Questions and Answers with Eddie Bane
(Former Director of Scouting of the LA Angels)
(Former Director of Scouting of the LA Angels)
Eddie Bane the Angels' scouting director and a former top pitching prospect himself as a standout pitcher for the Sun Devils from 1971-73, Eddie anchored two College World Series runner-up teams, in 1972 and 1973. His college accolades read like a laundry list of virtually every honor possible: A first-team All American, an All-College World Series selection, the 1973 Sporting News Player of the Year -- and later, a first-round draft pick. More specifically, Eddie led the ASU pitching staff to the tune of 130 strikeouts and a 2.18 era in 1971, 213 strikeouts and a 0.99 era in 1972, and 192 strikeouts in 1973. Over time, his accomplishments have proven to be timeless.
Eddie's numbers are as phenomenal today as they were some 25 years ago. He still owns several ASU pitching records, including the single-season record of 43 consecutive scoreless innings in 1972. He posted a school record 0.99 era and 7 shutouts that same year. His 505 strikeouts top the Sun Devil career charts, and he owns the great distinction of throwing the only perfect game in ASU baseball history. For you trivia buffs, it was against Cal State Northridge on March 2, 1973.
Eddie was a first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 1973 (11th pick overall), and went on to spend the 1973, 1975 and 1976 seasons with the club.
In fact, since major league baseball began its free agent draft in 1965, eddie is one of only 18 players to ever advance directly to the major leagues without first playing in the minors. He shares this distinction with such players as Dave Winfield and Bob Horner.
In 1994, Baseball America named Eddie to its All-Time College All-Star Team.
Angels' Director of Scouting Eddie Bane has been named to the 2008 induction class for the College Baseball Hall of Fame, the College Baseball Foundation announced. Bane will join Floyd Bannister in this year's class to bring the number of ASU Sun Devils in the Hall of Fame to five, joining coaching legends Bobby Winkles and Dr. Jim Brock as well as former Golden Spikes Award winner Bob Horner.
Bane begins his sixth campaign as Director of Scouting for the Angels. He oversees the scouting of amateur and minor league players as well as the signing of domestic amateur players and international players. Under his direction, Angels' scouts have been responsible for drafting and signing highly-regarded Angels' prospects such as Jered Weaver, Kendry Morales, Nick Adenhart, Trevor Reckling, Jordan Walden and Hank Conger.
The Chicago, IL, native attended Westminster (CA) High School. Bane has four children: Jaymie, Kacey, Corey and Veronica.
*NEW Exclusive Interview with Eddie Bane (2013) as he reflects on his past drafts, Angels Baseball, his relationship with Tony Reagins, Mike Trout, his time in Detroit with the Tigers and his new gig with the Boston Red Sox. Read the entire interview here!
*NEW Exclusive Interview with Eddie Bane (2013) as he reflects on his past drafts, Angels Baseball, his relationship with Tony Reagins, Mike Trout, his time in Detroit with the Tigers and his new gig with the Boston Red Sox. Read the entire interview here!
Here's some past LIVE chats we had with Eddie Bane to check out:
The Bane Connection - The May-June Pre-Draft (2009) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
June 11th, 2009
Eddie Bane: Guys, this is Eddie Bane if anyone is here already
Shane: Nice! Congrats on the draft Mr. Bane.
Angelswin.com: Wow, Eddie you made it before me.Angelswin.com: Just wanted to say (This is Chuck) great job on the draft.
Eddie Bane: Hey Shane. Please it is Eddie if you can. Yes. I am a bit early
Angelswin.com: Eddie... First off, were you excited to see Grichuk and Trout available at 24 and 25? Give us your thoughts on these two kids.
Eddie Bane: We really like our draft, but everybody likes their draft right afterwards so let's see what happens.
Eddie Bane: Of course we were happy with 24 and 25 being Grichuk and Mike Trout. We had some guys targeted and we were lucky enough to get them.
Shane: Is there a certain round where you just draft players knowing they won't sign? Or do you try to sign them all.
Angelswin.com: Going into this draft, what were the Angels trying to accomplish the most? How well would you say you accomplished those goals?
Upperdeck: Hi, Eddie: What’s the plan for Jake locker? Will you try to persuade him to give up football, or sign him but allow him to keeping playing baseball, basically just to obtain his right for the next 6 years? Also Selman and Nesseth seem to be good talents but tough signs, any plan to make run of them?
Eddie Bane: The funniest thing was that one of the talking heads at ESPN, Keith Law said, "I dont have Randell Grichuk in my top 100 players." I thought about it and realized that Jeff Malinoff, Ric Wilson, Ron Marigny and Kevin Ham all liked Randell in their top 10, That was good enough for me.
Eddie Bane: We were looking at trying to add some power and some LHP. We would not have jumped guys just to get that, but it worked out well.
Angelswin.com: What does Keith Law know? I wonder if he's ever swung a bat or suited up for a game.
Eddie Bane:Jake Locker is an incredible athlete. Could not pass him any longer. Jake is going to play qb at UW. We understand that. We still would like to work with him and see what we can do. He can do things on the baseball field that others cannot. Plus, at some point you have to get tired of taking a lot of shots from defenders.
Shane: If Matt Davidson was around for pick #40, would the Angels have took him? I was a bit surprised to see him passed up in the first round.
Eddie Bane:Not real worried about Keith as most people that know me should know. We try and do what we think is right and go from that point.
Eddie Bane: Matt Davidson was a nice draft. He will be a real value for professional baseball
Shane: Do the Angels get more satisfaction selecting projects and turning them into something over drafting the consensus top 100 pick?
Angelswin.com: What is your take on Jamie Mallard, Eddie? This kid looks like he might be something special. Nice on base pct., incredible power. Looks like a right-handed hitting Prince Fielder. Thoughts?
Guest: Eddie , is there a player you drafted that you knew would be available after the 1st few rounds, that you felt would be a sleeper?
Eddie Bane: Shane, we have so many scouts running around the country and guys with tons of experience. Cannot really watch what ESPN or Baseball America has to say. You do read it afterwards as part of the job though.
baseballmom: I don't really have a question....just wanted to say I appreciate all you did at WHS back in the day....I was in your sister's class....Go Lions!
Eddie Bane: Obviously, most ot the attention was on Locker, but look at the fireplug we took from Norco HS. Wes Hatton is a great competitor with talent.
Shane: Great pick on the Norco guy.
Eddie Bane: Wow. Go WHS. Pardon me folks. That is our high school
Eddie Bane:We were worried that when everyone came to see Hobgood that they would get an extra look at Hatton, but it worked out our way.
Upperdeck: Do you agree with the baseballamerica ranking of Angels system at 25th? The last two years we spent the least amount of money on the draft among all 30 teams. Do you think we should’ve spend some extra to sign guys like Matt Harvey and Brian Matusz?
Guest: Keith made a mistake with that knee-jerk comment. I think it was more a reflection of his own work, and he was attempting to justify it. No one else said "it was the worst pick in the first round" afterward, and funny, Keith hasn't said it since then...
Eddie Bane: Believe it or not some of the BA people got ahold of me and apologized for the 25th ranking(I had not seen it). They were overreacting to not signing Matusz and Harvey. Then they looked at our 2A roster and realized that it was stacked.
Shane: Where are the guys from last year's draft? Boshers, Gomez, Farnsworth, Washington, etc
Angelswin.com: What’s a realistic timetable for judging how well this draft went? 1 year, 3 years or 5 years? What would be a success for this draft?
Eddie Bane: Sure folks, Keith Law is fine. I just trust Malinoff and Wilson more.
Angelswin.com: Shane, they're tuning up for the Orem Owlz..
Eddie Bane: Most of our hs picks from last year will be in Orem. Some of the guys like Tyler Chatwood are already in Cedar Rapids. Both Chatwood and Chaffee made the MWL all start team
Greg: which player drafted do you feel will be a "project" for the coaching staffs, but with huge upside?
Eddie Bane: 4,5 even 6 years for a hs draft is reasonable. It is just a lot better now with sites like this that keep an interest in the players in the minor leagues. That is great for the players when they receive the attention.
Shane: Was an autograph from the father in on the drafting of Asaad Ali?
Eddie Bane: Our coaches do a great job building up our projects from the ASU guys to the hs players from Connecticut.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, did the new focus on plate discipline affect how we selected in the draft?
baseballmom: I loved seeing Trout there for the moment. Do you draft players for the intangibles that they may bring to the team?
Guest: I'm actually a UA Wildcat and am interested in your thoughts on 11th rounder Dillon Baird. Seems like a good left-handed bat. Looks like you drafted some quality SunDevils too!
Eddie Bane:Asaad was drafted because we saw some ability. The fact his father is the "Greatest" was just a cherry on top. Somebody had to tell me that Ali was his father after I read the report.
Eddie Bane: Plate discipline has always been a play in our system, but yes it is an extra look now. Baird led the pac10 in hitting. Last guy I drafted that won that crown was Paul LoDuca. Hope the same happens with Dillon
Shane: Is there a sleeper pick this year that we should look at for?
Eddie Bane: Jon Bachanov will get his professional debut this season (soon). Tough breaks for the young man have really hurt him so far physically.
Eddie Bane: Look at high draft Spence in the CWS. He does not throw hard, but can really carve up hitters.
Shane: Is this the Trevor Bell you guys expected?
Eddie Bane: Sure is fun to watch TBell have a big year. We have insights into some other stuff and Trevor's velocity and command are much improved. It really pumps you up
Angelswin.com: Eddie, as we always do after a draft. Let's rate best tools for the Angels selected players.
Shane: But at the same the high gets set back with performances like we're seeing from Mark Trumbo.
Eddie Bane: Wes Hatton will play 2B for us, but he does have a big arm so we may try him at other spots to see where he is best.
Angelswin.com: Give Eddie some time on the longer question about the "Best Tools" guys..
Eddie Bane: I will wait to rank those players until after we sign a few of them. Cant give agents too much ammo. Best arm though is Richards and best breaking ball would be Skaggs. Trout fastest runner and Grichuk bat and power along with Jamie Mallard who has incredible power.
Angelswin.com: Fair enough, Eddie...
Eddie Bane: On the Mark Trumbo front I will say that we are still in the middle of June. Let's play this season out and see what happens. Last year Hank Conger just started playing at this point. But, of course we would like to see Mark hit some homeruns and get his confidence going.
Shane: Beau Brooks is the second best catcher in the system. True or false.
Angelswin.com: Thanks for the quick list though.. I'm excited about Mallard, Grichuk and Trout... Richards and Skaggs are solid arms too. Good stuff.
Bryan: OK...I'll ask. What's up with Wood playing first base?
Eddie Bane:I saw where BW played 1st the other day. I like to see stuff like that as everyone can use increased versatility at the big league level.
dochalo: Hi Eddie. Thanks for all your hard work and meeting with us tonight. I am very excited about this draft
Upperdeck: It seems to me this couple years we start to draft outside of box more. Guys like Grichuk who can really hit, but is a LF, are not often drafted very high out of high school. We also took some short right hander but with big arms like Chatwood and Reynolds. Josh Spence can really pitch but without a blazing fastball. I didn’t see these kind of guys drafted high by us in the years past. Can I interpret this as an effort by Angels Scouting staff to go beyond the traditional scouting ideology? Maybe a different kind of “moneyball”?
baseballmom: I am excited about talking to our CIF quarterback....let alone all the other stuff
Eddie Bane: Thanks doc. Long last few days, but mine is the easy part. How about my area scout that ran all over the place for 6 months and then did not get any players in the draft. That is really tough.
Eddie Bane:I have never been compared to Moneyball. Not a big fan. I think we see some other teams now drafting hs players like we have been for awhile so the water is a little more crowded.
8:03 Upperdeck: What do you think the long term roles of Richards and Kehrer are? Some scouting reports think they are likely going to be a power reliever and left-hand specialist. Are they capable of more than that because I read both can maintain the velocity of their fastball deep into game?
Eddie Bane: I dont have a distinct like or dislike for shorter RHP's. I do like guys that can pitch or that have huge velocity. I think people have this idea of Grichuk as a hitter only. Not so fast folks. Randell has power and can hit, but he is also a good athlete.
Eddie Bane: I saw Richards in the Big12 tourney and he was throwing 96-97 in the 6th inning. Saw Kehrer the next day and he was 92 and had a real nice cutter. I like both as starters at this point.
Shane: Do you think playing in the Cal League hurts a pitchers development and you want to get them the hell out of there as quick as possible if they have success, like with Reckling?
dochalo: Eddie, I noticed that in the mid to late rounds that a lot of the hitters you selected were college products. Was this just coincidence or does it represent a bit of a change in philosophy? Or did I not realize this is similar to most years?
Guest: How do you typically approach later round draft picks like Harris, Santigate, and Barkley now that there is no longer the draft-and-follow process? Do you work them out and evaluate them over the next couple of months to determine if you'll sign them?
Eddie Bane: If you have trouble in the Cal League then it might be a little tough on you in the Big Leagues.
AngelDave: Hi Eddie, Seeing Trout at the draft, and being drafted by the Angels was very nice. I imagine it made the org happy too
Eddie Bane: In the later rounds of the draft I try and look for at least one big tool. It is a good way to possibly find a big leaguer. That was the thinking with LoDuca and some others
Angelsjunky: Hi Eddie, thanks for the good work. A couple questions: 1) Any thoughts on Howie Kendrick's struggles this year? 2) Understanding that it is WAY too early to tell, who do you compare Grichuk and Trout to in terms of upside? In other words, if all goes well what sort of major leaguers do you think they can become? And where do you place those two in comparison to other Angels hitting prospects in terms of talent?
Eddie Bane: Yeah, you cannot fake the emotion that Mike Trout showed at the draft. That was cool for everyone. I agree with Harold Reynolds. More guys should show up.
Shane: Where did Sean Rodriguez's plate discipline go?
Eddie Bane: Someone said Mike Trout remind them of Aaron Rowand. I like Rowand, but Trout has a much better future than Aaron Rowand. Grichuk's bat would be like an aggressive Todd Zeile.
Angelswin.com: Speaking of Sean Rodriguez, how about that power? Leads the minors in Home Runs with 21.
Eddie Bane: Tough to rank their bats this early and especially before they have signed. Depends on what you look for in hitters. Petit is a great hitter and hopefully the power will come a bit more.
dochalo: Eddie, Any comments on Segura making the jump to AAA?
Eddie Bane: Yeah, a little tough to get on Sean Rodriguez's plate discipline. That is like saying that Halle Berry has a bad haircut. I'll take 21 homeruns in the middle of June from anyone.
Shane: As an organization, do the Angels keep track of a scouts record? As in, who've they drafted and what the success rate of the draftees are?
Angelswin.com: Nice. :-)
AngelDave: After a busy couple of days, when do you start the negotiating process? Any chance we see some of these draftees play this season?
Eddie Bane: Segura is showing he can play and that is a great story, but eventually we can get him back to where he belongs in A ball.
Guest: Any signings to announce yet?!
kim: Hi Eddie, I'm South Korean. so my english very bad. Please try and understand. How about this year International scouting?
Eddie Bane:Of course you pay attention to the scouts record. Tom Kotchman has signed more major leaguers than any area scout in the world.
dochalo: thats amazing
Shane: Is that why the Angels draft a ton of players from Chipola JC? I'm thinking about transferring there so I can get drafted.
Eddie Bane: We have done a nice job in Korea Kim. I went to Qwanju(sp) in South Korea to help sign Jung
dochalo: How about what Hill is doing in AAA this year?
Eddie Bane: Chipola is also the home of Russell Martin, the Dodger catcher.
kim: how about now jung and jang?
Eddie Bane: You guys do a better job watching our minor leaguers than I do. I have enough to do watching free agents and occasionally Conger, Walden and Reckling
dochalo: Walden pitched well today
Eddie Bane: Jung is recovering from Tommy John and Jang is doing fine.
Guest: How do you approach the international signing period next month without Clay Daniel? From some things I was reading on Baseball America, it was sounding like the Angels were going to be a little more aggressive in Latin America this year than the past couple of years.
Eddie Bane: Thanks Doc. I did not know that. Health is my main concern with our minor leaguers. If healthy the good ones will play in the big leagues with the Angels.
Eddie Bane: Shane, Chipola is in North Florida. I am not sure you would like the weather. Little warm at times.
dochalo: 6ip, 4h, 0er, 2bb, 7k, 95 pitches
Angelswin.com: Eddie, do you think we'll see Jung pitch for the Owlz this season?
j cruz: Was Garret Richards the 42nd ranked player on your board or was he picked due to budgetary constraints?
Upperdeck: Trvor Bell is really having a fine season so far. What has been his biggest improvement? Also Reckling is very impressive at such young age. What kind of starter do he project to be in the future?
Eddie Bane: I think Jung will pitch for the Owlz.
Shane: I'm from SoCal. Probably talking about the humidity though. Sounds fun to pitch in a sauna.
Angelswin.com: Very good, Eddie...
Eddie Bane: Garret Richards was ranked quite a few spots above 42. Not sure what is meant by the budget restraints question.
Guest: Thanks for your time and for answering our questions. I doubt there are very many scouting directors giving fans the access and time you are giving us. It is much appreciated!
Angelswin.com: Boy, speaking of pitching. Walden, Reckling, Bell, W. Smith, Chaffee, Mendoza and Chatwood are all having incredible seasons. Job well done, Eddie.
dochalo: How is Lopez transition to Catcher going?
Shane: Don't forget Michael Kohn.
kim: angelswin.com thanks for asking that about Jung.
dochalo: and Flores
Eddie Bane: Guys, I like the tougher questions. Someone needs to answer them and I do realize that people get frustrated at times. I have absolutely no problems with that.
Angelswin.com: Yeah, forgot Flores too..
Phil: I haven't seen Lopez play a game at catcher yet.
AngelDave: With the bullpen struggling this year, and the Salt Lake shuttle not providing much help, will we see some of the younger starters from below AAA get a shot?
Angelswin.com: Hey Phil... Eddie, Phil is our Cedar Rapids rep from Angelswin.com.
Eddie Bane:Both Bell and Reck are having good years. Reckling is the hot hot pitcher in all of minor league baseball right now. Even the talking heads at the big places are now jumping on Reck's bandwagon.
Eddie Bane: Kohn is throwing really hard and getting a ton of strikeouts. He should be doing that though with as hard as he throws.
Guest: Question about Wil Myers: I was hoping the Angels would grab him especially as he seemed to be sliding a bit. Was he ever a serious target for you (if you can share that info)?
dochalo: Looks like Wood went deep again along with Evans. Terry is having a fine season. Where does he fit if at all?
Eddie Bane: Roberto Lopez needs to show versatility and he has. He can catch in a spot right now and will get better.
Eddie Bane:No. some clubs really like Wil Myers and we did not want to go that big. That is fine. Baseball draft a lot different than the NFL and NBA draft for sure.
Shane: Eddie, do you find it frustrating when you see guys like Sean R. and Wood still in the minors after having nothing more to prove?
AngelDave: How's Conger doing behind the plate?
Eddie Bane: I know what you mean about Wil Myers though. Some people like certain players and believe in them. You are probably correct on Myers.
Eddie Bane: We knew Hank could catch. He just had not shown it to some others because of injuries. Mike Scioscia thinks he can catch so that is good enough for me. Much more important that Mike likes his catching than me.
Eddie Bane: I think the frustration would be with Sean and Brandon and others. But, this is an organization that wins. They are not trying to get to the big leagues like they would be with some of the also ran organizations. When you make it with the Angels players know that means something special. Sorry to some of the other clubs but it is true.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, out of Trevor Bell, Trevor Reckling and Jordan Walden, which of the three is closest to the big leagues?
Eddie Bane: Evans also. And Matt Brown. And Bobby Wilson. Forgot those guys. Sorry.
Eddie Bane: Reckling right now.
Eddie Bane: Dont forget Sean O'Sullivan. He is in a higher league at a young age and pitching in a hitters friendly league. He will figure it out.
Angelswin.com: Glowing compliment, Eddie. The kid (Trevor) sure looks good. Having three solid pitches will get you to the show.
Eddie Bane:: Mike and Butch will tell us when those guys are ready. they have graduated from me and I am like a parent that has sent them off to college.
Eddie Bane: Reck, has a great feel for pitching and outstanding mental feel.
dochalo: Got to run Eddie. Thanks again for everything. Thanks to Chuck and all the other AW.com members as well
Angelswin.com: Eddie. We've gone an hour already. Hey guys, if you have a last question for Eddie. Let's get it posted.
Eddie Bane: BTW Mike Butcher got to watch Tyler Skaggs throw in the pen before the draft and he came away with a great feel for Tyler. that will certainly help Skaggs in his moves up the ladder.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, my question: Do you feel Sean Rodriguez has the ability to play either LF or RF going forward?
Eddie Bane: Yep guys, I am old. It is past my bed time. Abe Flores is our outstanding minor league director and he moves those guys.
Eddie Bane: Sean can play any position except pitch in my mind.
Eddie Bane: Thanks again folks. I hope you enjoyed the chat and more importantly hope you liked the Angels draft. I will talk with all of you again soon
AngelDave: Thanks Eddie!
Shane: Thanks Eddie.
Upperdeck: Thanks Eddie!
Eddie Bane:Let's do it again guys.
Angelswin.com: We appreciate the time, Eddie. As always. Great job on the draft, we'll see you next month in the chat.
Angelswin.com: This concludes our Live Chat with Eddie Bane (Scouting Director of the Los Angeles Angels).
The Bane Connection - The April (2009) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
April 24th, 2009
Angelswin.com: Welcome everyone to the April edition of the Eddie Bane Connection. Eddie should be here at noon, though he may be a little late too as he's on the east coast with a busy schedule today.
Craig: Thanks for providing this for us Chuck.
Ryan: Ultimately, what does Alexander Torres project as? He's off to a great start in the Cal League (league-leading 23 K) and early on, is fairing better against lefties.
Eddie Bane: Guys; This is Eddie if you are ready for me.
Angelswin.com: Alright guys, Eddie is here a tad early. Thanks Eddie. Let's roll.
Eddie Bane: First of all thanks for having me. I am on the road in Jacksonville Florida to see a pitcher name of Brothers so now you guys know everything about scouting
Angelswin.com: I bet you're a busy man Eddie with all these high round draft picks.
Eddie Bane: With Torres and Reckling what you look for early in their career is the ability to get out LH hitters. They both have shown that. They are both projected as starting pitchers at this point of their career.
Eric: Eddie, do you believe Jordan Walden could help the Angels bullpen in 2009?
Craig: Eddie, Thanks for taking the time to join us. I just read where Anthony Ortega will be starting on Saturday. As tough as the injury bug has hit us, you must get a sense of pride seeing the farm being relied on, and helping the big club out.
Eddie Bane: Nobody is going to feel sorry for me and the travel so why complain. Great job and still have the passion. Thats all that is needed. More fun to have a lot of picks then #70 like last year.
Eddie Bane: As I have said before we have a lot of depth. Unfortunately with injuries and tragedy it is getting tested.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, deep draft this year? Heavy on a certain position or talent skill sets in this group of high school and college players?
Eddie Bane: I would like to see Jordan Walden stay in a starting role. He may end up being a major league closer, but that would be down the road. Walden hooked up with Kasey Kiker (Rangers) the other night in a 1-0 12 inning game. A classic.
Eddie Bane: We like the draft eligible players this year. More LHP's than normal and the draft has some power hitting high school kids.
Eddie Bane:I would vote for us to take the best available player in your survey above if I get a vote.
Kevin M: Kevin in Salt Lake here. With Napoli and Mathis ahead of him and top prospect behind him it appears Bobby Wilson doesn't have a place with the Angels. What are the Halos' plans for Wilson?
Angelswin.com: Do you see any relievers like the Tigers #1 pick last year Ryan Perry who may be able to make the jump right to the big leagues? We could use a boost in the bullpen.
Eric: Eddie, what may be holding Brandon Wood back as far as a starter at SS? It seems Mike Scioscia has decided he's a thirdbaseman and won budge. I see Wood in the mold of Cal Ripken or Alex Rodriguez where he's a big guy but if positioned correctly maybe some limited range wont have a big effect.
Eddie Bane: Kevin M. Kev if you see the injuries that crop up then you have to believe that Bobby is going to catch at some point with the Angels. It is just a bit tougher to make it to the big leagues with the Angels then some other clubs. Bobby and our other players realize that and take great pride in being in a great organization. Wilson is a major leaguer for sure.
Dave: Howdy Eddie, thanks for taking the time to do this!
Kevin M: Thanks for the comments about Wilson. One more question if you don't mind. Will we see Mark Trumbo in Salt Lake this year?
Eddie Bane: Ryan Perry was a nice draft by David Chadd and his group with the Tigers. We knew how good he was, but did not have a draft pick that high. It would be awfully hard for a young man to make the Angels bullpen straight out of college.
Eddie Bane: Woodie is going to play a long time in the major leagues and can play both short and third. Right now I think it is pretty easy to see that not many people can do what Aybar does at short. Figgins is a great leadoff hitter. In great organizations you have to wait your turn. Believe me that both Tony and Mike love Brandon Wood and he will get his opportunity. Just like what is happening now with Kendry.
Dave: Eddie, with all the injuries to the parent club the Angels are struggling with depth and are shuffling players around. How many of the recent promotions (such as McKiernan and O'Sullivan) might be undone as the parent club gets healthy?
Eddie Bane: Trumbo has the most power in our organization and probably the most raw power in the game in the minor leagues. When he gets to SL and Anaheim you will see something special, but it takes time for power guys to learn the strike zone etc.
Eddie Bane:: Dave; I am not sure about what happens when everybody gets healthy. I do know that if Eddie K and Sean O go to a higher club and get everybody out then the Angels would not send them back just to send them back.
Eric: How do you evaluate a player baseball acumen? Is it less important than pure talent. I guess a good example IMO is Alfonso Soriano. He can hit the long ball and run like the wind, but otherwise doesn't look like he has a clue what he's doing out there.
Eddie Bane: The question about SLC in 2011 is quite a ways down the road, but when you look at the Ark club this year you are able to see a prospect at most every position and that is beyond rare for a minor league team. But that was the goal of our scouting staff. Supply Abe and Tony with enough real prospects to go throughout the system. The only way to do that is to get Reckling, Petit and the others after the first round.
Dave: Could you tell us more about Eddie K as a pitcher? at 20 years old in AAA-Salt Lake he's way ahead of the curve.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, if you had the #1 pick in the draft, who would you take? Based on talent, not need.
Eddie Bane: I watched Manny Ramirez play in high school. He hit 2 homeruns and a double. He got picked off 1st and dropped a fly ball. Just like he does now. But, when you see a great hitter like Ramirez you can look the other way on some of the other stuff. A lot of people do not realize how hard Manny works on his hitting. A tireless worker on hitting.
Eddie Bane: Unfortunately a lot of scouts with pitchers look at the radar gun first. Our guys dont do that. When Jeff Malinoff or Ric Wilson call me on a pitcher they talk about deliveries, life and location before speed.
Eddie Bane: Eddie McKiernan is a real trip and a real treat. He looks like he is 10 years old w Braces and a baby face. Rob Wilfong begged me to sign him out of Monrovia and Gary Sutherland also knew about Eddie. He has good good stuff and has a giant heart with no fear. He has a tatoo that says something like "the one" on it. A really neat young man.
Angelswin.com: Does Eddie McKiernan bring the heat or a knockout pitch, Eddie? We might need to use his this year :-)
Eddie Bane: Managers and coaches talk about players only when they are awake. That is to mean constantly. We all do. We love it and that is where we get enjoyment by watching players move up the ladder.
Jon UCLA 93: Used to be a college pitcher at UCLA that used my defense, I can just imagine what some of the pitchers in your organization would think of the outfield they may have with the likes of Moore, Bourjos, Fuller, Phillips (you'll move him eventually) and Perez. How good can these guys be (we know about PB, but what of the others?
Dave: How is the change in patience at the plate working out throughout the organization? Anyone really excelling in your opinion at it? Anyone really struggling?
Rob (Mauch Won): How often do the managers and coaches within the organization talk about players that are moving up and down with the system? Do higher level manager/coaches make requests to have certain aspects worked on to get the player ready for the next level?
Eddie Bane: I would say Eddie still needs some time. The guys to watch out for are Mason Tobin, when he gets healthy, and David Herndon as pen guys. Tobin got on the radar screen in spring training by impressing Butcher. Tobin was a great sign by our young scout in the NW, Casey Harvie.
Eddie Bane: Peter is probably a step better than most of our guys defensively, but Fuller and the others are close and getting better. If it is in the ball park Peter will usually catch it.
Angelswin.com: Speaking of which, Tobin hasn't been pitching of late. I'm assuming he hit the DL. Elbow or Shoulder trouble or?
Eric: If Kendry Morales fullfills his potential, do you think Mark Trumbo would be able to handle a shift to LF or RF?
Angelswin.com: Touched base with Abe Flores almost a couple weeks ago re: Roberto Lopez switch from 1B to Catcher. How is that going and where do you think he'll land first with the catchers gear, Cedar Rapids or Rancho Cucamonga ?
Eddie Bane: Of course we are all really struggling with the loss of Nicky. It hurts, but we all have to go out and do our jobs even when your mind is numb and the pain is tough. I loved the kid and really hurt for his family, Janet, Jim, Duane and his brother Henry. Mr Moreno took the time to fly people back to Maryland and attend the service. Moseley, Lackey, Jered, Brad Coon and others did not need to do that, but they did because of the bond they had with Nicky. Tough thing to think about or talk about, but I know people would like to know so I do it.
Eddie Bane: Mason is having a little problem, but I am not sure what it is. Tough break for him as he was throwing 96mph "Brandon Webb" like sinkers at the end of spring training and Mike and Butch saw it.
Eddie Bane: Sorry, but wont answer the best player in the draft scenario. Those young men are always looking for quotes so their agents can ask for more money. I'll tell you after we sign them.
Lou: Eddie, living in the beautiful IE, is there any player I should keep an eye out for that might not be a name we're real familiar with? With the Quakes that is.
Angelswin.com: Fair enough on that one, Eddie.
Angelswin.com: That's why I made a poll. I figured as much. :-)
Eddie Bane: Lou. Andrew Romine has an above average and I mean well above avg glove at short. You are seeing a major league glove every night. His instincts are as good as anyone in the game. A treat to watch.
Lou: Agents wouldn't do that, would they?
Eddie Bane: I would hazzard a guess that the SDSU kid wins the poll though. HA HA
Angelswin.com: Eddie, I'm going to ask a few questions of Angelswin.com members who couldn't make it to the chat today. First off. "I would like to know what Eddie thinks of Michael Kohn. Last year at Orem he had 44 SO's and only gave up 11 hits in 23 IP and this year he has 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 12 SO's.
Eddie Bane: The question on Bill Stoneman is a unique one. Bill comes into the office in his consulting role all the time. I think it is good because I learned a ton from the man. But, Tony is all of our boss and we all know that and recognize that.
Eddie Bane: Brian. Kohn has huge velocity. He needs to harness it and will be a good one. Needs to move a little quicker as he was a college guy instead of most of our guys being hs pitchers. Big arm.
Angelswin.com: Question: How about an update on Jon Bachanov? When will we see Tyler Chatwood and Ryan Chaffee? I'm assuming Orem?
Jon UCLA 93: Jake Locker played summer ball last year. Hint Hint for a late round flyer. Why would he play if he had already made his choice of sport.
Eddie Bane: You asked earlier how we cope with things in scouting. Here is a good point. While I was typing with you guys my cell phone ring and it was Hank Conger. When we talk it wont be about baseball much, but more about his real life is going. That is what a scout can do with the player. It works well.
Eddie Bane: Jon. UCLA has been looking at our draft board. We have had pretty good success drafting qb's. Pat White twice and Jake out of high school
Eddie Bane:: Trumbo and any other player for that matter should always take the time to learn more about the game and try different spots. That is why when you scout a minor league game you look for the players that are always trying to improve in any way they can. I would bet that a player with great makeup like Trumbo would catch some fly balls in the outfield. Remember he threw 96-97 off the mound in hs
Eddie Bane: Roberto Lopez created a buzz because he can hit. Bo Hughes and our area scouts in soCal on that one. If he hits like he did in Orem he will play somewhere for sure.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, with so many picks in the first few rounds, will you take some chances on guys who you may not be able to sign?
Eddie Bane: Bachanov could get his start in Orem this year. We are being careful with Chaffee and a minor(I believe) foot problem. Chat was called up to CR yesterday and will go into their rotation. Chat had a couple of really strong outing for T-Bone and Zeke in extended spring.
Angelswin.com: Very good to hear re: Tyler Chatwood.
Angelswin.com: Is Trevor Reckling's call up to Double-A a temporary move? Or do they see unusual poise and command for a 19 year old in him and are thinking about making it permanent?
Eddie Bane: Another great family and great young man. When I went in the house last year the Chatwood's have a British Bulldog that was pregnant. I am an animal freak and they said that when she had the pups that would save one for me. In the meantime my daughter adopted a mutt named Auggie from the shelter. 2 dog in my house, Sven and Auggie are enough. So I had to tell the Chatwood's no on the bulldog. That is how good of people they are.
Jon UCLA 93: A few that got away; How close were you to signing guys like Matusz, Posey, and more recently Jungmann. With the confidence that your drafting history is solid and with the added picks are you a little more aggressive going after signability guys this year. Also a little side note: I think I'm the reason you signed LoDuca, He hit about .800 of me while at ASU.
Angelswin.com: Matt Sweeney is looking good in Rancho. If he keeps this up will we see him join Conger, Mount, Bourjos and Trumbo in Double-A soon?
Eddie Bane: Reckling was called up for one reason and one reason only. He had showed last year, this year in the spring and the first couple of games in Rancho that he needed to be challenged. So2A is the right spot for him. This young man played on the famous hs basketball team back east that is coached by Bobby Hurley of Duke's fame, father. A great athlete. Known as the Mayor because he can talk to anyone btw.
Angelswin.com: Very good news re: Trevor Reckling, Eddie.
Eddie Bane: Matt was with those guys right on through until he missed the entire system. Those kind of bats are really rare. If he can stay healthy Matt Sweeney has no limits. Signed by Dan Radcliffe who also signed Nick Adenhart.
Eddie Bane: All of them need to stay healthy and a lot of these guys have great ceilings
Angelswin.com: How is Sweeney developing defensively at 3B early on?
Eddie Bane: Jon of UCLA. Thanks for the help on LoDuca. Paulie can sure hit and it sounds like he hit you pretty good too. Matusz was the one that really hurts. His agent was different, but in hind site we should have given the young man the $1.5 that he wanted. We had both him and O'Sullivan right in the same spot.
Jason: Looks like Chris Pettit is off to a strong start. Is he someone we might see in Anaheim later this year?
Eddie Bane: Matt Sweeney has learned from Rob Piccilo and his managers the benefits of really hard work and he has done that on his defense. When we first got him Matt was a plus plus bat with BA defense. Now his defense is catching up and should be fine. His bat is his calling card though.
Sonador: When looking at the development of players attempting to make the transition from AAA to ML Ball, what's the cut off time where a manager should recognize that they're just not ready yet, if ever? 1 month? 1 year? 30 AB's?
Eddie Bane: Chris Pettit is a really neat story. He is still mad about where he got drafted and I think it is great that he is that way. He is out to prove the scouts wrong. Not sure when, but if Chris stays healthy he will play in the major leagues for the Angels in my opinion. Pettit was Bobby DeJardin, Wilfong and Bo Hughes bothering me in the draft room until I took him.
Need to make sure and mention Greg Morhardt and Mike Silvestri on Reckling. Silvestri bugged me every day after the draft until we signed Reck.
Angelswin.com: Peter Bourjos seems to be off to a great start getting on base (.396) 6 walks, 10 strikeouts, .311 batting average. Good to see with his speed (5 sb's).
Jason: Anyone under the Radar right now that we should look out for that could move up quick or have a big impact that gets little pub?
Eddie Bane: Sonador. Great question. The hardest jump by far is from 3A to the ML. The confidence is the key thing. If you let that get shaken at the big league level then they bury you. As far as at bats I would think that the only time it is imperative that you hit and hit right now is when Mike Scioscia and Mickey are watching. That is what they pay you for. To hit at the big league level. It was like Mike said last night when Kendry hit his first homerun this year. Kendry knows he can hit, but it sure helps the confidence when you see that at and that homerun.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, give me a couple names of foreign players signed in the last year or so that we all should keep our eye on in Orem, AZL Angels and the Dominican Angels club this season.
Eddie Bane:Some of our really great Latin American talent does not get the pub they deserve and I am not sure why. Carmona at Rancho can throw the ball up to 98mph and he never gets mentioned. We have to be careful though because other teams know about him for sure.
Eddie Bane: Carmona, PJ Yang, Yung, (last 2 from Korea) and Flavio Martinez are names that come to mind quickly. Clay Daniel and the rest of our international guys are incredible.
Eddie Bane: Guys I have time for a couple more questions and then I need to go the ballpark. Fire away
Angelswin.com: OK guys, lightening round... Fire away.
Angelswin.com: Trevor Bell, looking good as a starter again. Thoughts on Trevor?
Jon UCLA 93: Eddie, I was at that 'classic' Walden-Kiker 2A game the other day with my 5 year old. Walden had nice little episode with Smoak. Smoak pulled a hard liner,(maybe the hardest contact that day) then Walden lit up at 98 on the inside black. He's got the grit along with the stuff.
Jason: Any thoughts on Alexia Amarista?
Eddie Bane: I really appreciate all the support the guys, gals and Chuck at Angelswin give me and the rest of the Angel employees. Thanks so much for doing that.
Eddie Bane: Yes, it is easy to tell that Jordan Walden has that Lackey, Beckett type toughness that Texas pitchers seem to have. that would have been a great game to see in person.
Eddie Bane: Good call Jason on Amarista. He can really make things happen in my mind.
Angelswin.com: Eddie, Thank You. We all appreciate you and your support of the fans interest in the up and coming Angels ball players.
Jason: the pleasure is ours Eddie. It's not very often that fans get this type of opportunity. We appreciate your insight and info.
Eddie Bane: Neat to see Trevor Bell throwing well. He came into spring training and is throwing quality strikes with good stuff. Hard worker.
Angelswin.com: Very good. re: Trevor Bell.
Dave: Who's impressed you the most as a pitcher? As a hitter?
Eddie Bane: Dave; For me our most impressive hitter is Hank Conger and our most impressive pitcher right now would be either Jordan Walden or Trevor Reckling with several guys close. Hank will start hitting shortly, but it is neat to see him catching and doing things behind the plate that Mike has to have.
Angelswin.com: Alright guys. Eddie has to get ready to get out to a game to do some scouting in Florida. A big thanks as always Eddie for your time and information.
Dave: Thank you so much for taking the time for us Eddie.
Eddie Bane:Thanks guys. I am amazed at the knowledge of our fans and I hope we can do a good job for Arte and for you guys in the upcoming June draft. Have a great day. Go Angels
- Eddie Bane
Angelswin.com: Have a good time in Florida and go get us some good talent this year. I have no doubt you'll supply the Angels with a talented group of HS and College players in this years' draft.
Angelswin.com: This has concluded our Eddie Bane Connection feature.
The Bane Connection - The Spring Camp (2009) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
March 2nd, 2009
Q: (Angelswin.com) - Since we're titling this the Spring Camp Edition, what are you hearing from your scouts and coaches thus far in Tempe about the Angels prospects in camp? Who's really turning heads on the hill, defensively and with the lumber?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Sorry, guys, that it has taken awhile to get back with Angels fans, but blame Chris McAlpin, Kevin Ham and Bobby Dejardin. They are our area scouts that have had me running around the country seeing their players. One day recently in southern California, I was able to watch six high school pitchers on one Saturday. A scout lives for those kind of days. OK, onto the questions for spring training.
I think if you look at who Mike, Ron, Alfredo and Mickey play in the spring training games, you can tell who are turning the big league heads. Romine is playing a lot, Peter Bourjos is playing a lot, Petit is getting a lot of hits and O’Sullivan, Walden, Herndon, Browning and Adenhart are getting innings on the mound; nothing but positives from the camp, with the extra emphasis perhaps on a bit more plate discipline for some of our guys.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - What guys are flying under the radar right now that we should keep an eye on this season?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I think this is the year to keep an eye on Matt Sweeney; injured last year, but still a premium bat. Same thing with Chris Petit. He was hurt some last year, but finished strong and then tore up the Fall League. David Herndon will jump quickly as a closer type, also. Hard to keep guys under the radar any longer as you guys are so good at picking through our stuff that most of the fans already know most of the guys. Remember, last year we kept predicting Trumbo had monster power and then he hit 30 plus home runs. Now he just needs to do it again, huh? Easy enough, right?
Q: (Angelswin.com) – Nick Adenhart — how's he looking? I'm hoping last year was just a blip, ala Ervin Santana.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Nick Adenhart is as good a pitching prospect as the game has. He is about the same age as the college guys I am chasing right now. And he has already touched the big leagues. So far in the spring, from what I hear his stuff has been dynamite as always. When Nick gets ahead of the count with a pitch low and in the middle of the plate, he will win consistently in the major leagues. His stuff is top drawer and, specifically, his fastball gets on the hitters.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - Now that we've learned more about the player development from Abe Flores, do you and your staff draft toward the organization's strengths in developing players? What are some of your early thoughts on the draft for 2009? Have you already targeted a few kids?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Shoot, the process started right after the 2008 draft ended. All of our scouts, but especially the crosscheckers — Jeff Malinoff, Ric Wilson, Bo Hughes, Ron Marigny and Mike Silvestri — have been chasing players since the ’08 draft finished. No, we cannot target positions, but it is obvious that I would like to put more corner power into the system. We have only had two first round picks since 2004 and while that is fine with me it means we have to do a good job at finding the Mounts and Recklings while they are in high school and get first round picks in that manner.
This year, we have six picks before we ever selected in the 2008 draft. If we can get six guys with the upside that Tyler Chatwood (our first pick in ’08) has, then we will be happy.
One of the things that hurts a premium system like ours are things like the Rule V Draft. It is a way for teams to draft players off your roster that you are unable to protect on your 40-man. We lost three pitchers in the Rule V Draft and that is tough to replace immediately, those type arms. But we would rather have other teams admiring our system like that instead of ignoring us.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - When you came on board in 2004, the Angels had a solid outfield of run producers which included Vladimir Guerrero. Since, we've acquired Torii Hunter, Gary Matthews Jr. and Juan Rivera, not exactly the Angels outfield of old, which consisted of Garret Anderson, Jim Edmonds and Tim Salmon at one point — three outfielders drafted and developed by the Angels. Will you go after some power hitting outfielders in this up and coming draft to replace Guerrero, Hunter and Rivera down the road?
A: (Eddie Bane) - As I was able to state above, we need to develop a few more guys with corner bat power. That will happen between what myself and Abe Flores do. Peter Bourjos is a future star centerfielder and Fuller behind him is a major leaguer. Some of our corner infield types like Sweeney could also play left field. When the Angels had those three guys in the outfield for a short period of time they did not have the homegrown starting or relief pitching that we currently have. They also did not have an infield of home growns at first, second and two guys of Major League quality at shortstop, to go along with at least four deep of homegrown Major League catchers.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - How much work does Hank Conger have to do defensively before he can start moving up in the organization? Why is he not able to throw in spring camp? I thought Hank was cleared to catch going into the 2009 minor league season?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hank has to get behind the plate and see if the body can take a season of catching. But, the part that people just steam right by it seems to me is that the game does not have many hitting prospects as good as this young man. He drove in 88 runs in 83 games last season. That is remarkable. He is like a bear around a honey pot when there is a runner in scoring position. I got ripped for saying I would take Hank over Matt Weiters and J.P. Arrenciba. I stick by that statement and time will tell. Hank was driving in runs in the playoffs in the Texas League when those guys were finishing their college career. Remember, if Hank had gone to USC instead of signing, then he would be in the 2009 draft. Put his bat in this draft and see where he would fit.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - How do the Angels plan on dealing with the organization's semi-logjam of middle infielders — Izturis, Aybar, Wood, Rodriguez, Kendrick, Statia, Phillips, Mount, Romine — and where do you see each of them starting the year? What do you do with players like Wood and Rodriguez, who seem to have little to prove at AAA, but don't have a spot on the big league roster because of a stud like Kendrick at second, a lead-off hitter/catalyst (when healthy) like Figgins at third, and a platoon of Aybar and Izturis at short?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chuck, that is the best problem in the world to have. That is not a logjam. That is what we are supposed to do. The cream rises to the top. Open up the competition and let the best guys get the time at the top. Our job is to have a quality second baseman in place. We do. Our other job is to have someone behind that quality second baseman to take his spot if the lead guy has something happen. We have that now in Mount, Statia, Rodriguez, etc. Who is to say that one of those middle infield types could not go to the corner outfield and make a mark as an outfielder? Phillips and Rodriguez certainly have good enough offensive skills to play any position on the diamond.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - Is the apparent emphasis on plate discipline that is going on with the Major League club something that is being emphasized throughout the organization? Is this a change in philosophy or just a change in perception from the outside?
A: (Eddie Bane) - No. I think it is a new emphasis from the top on down; just something to remind the players of. Stay aggressive, but do it in a relaxed way. Everyone already knows that is the best way to hit anyhow.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - It's Kendry Morales’ time to shine. You must be excited to see him get a full time gig after scouting and signing him four years ago. Any predictions on how you think Morales will do with a full season of at-bats for the Halos?
A: (Eddie Bane) - If Kendry can stay healthy, he will hit as he always has. It is great to see a young man that has put in the hard work, after being the top dog in Cuba, to make himself a Major League hitter. This is something that everybody should root for. Kendry is one of those types of hitters that his power will even get better with regular time at the Major League level. It is hard to see his power potential in looking at his stats, but when you see that type of swing with that type balance, then you know power is coming.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - What do scouts say about Howie Kendrick's ability to hit for power in the big leagues? With only 12 home runs in 945 Major League at-bats, do you think Kendrick can hit 20-plus home runs in the big leagues down the road?
A: (Eddie Bane) - 20 home runs in Angel Stadium for half your games is a monster season for any player. But Howie is a premium hitter. I was one of those that said Howie would win a batting title and I stand by that. Health has been tough on Howie Kendrick, but that is not something you can predict. He is a gamer and that will show. “Line drive doubles power” is what scouts call the type power that Kendrick has.
Q: (Angelswin.com) - Finally, who is your preseason pick for Minor League Player of the Year?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Ryan Mount. See guys, I don’t duck any questions. I hope all the other guys that could win the award end up helping our big league team so they wont be eligible for minor league awards.
This concludes our monthly feature with Eddie Bane. To discuss this feature or any of the questions and answers, visit our forum.
The Bane Connection - January (2009) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
January 7th, 2009
Well it has been a long and to be frank, pretty boring offseason to date, so we hooked up with Eddie a bit sooner than we usually do to start the new year off, in part because we've had so many of the same questions from fans about the up and coming draft, the lack of power hitters in the organization and some player updates and reports on some of the prospects heading into the 2009 minor league season.
So, lets dig right in and see what Eddie had to say in response to quite a few Angelswin.com member questions in the first Eddie Bane Connection of the 2009 season.
Q: (Angelswin) - Looking forward to kick off the 2009 Bane Connection with an assortment of questions, but first off, on behalf of the entire Angelswin.com community of Angels fans, we hope the Bane family had some good times over the Holidays.
A: (Eddie Bane) - 1st things 1st guys. Take the time folks, if that is your belief and say a prayer for Chuck and his family at their loss of Chuck’s father. Awfully hard spot and the Christmas, Thanksgiving, holiday time has to be especially tough. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours Chuck.
The Bane family had a nice Christmas just as always and hope all the Angel fans did also.
Chuck: Thank you Eddie. The Angels organization and yourself have shown tremendous support after the passing of my father. The call I received from Tim Mead on behalf of the entire Angels organization 2 days after my father passed was heartfelt and truly appreciated.
Q: (Angelswin) - (3 part question) So this is your first chance as the Angels scouting director at having 4 high picks in the 2009 amateur draft. Having two picks in the late 1st round and two more in the 1st round-supplemental sandwich picks and one more in the 2nd round, you must be licking your chops having the chance to draft some top tier talent? How do you see the talent shaping up for this year's draft? Is it a deep pool or shallow? Is the talent more in college or in high school? Is there is a certain position or type of player that there is more of in this draft? Has the budget to sign our draft picks swelled to commensurate to the number of high round picks that we have?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Yes, we have adjusted our budget to reflect extra picks. The best thing about working with Arte and the Angels is the fact they never take money away, and always add when we need it. Tough to think what would have happened if Arte had said no when we presented him with the thoughts of signing Morales or let’s say Trumbo. But, he never did. He always said to just sign the player. His belief is that you cannot play without players and this is the best way to develop new talent.
This will be a deep draft. It always is. HS will be a focus, but we never overlook college talent either.
We are excited about having as many as 5 picks in 1st and sandwich round. We will not work any harder, as that would be impossible, but every effort will be made to get the best player possible in addition to keeping the same attitude about getting more Reckling and Tobin types.
Q: (Angelswin) - Now that we have these higher round picks, does our draft strategy change much? The fans have been knocking at the door loudly for a college hitter (close to the big leagues) with both power and on-base skills, much like we witnessed from Mark Teixeira in his brief stay with the Angels. The fans have been sending me quite a bit of emails voicing their displeasure that the organization's last developed power hitter was Troy Glaus. Do we have some of these types on your radar in preparation for the up and coming draft?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I would say the last power hitter we developed was Kendry Morales and that was in 2008, but that is just me being a smart aleck. Those power hitter types are one of the things we look hard to obtain and the fans are correct. But, you read a lot about a player like the hitter that was traded from the Brewers to the Indians last season (Matt LaPorta) and people write about his power. This young man is 24-25 years old and does not have near the power of Mark Trumbo who is younger. Let it play out and we will see what happens. As I said above we are not going to get the Longoria types out of college as we are not going to ever pick that high. Those are easy drafts and we are not presented with that option if ever.
Mark Teixeira is a wonderful hitter and even more appreciated after watching him closely, but I really really admire the way Arte Moreno handled our negotiations with Tex and his agent. The Angels did it the right way.
Q: (Angelswin) - The organization has put a premium on scouting and drafting pitchers, and in doing so, it seems like there's been a lack of quality corner infielders and outfielders panning out in the system (save Trumbo & Morales, possibly). I'm curious if there's a concern within the org that they haven't been able to find some power-hitting players to fill what are traditionally powerful spots (1B, 3B, LF, RF), and if they're looking to reverse that trend?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Exactly, one of our goals is to develop a bit more corner power. That being said, I hope the Angels fans noticed that we lost 3 pitchers in the Rule V draft held recently at the winter meetings. When you break that down it means that 3 different clubs felt that the Angels had 40 players who were better than that organization's 25 man roster. We always get ranked highly by the publications (rightfully so) that rank prospects, but when other clubs are even taking notice then you know you are doing the right thing. That being said we also hate losing O’Day and the other 2 pitchers. Our scouts found O’Day after the draft, one of the other pitchers, Miguel Gonzalez was found by Bo Hughes pitching in a Sunday Los Angeles area senior league and Mosebach was a fairly high draft. Pretty spread out examples of great scouting.
Our power at 1st, 3rd, LF and RF would be as follows. 1B’s with plus major league power are Morales and Trumbo. 3B’s with plus major league power are Sweeney and Jimenez with Brandon Wood in the immediate picture. The corner outfield is a spot that we have to do better. We will
Q: (Angelswin) - Mark Teixeira brought a new dimension to our offense, a combination of both power and plate discipline...an approach seemingly different to the organization's "contact ball" philosophy and something no current Angel prospect seems to possess. Many Angel fans would like to see more of our hitters approach their plate appearance the same way. Has his presence and example perhaps changed priorities for the player development staff to encourage players into a more patient and disciplined approach at the plate?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Teixeira was a great example to all young hitters. One of the things though that contributed to Tex’s greatness was that for the 1st time in his career he had a great great bad ball hitter right after him in the lineup in Vlad Guerrero. As a former pitcher that is one of the hardest adjustments you make on the mound.
I certainly respect what, let’s say the Padres are doing down south. They have a hitting philosophy that would seem to be much different than ours. They are looking for the “professional hitter”. The Angels want aggressive Howie Kendrick types that can drive balls to all fields. As a Howie Kendrick grows he will learn to have better at bats and that will happen shortly with a hitter as good as Howie. The problem is when you take those college hitters with “good eyes” then you find out later that they cannot hit and you are struck with a hitter that can’t hit. Not a good proposition.
Q: (Angelswin) - Which scouting directors and other teams' player development philosophies do you respect most?
A: (Eddie Bane) - One thing I do know for sure, and I have never been accused of having a lack of ego, is that other organizations really respect and admire what the Angels do in scouting. Other SD’s tell me all the time how envious they are with the freedom and resources that we have because of Arte and our group.
As far as other clubs go I would not answer that because I would not want to slight anyone, but you have to admire the way Eric Kubota and his scouts in Oakland have changed a bit and now will take the high school player if he is the best guy. Both Jason McCleod and Damon Oppenhiemer with the Red Sox and Yanks respectively have made Boston and NY much more threats than they were in the past. One of our goals here is to be as well versed and dominant in southern California as possible and we work hard everyday in SoCal to try and accomplish that goal.
One of the things that has happened since I came on 2004 is that the so called “Moneyball” philosophy showed some cracks and now all the clubs are back to drafting high school players and that makes it much harder on the Angels than in the past. Much harder now to get a Trumbo or Adenhart.
Q: (Angelswin) - Each team must go about player development in a slightly different way...more or less emphasis on certain things and different methodologies of teaching certain skills or even teaching certain skills that others ignore. Any examples of things other teams have taken from the Angels and incorporated into their programs and vice versa?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chuck and readers; again I wont name certain clubs, but we have had reps tell us that their team is going to emulate the “Angels Way” all throughout their system. We just lost one of the greatest baseball instructors in the game in Bruce “Jeter” Hines (went to the big leagues with Wakamatsu) to the Mariners. Smart hire by the M’s as they will pick Jeter’s brain about how we do things with the Angels. If we can get a high school young man to see a minor league spring training day and compare it to his possible college experience then we will never lose that player to the colleges. Those legendary days of the Bull Durham type bus rides just do not happen much any longer.
Q: (Angelswin) - How much attention (if any) does the scouting staff pays to sabermetrics, and if the organization would consider itself more of a marriage of traditional scouting techniques and sabermetrics, or more focused on old-school/traditional "what I see and word-of-mouth" scouting.
A: (Eddie Bane) - We don’t employ “word of mouth scouting” ever in the Angels organization. We are very cognizant of the players stats and pay attention to how they are doing. That is just not the difficult part of scouting. Neither is pointing a radar gun or stopping a watch. The hard part is telling whether or not a young man will hit or if a young LHP will be the one of 10 guys with an 87 mph fastball that will one day be the one guy of the group that throws 94 with command. That is how Tom Kotchman gets Will Smith types in the 5th through 8th round. Kotch and all my crosscheckers put all the stats and other numbers in front of me and then you put the meal together and hopefully it tastes good when you finally get to try the food.
Q: (Angelswin) - How would you (Eddie) rate our drafts overall for the past 5 years? Which years have been the best in your opinion?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Some publications like to grade a teams draft on June 8th for a June 5-6 draft. Fortunately we do not do that. 2004 looks like a supreme draft because of Weaver, Adenhart, Trumbo and a few other star types. It also had the role players that you should get in any draft such as Freddy Sandoval and Ben Johnson. When all is said and done 2005 will show up huge in my opinion. We drafted a lot of high school players that are just now getting into their comfort zone. Wait a year or 2 for that one and see what you think. In my mind the others are too early to judge, but others want to grade them right now. That is OK with me. As long as they have an interest in the Angels I can handle it.
Q: (Angelswin) - Do you ever read Baseball America or other minor league publications for constructive criticism? If so, do you take their opinions to heart or?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Shoot Chuck, we all read everything written no matter what we say. I have friends at BA, etc. and I know they have a job to do. As I said I put a little more credence into the fact that other clubs pick 3 of our pitchers from our minor league teams that they think can help their big league teams. But, of course you watch what the publications say. Last issue BA got after me a bit for not spending as much money as some other orgs. Fair enough. We took a shot with Harvey and Zach Cone, but they did not sign. I like to take educated risks. Not crazy risks, but educated risks.
I am a very big boy and as people that know me understand I am really good at giving the needle of sarcasm, but I can certainly take it also. It just does not bother me because I am very confident in what we are doing here.
Q: (Angelswin) - Brandon Wood had a pretty tough time down in the DWL and got released by his team...anything to read into this? What are his chances to start the year in the major league lineup? How much emphasis do you place on winter ball stats and performances? Does it matter if the player performs higher than expected (like Pettit and Morales) or worse than expected (like Wood) or does the performance not really matter at all?
A: (Eddie Bane) - It matters to the people in the Dominican and matters up to the 1st day of spring training. Then you better be impressing Mike, Tony and the major league coaches. Hopefully success in winter ball comes because of hard work on your game and if that is the case then winter ball is important. Brandon, Chris, Mark Trumbo and Kendry all worked hard in winter ball. Some had stat success and others did not. As long as they put in hard, long work on their game then that is good enough for the Angels.
Q: (Angelswin) - The Arkansas Travelers should have a nice roster this season to follow up a Championship season in '08. Looks like their catcher will be Hank Conger as all the reports on Hank's shoulder are good. He recently let me know that he's feeling fine and the extended catching he did in the Dominican instructional league went well. Will the Angels be cautious with him behind the plate like they were in '08 in Arkansas or will they let him catch the majority of the games there?
A: (Eddie Bane) - We want Hank to catch all the time. That is up to Hank and he knows how I feel about it. Get out there and catch. Everyone has talked with Hank from Mike and Tony, through the major league coaches and every minor league coach in the organization. That is because he is one of the most talented players in the game. He has one of those swings. Beautiful swing and the lefthanded swing is breathtaking. (Sorry, sounds like I am talking about a lady, OK back to baseball). I got some heat from Bill Shaikin and the people at Baseball America for saying I would take Hank Conger over any catcher in the minor leagues. They thought I was kidding. I was not! Hank would be in the 2009 draft if he were coming out this year. Can you imagine the numbers he would have put up last year at USC. This young man drove in 88 runs in about 80 games last season between the Cal League and 2A and was coming off an injury. When healthy and catching, Conger is on a very fast track to a team that is contending for the World Series every year. Important prospect and an important year.
Q: (Angelswin) - Roberto Lopez....great season in Orem, but at 24, seems somewhat old for that league. Is he on a faster track to move up? Where can we expect to see him next year? What are the Angels scouts saying about Roberto Lopez?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Funny, but some like us to draft college guys and the when we do they say they are too old. Just kidding. Roberto had a great year. Hitting .400 in any league, at any age is tough. He is better than we thought or we would have drafted him higher. Roberto needs to put in extra time on defense, wherever that is, and work hard to be adequate with the glove. He can do it though for sure. Great makeup, champion intelligence. He will get himself as high as he possibly can and hopefully that is in the big leagues. Fluent in at least 2 languages. Really nice package of life skills in addition to baseball skills.
Q: (Angelswin) - Speaking of possibly skipping a level, could we see any prospects skip a level in '09? If so, which Angels farmhands do you think may qualify for a fast track to the big leagues?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Be nice to see how high a level Lopez can handle. Jordan Walden and Sean O’Sullivan are both getting on the major league depth chart here shortly. Scioscia and Butcher will get to see them in spring training. Jacobo can hit also and let’s see what he has along with Andrew Romine.
Q: (Angelswin) - What are Eddie Bane's picks both on the pitching and hitting side for breakout player of year in 2009?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Let’s say Matt Sweeney for the hitter and Robert Fish and Mason Tobin for the pitcher's.
Q: (Angelswin) - Any prospects changing positions or roles (such as converting from a reliever to a starter or starter to a reliever) entering the 2009 minor league season?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Matt Sweeney will be taking a break after being injured for almost 2 full seasons. This young man has one of the best bats in the system. We need to see him on the field.
Q: (Angelswin) - OK, last one. A year has gone by since the last time we've asked for the best tools of the Angels farmhands. So let's have you rank them again entering the 2009 season as with new improvements from our prospects & new draftees of the class of '08, we'll most likely have some new names here.
A: (Eddie Bane) -
Best Fastball Velocity: Jordan Walden
Best Changeup: Nick Adenhart
Best Slider: Jordan Walden
Best Curveball: Nick Adenhart
Best Sinker: Mason Tobin
Best Control: Sean O’Sullivan
Quickest to the big leagues: Nick Adenhart or Anthony Ortega
Best Hitter for Average: Matt Sweeney, Hank Conger or Kendry Morales
Best Power Hitter: Mark Trumbo
Best Plate Discipline: Chris Petit
Fastest Baserunner: Peter Bourjos
Best Athlete: Peter Bourjos
Best Defensive Catcher: Bobby Wilson
Best Defensive Infielder: Andrew Romine
Best Defensive Outfielder: Peter Bourjos then Clay Fuller
Best Infield Arm: Andrew Romine because of accuracy included
Best Outfield Arm: Peter Bourjos because of accuracy included
Like always, thank you for your time Eddie. We look forward to circling back with you towards the end of February to early March to see who's making noise in spring camp. As an update too, our 2009 Angelswin.com Top 50 Prospects List will be published on January 19th. We'll alert you when it's live to get your reaction. Here's a teaser - #1 went to a local kid from Huntington Beach that you drafted and praised in this very interview.
The Bane Connection - August (2008) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
August 31st, 2008
Eddie Bane chatted live with Angelswin.com members in this month's edition of "The Bane Connection". Let's find out what was discussed at Angelswin.com below, in what is the final EB connection of the season, though we'll circle back with Eddie over the winter sometime and get his opinion on some of the kids in the AFL and Winterball.
Q: (Angelswin) - How is Bob Wilson defensively vs our current ML catchers?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hey guys. Sorry it took so long to get on, but now here I am and ready to go. Bobby Wilson is solid defensively and on par with our 2 guys in the Major Leagues in my opinion.
Q: (Angelswin) - Not sure you can comment on this Eddie. But what could Toronto possibly be asking for Eckstein, McDonald or Scutaro. With all due respect to the future of Sean Rodriguez, but the very real prospect of him having to play this post-season isn't appealing.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Guys, I will answer some of the ML questions the best I can, but as you know my field is trying to find homegrown products and I can help in that area.
As far as Sean Rod and Brandon Wood go we are very lucky to have these guys as possible help when guys go down and I have complete faith in those guys. That part of the equation is up to Tony, Ken, Mike S and Gary Sutherland though.
Q: (Angelswin) - I'm interested in the org's plan for Wood. Does he get a shot at a full time position next year? Are we thinking SS or 3B?
Similarly, what are the feelings regarding the future of Sandoval and Brown with the big club?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Brandon Wood can play either SS or 3B and play it Major League which is a surprise to some scouts because of his size at SS. Wood hit his 31st homerun the other night in the PCL and that is a big deal to us. He needs to get a chance, and he will, but when he gets that chance he needs to take off and run with it. He will get a chance here shortly, but nobody can be quite sure when.
Remember fellas, if you know me, then you realize that tech is definitely challenging for me and I will get to as many as I can, but be patient.
Sandoval put his name on our map this year for the first time. He can hit and has hit all the way through and now he has 2B and 3B he can play. He would be wise to shag some balls in the OF during BP to increase his worth.
Q: (Angelswin) -I was wondering if you could profile a couple guys from Rancho for me: Bryan Rembisz (cool story and performing well it seems) and Alexander Torres (also doing very well). Was he hurt last year?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I personally call Rembisz the "hat" because when he is on the mound he is so short that it looks like a hat and a jersey on the mound. Very short and as they say "vertically challenged" but he comes at the hitter and attacks guys.
Torres is a legit prospect from that side of the rubber and with Fish and Reckling it helps us in an area that I had not done very well in (LHP's).
Q: (Angelswin) - There is so much talent at Salt Lake yet very little room on the big club. Do you see any position changes for some of these guys any time soon? And on that note, we saw that Kendry has played some outfield. Does he have the tools to do so at the major league level?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Honest to goodness guys, I do not look as bad as that picture in person. That guy is a lot older than I am.
Kendry Morales grew up at 3B and RF for the Cuban National team and he is comfortable at both of those spots as well as 1B. But, Kendry is showing that he is real comfortable at the plate from either side.
Yes, the talent level at 3A and 1A is bigger than most any club in the game, but that is our job. Make it hard on the big league guys and create competition everywhere in the org.
Q: (Angelswin) - How much stock do you put in statistics for amateur baseball like High School, college (D1-D3)? Do you overlook them and just go by their physical tools and raw stuff?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Great q. I watched Phil Hughes in HS and he never walked anyone. He was also doing it against some of the best HS teams in SoCal. That makes it mean something. Also watched Mark Rogers pitch in HS in Maine. No competition and in fact the catcher for the other team asked Rogers for his autograph during the game.
We were all set to take Hughes in the 04 draft, but got lucky and had Jered Weaver fall in our lap.
Stuff, location, movement, velocity are all things I look at before stats at the HS level, but when facing So Cal HS hitters it has to count for something. Same thing in Florida.
Q: (Angelswin) - Freddy Sandoval - I know he's been discussed before with regards to being a major league utility player, but besides what he can do with the bat (he has been exceptional) how is his glove at 3B?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Freddy is a little above avg. at any INF spot except SS.
Q: (Angelswin) - I saw the 'hat' pitch last night ... couldn't believe how short he was. He did get through an inning or two unscathed. Was a little disappointed with O' Sullivan ... they seemed to hit him hard ... but he does throw hard and has a solid frame for a pitcher. What's his projection?
btw Conger hit a monster HR last night.
A: (Eddie Bane) - I was also at the game in High Desert hiding down the sidelines. Sean has 15 wins in a 5 month league. That is a stat that I would follow. High Desert is a launching pad and Sean was overstriding last night which hurt his life.
I was glad nobody was around when Conger hit his HR because my hot dog almost came up. It was a legit bomb. It was a LH home run BTW.
Q: (Angelswin) - Mount has been raking. Is his recent power surge something that was expected and does he profile as having that much pop down the line? Also, how is his defense at 2B?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Rob Piccilo and Ryan Mount both deserve a ton of credit for Mount's improvement on defense. He made 2 plays last night he could not have made before.
Mount has 16 home runs right now and that is in half the season. Yes, his power was expected, but not this soon. The other stat that stands out at with the Rancho club is that Conger is averaging about an RBI per game. 67 games and 66 Ribbies. That from a young man that would not even be eligible until next years draft if he had attended USC.
Q: (Angelswin) - Is anything in particular going on with Peter Bourjos? He has barely walked in the last 2 months and hasn't stolen many bases either.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Sure, good q. Peter's tank has worn out and he has to do better than that. He is one of the best prospects in the game and the sky is the limit, but he has to smooth out and not have the highs and lows he is experiencing right now. That being said Peter is a great young man, with great habits, a great mom and dad and faster than most anyone in the game. I wish they were all like Pete. And, the power is coming like one of our ML scouts, Brad Sloan, said it would.
Q: (Angelswin) - Looks like Roberto Lopez has a chance to win the Pioneer league Triple Crown. Any reason he hasn't seen time at Cedar considering that he is older than most at his current level?
A: (Eddie Bane) -Most organizations might have moved a Lopez type by this time, but the Angels are not most organizations and he has competition from all sides here. He has been a very pleasant surprise where you have to give props to Bo Hughes and Bobby DeJardin and Tim Corcoran of our scouting department.
Aside on Lopez. He is playing great now, but off the field he plays a really, really good piano. Elton John type stuff.
Q: (Angelswin) - Ryan Aldridge, I see he hasn't played lately, arm injury or? (hoping not).
A: (Eddie Bane) - Ryan has a constant battle with his arm, but this is not a big one and when healthy he is a major league pitcher with 2 plus pitches in his fastball and slider.
Q: (Angelswin) - Can you tell me where Demetrius Washington and Rolando Gomez are? I saw them a few times in the box scores early on. Are they both in Arizona working on a few things first?
A: (Eddie Bane) - We signed Gomez a little late and he went to AZ but shut it down after a few games with a hand problem and he should be available at the end of the AZIL. Rollie has family in the Dominican so he will be going there after the AZIL.
Q: (Angelswin) - Any other updates on injured players?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I wish I could help more, but at this time of the year the grind of playing everyday is starting to take its toll.
Q: (Angelswin) - Which players have developed beyond your expectations this year? How do you think Trumbo is doing at AA? Who might be asked to go to Winter Ball? What skills would they be looking to develop? How will you determine where to place a player like Sweeney next year who lost the whole year due to injury? How much do you foresee the loss affecting his development?
A: (Eddie Bane) - It was nice to see Sandoval hit at 3A and put himself in front of the ML people. You cannot ignore the 15 wins from O'Sullivan. Herndon to the pen was a great idea. Mount has showed up big after hurting his knee in the spring.
Trumbo has done what he should at Arkansas. He is driving in a lot of runs and every once in awhile he smashes a tape measure HR. I have been on the Trumbo bandwagon for a longtime and am getting joined by a lot of other folks now. Mark has power like the great power hitters in the game have had. Now he needs to get it consistent and he will help us at the ML level.
When I played (a long time ago) players went to Winter Ball to make money. Now they go to hone a skill like base running or to learn a new pitch.
Q: (Angelswin) - Jordan Walden, how has his secondary stuff progressed? (Changeup, Slider, etc.)
A: (Eddie Bane) - I just saw Jordan the other night and his fastball was huge at up to 97. His fastball down in the strike zone is a brick that is hard to get in the air. His curve (he probably calls it a slider) is tighter every time I see him pitch. He is close to being a big leaguer and he knows it. He has to do the little things that ML pitchers do in order to get over that hump.
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, I watched Nick Adenhart last night in Portland (just a 3 hour drive from Seattle) and he looked dominant. Showed an excellent curve and changeup, while spotting his FB which was hitting 91-95 MPH. He also showed some moxy on the hill, getting out of a couple jams, one with runners at 1st and 3rd and 1 out where he fanned two hitters in a row. Positive signs for a pitcher that has struggled in '08, especially considering the Beavers have a good hitting ball club in Triple A.
A: (Eddie Bane) -I have said here before that I believe Nick Adenhart is one of the top pitching prospects in the game. It was nice to see him pitch the clincher for the Bees. I agree the walks and lack of 1st pitch strikes is a bother, but for me it is just a blip. He has 3 big league pitches now, he has had command of his stuff in the past and he is a winner. I like my chances with Adenhart. Did you know that Nick played some basketball in high school against Carmelo Anthony.
Q: (Angelswin) - How's Abe Flores doing?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Abe is doing great and this is as good a time as any to say this. Every team in the Angels system will probably make the playoffs. That is from the DR on up to the Major League club. Unheard of. The great thing about is that almost every one of those clubs has the youngest club in that league. I know we stabilized in 2A with some older guys in the 1st half, but since then they have added Trumbo and Pettit.
That being said, Abe left me in scouting and took Tony Reagins’ old job and we have not missed a beat. Prospects and winning are a hard combination to beat.
Q: (Angelswin) — Tom Kotchman - this guy is incredible. I know you and your staff can take some credit to the Owlz success over the years (before Orem it was Provo) because of your advanced scouting, but wow, this guy is an incredible manager and scout for the Angels. A HUGE asset to the organization. The Orem club this year is STACKED!
A: (Eddie Bane) - We do have some nice prospects in Orem and Tom gets them to play the game the Angels way from the moment they come into the organization. TBone does the same thing with the guys in Arzona.
Q: (Angelswin) - Almost of us have to go by are the stats that we see on MILB.com. Are there any guys that you have been really impressed with or surprised by that wouldn't necessarily translate via a box score?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Take a look sometime at a guy like Bobby Cassevah. His numbers do not jump out until you get really in depth with them and see a guy that gets nothing but ground balls. He needs to throw more strikes, but the fastball is back up to an occasional 94 and his other stuff has improved. Also, Mosebach is having a nice season, but his stats don’t show it. But, he has to know that scouts love his season. Stuff like that is what a scout will do with the press box info we get.
Q: (Angelswin) - So what's been going on with Adenhart? After his call up he pretty drastically fell off the log for a while, but just recently seems to have found his form. What's the story - just development bumps or did the call up perhaps rattle him a bit?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Good call. Nick did have some bumps, but the stuff never faltered and neither did his makeup. He is a gamer on the mound and a perfectionist. Next time Nick pitches up here I believe he won’t go back again. And, you are right also on the fact that lately he has teed it up.
Q: (Angelswin) - Gabe Jacobo, looks like he was a great pick. He sure is raking!
A: (Eddie Bane) - Thanks, Scott Richardson, our NorCal scout found this guy. Has a plus bat and has shown some versatility. Thanks for the compliment about the draft, but we try and stay away from the Mel Kiper, Baseball America way of grading our draft 1 day after the draft is over.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Guys, I wanted to say thanks and I am floored that you guys would take the time out to ask so many Angel Questions and I am sorry I cannot answer all of them. You guys keep me on my toes with all of your knowledge about all things Angels, but keep up the great work. You also should thank Chuck as he is relentless at working on me to do this type stuff which I really enjoy. Go Angels and ASU SunDevils both. ASU has a tough game with the NAU Lumberjacks this Saturday, but I think we can handle them.
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, do the Angels still project Nick Green as a starter or is the thought to eventually move him to the bullpen?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Nick Green has starter stuff and in the pen he would only project as a long man, but I see him as a starter at the big league level and he is close.
Q: (Angelswin) - How do you believe the changes to the draft affected the process? Did it give more leverage to either side or just move up the date to sign on the calendar?
A: (Eddie Bane) - August 15 deadline just changed the date and gave the colleges a set date which helped them. We are seeing the same things happen on Aug 15 that used to always happen the Sunday before school started. Same deal but a different day.
Q: (Angelswin) - Tyler Chatwood. His strikeout numbers are great, but what's with the walks? Is it a mechanical issue or does he just have trouble throwing strikes? BTW, nice outing last time out (5 innings, 0 runs and 11 K's). A testament of excellent scouting by you and your guys Eddie. That is a dominant type performance for such a young kid.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chatwood, and I will leave after this story, talked with Gerrit Cole before the signing deadline and Cole complained about money and everything else and later did not sign at all with New York and cost the Yankees their 1st round pick. Tyler Chatwood told him that he loved everything about professional baseball and especially the competition. This is one great kid and the walks will go down with more innings and time on the mound.
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, THANK YOU for showing up and fielding questions from the Angelswin.com members. We really appreciate it and are thankful the Halos have you driving this thing going forward. Feel free to pop in every now and then (and even later on tonight to answer a couple questions from the guys that got here late if time permits). Go Angels
A: (Eddie Bane) - Thanks again guys and have a good night. Let's change that picture Chuck. Looks like my grandpa for heaven’s sake.
Q: (Angelswin) - I know organizations have area scouts, but do you ever make it out to see potential prospects (like do you have an area yourself) or do you just go see the big names at places like the College World Series where they are all at one place?
A: (Eddie Bane) - It is now Friday and I am in the office, but I wanted to give you an answer to a couple q's that I was not able to get to. We got to the $ figure that both Cone and Cooper asked for and they still turned us down. With Cone we got to his number twice so it was tough that it did not get done. Chris McAlpin our area scout for Cone did a great job with Cone and his family. But, in the end when you deal with mostly 18 year old young men they have a tendency to change their mind at times. Not a great deal, but it happens.
As far as my personal travel, I see a lot of players and love the actual scouting part of the job. I will go into a scout’s area and tell them something like they have 5 days to show me their best players. You take that 5 days and then move on to the next area. You just keep moving like that until you can’t handle the road any longer and then you go home for a couple days. Then repeat the process. But it is a great job and I love working for the Angels and having the Director job.
The Bane Connection - July (2008) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
July 30th, 2008
Q: (Angelswin) - Before we dig in to this month's Bane Connection, tell us a little bit about the induction to the College Baseball Hall of Fame Eddie.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hey guys. The thing in Lubbock was cool. Riding in a parade. Signing autographs, hanging around with Hooten, Swindell, Ben MacDonald and the others was a lot of fun. Kind of like I explained to my daughter Veronica though. She plays a princess at Legoland and when she comes out dressed in the princess outfit everybody adores her. When she walks back out in her street clothes only her boyfriend, me and her mom notice her. That is what celebrity really is. Take it with a big grain of salt. As soon as I left Lubbock I had the same Southwest Airlines flight as everybody else.
Q: (Angelswin) - Sean Rodriguez has really been stepping up his game and seems to be positioning himself as one of the top prospects in the organization perhaps even passing Wood at the moment. With Kendrick in front of him at 2B, and Aybar at SS, is Sean good enough to beat out Eric at SS, is he destined to be part of a trade or are there thoughts of playing him somewhere other than 2B/SS.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chuck and guys and girls this is what makes the Angels so good. Arte wants a world champion, but he also wants the Angels to be good for a long time. We will be. Kotchman (who netted us Teixeira), Kendrick, Aybar-Izturis and Figgins are all young and good. They have Morales, Trumbo, Sean Rodriguez, Statia, Mount, Wood, Phillips, Romine and others right behind them and pushing hard. That is what made the Dodgers so good in the past. The Dodgers got away from that method for awhile and it has hurt them until recently.
That is just the infielders and does not include guys like Sweeney who has missed the entire season. Sean Rodriguez is really good and is having another really good season and for that he gets all the credit. But, one prospect is going to have a hard time sticking out in the Angel system. How can anyone overlook what Freddy Sandoval has done this season? Freddy will be a major league player if he continues to put in the time he always has and works on his craft.
Q: (Angelswin) - How confident are you that Adenhart has just hit a bump in the wall and will rebound nicely this season or next? What does he think the big problem is right now. He's not missing many bats.
A: (Eddie Bane) - I have talked about this in the past and still feel the same exact way. Nick Adenhart had a TJ surgery while still in high school. He still made it to the big leagues at 21 years old. That is a big time accomplishment. Nick is not in any way, shape or form a part of any problem. Nick Adenhart is the solution as long as he stays healthy and will one day shortly be a front of the rotation starter. I find that stats, etc are fun to play with, but you have to take them with a grain of salt.
I read a guy named Passan today talking about our club and was concerned that our run differential was not as good as he would like it to be. We have a 11.5 game lead in the West right now and the 5th guy that started out of the break is Jered Weaver. That alone shows you how tough that big league rotation is for other teams to handle and they just swept the reigning World Champions last week for their 2nd time this season.
Q: (Angelswin) - Can we get a run down on some of the prospects in the Arizona League and Dominican Summer League? How does the Dominican Summer League compare in terms of talent to the other minor league levels in the org? Who stands out when you think of some of the players in both of these leagues. Who should we keep an eye on?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Keep the name Flavio Martinez in mind. Huge, almost Walden-like fastball.
Q: (Angelswin) - Tell us about David Herndon and his conversion to close. Stuff, Makeup etc. - Is Trevor Bell going the route of Stephen Marek, pitching primarily out of the bullpen from here on out?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Some guys take to the pen quickly with no speepd bumps and even improve in those stints. Herndon and Marek, both had big velocity jumps in short stints. And, their breaking stuff was also improved. It is a lot of fun to watch Herndon close a game now and David will come quick if needed. Trevor is also a guy that pitched best in HS when he pitched like his hair was on fire. But, it might be a little early to put Trevor Bell in the pen.
Q: (Angelswin) - In our last Draft Edition of the Bane Connection you rated the best tools of the 2008 draftees. After a half of season of evaluation of those that have played, let's rate the Angels minor leaguers best tools.
A: (Eddie Bane) -
BEST ATHLETE - For baseball I would say Peter Bourjos, but all around probably PJ Phillips with all the talent in that family.
BEST PURE HITTER - Very tough question. For me personally it would be either Conger or Morales. Switch hitters so they dont have to face that breaking ball running away from them.
BEST POWER HITTER - Mark Trumbo has as much pure power as anyone in baseball. Now he is using that incredible power in games also.
BEST STRIKE-ZONE JUDGMENT - First reaction would be I don't care, but that would be a little blase as I am looking for guys that crash the ball, but I understand the theory about plate discipline. Let me answer it this way then, Ryan Mount needed better plate discipline as did PJ Phillips and they have both done a fine job this season of reading and studying pitchers. That is what I look at in most cases.
FASTEST BASERUNNER - Peter Bourjos who is also using that speed better after a ton of work in big league camp with Mike Scioscia, Ron Roenicke, Alfredo Griffin and others. The he took it to the next level thanks to Bruce Hines and our other minor league coordinators.
BEST DEFENSIVE OUTFIELDER - Same guy (Peter Bourjos). Kotchman compared him to Devon White at one point and Kotch had Devon and that is really high praise.
BEST DEFENSIVE MIDDLE INFIELDER - Some really slick guys in the middle, but for pure defense I would want Andrew Romine playing shortstop when I needed an out and I was pitching.
BEST DEFENSIVE CATCHER - In the catching category we always defer to Mike Scioscia.
BEST ARM STRENGTH - On defense Bourjos may not have the most pure arm, but he will always throw out a lot of guys because of a quick, accurate arm that Ever Mags has helped hone.
BEST FASTBALL - Lots of guys. But, flat-out day in and day out Jordan Walden can bring it. He faced Morris with the Dodgers the other day and Morris was up to 96. He was getting beat by 2 MPH by Walden. I told our guys, "how many times do you think Morris has had a pitcher on the other team throw harder than he does." Touched 100 last year for Kotch in the playoffs with Poreda (White Sox) throwing up to 98.
BEST CURVEBALL - Both Adenhart and Reckling have plus curves.
BEST SLIDER - I like Ryan Aldridge's slider personally.
BEST CHANGEUP - Nick Adenhart
BEST COMMAND - Sean O'Sullivan
CLOSEST TO MAJORS - Nick Adenhart
Q: (Angelswin) - Why aren't the last two catchers from our minor league system better at throwing out runners. I understand that our pitchers are great at holding on runners, but, its gotten to be pretty bad. How does Bobby Wilson compare to Mathis and Napoli both offensively and defensively?
A: (Eddie Bane) - On this one I would have to respectfully disagree. Napoli and Mathis are both above average catchers in the Mike Scioscia system and that is the best system for a catcher to be in at the Major League level. They are lucky to have Mike and we are lucky to have the both of them, they've had some bad games, but it's not indicative of their ability. Bobby Wilson is a major leaguer at some point and needs to simply keep working and trying to improve while working as hard as he is now to stay in the best shape possible.
Q: (Angelswin) - How are the signings going? Has a player signed that we don't know about yet? Who have we lost (as in no way they will sign with us)? I'd love to get our top draft picks signed such as Zach Cone, Khiry Cooper, Joey Belviso, Taylor Jungmann, Rolando Gomez, Jamie Mallard, and Donnie Roach. Can you give us an update on these kids and where we're at going forward with the class of 2008?
A: (Eddie Bane) - We just signed Rolando Gomez and I think you guys will like him a lot. Great father and a quietly intense kid. If you have to dream on a player, (I encourage our scouts to always come up with a big league comparable player) then Rollie's comp is Rafael Furcal. Shorter guys with outstanding strength and plus throwing arm. Rollie does not have Rafael's arm, but not many people do either.
On a bit of a different note; every once in awhile you run into some parents that really want to make this about them instead of their children. Most always the parents are outstanding and really help our draftee along the way. Frank Gomez was great to deal with. The Chatwood family was off the charts. When I watch Rancho I am always excited about seeing the Mount family, the Conger family, the O'Sullivan's, the Trumbo's and all the other great parents like Trevor Bell's.
But, once in awhile you run into somebody you just cant get on the same page with. Last week I emailed Donnie Roach's family to let them know that I did not think it was going to work out and that the best thing to do was go our different ways and I wished him good luck at the University of Arizona. So I sent the letter and lo and behold Mr. Roach printed my letter word for word on a blog site that the young men and their family use that attend or attended Bishop Gorman HS.
I know that the mail is a public deal (especially the email internet version) and told them that they had every right to post my email to them, but that nevertheless I was disappointed that they would put my personal email to them on their blog site. Next thing I know my 2nd email to them was on the blog site also. Needless to say I have stopped any more emails to the Roach family and have definitely moved on from that particular player and learned my lesson. The tough part is that we liked Donnie Roach and wanted to make a run at him later in the summer, but that is over with and I would take this time to apologize to the Roach family if myself or my scouts did anything that really bothered them..
Q: (Angelswin) - Where does Freddy Sandoval fit? He's having a great season yet it seems he will have no spot. How is his defense?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Freddy Sandoval has established himself this year as a solid major league prospect who is one jump away from the big leagues. Freddy has had a great season, again, and has really increased his value by learning some other spots. Great position to be in for any young prospect. As I said above, learning other positions and how to hit at certain parts of the order have definitely increased his value across the board.
Q: (Angelswin) - The Angels have a ton of incredible pitching talent in the lower minor leagues. What can he tell us about Manuarys Correa and Alexander Torres? Who do you compare them to?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Yes, the pitchers have really come through for us this season in the minor leagues and you have to be especially happy at the way some of the Latin pitchers have risen to a big challenge. Torres is going to be really good and a couple of those arms in 2A are nightmares for the opponents.
Q: (Angelswin) - Who will be the first player to have an impact on offense in the majors that we aren't expecting? Or who's the biggest sleeper on the offensive side?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Not a sleeper because he has been doing great for a long time, but Sean Rodriguez to go along with "Steady" Freddy Sandoval. They are big leaguers without a question.
Q: (Angelswin) - Sean O'Sullivan and PJ Phillips have really turned things around of late, anything that they've changed to their approach or mechanics that have resulted in better performances of late?
A: (Eddie Bane) - PJ has really started to hit and get more comfortable in his overall game. Great to see from a wonderful young man. I am not sure what people were looking for from Sean O. He is leading the Cal League in wins and is on pace to be a 16-17 game winner this year in 5 months. Dominant at times. He has the best command for me of any pitchers we have in the minors and touches 94 mph every time he is on the mound. Knows what he is doing on the mound and after leading the Midwest League in ERA at 19 years old and then leading the Cal League in wins at 20 years old, we certainly could not be happier with O'Sullivan.
Q: (Angelswin) - Has there been a lack of strong offensive talent in recent June drafts? It seems that a far larger % of the first 7-8 picks by the Angels are pitchers, in spite of the strength in that area in the org.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Same old story guys. As Bill Parcells says all the time, "we just take the best player available regardless of position.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lastly, the Angelswin.com readers would love to see a Mock 2010 lineup and pitching setup according to Eddie Bane. So just for kicks, have at it Eddie ...
A: (Eddie Bane) - I would love to have at that lineup myself, but at this time I will hold off on giving you my projections, as that is a secret that I owe only to Tony and Arte Moreno, so I am going to bail on that question and wait for a good pitch to hit as they say.
(Angelswin) - We just nearly had a sick lineup from Eddie Bane, maybe next time (heh). Thank you for your time once again Eddie, the Angels fans, Angelswin.com members and myself all appreciate it.
(Eddie Bane) - Just as a side note myself and the scouting department wanted to thank both Casey and Stephen for their great contributions to the Angel organization. Thanks, Casey and Stephen.
Thanks Angelswin.com members for writing into Chuck. Make sure that Chuck shares some of his pictures from his vacation in Yellowstone. Until next time, EB.
The Bane Connection - June (2008) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
June 13th, 2008
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, first off, I heard you on the Angels AM 830 radio show this morning. Good stuff, though not the "meat and potatoes" that we usually discuss here, what a treat for those who aren't able to be online much or at all, now they can hear about the draft and kids down on the farm while on the road.
Let's get started...
With our first pick in the 2008 amateur draft -Tyler Chatwood, are you happy with the pick and were you surprised he was still on the board in the 2nd round?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chuck, thanks for the shout out on the radio gig on 830. The Angels have a great deal and we can get a lot of traffic concerning Angels Baseball on 830. Plus the morning show is really good. People should give it a listen.
Tyler Chatwood was rated very high on our board. I saw one game where he did not throw a pitch under 94 and reached 97. In addition Chatwood has a plus curve. We have some work to do on getting his command where it needs to be, but we are very happy with Tyler. Some teams may have shied away because of size, but that does not bother me that much.
Q: (Angelswin) - Do you foresee having any signability issues with any certain draftee?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Of course. Every player thinks they should have been drafted higher and every player wants more money. That is just the nature of the beast.
Q: (Angelswin) - Did we "take a chance" on a player who is coming off of an injury?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Ryan Chaffee, our 2nd selection came out his start at the JC World Series after tripping over a bat in the 2nd inning, but that is not serious. No players that are coming off of big injuries, but everybody in todays' game is hurt somewhat and it is a matter of the training and medical staff helping them get better.
Q: (Angelswin) - Steal of the draft in Eddie Bane's eyes is?
A: (Eddie Bane) - The Angels got a shortstop a little later in the draft by the name of Rolando Gomez from south Florida. He would have been a higher pick if he was more signable. I want to work on him all summer and see what we have.
Gabe Jacobo in the 10th round has a big time bat. College bats are usually not available in the 10th round with as much thunder as Jacobo has. But, it is hard rating the steal of the draft, because we have not signed all of them and in addition we had no idea that a guy like Romine was as good as he was last year when we got him in the 5th round.
Q: (Angelswin) - What is the first thing Eddie always looks for when drafting a player: Potential/Upside? Specific position? Best value? Club need? Character?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Almost never club need. The player that is in the big leagues now is not the player that our draft needs to beat out. He needs to worry about players already in the system. So, it is not the future. First thing you have to see are the 5 tools. Hit, Arm, Run, Power and Field or HARPF. Without at least some of those you can have the best character in the world and not make it. My youngest daughter, Veronica is at Chapman and has a 3.5 GPA. She has great character. BUT, her HARPF is lousy so she is not going to be an Angels Draft.
Q: (Angelswin) - How soon after the draft do those drafted hit the diamond for workouts? Does it depend on whether or not a HS player is undecided about going to college? Is he eligible to participate in organizational workouts and still go to college if he chooses not to sign?
A: (Eddie Bane) - We are finishing our mini-camp in Arizona right now. The team then leaves for Orem or the ones that are staying in AZ start their league this week. A player must sign before he can work with the Angel staff.
Q: (Angelswin) - OK, this years' crop of kids best tools. (2008 Draftees)
A: (Eddie Bane) -
BEST ATHLETE - Khiry Cooper is a 3 star wideout recruit for Nebraska, but his future is definitely in baseball
BEST PURE HITTER - Gabe Jacobo for College and Jamie Mallard for high school
BEST POWER HITTER - Same 2 previous guys mentioned (above)
BEST STRIKE-ZONE JUDGMENT - I hope none of them. That is a learned trait. I want guys that swing the bat at good pitches. We work on the other stuff after they get here.
FASTEST BASERUNNER - Zach Cone
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER - Nicholas Farnsworth is a really good defender at 1b, although we drafted him for his bat more than his glove.
BEST ARM STRENGTH - Not sure yet as a couple of the position players have nice arms.
BEST FASTBALL - Tyler Chatwood for HS and Michael Kohn from Georgia for College.
BEST SECONDARY PITCH - Ryan Chaffee has nice other stuff. So does Will Smith
BEST COMMAND - Will Smith will at some point have plus command
CLOSEST TO MAJORS - Chaffee or Jacobo, but that plays very little in where we draft players. We need these guys in 4-5 years to make a splash in the big leagues and we don't draft for guys that can just help us a bit and then be gone. Take Steven Marek for example. Some fans may have forgotten him. Last night in 2A he struck out 4 guys in one inning in a one run game. Fastball was at 94 with a plus major league curve. That is what we want these guys to do.
Jepsen. Aldridge, Marek and Arredondo are all examples of wanting guys for the long term when they are major league ready and not for half a season.
Q: (Angelswin) - Do you see a lot of similarities between Zach Cone and Matt Kemp? What about Rolando Gomez and Maicer Izturis?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Very good body comparisons, but since we have not signed either player I will hold judgment on the rest of the question.
Q: (Angelswin) - Will the Angels ever draft a player who hits the ground running like Evan Longoria or Ryan Braun? How has this happened so infrequently (maybe Glaus, Salmon and Edmonds the only instances) during the 47 year history of this franchise, especially when so many of the teams were awful and drafting high every year?
A: (Eddie Bane) - No, emphatically NO.
Chuck, as long as Arte is the best owner in the game we are going to select late. We win and that means you select late. Tampa Bay has done a great job and I mean that, but for heavens sake they have had the 1st or 2nd pick every year for the last 10 years. They should have already had a good team by now. We have to find the Braun's and Longoria's when they are in high school and sign them. I ask our scouts to take a chance on the HS player that is going to become Longoria. You miss sometimes and sometimes you hit big.
We draft the Braun's and others when you go out and see Peter Bourjos. Most of the college young men that were selected in the first round are not as good a prospect as Peter Bourjos and Pete would have been in this draft if he had attended college. The same thing will be true next year with Hank Conger. Conger will be better than most of the college players drafted in the first round next year.
Q: (Angelswin) - With the international signing period about to begin in July, do the Angels look at a guy like Michel Inoa who might command a signing bonus of 2-3.5 million dollars? How active will the Angels be with some of the top rated international players that might command a high signing bonus? Do the initial conversations and signings with the just drafted players determine how much you might be willing to spend internationally?
A: (Eddie Bane) - No, we have a distinct budget for each department. We look at every player internationally. Nobody is off our charts.
Q: (Angelswin) - Back to this years' crop of kids, one Angelswin.com member says: Joey Belviso, Donnie Roach, DeMetrius Washington, and Christian Scholl. These guys are legit, what are the chances we sign them?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Once again Chuck I am thrilled that people take the time to know who these guys are. That says a lot about our Angel fans. Scholl has already signed. We will get one or 2 of the others inked also. Time frame is who knows, but has to be done by August 15, 2008.
Q: (Angelswin) - Thoughts on why Wood is struggling so much up here compared to down in the minors?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Brandon Wood is a no doubt Major League player in my mind. The Angels have more homegrown players than any other organization. But, with the Angels we are here to win the World Series. Some teams could take the struggles of a young player and ride it out because the team was not ready to win. That is not the case here. Or, a team may have no other options. Once again that is not the case here. If you want competition this is the place to be and Brandon Wood loves competition so he will be just fine.
Q: (Angelswin) - Speaking of struggling, do you still feel that bringing Adenhart up was the right decision? Along with that, are you still not concerned with Adenhart's BB/K ratio?
A: (Eddie Bane) - We have a lot more to worry about than Nick's command. Every team in the game would answer the phone if we wanted to talk about Nick. We don't want to talk about that. Nick has certainly walked more people than he should. He knows that. His delivery is clean he has a great mind for the game. Look at the great deal that Tony Reagins did last winter by not listening to people that wanted to trade Ervin Santana. Where would we be without him. Same way with Nick Adenhart. He is an Angel and will be good for the Angels long term.
To answer the question though I am not concerned about Nick Adenhart in the least. If he stays healthy he will be a 1-2 starter in the big leagues down the road.
Q: (Angelswin) - Do you still find time at any point in the year to play baseball at a competitive level in a rec. league/ league for adults/former players, etc...? If not, do you hit the practice field and participate in inter-squads with some of the guys ever? Do you still throw the ball around?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I am not that busy Chuck, but I can create things to do in my mind and get lazy, but I should definitely get out and exercise more often. The internet and Google have some bad pictures of me and I am better than that. LOL. My arm hurts so bad when I throw that it takes a minute or 2 to get the ball all the way in the air to the catcher.
Q: (Angelswin) - Do you get to see your family much during the season? Do you have any kids who play ball?
A: (Eddie Bane) - The good thing about scouting and family is that when you are home you really are home and don't have to go 9 to 5. The bad thing is you are gone a lot.
I have 4 kids and they all have made me very proud. Jaymie, is the oldest and he played in the Angels organization and is now a Major League scout for the Red Sox. Corey is my youngest son and he owns his own home theater business, called Bulldog Audio and he has been getting a ton of business but could always use more. Kacey is my oldest daughter and is almost done with her masters and doctorate in history. Veronica is my youngest daughter and is a sophomore at Chapman with a high GPA and is also one of the Princess characters where she works at Legoland. A great group of kids that I obviously am really proud of.
As always, thank you Eddie. Fans have been flocking to Angelswin.com in droves to look for this feature every month. Angels fans truly appreciate your time. Our contributors and myself at Angelswin.com truly appreciate your time and support.
Eddie Bane - Thanks readers. This is fun to do and thanks for letting me brag on my kids. Both my natural kids and the kids we have drafted for the Angels. Hope you guys like the draft and let me know when and if you disagree with what we are doing.
The Bane Connection - May (2008) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
May 26th, 2008
Q: (Angelswin) - Hope you're having a great memorial day weekend, Eddie. With the draft coming up, how are you and your staff preparing for the '08 Amateur Baseball Draft. If you can give our readers a behind the scenes look at what the Angels '08 strategy is and possibly what players are high on your list on draft day.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hey Chuck and the readers. Great to hear from you guys again. First of all Chuck you know I cannot give you any information on who we are considering for the draft. This is not the NFL and I am continually amazed at how much information NFL and NBA people share with the outside world. If we have someone we like where we select the Angels will do everything in our power to throw all 29 other teams in a different direction. Dog eat dog world in the MLB draft and that is what makes it so much fun. Friends sending friends with other teams all other the globe in the wrong direction in order to get an advantage. We started our meetings today(Monday) and will meet every day until draft day just fine tuning our board until our scouts personal Christmas time(draft day). The MLB draft does not get the play of the NFL draft, but it is certainly just as important to the lifeblood of the Angels organization.
Q: (Angelswin) - Without a 1st round pick this year (losing ours for signing Torii Hunter) will the Angels gamble their 2nd round pick for a player with signability issues like Matt Harvey?
A: (Eddie Bane) - No, we will just line them up and fight about the players (amongst all the crosscheckers and myself) and then select off the board the way it comes down the pike. We took an educated gamble last season with Mr Harvey and just missed on signing him. We do get a pick at the end of the 3rd round as compensation for not signing Matt. Obviously we would rather have Matt, but his agent and family wanted more money and we felt that our offer was very respectable.
BTW, I will take a Torii Hunter every single year and let us try and find value like Adenhart, Tobin, Walden, Reckling, Bourjos and others down in the draft.
Q: (Angelswin) - Who in your opinion is hands down the best College and High School top pick in this draft?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Do not want to dodge the question, but RJ Harrison (Tampa's Scouting Director and owner of the 1st pick) would not be happy with me if I made my thoughts public on who I felt was the best player. I will give you guys an example. In 2004 one of the Padres people (San Diego owned the first pick) was quoted in the media during the amateur season that Jered Weaver was the best player in the country by far and that he was ready for the major leagues now. San Diego (fortunately for the Angels) bypassed Weaver and selected Matt Bush. Even though we love the fact we were able to draft Jered we did have to face those quotes in the negotiating sessions.
(Angelswin) - Fair enough
Q: (Angelswin) - How is Young-Il progressing in extended spring/AZ?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Young Il has been facing some arm issues and we are currently trying to get those ironed out. Things happen with pitchers. In the game nowadays, with the strength of the players and the many medical advancements available it is a good idea to do everything possible to keep healthy players.
Q: (Angelswin) - Peter Bourjos & Mark Trumbo are both looking real good in High-A Ball. I know you've been really high on both of these kids who you have had a part in drafting. Your thoughts on their development?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Peter Bourjos has 28 stolen bases as of May 25. That is great news for the organization. Peter is one of the fastest players in the game though he may not look like that. BUT, it helped him tremendously being in big league camp this spring and having Scioscia, Roeniecke, Griffin and others encourage him and tell him it is ok to get thrown out once in awhile. Peter is a plus defender with an average to plus arm and tremendous speed. Now he is hitting, but the thing that will make him an over the top player is that some of our Major League scouts like Brad Sloan believe Peter will also hit more than 15 homeruns per year when he matures.
Power is the last tool that comes in a prospects progress. Mark Trumbo has as much raw power as anyone in the game. He is now starting to turn that into game power. Mark gets frustrated at times because he cares so much, but he is beginning to realize that big time power guys dont hit HR's everyday. The only problem with Mark Trumbo is that he cheers for USC in football and I have to set him straight about the up and coming ASU Sun Devils. For some unknown reason he still likes USC. Oh well.
Q: (Angelswin) - Will we see PJ Phillips in the OF, with his speed, perhaps in centerfield soon? His defense is awfully erratic at SS.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Lots of people are asking that question. The answer is tough because PJ is going to play in the major leagues at some position. The infield surfaces in the Cal League can get hard at times and even a great handed defender like Andrew Romine would struggle in the Cal League. Remember some people were clamoring for a team a few years ago to get rid of a young man named Brandon Phillips. He just signed a huge contract with his new team and you know his old team realizes they gave up too quick. Too many of our great minor league people, like Bruce Hines, believe in PJ and that is good enough for me.
BTW how about the James Phillips family of Atlanta, Georgia. Mother and Father own and run a batting cage center in Atlanta. You can get kicked out of the center if your report card is not good enough. Big brother, Brandon is a major leaguer. PJ will be a major leaguer and sister Porsche was an McDonalds All-American HS basketball player.
Q: (Angelswin) - What is the main difference you see in players once they get some time in the show and then they are sent back?
A: (Eddie Bane) - That is the tell tale part of a player. Once you get that taste of the big leagues the next thing you want is to get right back to that level where as Crash Davis said, "all the balls are pearls, you eat steak and lobster and never carry your own bags." Players usually work extra hard after the initial shock of being sent down to the minor leagues.
Q: (Angelswin) - Is the fitness/diet of each player up to that individual or is this closely monitored at each level?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Folks, you would not believe how closely players are monitored in professional baseball. A quality diet may be the thing that keeps a player in shape and helps him get to the big leagues over another player with the same ability. Just for old times sake though I hope the players sneak off to Del Taco once in awhile to honor us old players. In baseball lore, junk food and the minor leagues kind of go together.
Q: (Angelswin) - According to Baseball Prospectus, " Sean Rodriguez has a little bit of the Jose Valentin skill set: a guy who will hit about .240 but can be a hidden asset at the major league level between his walks, isolated power, and his underrated defense. He hasn't been fantastic in his major league debut this season, but it’s interesting that the Angels seem to be giving him first dibs over Brandon Wood. Players who hit for low averages are probably at more risk of their major league teams running out of patience with them, so the key thing for the Angels to keep in mind is that this is a player whom PECOTA thinks has a fair amount of development left in his bat, even if he’s likely to underwhelm at the major league level now. "
What are your thoughts in regards to BP's take on Rodriguez?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chuck I thought PECOTA was the one that was against people wearing fur coats. No, you are correct that is PETA. Seriously they do make sense, but the sample size is so small that I am surprised they would have an opinion this early on Sean. I don't think you need a stat book though to tell you that Sean Rodriquez is a good baseball player. Tough and knows the game. That is why he is playing and certainly why he is playing 2b over Brandon Wood is because Woodie never plays 2nd. Sean will pop some homeruns, steal an occasional base and hang tough on the dp. For me Sean is another example of the depth that we have in the organization. That will be one of the key things if we are able to stay on top in the AL West.
Q: (Angelswin) - How has Morales performed defensively in RF? With Kotchman performing well at the big league level, it seems we need to find a different position for Morales to crack the big league club going forward.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Kendry continues to hit while moving around at levels and positions. Some players have that knack. Hard to bother Morales when he has a bat in his hand. He is a good enough athlete to do a good job in the OF, but he is just getting started.
Q: (Angelswin) - Just how good is the starting rotation at Cedar Rapids?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Not many teams are going to be able to roll out 5 starters like we have in Cedar and that is what is the fun part about drafting a lot of HS and JC players. Pref order would be tough, but you would start with Jordan Walden who has the stuff and makeup to be a front of the rotation guy. Fish and Reckling are both hs sign lefties with plus fastballs and plus curves. Reckling is a very confident young lefty from the east coast who believes in himself and his stuff. Tobin is a jc sign that we got at a bargin price. Tobin's fastball gets to 95 a lot with brick-like life. Anton is a 1st year lefty that John Gracio found in Arizona working out at a baseball academy. John Gracio stayed with Anton even though he was not pitching competitively and we were able to get a lefty prospect that not a lot of teams knew about.
For me that is the real reason that the Angels future is so bright. Our scouts go the extra mile to find these guys and that makes me really proud of them.
Q: (Angelswin) - How do Bobby Wilson and Ben Johnson look behind the plate? (Defensively)
A: (Eddie Bane) - It better be good because in this organization if you do not catch the Scioscia-way then you will get run over by the train coming from behind in the form of DeLos Santos and Hank Conger who is getting close to being healthy.
Q: (Angelswin) - At Rancho, Norman has been moving throughout several spots in the lineup and posting some very solid numbers. How do you see him developing offensively and defensively?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Norman is an older player that got a late start on his career. But, he continues to hit and what can you say? If you hit in this game and have the love and passion that Norman has then you always have a chance.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lastly, who has really stood out this minor league season in your opinion? Who else should we be watching?
A: (Eddie Bane) - One of the hard things has been all the injuries that Abe Flores has had to put up with. But, I always tell the hurt guys to get out of the way because in the Angels organization if you are not playing then somebody is trying to take your job. Tough fact of life. The things that have stood out would be stuff like Adenhart battling all the way through the Tommy John he had in hs and making it to the major leagues at 21. He will be back shortly, as long as he is healthy, and be a star at the Major League level. All the pitchers at Cedar Rapids showing their stuff night after night has been a nice surprise.
People seeing how good Peter Bourjos really is. Especially, Tony having Peter in big league camp so the Major League coaches can watch him play. Trumbo's power starting to come around and Ryan Aldridge getting healthy enough to start showing how special he could be.
(Angelswin) - Eddie as always, the fans, the entire staff and community at Angelswin.com and myself appreciate your time.
A: (Eddie Bane) - You guys are great fans and I really really appreciate the interest you guys show. Now if you would help me with this first pick instead of laying back in the weeds it sure would help.
The Bane Connection - April (2008) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
April 28th, 2008
Q: (Angelswin) - Hope you've been well the last month since we last chatted, Eddie. What's new as Director of Scouting of the Los Angeles Angels?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hey guys. Travel, hotels, watching games, renting cars and seeing a lot of airports. Not much else except that wonderful road food that keeps us scouts in such tremendous condition.
Q: (Angelswin) - The Salt Lake Bees are 21-1 as of right now, going into Sunday's game. What an amazing feat they've accomplished. What an amazing roster. Your thoughts?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I think you also need to realize that this team in Salt Lake is made up of a lot of home grown players that are prospects. A lot of them will be needed over the course of the season to help at the Major League level, but it is quite a testament to these players and Bobby Mitchell that they are keeping their focus and playing the game hard and with great concentration. A lot of times in todays game 3A is an older group that is playing out the string. Not the case at all with the Salt Lake team. Nick Green, Nick Adenhart, Thompson, Arredondo, Morales, Willits, Coon, Brandon Wood, Freddy Sandoval and several others are all homegrown and they are all legit major leaguers that will all play at that level if they can stay healthy.
Q: (Angelswin) - I noticed that Nick Adenhart's SO/BB ratio is 19-15. That is not very good in my opinion, despite his low ERA. Is he working on something in Salt Lake? Or is he instructed to "Pitch to Contact" rather than go for the whiffs?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I certainly do not see it that way at all. Nick is a guy that has an ERA under 1.00 in the PCL which is tradionally a hitters league. He is pitching against a lot of older guys and he is 21 years old. Nick Adenhart is probably the best pitching prospect in the game right now and we are lucky to have him and lucky to have him healthy. He continues to work hard and just today I noticed he blew away Fresno for 8 innings. I really do not care what the SO/BB ratio is when a pitcher has as low an ERA as Adenhart does. Sometimes with stats we can make baseball a lot harder than it is. As the old scout saying goes, "the hitters will tell you how good a guy is throwing"....... and the hitters have let us know that Nick is throwing the ball extremely well.
Q: (Angelswin) - Speaking of "Pitch to Contact". Can you explain to our readers what this means and if it's beneficial to a starting pitcher? Additionally is it only taught to those who do not have a knock out pitch to generate K's?
A: (Eddie Bane) - "Pitching to contact" is one of my least favorite sayings in todays vernacular and my scouts know that. Koufax and Ryan never pitched to contact. Blyleven did not. I guess the term means to get the ball over the plate early in the count, but if that is what you want to say then just say that. My scouts know not to say, "pitches to contact"........ " the guy has electric stuff" or that a "pitcher is bumping 95" on the radar gun. I only went to Arizona State so I don't know what that stuff means.
To answer the question you cannot teach a pitcher to "pitch to contact". You can get the ball over the plate more often, but that only helps the guys with marginal command.
Q: (Angelswin) - Matt Brown, a later bloomer, future starter? or is he just on a hot streak, still projecting as a reserve infielder or utility player in the big leagues? What do the Angels and your scouts think of him? Do they view him as a future starter or?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Matt Brown has always been a good player. He is hard on himself sometimes and that is tough in a 162 game season. We certainly see him as a major league player. No doubt about that, but he has to find a spot with the Angels and carve that spot out. That is not easy.
Q: (Angelswin) - Injury update: When can we see the likes of H. Conger, M. Sweeney, C, Pettit, J. Haynes, M. Gonzalez, R. Mount and Young-Il to name a few, back in action with one of the affiliates?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Our group at Rancho (Conger, Sweeney, Mount and some others) are working their way back slowly and when the medical people give them the ok then they can play. Same with all of our injured players. We know it is frustrating to all involved not to see these guys, but it is much more frustrating to the individuals themselves as all of these kids have great makeup and it is really killing them not to be playing now. On another front Ryan Aldridge came back the other day and was throwing bullets in an Arizona game.
Q: (Angelswin) - Speaking of which. Who has looked good in extended spring training? Any buzz from the coaches and scouts for any of the prospects in Arizona?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Ty Boykin and his coaches do a great job with those guys and they work incredibly hard. As I said one of the names I was encouraged by was Ryan Aldridge and seeing his velocity in the mid 90's again.
Q: (Angelswin) - At what point in the season do you start making personnel decisions on what type of season you think the team/player will have? 1 month, 2 months?, Longer? Is there a timetable where you feel it is more than just a hot streak/slump and more of a trend/indicator of the year's performance?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I think you can relate that more to the injured players than anyone else. The position players need to get 300 or more at bats in order to get evaluated for the move up a level next season. That is why it is important that Sweeney, Conger, Mount and others get back ASAP. Everybody evaluates the players a lot when the season first starts, but it is important to get the entire body of work for the season. It is only natural though and expected to scout the players hard when you personally see them. That is because a good scout trusts his eyes and knows what he is looking at and does not need someone else telling him what he saw.
Q: (Angelswin) - There seems to be a drastic discrepancy in terms of leagues so that every other year if a player progresses normally they will go from a pitcher league to a hitters league then to a pitchers and back to a hitters. Was this formulated by the org on purpose or is it just happenstance?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I would agree that the jump to the Cal League from the Midwest League is a tough one for pitchers. The toughest jump though by far is from 3A to the Major Leagues. Those are the best players in the world and if you can compete with those guys you can compete anywhere.
Q: (Angelswin) - Have Michael Collins, Mark Trumbo and Robert Mosebach turned a corner? So far so good in 2008, performance wise.
A: (Eddie Bane) - All three are really good looking young players that we think will help the Angels at some point. Trumbo got an opportunity to show his massive power when he was in big league spring training. Others got to witness the power and it helped Mark to know that it would not take super human effort for him to play with those guys. Power is the last tool to come at the major league level and Trumbo is comfortable with that now.
Mosebach has always been a superior prospect, but for some reason the media and others tend to overlook him. We, in the organization certainly do not.
Q: (Angelswin) - Could you tell us more about Kevin Jepsen? What does he throw, where is he developmentally, etc. I remember when he was with Cedar Rapids a few years back, he was throwing in the mid 90's and had a nice breaking ball. Has he regained the velocity he once had before his shoulder injury?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Jepsen is a young pitcher that threw really really hard when we first signed him and then he got hurt and was on the backburner for a few years. With hard work and total dedication he has put himself firmly back in the picture as a legit prospect. Yes, the velocity is mostly all back.
Q: (Angelswin) - Could you compare the stuff of Jose Arredondo, Stephen Marek, Kevin Jepsen and Ryan Braiser? Which one has the best shot of becoming an ML closer?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Tough to answer who has closer stuff. Closer stuff and closer mentality are 2 completely different things. Takes a lot of stones to throw the 9th inning no matter what Bill James says and I like James' work. All those guys have plenty of fastball to do that job, but it takes a lot more than a fastball to pitch the 9th. Right now though we have one of the best closers in the game in Frankie so I am happy with that for now.
Q: (Angelswin) - Could you compare Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood defensively at SS? Do you think Sean Rodriguez profiles best at 2B or at another position?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Aybar has a spectacular glove with plus range. Erick is working really hard with Alfredo Griffin to make the steady plays. He will be a plus defensive shortstop in the big leagues for a long time. Brandon Wood is steady and makes all the plays with an above average arm and glove. Brandon needs to pay attention to advance scouting, spray charts and all the other stuff to get an edge on players at the big league level. Fortunately he has such great makeup that he will do whatever it takes to get an edge. Can you imagine a SS that has 30 homerun potential? Wood has that potential.
Yes, Sean will play a lot of 2B only because of all the SS prospects that we have. He can still play short though. In addition to Wood and Aybar, we have both Statia and Romine on express trains. As I said before a friend that scouts with Tampa told me that he would take "any of your shortstops, We dont care which one, just give us one of them including Izturis."
You have to be careful though as the Blue Jays had Michael Young, Cesar Izturis, Felipe Lopez and Chris Woodward a few years ago. They gave away all the good ones and kept Chris Woodward. Oops.
Q: (Angelswin) - Ken Rosenthal reported that some scouts believe Howie Kendrick should play LF next season because he does not turn the double play very well. Are the Angels scouts saying the same thing?, or is this just a Sports reporter pulling stuff out of the air?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I really respect Ken Rosenthal and his writing, but he and those scouts are "Way OFF Base" on this one. Howie Kendrick has made himself through hard work and great coaching into a really good defender. That includes the double play. People want to get on Howie about the DP because he is so tough that he hangs around and is not afraid of getting dirty from a hard slide. He takes the runner and still makes a good accurate throw.
As I have said before, Howie Kendrick will win a batting title. If he can stay away from the injuries (which he has always done before the last season or two) Kendrick will be an all-star at 2ndbase. He and Pedroia from the Red Sox should fight it out for the All-Star spot every year for a long time.
Chuck Richter - Eddie as always, the fans, the entire staff and community at Angelswin.com and myself, appreciate your time.
Eddie Bane - I have stated a lot that I really enjoy hearing from the fans at Angelswin.com and I learn a lot by getting their ideas and questions. Keep them coming as it makes me think when guys write about stuff. PS. If you have kids tell them not to "pitch to contact" and try to strike every kid on the other team out so that scouts will notice them. That should keep the young scouts and their toes for awhile.
The Bane Connection - March (2008) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
March 29th, 2008
Eddie Bane was kind enough to get with us via satellite from Gulfport, Mississippi to complete the March edition of "The Bane Connection".
In this month's edition, the majority of the questions were derived from Angelswin.com members. So, let's dig right into the interview with Scouting Director of the Los Angeles Angels, Eddie Bane.
Q: (Angelswin) - First of all, Congratulations on being inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. So what was that like, the ceremony and feeling after receiving the award? Some of our viewers may not have followed your college career, so what one game performance from a personal standpoint do you look back on in College and say, that was my best performance?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Thanks everyone for the HOF thoughts. Very nice. The induction ceremony is in Lubbock, Texas in July. Any time you go in anything with Jackie Robinson you have to feel very honored. I do not look back on one single performance at ASU, but the times I had with my buddies and team are what I will always think about.
Q: (Angelswin) - Ok, back to Angels talk. One of our AW.com members had this question for you: How does the organization determine when to promote a prospect from one level to the next? Are there specific skills that the Angels want a prospect to develop at each level before earning a promotion to the next level? If so what are they? (for example, are there certain leagues where the coaches will teach or stress a changeup more or bunting more than others or are there more targets in terms of overall production?)
A: (Eddie Bane) - Great question. I think the thing that we see is the complete stress and emphasis on the fundamentals of the game and especially baserunning from the moment they sign. The Angels definitely have established an "Angel Way" to play baseball and that is a nice satisfaction to all of us.
As far as promotion goes we like to think that a player will let you know when it is time to move him to a higher level. One thing we are facing now is the fierce competition we have at all levels. You simply would have a hard time walking into the Angels organization now and just moving up the ladder without earning the next spot. Just look at the competition at shortstop.
Romine, Phillips, Statia, Rodriguez, Aybar, Izturis and Wood are all certainly on the radar screen as possible major league shortstops. I had a scout from another club tell me the other day, "We don't care who it is, just give us any of your shortstops!" Pretty nice compliment. I think the pitching coaches at the earliest levels make all of our young pitchers throw their change.
Q: (Angelswin) - Since different minor leagues are known as either hitter leagues or pitcher leagues, and some are known for having substandard fields, how much does the organization discount the stats for each of its affiliates leagues? How does (Eddie Bane) view each of the leagues for our affiliates in terms of hitters league, pitchers league, fielding, etc?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Minor league fields (the surfaces) are getting so much better that it is getting easier to evaluate that part of the players ability. But, we know going in, that the Cal League's offensive numbers are going to be high for many reasons. Tough league to pitch. In Cedar Rapids you look for the young guys and how they adjust to playing every single day. That is a tough grind. Everyone likes stats to support their side of the coin, but as scouts we have to look deeper than that.
Q: (Angelswin) - How much does the organization factor age into evaluating a prospect?
A: (Eddie Bane) - The Angels draft a lot of high school players. That gives the young players a chance to learn the "Angel Way" of baseball at a young age. Age plays a huge factor in evaluation in our organization. I tell our amateur scouts when they are looking at players now that Bourjos, O'Sullivan, Mount, Bell and Phillips would all be in the '08 draft if they had went to college. So if one of my guys is telling me how good a centerfielder at a college is then I want to hear how he compares to Peter Bourjos. That usually tempers his enthusiasm because there is not a centerfielder in college right now that compares favorably to Peter.
Q: (Angelswin) - How does an organization come to the conclusion as to when a prospect goes from "sure thing" to "bust". In addition to that, at what point does the GM & scouts get the feeling it isn't going to work out for a prospect because either the player is blocked or needs more time in the minors, something the Major League club cannot wait on. ?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I don't ever look at it that way. Last season Darren O'Day was considered a pitcher in our organization that was a very good thing to have. Now he is on the verge of making our ball club. I like to make sure the guys get a chance to play in front of Mike, Tony and Butcher and let them determine their value instead of having someone else do it.
Q: (Angelswin) - How active are the Angels in Latin America? When reading reports about prospects I rarely see the Angels listed as having scouted or in on the signing the players.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Clay Daniel is our international scouting director and he works with me on signing Latin American players. I would say that you only need look at Aybar, Morales, Santana and Frankie Rodriquez to see his impact. We also traded away Alexi Casilla and a couple others to help our major league club. We also have Anel Delosantos and some good looking outfield prospects to go with the 4 guys at the major league level. Clay is also active in Asia and Australia and signed Rich Thompson who will help our ML club at some point this season.
Q: (Angelswin) - How much do you value statistics in regards to college players?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Our area scouts pay attention to the stats quite a bit, but we have to look a lot deeper than that. I did, one time, draft a player because he was the best hitter on his team even though he had a bad body, at the time, and was a short catcher. That player was Paul LoDuca and that worked out pretty well.
Q: (Angelswin) - Does the organization establish specific goals for each player at the start of the season? If so, how is the process handled (i.e. is there someone who handles it throughout the organization or is it handled by the staff at each level).
A: (Eddie Bane) - You would not believe how thorough that part of the player profile is. Each player has a file and each player knows exactly what is expected of him. The days of the "Bull Durham" type minor league stuff are pretty much over.
Q: (Angelswin) - We (the fans) always hear about a team "show-casing a player" in anticipation of a trade. How much show-casing really happens?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Showcasing a player for the Angels would almost never happen. Our goal at the major league level is to win the World Series every single season so Mike and his staff are doing everything they can at the Major League level to win every game. That would prevent "showcasing" a player in my mind. Besides scouts at the major level work hard during batting practice or early work to attempt to see what they need to on every player.
Q: (Angelswin) - Will Kendry Morales play any OF or 3B in SLC this year if he doesn't make the 25 man roster?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Kendry is getting ready to make a big splash in the major leagues this season in my opinion. Let's just let it play out and see what happens. Some versatility would not hurt him at all though, we'll see.
Q: (Angelswin) - The Angels losing Escobar for perhaps the entire season and Lackey a couple months, do you have any doubt that Adenhart can step in and be successful on the major league level right now ?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Nick Adenhart had a nice spring and put himself firmly in the mind of Mike, Tony and Butcher. Now he has to climb the last part of the mountain. Nick's goals are not to pitch in the Major Leagues. Nick wants to be a front of the rotation pitcher and if he stays healthy I have no doubts that will happen. He is that kind of pitcher.
Q: (Angelswin) - Will the Angels consider converting Mark Trumbo back to pitching?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Mark Trumbo showed the major league staff in spring training the tremendous power that all of us scouts have seen. He has as much power as anyone in baseball. We all think this is a big year for him and believe that he will thrive in Rancho this season.
Q: (Angelswin) - Who did you have in your NCAA pool to make it to the Final Four?
A: (Eddie Bane) - My bracket was blown up by being a homer. I had U of A winning some games and USC winning some games. I got most of the Final 4 correct along with everybody else in the country, but I did not see Davidson and Louisville doing what they are doing.
Angelswin.com Members - As always, please communicate how much we, the fans, love the time you give us in answering our questions. Thanks, and talk to you next month.
Eddie Bane - I enjoy doing this and hope the fans like reading what the scouting department has to say on this stuff. Thanks again, Eddie Bane.
The Bane Connection - February (2008) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
February 26th, 2008
Q: (Angelswin) - Today the full squad reports to spring training, but catchers and pitchers have been around for over a week now, what have you seen or heard in camp of who's making a good impression on the mound, behind the dish and at the plate?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hi folks, nice to talk with you again. My job almost insures that I will know almost nothing except what I read and hear about spring training. We have great pro scouts led by Gary Sutherland who watch everything in Tempe. Tony is also a really good scout and he is watching everyday as is Bill Stoneman and Ken Forsch. We have plenty of eyes in Arizona. In addition, the coaches and Mike are evaluating every day. Lastly, it is much too early to put a value on what is going on right now. As an old friend and scout of mine, Moose Johnson said, "I'm going to wait until the blocking and tackling starts before I make a choice."
Q: (Angelswin) - With all of the Francisco Rodriguez contract talks worrying some fans about him potentially walking at season end, who in the minors if that happens, do you think has the mentality, as well as the skills, to be a future closer or set up guy for the Angels?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Frankie's deal is way over my pay grade. Let's see how that comes out over time.
You always are looking at minor league pitchers and what roles they can fill in the big leagues. Stephen Marek is the name everyone talks about because he did that job at San Jacinto. Darren O'Day has a feel for pitching in relief. Even Jordan Walden's name gets thrown in because he throws so darn hard, but it is far too early for Walden's name to be in any discussion like that. We would like to see a big year out of a pitcher like Ryan Aldridge also.
Q: (Angelswin) - Do you see anyone skipping a level to start the 2008 minor league season? Some have said Walden may skip Cedar Rapids and start in Rancho Cucamonga. What can you tell us about that and who is on the "fast track" to Anaheim in your opinion?
A: (Eddie Bane) - We have a lot of guys that could be on a so-called fast track, but in this organization we have good players at every level so you have to earn your way. If say, Sean O'Sullivan wants to get to Arkansas this year then the opportunity is there, but he will have to pitch better than the other guys in Rancho. Pretty simple process.
Q: (Angelswin) - Ervin Santana finished the season strong out of the bullpen which included some successful spot starts, while having a very good winter ball showing in the Dominican. What has Ervin done to improve his game from September of 2007 until now?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Ervin Santana is still a young man. He gets penalized because he had success in the major leagues at a young age. Fair or not that is the way it is. Look how many games Ervin has won at his age. Then look at some of the Baseball America sweethearts in the minor leagues. The "sweethearts" on other teams minor league rosters are often older than a pitcher like Santana. The Angels do not shy away from signing college players, but the younger the player, the more time we have to get the player to be an "Angel baseball player".
Believe me the baseball industry certainly recognizes what an "Angel baseball player" looks like. We are thrilled to have Ervin Santana in our organization and I wish we could sign 10 more just like him on the international market.
Q: (Angelswin) - What plans are ahead for Kendry Morales? It seems like he has no position to play with the big league club and the DH spot is being filled by 4-5 outfielders.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Kendry Morales is as good a hitter as the Angels have. Guys like Morales will play. No doubt about that. Kendry still has work to do and needs to do those things with the bat and with the glove. He will. Nobody in the major leagues has so many hitters that they cannot find a spot for a hitter with this type of plus plus power and the plus bat that Kendry has. He is still really young and somewhat like Ervin Santana, seeing it appears that he has been around a long time, but that is only because he was playing at a very high level at a very young age. We are thrilled with Kendry and see him progressing nicely for us and we look forward to him getting plenty of at bats this season.
Q: (Angelswin) - Speaking of winter ball, Erick Aybar had a tough time both on offense and more importantly for him, on defense in the Dominican. What's going on with Erick and do you think he should be the front runner for the starting SS job, or would you prefer Brandon Wood or Maicer Izturis for the opening gig at SS? Is Brandon Wood defensively up to par with Aybar and Izturis right now?
A: (Eddie Bane) - My preferences on who I like will be known only to other Angels employees, unfortunately for our readers. Wood can play defense at shortstop with anyone. Brandon will benefit from advance reports greatly because his positioning on each player will be really important. The ball gets on the defender quicker at the big league level because a big man is the one hitting the ball. When Vlad Guerrero hits a ball it gets on the hitter quickly.
Macier Izturis can play SS in the major leagues. Erick Aybar will be evaluated on how he plays this spring and how he has played for the Angels in the past. Alfredo Griffin is a true infield genius and Rob Piccilo in the minor leagues give Erick as much help as he will ever need. Scouts should have to pay money in order to sit and listen to Griffin and Rob talk about infield play. I certainly trust our infielders with those guys and anything they come up with good enough for me.
Q: (Angelswin) - With the talented group of prospects at Rancho Cucamonga this year, do you think you'll make it out often to see the Quakes in 2008? What a team the Quakes are going to have this year, I'm predicting good things from the farmhands that assemble at the Epicenter.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Our Rancho club is going to be the place to be this season. Players like Mount, Phillips, O'Sullivan, Trevor Bell and others would be in this amateur draft if they had not signed. They would all be 1st round players if in this draft. But, they also to a man are happy they signed with the Angels and got their career started. Mark Trumbo may be in Rancho and if we can get tap into his power potential this year then people in Rancho will see some of the longest Home Runs they have seen in awhile. Matt Sweeney and Hank Conger should also be in Rancho and they are 2 players that would not even be in this situation if they had went to college.
I like the way Arte lets us develop players. We are allowed to take HS players and let them progress. Some other teams will take college players and let them get to the big leagues quicker than the Angels will. Our philosophy is that the new players have to get in line and beat out the guys in front of them. Look at the rotation in Rancho this year and a prospect will be pitching every single night. I don't see any other organization being able to do that.
Q: (Angelswin) - When you talk to opposing teams' scouts, what Angels prospect is mentioned with glowing reports the most from them?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Teams usually start paying extra attention to your players when they get to the Cal League level. But, they already know about the obvious guys like Adenhart, Conger, Sweeney and a few others. Obviously, the good teams like the Twins nabbed Alexi Casilla from us a few years ago when Terry Ryan scouted him in Cedar Rapids. Scouts are everywhere and they know where the good players are and in what organizations they play in. One of our good problems is that we are starting to get some backup and guys are going to have to beat out another good player to make it to the show. Good problem to have, but we need to make good choices and put the right guys on the field.
Abe Flores only has so many innings in the minor leagues and the right players need to get those innings.
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, what can you tell us about the amateur draft and what a day in the life of draft day for Eddie Bane and the Angels is like?
A: (Eddie Bane) - The other day in Houston, Texas was typical from what I want in our Angels scouts and myself. Kevin Ham knew about a HS pitcher throwing at 10:30. The game started at 10, but we made it because our guys are always early. At 12 noon I was able to get Robbie Grossman, a HS hitter at Cy Fair in Texas, in batting practice. A couple innings of that game and then a HS match up of pitchers at 3:30.
Fortunately, the 3:30 game was close to the Bush Airport in Houston. The flight to Phoenix left on time and when I drove by ASU after landing in Phoenix I noticed the lights were on. I walked into ASU's ballpark at 9:30 and Miami of Ohio was playing Oregon St. I noticed that most all of the scouts were gone except Bo Hughes, our west coast supervisor. Bo was still at the game and still working. Other clubs may do this type work, but I am sure that our Angels scouts work like this each and every day.
I wish there were more days like these where you got 6 players in one day, but sometimes you have to hunt and peck to see just one draft.
Q: (Angelswin) - Following up that question, has Tony Reagins communicated to you any changes as far as who to draft in this years' 2008 amateur draft. Do the Angels go for best available, HS over College? Positional need, or closest to the big leagues?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Tony has communicated to me that he wants us to get it "right". I understand what that means. Find the player, sign the player and then go do it again and again. That is what I love and Tony knows that. I look forward to it and also look forward to getting into Latin America more often and helping Clay Daniel with some of the big time guys in Latin America. Also want to see if we can find more Young Il Yung's in Asia. He was hurt last year, but this young man, if healthy has a huge future.
Q: (Angelswin) - What player or players do you predict has a break out year in 2008 (Like Brok Butcher, Nick Green, Chris Pettit and Sean O'Sullivan did in '07) and why?
A: (Eddie Bane) - That is all up to the players themselves. The players in Rancho have been able to play together for quite awhile now. Orem, Cedar Rapids and now Rancho. This will be the last time that will happen in my opinion. 5-6 of these guys in Rancho are going to have huge years and will be knocking on the door in Orange County real soon. The players need to understand how really close they are now to being major leaguers ball players.
As far as big years I would think Pettit wants to prove last year was for real. Green is being shown a golden opportunity and O'Sullivan could be on the door step in no time because he has feel for pitching unlike any of our other guys. Sean just does not throw strikes. Sean throws the ball where he wants just like really good major league pitchers do. Sean has to get in(he has) good shape and stay there. The game comes easy for Sean and sometimes that can be a hindrance. I know scouts in SoCal are kicking themselves for talking themselves out of O'Sullivan when he was an amateur.
Q: (Angelswin) - Injuries in camp, are there any players that have been shut down due to injuries and will get a late start heading into the 2008 minor league season?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Not that I know of, but then again that is more of an Abe Flores question. One thing on Abe Flores. Abe was my asst for my first years with the Angels. With the changes Abe become our minor league director. I had no idea all the things that Abe did to make my job easier. He will do a great job, but he is missed. His job is being taken now by Tory Hernandez with some of the stuff in Justin Hollander's camp. Tory is really really good. He even is able to help with our arbitration stuff while still knowing what is going on will all of my scouts on the road. Pretty incredible stuff.
Q: (Angelswin) - Finally, on a personal note, this was a long off-season, what did Eddie Bane do during the off-season?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Eddie Bane does not have an off-season and none of my scouts do either.
Somebody plays baseball almost every day of the year now. Guys organize camps that run on Christmas Eve for heavens sake and a guy like Bear Bryant in Alabama will always leave me a message that he saw some kid play in Mississippi on Christmas Eve. That is his way of topping our other guys and showing how hard they work. It is a good thing to have guys trying to outwork each other and our guys do it every single day.
The only thing that really happened baseball and personal-wise in the off-season was that I was informed that I am a finalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame and that my youngest daughter Veronica had a big year at Chapman GPA-wise. She is a great kid.
The inductees will be announced shortly so we shall see what happens with that. Just being a finalist is an overwhelming thought for me. People for some reason have a long memory from my playing days at ASU. It also helps working for Arte Moreno and the Angels, it keeps your name in the limelight.
Lastly, good luck to the Angelswin.com readers. I really love the fact that so many people care about the Angels. That is a great feeling. Thanks a lot folks and good luck to all in the upcoming baseball season.
This concludes our time with Eddie Bane for this month's feature. Check back with us in March for the next edition of "The Bane Connection". Also, feel free to send questions to us that we may be able to pass on to Eddie for future columns at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bane Connection - October (2007) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
October 29th, 2007
In this month's edition of the Bane Connection we asked Eddie some questions that have nothing to do with the Angels future stars, but rather switched gears this month and had him tell us a little bit about Eddie the person, ex-ball player & scout.
Eddie has been kind enough to share not only his insight & insider info on all of the Angels future stars throughout the season and in this edition, about himself. With this being the last edition in 2007, until late Feb of 2008 when pitchers & catchers report, let's all give Eddie a round of applause for his efforts & contributions for not only the Angelswin.com community, but for all of the fans & readers of this monthly segment on the net.
With no further ado, let's proceed with the interview entitled......
The Lighter side of Eddie Bane
Q: (Angelswin) - How did you get into baseball?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hi folks, guys and girls. Welcome to another Bane Connection and let's get going. First of all I hope you guys are getting to watch my ASU Sun Devils in football. That is one of my diversions off the field and we have to keep that quiet around Mr Moreno and Dennis Kuhl and John Carpino as they are huge University of Arizona fans.
I started in baseball like every other kid by playing in Little League and having great parents who helped me along the way. Went to High School in Westminster and then on to ASU and was drafted by the Twins after 3 years as a SunDevil and then was fortunate enough to go directly to the major leagues and play for the Twins. Got the chance to play baseball with Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Larry Hisle, Lymon Bostock, Bert Blyleven (who should be in the Hall of Fame) Danny Thompson, Roy Smalley and many other great players. Jim Kaat though was the one that took me under his wing and guided me through all tough times. And, had the chance to learn from Gene Mauch, who I consider the smartest baseball person I was ever around.. After playing professionally I started at the bottom rung of scouting and was lucky enough to move up to my current position of Director of Scouting.
Q: (Angelswin) - Most memorable game from a personal performance standpoint?
A: (Eddie Bane) - My most memorable pro game would probably be either my first win against the WC Oakland A's or the first game of my career when I pitched in front of the biggest crowd in the history of the Old Met in Minneapolis when the people showed up to see the college hot-shot pitch against the KC Royals. I pitched 7 innings with 3 hits and left the game leading 2-1. We blew the lead, but those things happen.
Q: (Angelswin) - Most memorable game you witnessed from a fans' standpoint?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I was working for the Dodgers when Kirk Gibson hit the homerun to beat Oakland. Knowing some of the background only people with the club would know and having my dad and kids at the game made it really special.
Q: (Angelswin) - What was your worst scouting trip you ever had?
A: (Eddie Bane) - It is almost impossible to have a bad day scouting. I do remember coming back from a game in Mexicali where they had no cabs, in a rough area and I rode in the back of a pig farmers truck to the border...... with me and the pigs in the back. I was happy to get the ride. You also see some unique things when scouting in the south that you just don't see anywhere else. Fighting parents etc. always add to the spectacle. But, by and large it is scouting and that is a ton of fun.
Q: (Angelswin) - What do you like best about your job?
A: (Eddie Bane) - In the end the job is all encompassing. The thought that everyday you still believe you are going to find that one Roy Hobbs hid out somewhere that nobody else knows about. I still love the travel, hotels, food, rent-a-cars and the entire thing.
Q: (Angelswin) - Best Major Leaguer you've signed to date?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I have been fortunate enough to be around and help sign (you always help sign as it is never a one man operation) all-stars and Cy Young award winners. I helped sign Albert Belle, Cory Snyder, Eric Gagne, Paul LoDuca, Carl Crawford and many others with the other clubs, but the best player I have ever signed in my mind is Paul Konerko. Paul is also at the top of the list as far as good people I have signed also. I really care about Konerko and he feels the same way about me. I have known Paul since he was 13 years old as he was a childhood friend of my son, Jaymie.
Q: (Angelswin) - What's a week in the life of a scout like?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Different months of the year are completely different, but if you take the month of April or May every day of the month for say my national crosscheckers, Jeff Malinoff and Ric Wilson is constant travel. Up in the morning (early 6am) fly for a couple of hours, get a rent-a-car, use the GPS, find the ballpark, find a hotel, get room service, shower, get on the computer, watch tv for an hour, try and get some sleep and then get up and do the same thing again everyday for about 20-30 days in a row. All sandwiched around keeping up with the voice mail and trying to see how your kid did in his math test or soccer game.
But, I would not change it for anything.
Q: (Angelswin) - What is the best prank you have seen in the clubhouse or dugout?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Oh, they are all over the place. Best one I ever did was convincing the front desk that they needed to call our Latino pitcher, Juan Vientedos, every hour all night to remind him to take his medicine for his bad arm. I told them that no matter how much he yelled at them that they needed to call him every hour on the hour. He would complain to them in Spanish, but they reliably called him back on the dot every hour. He was down at the front desk about ready to trade blows at 5 in the morning, but it was pretty funny.
Q: (Angelswin) - Favorite city to travel to when scouting?
A: (Eddie Bane) - 2 places very diverse. New York City is the most fun place in the world with the plays, etc. And, you cannot beat the state of Mississippi or Alabama for the hospitality and the beauty of the people.
Q: (Angelswin) - Ever second guess yourself for a scouting decision on a kid and have it come back to haunt you?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Sure, all the time. Most notable was Bill Bene my first year with the Dodgers. I was headstrong in love with a pitcher named Bill Bene with a great, 100 mph arm. I went right by and did not want to hear about a 3rd baseman at Oklahoma St. named Robin Ventura. Oops.
Q: (Angelswin) - How do you think Tony Reagins will do as a Major League General Manager?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Tony will do an excellent job as GM of the Angels. We will miss Bill a lot, but I thought it was a great choice to stay in-house and use Tony's attributes as a GM. He has been schooled in being the GM and he will use his people and he has plus baseball skills himself so I look forward to a continuation of the success we have had with the Angels.
It is tough for baseball to lose Terry Ryan, Bill Stoneman and John Schuerholz all in one offseason. All great baseball people, but it is just a reminder that time marches on.
Q: (Angelswin) - Last book you read?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Secret Servant by Daniel Silva. Read that along with the book titled 'Texas' by James Michener at the same time. I am a big reader.
Q: (Angelswin) - Favorite kind of music?
A: (Eddie Bane) - All kinds, but the Beach Boys is what I get freaky over.
Q: (Angelswin) - Favorite vacation spot in the offseason?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Lake Tahoe. It has everything. Outdoors, golf, the serenity of the woods and the indoors of the Nevada type stuff.
Q: (Angelswin) - Favorite food & place to eat?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Garcia's Mexican restaurant.
Q: (Angelswin) - What was your worst job?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I moved bricks, mud and dirt around one day in a moving project. That was when I was positive sports were going to be a better way to go.
Q: (Angelswin) - What is your hobby? (Not Baseball related)?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I am a pretty good golfer(about a 7 handicap), but my favorite thing to do is either read history or go to Broadway shows. If you ever need a review of Les Mis, Jersey Boys or Mamma Mia then I am your guy.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lastly, what is Eddie Bane's biggest accomplishment in life?
A: (Eddie Bane) - My biggest accomplishment by far is that I am the father of Jaymie, Kacey, Corey and Veronica Bane. Also the dad of the greatest dog on the earth, Sven Bane. My scouts can tell you how nutty I am about Sven and all animals really. That is a good enough accomplishment for me anytime.
Once again Chuck, thanks for asking the questions and I hope I did not bore the readers too much with this personal stuff.
The Bane Connection - September (2007) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
September 20th, 2007
Eddie, it's that time of the month again to connect and proceed with what is to be the final Eddie Bane Connection on the Angels Minor Leaguers in 2007. (more on that at the bottom of the Q&A)
I want to thank you for all of your time you've put into this as I've received numerous thank you emails over the last year and a half from Angels fans across the country that can't wait for this segment every month as they share the same passion I do in following what could be not only future Halos, but perhaps future All Stars in the major leagues down the road.
You're the best Eddie, thank you for sharing your insights with us all. We at Angelswin.com truly appreciate it & thoroughly enjoy it.
Ok, roll up your sleeves, let's dig in.
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, the minor league season has ended and there have been a few surprises this season. Who sticks out in your mind as most surprising minor league player in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - The most pleasant surprises this year were players such as Trevor Bell showing the plus stuff he showed as an amateur. Also, Jordan Walden and Robert Fish both have superior stuff and they were able to get it over the plate in good spots much quicker than I thought they would. That is in large part due to Zeke Zimmerman and Kernan Ronan, our pitching coaches. At the end of the summer Walden threw 100 mph in a game and only walked one batter in that game. Outstanding at an early part of his career. Ryan Mount is beginning to open all the eyes that I thought he would. He has surprising power.
Q: (Angelswin) - On the heels of the most surprising player in 2007, what Angels' minor leaguer do you think took a step backward in his development in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - That is impossible to answer as I always see the glass as half full. I would say that injuries are the only thing that deter me. Nate Boman and Jon Bachanov both missed time and I hate seeing that.
Q: (Angelswin) - Before we get into our categorized awards, what Angels' minor leaguer would you consider, naming just one, would be your selection for the Angels' Minor League Player of the Year?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chris Petit is the name that comes quickly to mind.
Q: (Angelswin) - What Angels' Minor Leaguer displayed the best approach at the plate and discipline in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I try and stress to our scouts to seek aggressiveness and the other stuff will come. Sweeney, Pettit and Conger come to mind immediately when talking about hitting. Statia is also going to be good at all the things that come with discipline.
Q: (Angelswin) - What Angels' Minor Leaguer would you consider the best 'hitter' for his contact rate & ability to hit for a high batting average in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I still think our best hitter in the minor leagues this year was Kendry Morales when he was in Salt Lake. He went on a streak in SLC and LA where every time he swung was a rocket off the wall. I have said for a long time that when he does get comfortable in the USA he is going to be a real tough out.
Q: (Angelswin) - What Angels' Minor Leaguer showed the most raw power in 2007'?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Mark Trumbo has as much raw power as any player in baseball.
Q: (Angelswin) - What Angels' Minor Leaguer displayed a mirror of the Angels prototypical player with the aggressive philosophy on the bases, success rate of stealing bases, ability to put the bat on the ball making a productive out and for laying down a bunt successfully in 2007? Additionally, who was clocked the fastest from home plate to first base among the Angels minor leaguers in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chris Petit and PJ Phillips fit in this category. PJ stole a lot of bases this season. Look at what his brother did this year. 30-30 and Brandon Phillips is a late bloomer. Sean Rodriguez is a good baseball player also. Peter Bourjos is the fastest player in the organization and has to get better at stealing bases and taking over a game that way. In this organization he will learn that over time.
Q: (Angelswin) - Most raw talent offensively, despite the lack of statistical numbers in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) -PJ Phillips has a ton of potential. The entire Cedar Rapids team will just get better and better as they learn the rigors of 162 games.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lastly, before we switch gears to the pitching awards, who in your mind wins the best defensive player in 2007, both in the outfield and infield (1 a piece)?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Peter Bourjos is our best defender in the outfield and Statia and Andrew Romine are the best infield defenders.
Q: (Angelswin) - The Angels Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2007 is............?
A: (Eddie Bane) - That is a tough one. I will give out the names to consider in my mind, Nick Adenhart, Nick Green, Miguel Gonzalez, Darren O'Day, Sean O'Sullivan, David Herndon, Robert Fish and Jordan Walden. I would say that O'Sullivan leading the league in ERA is the most impressive.
Q: (Angelswin) - Which Angels Minor League pitcher commanded the strike zone the best in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - O'Sullivan has Major League command right now. But, if you look at that entire staff at Cedar Rapids and most of them threw wall to wall strikes which is again a compliment to Dan Ricabal and Kernan Ronan. I will say that conversion pitcher, Marco Albano switched from being an infielder and threw nothing but quality strikes.
Q: (Angelswin) - What Angels Minor League pitcher showed the best fastball for both his movement and velocity in 2007? Which Angels' Minor League Pitcher clocked the highest on the radar gun in '07 as well?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Adenhart still has the best fastball for location, life and velocity when he is right. Walden touched 100 and threw several 99's in the playoffs. The neat thing about Jordan is that he threw his best fastball later in the game when the game was on the line. Most impressive.
Q: (Angelswin) - Best curveball demonstrated by an Angels Minor League pitcher in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I am not sure it is the best in our system, but new draftee Trevor Reckling has had his curveball compared to Barry Zito. Pretty good company.
Q: (Angelswin) - Best slider demonstrated by an Angels Minor League pitcher in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I need more time to think on that one, I've seen some good sliders thrown in our system.
Q: (Angelswin) - Best changeup demonstrated by an Angels Minor League pitcher in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Nick Green has an outstanding change.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lastly, which Angels Minor League relief pitcher would you say showed the best punch-out pitches and knack for closing games out in 2007?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Warner Madrigal has big league stuff. Darren O'Day will pitch in the big leagues with his nasty underhand delivery. Hard to say who will be a closer as usually that happens at the Major League Level or in 3-A.
As always Eddie, we thank you for your time and efforts as there was a lot of questions here in this segment, We'll conclude our Eddie Bane Connection next month with some non Angels' Prospect questions, calling the segment "The Lighter Side of Eddie Bane". Should be a blast!
(Eddie Bane) Thanks Chuck and thanks readers. It is really great to have this kind of interest in Angel baseball and all our scouts really appreciate the interest and the questions keep us on our toes. With Kotchman, Morales, Kendrick, Aybar, Mathis, Napoli, Weaver, Wood and others you are seeing just the tip of the iceberg. Bill and Arte have allowed us to sign players which is not always the case in other organizations. Look at our roster some time and you will see that we have more homegrown players that play important roles than any team in baseball. 4/5's of the rotation along with the closer and setup guy are all homegrown. This allows Arte and Bill the opportunity to do the right things when the free agent market opens. That is why the Angels simply have the best all around organization in the game of baseball.
The Bane Connection - August (2007) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
August 27th, 2007
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, what can you tell us about Nick Green (10-6, 3.66 ERA & a 1.12 WHIP - 96 K's in 160 IP) who is quietly having a good season after a not so good May/June. Will his fastball be enough to compliment his solid changeup and secondary pitches? 1-6, 3.66 ERA & a 1.12 WHIP - 96 K's in 160 IP
A: (Eddie Bane) - Nick Green is have a very nice season. He was already on the radar screen though because Scioscia and Butcher will able to see him in spring training. Key is to be more consistent with low strikes. He has plenty of fastball. Not a burner, but up to 93 at times. Chris McAlpin did a great job of finding Green after he was not used much as an amateur.
Q: (Angelswin) - Baseball America recently listed the top ten prospects at each position plus the top five relief prospects. The Angels only had one player listed in those ninety five names. Did that disappoint you? We had some great drafts in the first few years of the Stoneman regime. What has happened in the past few years? The drafts don't seem to be as productive. I know we have lost some veteran scouts. Is that part of the reason? ....
A: (Eddie Bane) - All of us, including scouts, enjoy reading BA and other publications. I am not disappointed at all. I have heard from countless Scouting Directors, asst GM's and other scouts about our Cedar Rapids club. It may be the first time since I have been scouting that we have a legit prospect at every position on the field in addition to at least one pitching prospect every night. Sweeney, Conger, Trumbo and O'Sullivan along with several others don't come along all the time.
Nobody in the MW League swings the bat as well as Matt Sweeney with the possible exception of Conger. We consider Conger to be the premier catching prospect in the game right now. 20 year old Sean O'Sullivan leads the Mid-West League in ERA and is pitching better and better as the season goes on while maintaining his velocity. And, as I have said before we are not going to trade Nick Adenhart for any of the other teams top pitching prospects. We are happy with Nick and they should be happy with their guy.
Q: (Angelswin) - When Santana went down to Salt Lake Triple-A, did he work on anything specifically in attempts to resolve the issues he had with the major league club?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Ervin is more of a question for our major league people. I will say that at 24 years old Santana has done a lot more at the ML level then most of the so-called prospects who are also 24 years old have done in the minor leagues.
Q: (Angelswin) - Do the Angels plan on shifting Kendry Morales to a new position? His bat is there and the power has been shown of late, but he's blocked by Kotchman at 1B and Garret Anderson at DH possibly in 2008.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Kendry has really good hands. He also has a strong arm which would help with any position change. BUT, currently we need him at 1B because Casey Kotchman is suffering a tough injury. Morales has hit .300 everywhere he has been in the system, but just lately have we seen in the way above average hitter he will be when he settles in at the big league level. Kendry Morales is going to be an above average major league hitter with power. That is what makes scouting fun.
Q: (Angelswin) - Warner Madrigal...He is putting some impressive numbers in Single A. What does the future hold for him, and how does the club plan on using him?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Warner is a special young man that all the people in our minor league side of the business pull hard for. He has been in the organization awhile and did not make it as a hitter, but he has a big fastball and his slider can be out of this world. Once again, consistency will be the key.
Q: (Angelswin) - How much as Brandon progressed this season in AAA and do you guys plan on having him start there again next season as well?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I wish we had 100 Brandon Wood's. We would have the best organization of all time. That means in all aspects of the game. Makeup, aptitude, ability, usability are all top of the scale when you are talking about Brandon Wood. He is a winner and will make the organization even that much better when he settles into the major leagues.
Q: (Angelswin) - Tobin Mason, Trevor Reckling, Michael Anton & outfielder Jeremy Moore. What can you tell us out these 4 youngsters that have made quite an impression in short season A Ball?
A: (Eddie Bane) - First things first. Let's switch the names around. You even had me at first glance. It is 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.
Treveor Reckling is a HS lefty that we got because of the hard work of Greg Mohrhardt and Mike Silvestri. That being said I would have been extremely unhappy if we did not sign this young man. He has a legit Zito type curve and he is striking out everybody in Arizona. We are happy with Trevor.
Michael Anton is a lefty that is from the east coast, but was living in Arizona at the time of the draft. John Gracio, our area scout in Arizona, found Mike at a workout and then would not let up on the young man or me until the draft. His relentless scouting is the reason that the Angels got Anton.
Ever year we try and draft a few athletes and hope they can use their tools. We may have something with Moore. He is playing for Kotchman in Orem and has hit a bunch of homeruns. In addition he can run and looks to be a legit prospect.
Q: (Angelswin) - Sean O'Sullivan appears to have turned the corner and has just been flat out dominate. What can you tell us about the success O'Sullivan is having of late?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Sean O'Sullivan is back to the form he showed his jr year in high school when he was ranked as the number one prospect in the county by BA. Fastball is getting to 94 at times and he still has the great feel for changing speeds. He also has plus plus command.
Q: (Angelswin) - With both the Travelers and Bees in 1st place and potentially heading into respective playoffs, how much roster movement if any between teams and from RC do you think might happen?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Tony will do what he thinks is right, but I like the clubs the way they are setup now. The main focus as always is to have the best players with the Angels so the big league club has the best chance to win.
The Bane Connection - July (2007) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
July 25th, 2007
Q: (Angelswin) - Christopher Pettit, wow what more can I say? This guy has been on an absolute tear this year, especially after his promotion to High-A ball in Rancho Cucamonga. What can you tell us about Pettit, is he really a full package of speed, power and disciplined at the plate? How do you rate his defense and arm, and what position do you see him playing in the future, a corner OF spot or centerfield?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Chris is a good baseball player first and foremost. He is going to hit no matter where he plays. His spot will be as a corner outfielder more than likely and he will make himself into a good defender no matter where we put him. His bat is going to be his best tool and no question about that. We are very happy to have Chris and in a hs organization like ours it is great to have a player with a college background come through as Petit has.
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, is it safe to say that the minor league player of the year at this stage is Brok Butcher? This guy pitched lights out in the Cal League which is a notorious hitters league and now he has two solid starts under his belt in Arkansas, Double-A. I've corresponded with his brother Jason and we see a lot of Fausto Carmona and Brandon Webb as someone to compare with, with that sinking fastball, solid changeup and slider of his. What is the talk around the scouts table regarding Brok Butcher?
A: (Eddie Bane) - First of all Chuck I would jokingly say that it is not best to get a scouting report from a players brother. My mom thinks I should still be pitching.(LOL). Seriously Brok is having a great year, but I would not be giving out the player of the year honor just yet. We have over a month to play in the Minor Leagues. Brok is certainly on the list though. He does have a good sinker, but Brandon Webb is on a different planet. If he gets to that point then both Brok and Eddie Bane will be really happy.
I would think others on the list for player of the year would be Schoeniger, Sweeney, Trumbo, Petit, Sean Rodriguez, Adenhart and a few others. People somehow forget that Nick Adenhart is 20 years old and dominating in 2A. Also Conger was having a big year before getting hurt in Cedar Rapids.
Q: (Angelswin) - What's going on with Hank Conger? Injury? if so what's his prognosis?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Hank had a problem with his back and is very close to being ready to play again. Hank was playing very very well and we are thrilled with his progress. Great makeup, great learner, great kid and a great talent. Everything we could want in a player in his first full season. He and Sweeney have both exceeded expectations this year.
Q: (Angelswin) - Nick Adenhart has been a lot better after his stint on the DL. Have their been any changes to his mechanics or were the #'s that were not all that spectacular before the DL stint, a result of the injury?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Nick dominated at the beginning of the season in Arkansas. Went through a tough stretch and is now dominating again. We do not have anyone else pitching as good as Nick right now with the possible addition of Sean O'Sullivan.
Q: (Angelswin) - Miguel Gonzalez has come out of nowhere, what can you tell us about the right-handed hurler that boasts a 2.98 ERA in 13 starts in Double-A this year.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Abe Flores and Bo Hughes found Miggy pitching in an adult league in Los Angeles. We signed him and gave him a chance, but he took the ball and ran with it. Now, he is throwing harder and has a chance if he keeps improving a little more.
Q: (Angelswin) - Rich Thompson & Darren O' Day have been lights out this year in relief. Since the Angels could use some bullpen help, could you see them as potential September call ups?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Bill Stoneman's department. But, they both have been very good. My son, Jaymie who is a big league scout for the Red Sox watched Thompson in the Futures game and raved about his fastball. O'Day has that tough Laredo angle to hit against and will always have a chance to be a good major leaguer.
Q: (Angelswin) - With the trading deadline just less than a week away and the Angels are starved for a power hitter, are there any prospects in the organization that the Angels feel are can't miss, untouchables? or if the right guy can be had, is anyone is available?
A: (Eddie Bane) - I still believe that Bill and Arte''s approach has been really solid and almost flawless. People want Brandon Wood, Adenhart, Morales, Butcher, Bourjos and all the other prospects we have. They will have a very tough time getting those players. We are happy with what we have and the facts that other teams would kill to be in our position. This organization is going to win now, but is built for the long haul and will also win in the future. The top power prospects we have are Brandon Wood, Mark Trumbo and Matt Sweeney. Some of those are closer than others. Also remember that Juan Rivera is working very hard in Arizona to help us at some point this season. Juan had great power numbers in 2006.
[Angelswin] As always Eddie, we thank you for your time and efforts. Your fans are many in the Angelswin.com community
A: (Eddie Bane) - Thanks folks for putting up with my stuff and as always these are just my opinions and I certainly welcome your thoughts and disagreements just as much as I want to hear from my scouts when they want to tell me I am crazy for thinking the way I do.
The Bane Connection - June (2007) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
June 15th, 2007
Q: (Angelswin) - So, to start off Eddie, why don't you give me an overview of the 2007 draft and how you think the Angels did this year.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Every club in baseball always thinks they did great right after the draft and the Angels are no exception. We are doing very well on the signings so far and will have a few more to announce shortly.
Q: (Angelswin) - What are the chances of signing Matt Harvey? Some reports have suggested that this could be difficult and that the Angels rolled the dice with their 3rd round pick selecting him, because of the uncertainty of him signing.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Matt Harvey was projected to go very high in the draft by the so-called experts. Matt was available with the 118th pick of the draft and we selected him. That is all I really want to say on that situation right now.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lots of pitching selected in this draft. Was that because there were more quality pitchers in the draft or is it something the Angels wanted to target in this draft?
A: (Eddie Bane) - No Chuck, our staff never targets anything and we will take any position available. Catching was something that we did not really go after this year because we are happy with our catching although you can never have enough at that position. But, Conger and our big league guys are doing really well so far.
Q: (Angelswin) - What can you tell us about the first 3 pitchers selected in this draft, in Jonathan Bachanov, Matt Harvey & Ryan Brasier?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Jon Bachanov has a big arm, very good pitchers body and the makings of a good breaking ball. He will be one of the harder throwers in the complete draft by it is all said and done. Brasier has a big arm also and is a converted guy so it will take some time to get him acclimated to the mound. Fresh arm though. Harvey is a guy we will have to wait to talk about. Lots of people read your stuff Chuck and I do not want to give any agents an extra jump on me and use that stuff against me. LOL is what I think the kids write when they are kidding.
Q: (Angelswin) - Outfielder, Trevor Pippin was the first non pitcher selected in the draft, with the 4th round pick. What can you tell us about Trevor?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Trevor is a guy that looks like I guy we signed when I was with the Dodgers, Todd Hollandsworth. Same type body and same type swing. Trevor runs well enough that we will give him a shot in center at some point. Pippin has a nice at least average arm also.
Q: (Angelswin) - Every year it seems like the Angels steal someone in the draft late, who should we be looking at this year as a potential gem taken in the draft?
A: (Eddie Bane) - It is easy to see that we drafted Robles, Viramontes and some of the others as summer draft and follows. With that rule now taken away we have to evaluate these young men now. I will know more on that question when I see more of the crop that we did not just draft, but the guys we signed also.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lastly, which of all the players drafted has the best chance to make it to the big leagues the fastest?
A: (Eddie Bane) - The player that we drafted that has played the most and comes from a great background is Andrew Romine, our 5th round pick. He is the shortstop at ASU. Father played in the major leagues and has a brother that was also drafted. Andrew has a very good glove, plays the game correctly but has went backwards with the bat while at ASU. He is in the CWS right now and after Omaha is over with we hope to get Andrew out playing as quickly as possible as we think we can help him with the bat.
As always Eddie, we thank you for your time and efforts. Your fans are many in the Angelswin.com community!
[Bane, Eddie] Thanks guys, and thanks for doing the columns. I hope they spark some debate and keep Angel fans up to date on what we are doing out on the trails.
The Bane Connection - May (2007) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
May 15th, 2007
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, what's not to like about Brok Butcher's start to the season. Can you shed some light on Brok and why he's been so successful in such an extreme hitter's league. He was the #1 Prospect in our Hotlist last week and his brother Jason Butcher who you signed in the past, shed some of his own thoughts on his little bro as well. http://www.angelswin.com/prospectreport.htm
A: (Eddie Bane) - Brok is a pitcher that we signed late one year away from Cal State Fullerton. Much of the credit goes to area scout, Bobby DeJardin and Bill Pintard who runs the Foresters team in Santa Barbara. Bill has put together one of the top summer programs in the country and puts in countless hours with that club.
Brok has finally gotten over some injuries and is pitching like we thought he would. The Angels have a great relationship with CS Fullerton and George Horton. George gets his share and so do the Angels, but we never walk away with hard feelings after the negotiations. Not the usual thoughts that people would have with pro and college baseball, but in reality we both have the same goals. We both want to make the players as good as possible.
Q: (Angelswin) - Darren O'Day is another one that most Angels fans or those that follow prospects haven't heard about. What can you tell us about him? A scouting report of sorts. He seems to be flourishing as a closer in Rancho Cucamonga. He hasn't given up an earned run yet in 10+ innings, fanning 11 thus far.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Darren is another Kotchman sign. He is an under hander and his different look along with good stuff gives him a chance to be a major league reliever.
Q: (Angelswin) - Another new face to us Angels fans is southpaw Douglas Brandt from Oceanside, CA. Since being moved into the rotation he hasn't given up more than 1 earned run in each of his 4 starts, posting an ERA of 0.91 with 30 K's in 29 innings. Like Butcher and O'Day, what can you tell us about Brandt?
A: (Eddie Bane) - We will know more about Mr Brandt when he gets to a higher level. He is doing what he should do in A ball. He is a lefty with average stuff and will throw plenty of strikes. That always give a pitcher a chance.
Q: (Angelswin) - Injury updates. How are Tommy Mendoza, Ryan Aldridge and Trevor Bell progressing?
A: (Eddie Bane) -Tommy and Ryan are both working at our site in Arizona. The facility is the same place that benefited Nick Adenhart and others. It is a great place to get players back to health. Trevor is already back off the DL. In this day and age where the investments are greater we always want to error on the side of caution. Gamers like those 3 want to just keep on pitching. But, the best thing for all 3 is to go slow. Both Ryan and Tommy have had an opportunity to impress Mike and his staff and they are both on Mike''s radar after spring training. That is a great place to be.
Q: (Angelswin) - Terry Evans is on fire of late in Salt Lake and his season last year is looking more like a true testament of his ability, rather than a fluke. He's flashing 5 tools out there for the Bees, must be exciting for the organization to land a player of his caliber for a guy we were looking to dump off to another team. Props to Stoneman! What are the scouts saying about Evans?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Gary Sutherland and his professional staff do a great job. When they see a prospect at 2A or even A ball they will file a report. His staff saw a player that was under the radar with St Louis. Some players come into their ability a little later than others. Terry is no exception. He always had the tools and now the use of them is catching up. Bill pulled the trigger and was able to land Evans. Jeff Weaver got back to being himself for St Louis so both teams won which makes for a great trade.
Evans does have all 5 tools that you are looking for in a position player. Hit, arm, run, power and field. Or as great old time scout, Birdie Tebbetts used to call it, HARPF. Birdie always wanted a HARPF player. Evans has all those tools and now the trick is to use them at Mike's level. We think he can do it.
Q: (Angelswin) - Though the stats don't reflect it, who has impressed you thus far, 6 weeks into the season?
A: (Eddie Bane) - All of our young players in Cedar Rapids are doing really well. Dan Radcliff's work with Matt Sweeney and him signing quickly last year has helped him skip a year of development. He started the season with a huge hitting streak. He also helped himself by working hard on his defense.
Hank Conger is hitting some homeruns and calling a good game. Mark Trumbo is starting to warm up. Power is the last useable tool to come in games and Mark is realizing that. The guys that get lost by the fans at this time of the year are the youngsters in extended spring. Jung struck out 10 guys in 4 innings the other day. Robert Fish is throwing 92 mph at times and for a left-handed pitcher his command has improved and we are very happy with him.
Clay Daniel has brought in another crop of international players that are going to make an impact and some of them could be another Aybar or even a Frankie. At least we can always dream about some of them becoming like Frankie although Frankie is a really huge goal to have for a young player.
Nick Adenhart, as long as he stays healthy, has been incredible for a 20 year old young man.
Q: (Angelswin) - Lastly; with Orem Owlz season about to embark upon us, who are you excited to see in action this season for the Owlz? Who should we keep an eye out for?
A: (Eddie Bane) - Obviously we want to see Young IL Jung from Kwanjiu. He has a big arm, but his ability to pitch is equally impressive. A couple of the Latin arms that are in extended spring can throw really hard. Fish will be fun to watch. A lot of the team in Orem will be the hs arms we took in last years draft. Conger and Sweeney are the exception rather than the rule as they were able to skip Orem because they signed quickly and got out to play.
Tom Kotchman will make them better players in their 2 and a half months in the Pioneer League. The draftees will be best served by getting out and playing ASAP.
(Angelswin) - Like always Eddie, we truly appreciate your time and efforts. You got a ton of fans and they look forward to this monthly piece.
(Eddie Bane) - Once again to Chuck and the Angels fans, I want to thank you for your interest. We have the 58th pick in the draft and should be able to supply Angel fans with some exciting selections. I know you guys won't agree with all of them, but my guys have put in a ton of air miles and hotel nights trying to find the best possible prospects for us to sign. And, when you do not agree with some of our selections it is good to voice your opinion. That is what good scouting is about. You have to have thick skin in the scouting business and if nothing else we all have a thick shell and can take some criticism.
Thanks for reading this Angel information.
The Bane Connection - April (2007) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
April 15th, 2007
Q: (Angelswin) - Eddie, with spring training all wrapped up and the minor league season upon us, who were some Angels minor leaguers that impressed you over the course of spring training in Arizona?
A: (Eddie Bane) - The main thing the guys got to do was perform for Mike and Butch during spring training big league games. Mike is a good scout so when he can see for himself what a player can do then that always helps. Ryan Aldridge and Nick Green were able to do that. Mike already knew a lot about Brandon Wood, but seeing him make the switch in positions helped. Also seeing Erick Aybar move around the diamond helped.
Q: (Angelswin) - With Casey Kotchman looking real good early on and the fact that he's superior defensively over Kendry Morales at 1B, do you see a position change for Morales going into his minor league season with the Salt Lake Bees?
A: (Eddie Bane) -This is not tough to answer at all. One of the goals of our scouting dept is to have battles at every position. We are not there yet, but we are going to get there. Kendry is a lot better defender than most people think. He can really throw so he could play some other spots, but Kendry Morales and Casey are both good baseball players and there is plenty of room for both of them in the big leagues when they show us they are ready.
Q: (Angelswin) -Who is your picks both on offense and pitching, as your player's to keep an eye on in 2007? Possible breakout candidates.
A: (Eddie Bane) - Breakout guys. I know I will get this wrong so people can get at me when they save it. Statia is at the point now where he will get noticed because he is a good player. Mark Trumbo has big power and power is always the last thing to show up in a players tool box. Ryan Mount could and should have a big year.
Q: (Angelswin) - Is there anyone changing positions this year? much like Warner Madrigal did last year and Brandon Wood did in Tempe a month ago.
A: (Eddie Bane) -Not that I can think of, but you may start to see some of the starting pitchers in the minor leagues learning how to close as they get closer to the Big Leagues. Stephen Marek for example was a closer at the JC Level when we signed him.
Q: (Angelswin) -Ok rate them for us:
Best Pro Debut (06): - Sean O'Sullivan or Matt Sweeney
Best Athlete: - Tyler Johnson, Stantrel Smith, Peter Bourjos or Sean O'Sullivan. Sean would have been a prospect as a hitter also.
Best Pure Hitter: Kendry Morales. I admit I am biased on this one
Best Raw Power: Mark Trumbo
Fastest Runner: Peter Bourjos
Best Defensive Player: I would pick somebody different than everyone else for best defender. First guy would be Brandon Wood. He made a tough switch in positions look easy. One of the finest young men you will ever meet in addition. The other defender that stands out is Peter Bourgous, our young centerfielder, that is just starting his professional career. He can really run and his Orem manager, Tom Kotchman who has seen and signed and managed a lot of good big leaguers said Peter reminded him of Devon White at the same stage. Pretty high praise from a great great scout.
Best Fastball: Jose Arredondo or Ryan Aldridge
Best Breaking Ball: Tough one. Ryan Aldridge's slider is so hard it has to be ranked high. When looking at true curves though you could look at Adenhart or Marek. Nobody has one close to K-Rod's in the big leagues, but we will keep looking.
Closest To The Majors: We continue to draft a lot of hs players so my crystal ball is a little shaky on this one, but I will go with Conger(although he plays a tough tough position) and Matt Sweeney who we obviously like more than other teams, but that is OK with us.
Also our Korean hs pitcher, Young IL Yung is advanced but it is a stretch for any HS youngster from ASIA to come over here and move quick. I would like it better if Young IL just made normal progress.
On that note I will say that our minor league director Tony Reagins has done a great job as anyone can tell, with making our players better. Tony and his staff are second to none and when our guys get ready they get a chance to play. Not every organization is like that, but that is the correct way and one that all of us believe in.
Best Late-Round Pick: Sweeney is a lot better than where we selected him. Matt is a fine, fine hitter much like Chad Tracy of the D'Backs. Once again excellent job by area scout Dan Radcliff who knew a lot about the young man before and during the 06 draft.
Charles; One thing I wanted the readers to know is that we appreciate all their support, suggestions and everything. All the stuff above is only my opinion and I would hope that a lot of the readers disagree with me on a lot of the info. That is what makes the baseball world go around.
Arte Moreno has brought an energy to the Angels that was never here when I grew up in Westminster. Having former big leaguers all over the front office is unusual in this day and age. It works though. Once again, thanks to all the readers for their passion about the Los Angeles Angels Baseball Team.
The Bane Connection - Final Edition 2006
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
October 12th, 2006
Q: Angelswin - Eddie, last year you visited the Indianapolis Colts and have shared ideas with that organization. What lessons/ideas have you applied to the Angels organization? The Colts had a unique philosophy on players with recurring injuries and regularly injured players that stuck with you. Will that impact the organizations view of prospects especially Kotchman and McPherson? Have you continued the relationship with the Colts since the article?
A: Eddie Bane - When Abe Flores and I visited with the Colts it was with the intent of thinking outside the box. Our department has done many unusual things that make us a little different and we think that has helped in a lot of ways with our scouting. None of this would be possible without the support of Mr Moreno and Bill Stoneman. They don't ask when we do something unusual. They just shake their head and say go ahead. (LOL).
The Colts and the Pats are the cornerstones of the NFL at this point in our mind. We knew that Bill Polian had a baseball background so we approached him with our ideas. Bill and his son Chris, who is a brilliant young mind in the NFL, welcomed us to their practices and meetings. We were also able to welcome them into our spring training. Besides showing us their grading system, which is very much like our own, they let us have an up close and personal look at individual players and why they stuck out on their board. Dwight Freeny was not a lock first pick for everybody. Obviously in our sport Jered Weaver was not a lock pick for some teams. Maybe for different reasons, but one reason to think outside the box.
Q: Angelswin - Hank Conger was just named as the number one prospect in the Arizona Rookie League. Is he the "real deal" and if so, why? Power? Patience (please)? Good defense? What is it that makes him the number one?
A: Eddie Bane - Hank Conger was a player that we had highly rated on our board. First of all his bat is very attractive. A switch hitting catcher with power from both sides is tough to find. We thought that was pretty obvious and an easy selection for the Angels in the spot where we picked in the first round. Hank can catch and throw, but his initial tools are his bat and power.
Q: Angelswin - Lately, the organization has converted the following three position players into pitchers: (Travis Schlichtling (?), Warner Madrigal (who is also on the top prospect lists for Arizona Rookie League), and Jose Arredondo. What are the projections for each? Reliever? Starter? What are their pitches? How do you feel each has done this season?
A: Eddie Bane - We are attempting to convert some position players to pitchers. The first reason was because they could not hit. (LOL) Secondly they had well above average arms. Warner Madrigal in particular has shown quite a bit of feel for pitching. They all have a long road to the big leagues, but they certainly have a chance.
Q: Angelswin - Is Brandon Wood going to be working on his plate discipline this winter and next year? I noticed that his walks were up, but still a lot of strikeouts...
A: Eddie Bane - Personally I do not feel Brandon Wood has much of anything to work on in the off season. This young man has as good of makeup as anyone in the game and he has big time power. I do not worry about all these plate discipline issues that a lot of people seem to be hung up on. One thing society does is they like to tear people down after they built him up. Brandon had a great year in my mind in 2A and is right on track as far as helping our major league team. I think too much is made of a "general" hitting philosophy. I trust any and all of our hitters in the hands and minds of Ty Van Burkleo and then Mickey Hatcher once they get to the Big Leagues. Nobody works harder or has a better feel for hitters than those 2. Each hitter has to develop his own style and Wood and the others are just realizing that at this point. Besides I was a pitcher at the big league level and could not get many guys out so I thought everybody had a great hitting philosophy
Q: Angelswin - If Russell Moldenhauer were to go on to achieve success in college, would the Angels consider drafting him again when he turns pro? Or is it possible for a player to burn his bridges to the point that the organization would no longer be interested?
A: Eddie Bane - I did not appreciate the way some of the players' parents we picked this year handled their negotiations with the Angels. Parents often get overly involved in their sons negotiations and it can really get in the way of doing what I think is the right thing. Russell is a good young man and will be a great player at UT. If he is in our picture in 3 years we will certainly look at him.
Q: Angelswin - Are there players that you have drafted that the Angels scouts have never seen? (Maybe just going on stats or taking another persons word, etc.)
A: Eddie Bane - The Angels will never draft a player that we have not seen and certainly never draft a player based strictly on his stats. That is just a personal preference and I have too much faith in my scouts and what they see with their hours and hours on the road.
Q: Angelswin - The Angels have gotten a huge amount of press from publications like Baseball America on the depth of their farm system. And yet they've seen a significant number of their top prospects struggle mightily upon reaching the bigs. Is this a case of these publications over hyping Angel prospects or part of the natural order of things?
A: Eddie Bane - I, certainly do not think our players were overhyped by Baseball America or any of the other publications. We take a lot of pride in what we are doing and I feel that any and all publicity we get is well deserved for our scouts. Nobody works harder than my National Cross checkers, Ric Wilson and Jeff Malinoff. Mark Russo and Dan Radcliff went over any reasonable expectations to find Sweeney this year. That makes me proud and feels that any pub those guy get is richly deserved. I also do not see where players socalled "struggled" when they went to the Big Leagues this year. Jered Weaver was Fernando Valenzuela like. Howie Kendrick got big hit after big hit in his initial ML season. I love to see those guys having success. Morales and Napoli were both successes in their first year. I also see that we have that wave and another wave coming shortly. That is our goal. To have players ready every year to help the Major League Angels. We are not at that point yet, but we will get to that point.
Q: Angelswin - Jung Young-il, what can you tell us about the kid signed from Korea?
A: Eddie Bane - Jung Il Young is a 17 year old Korean RHP from Kwangu, South Korea. He is a big, strong young man with great legs. He, in fact, pitched today for our AZIL team and worked 2 hitless innings. Fastball was up to 92, even some readings at 93 and he has the makings of a major league slider already. I am extremely happy that Clay Daniel and our Korean scout, Charley Kim worked overtime to beat the other 29 teams and sign IL Young.
Q: Angelswin - Lastly, who is your Angels minor league player of the year, tough choices this year with Howie Kendrick, Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, Sean Rodriguez, Nick Adenhart, Stephen Marek, Reggie Willits & Terry Evans all having spectacular seasons.
A: Eddie Bane - In my mind our minor league players of the year would be Sean Rodriguez as a player and Nick Adenhart as a pitcher. But, that is my own personal opinion and I know that fans have as much right to their opinion as I do.
Charles, that is really all the time I have at this point, but lastly I would thank all the Angel fans for their passion and hope that as scouts we can match the passion of the fans. EB
The Bane Connection - August (2006) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
August 15th, 2006
Q: Chuck Richter - Chris Pettit I know he is a little old for rookie ball, but he is mashing down in Orem right now. What can you tell us about him?
A -Eddie Bane - Petit is doing more than just mashing in Orem. He is getting himself noticed by all of our people. Age is not a knockout punch especially when a young man is just starting. He can hit and has power and is very knowledgeable on the game.
Q: Chuck Richter - Terry Evans is having an outstanding season, a season in which he has a chance to become a 30/40 player if he steals 4 more bases before the season's over. What can you or your scouts that have seen him tell us about Terry? Mike Elyward....Late bloomer or minor league lifer?
A -Eddie Bane - Terry Evans has all the tools in the world and there is a good chance that he is just putting things together later rather than sooner. Nothing wrong with that! We have plenty of room for guys putting up the numbers this guy is. The same goes for Elyward. He is hitting in the middle of a lineup that is an all timer for 3A in Salt Lake. That alone says something. Plus, when you are in 3A scouts from every club see you over the course of the season and you are in essence playing for the Angels and the other 29 teams that scout your every move.
Q: Chuck Richter - Ryan Mount is showing some pop at Orem, what can you tell us about this kid?
A -Eddie Bane - Ryan Mount is a big time prospect that people are just starting to pay attention to. He has to get in line with our other middle infield prospects but he is certainly a big part of that line. Mount has legit power and is a good hitter. Hands are constantly improving and he has all the tools to stay at short. Plus runner and comes from a great family which plays a lot bigger role than most people would believe.
Q: Chuck Richter - Rafael Rodriguez and Jose Arredondo dominated High Class A ball this year only to get pounded in Double-A Arkansas. Is the competition in High A vs. Double-A that significant? What adjustments do they need to make to have success at the higher levels?
A -Eddie Bane - Rodriguez and Arredondo are typical of what happens to most pitching prospects. Arredondo in particular has been pitching for just over a year. He is now at a level where he is very close to the big leagues. He will make adjustments and move right up the ladder after this little road bump. He has a huge fastball (up to 99 at times) with plenty of life and his secondary stuff is good also. Arredondo and Rodriguez will both be just fine.
Q: Chuck Richter - Dallas McPherson, is the switch from 3B to 1B a permanent one in Triple-A or is the move temporary in attempts to allow his rehab to progress without any issues? We could sure use some power from the hot corner either in the near future or at the start of 2007 and we already have Morales and Kotchman at 1B.
A -Eddie Bane - Dallas has had just an awful share of bad luck. That is the only thing I see. When he gets healthy (and he will) he is still going to be a fine major leaguer. He has to be frustrated because he knows how good he can be. At the same time when healthy he continues to demonstrate his skills. He hit a ball the other night that Brian Harper estimated at over 500 feet. That is an extra large homerun by any account.
Q: Chuck Richter - Eddie Bane's "You've opened my eyes with your recent play" candidate for this month? Who is really impressing you lately in the Angels system? Someone that we all should keep an eye on?
A -Eddie Bane - Guys that have opened eyes lately. Felipe Arredondo in Orem is a strike machine. Fastball only touches 90, but he gets everybody out and his walk to strikeout ratio is freaky. Warner Madrigal has a huge fastball after making the change from the outfield. Matthew Sweeney the 8th round pick of the 2006 draft is much better than an 8th rounder. All the credit in this instance goes to area scout, Dan Radcliff and eastern supervisor, Mark Russo. Radcliff found him (not a lot of clubs had him turned in for draft) and Russo would not let me up for air at the draft on Sweeney.
The Bane Connection - July (2006) Edition
By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor
July 20th, 2006
Q: Chuck Richter - What kind of player is '06 draft pick Matt Sweeney? He's killing the ball in the AZL. Can he stick at 3B?
A -Eddie Bane - Matt Sweeney is completely and only the product of area scout, Dan Radcliff and eastern supervisor Mark Russo. They believed in him totally and would not let me get off of him at the draft. Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised as he has a beautiful LH swing with power. He will need to learn a defensive position and that will be where his main work is. All the credit though goes to Russo and Radcliff.
Q: Chuck Richter - Sean O'Sullivan, future power pitcher? Nice #'s thus far in Orem.
A -Eddie Bane - Sean O'Sullivan is good. Of course we gave him a bonus that a good player would receive. We are very happy with him. He is very advanced and can even win without his best stuff because of his command. When he does get his fastball up to 94 at times he is especially dangerous.
Q: Chuck Richter -Sean Rodriguez is putting up very nice #'s in Rancho this year. Do you see him changing positions since we have a lot of depth at SS in the system. What positions can he not play? I hear he's very versatile.
A -Eddie Bane - Sean Rodriguez is on a lot of peoples minds. When other teams ask about our players they always mention Sean. Can play either middle infield spot, center or even could take a turn at catcher with some help.
Q: Chuck Richter - Sleeper alert? What prospect or prospects in the Angels system should we keep an eye on?
A -Eddie Bane - Jeromie Moore would be a sleeper as he is in the Arizona League and he has a bucket full of tools.
Q: Chuck Richter - As of July 28th (Today) and outside of Weaver & Kendrick who do you think the Minor League Player of the year would be for the Angels organization?
A -Eddie Bane - Our player of the year would be a tough call. Obviously Kendrick, Wood, Weaver, Saunders and those type are easy calls. Nick Adenhart is going to win a ton of games this year with a very low ERA. Same with Marek. The rotation of Mosebach, Mendoza, Adenhart and Marek 1-4 at Cedar Rapids in the early part of the season is going to be hard to duplicate anywhere else. Having Aldridge at the end of the game with his explosive fastball made things nice for the Kernals. Sean Rodriguez is having a big year. Marek has slipped a little under the radar because of Nick Adenhart and the lightning type year of Jered Weaver, but Stephen has had a big big year that should take a backseat to nobody.
Q - Chuck Richter: Tommy Murphy sure looks good in centerfield and one of the best outfield arms I've ever seen. Can he hit enough to stick and be Darin Erstad's replacement in 2007?
A -Eddie Bane: Tommy Murphy showed at the major league level that he is going to be a big leaguer at some point. He showed poise, aggressiveness and ability. Played well in the clutch also. It will take some time as this is a very talented organization, but Murphy can play at the ML level.
Q - Chuck Richter: Can a player that oozes "Tools" be taught how to hit successfully in the big leagues, or is this something that he needs to have dialed in by draft day for him to have any chance? Case and point, Drew Stubbs, scouts love his tools but their are concerns about his ability to hit in the major leagues.
A - Eddie Bane: I cannot comment on Stubbs in particular, but I would say that the bat is the hardest thing to scout and also the hardest thing to teach.
Q - Chuck Richter: Nick Adenhart & Jose Arredondo are dominating this year in Class A ball. What has impressed you the most with these two kids?
A - Eddie Bane: Adenhart is one of the top 3-4 pitching prospects in the game if he remains healthy. He can pitch, but he also has way above average pure stuff and in the scout vernacular he does it "easy". The ball just flows out his hand and then gets on top of the hitter at 95mph with life. He also has plus command for a 19 year old. Jealously, he is also one of my favorite kids as is Mark Trumbo. Dont forget Stephen Marek in any of those conversations. He has gone toe to toe with Nicky lately.
Q - Chuck Richter: Nick Gorneault - Does he have a shot at becoming a future regular or at least GA's platoon partner in LF or DH in the big leagues? What is your take on him?
A - Eddie Bane: Gorneault is putting up numbers, which he needs to do, that simply cannot be ignored. He will get his opportunity at some point, but no telling when that will be and the same holds true for Reggie Willits. Different type players, but both have solid makeup.
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