the greatest that I have ever witnessed in baseball. The 1986 team could overcome any obstacle, and had the special character of grit and passion to make it to the post season.

The 2002 team had a different style of play. They weren’t expected to win it all. They weren’t supposed to be that good. And yet, on any given night, someone on the team stepped up to win the game and propel the team forward. They had the unlikeliest of heroes, like David Eckstein, and the power hitters, like Salmon, Glaus, and Anderson, who all gelled together to make a special team. When Oakland went on a massive win-streak, taking 20 games in a row, the Angels mostly kept pace by going 17-3. We all know how the 2002 season finished, and that’s something we’d all like to see happen again in Anaheim.

So, here are two quick questions for you to help you understand this article’s title. First, what’s so special about the number “30” to the Angels? Second, what do Hank Conger, Chris Iannetta, Mike Trout, Collin Cowgill, Howie Kendrick, Efren Navarro and Grant Green all have in common?

Now if you said number 30 means Nolan Ryan, well, I won’t be upset. Give yourself a gold star for being an Angels fan. But, that wasn’t the answer I was going for with my question.

In 2014, as of the time of this writing, the number 30 represents how many comeback victories the Angels have had this season. They are tops in the Majors in comeback victories. Over half their victories have been come-from-behind. They’ve had dramatic ones too, such as Mike Trout’s grand slam off Chris Sale, or yesterday’s arrow-pointing win off of Fernando Rodney. The 2014 Angels are playing with all the best qualities of the 1986 team.

As for the second question, what all those players have in common is that in 2014, they have all had at least one walk-off at-bat to win a game for the team. Of the 8 walk-off at-bats, 7 of them have come from different players (Mike Trout has 2 walk-offs). Nearly a third of the 2014 Angels comeback victories have come in their last AB and almost all of them have come from a different player. That’s just like the best of the 2002 team where on any given night anyone could be a hero. Everyone on the 2014 is stepping up: veterans, rookies, utility players—they are all playing to the best of their abilities to get each and every win.

I love watching the 2014 Angels team play. They are playing with heart, passion and grit. I love their little routines after victories, such as showering a teammate with Gatorade and tearing a special player’s jersey after a dramatic win. They are having fun on the field and have gelled as a team. Nothing is more fun than to see this team win and enjoy it the way we all wish we could. It brings back the best in baseball—that connection to our youth and belief that anything is possible.

The 2014 team has power, average, starting pitching and a bullpen. They have all the pieces to make it to the post season and beyond. They are combining the best of my two favorite Angels teams, and are quickly becoming a third favorite. I believe that we have yet to see all that this Angels team can accomplish, and I’m excited for the rest of the summer.

By David Saltzer and Rick Dykhuizen

Let’s say you’ve just been drafted by the Angels. You may be a bit nervous. You may not know what you’re really getting yourself into with professional baseball. You may not be sure how your “stuff” stacks up with other kids who just turned pro.

There is one thing that is certain: One of the first people in the organization who will help shape your future is Dave Stapleton, the manager for the Orem Owlz. Working with many of the newly drafted players, Stapleton’s job is to take them from wherever they were and turn them into professional baseball players. It’s his job to teach them Angels baseball and get them ready for a career in the Major Leagues.

Stapleton joined the Owlz this year after pitching for the Brewers organization and coaching at Grand Canyon College, his alma mater (the same college as Tim Salmon—although they were not teammates). The field at Grand Canyon College is partially named in his honor (Stapleton-Pierson Stadium).

In speaking with Stapleton, we got a strong sense that he has the skills to turn these players into professional athletes. He spoke with us about his main goals for the players, how he works with them, and those people who influenced his managerial style. 

The biggest proof of Stapleton’s success so far can be found on the field. The Owlz are playing great baseball. Whenever the Angels aren’t playing, fans should tune into to the Owlz ( game to learn about the future of the organization. 

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing interviews that we did with many of the Owlz players. Please click below for our interview with the Owlz Manager, Dave Stapleton. 

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