1. Brok Butcher SP, Class A Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) Brok moves to the top of the list this week after continuing his dominance of High Class A hitters in an extreme hitter's league. Brok's ERA is an organization best 1.10 (for starting pitchers with at least 5 starts) and has posted a 1.07 WHIP to boot. Brok has not given up more than 2 runs in any of his 5 starts. An amazing feat considering the league he's playing in.
I spoke with Jason Butcher, Brok's brother who has attended all of his starts and he had this to say about his brother's repertoire: Brok's velocity is only at 87-91 but he has tremendous command (8 walks in 41 Innings). He throws a tremendous 2 seam fastball that runs all over the plate. He gets a ton of ground balls with this pitch and his ball seems very heavy. He also throws a hard slider (79-83) and when his change-up is on it is un-hittable. The bottom line from my perspective is that Brok loves to compete and loves to win every time he takes the mound.
2. Nathan Haynes, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake (Angels) While Butcher takes over as the ERA leader for the organization, Haynes is at the top in multiple statistical categories not only in the organization, but in the entire minors. Haynes .OBP is currently at .470 (#1 in the entire PCL), he's 2nd in batting average to Shane Costa with a .374 BA and he's tied with Matt Brown for the most RBI's in the organization with 22 (from the leadoff spot). He's also in the top 5 for stolen bases with 11. Haynes isn't just a slap hitter either. He's posted a 1.056 OPS, 3rd in the PCL behind Ryan Braun and Jack Cust (currently with the A's).
3. Nick Adenhart, SP, Class AA Arkansas (Angels) Adenhart had his worst start of the season last week going only 3 1/3 giving up 6 hits and 4 earned runs which saw his ERA skyrocket to 1.70. Yep, he's been that good folks. Tonight he faces off with the Rockies top SP prospect Greg Reynolds in a premier pitching match up.
4. Bradley Coon, OF, Class A Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) Coon just keeps getting on base, stealing bags and playing a sold centerfield for the Quakes. Coon is tied for 2nd with Eric Young Jr. with 17 SB's, one behind the leader Antoan Richardson (Giants) who has 18. Last night Coon went 4-5 against Lake Elsinore pushing his average up to .338.
5. Joe Saunders, SP, Class AAA Salt Lake (Angels) Saunders has notched quality starts in each of his 3 starts; his last was the best on Sunday going 8 innings, giving up 2 runs while fanning 8. Saunder's ERA since being sent down is at 3.05 and he's just waiting for the phone call if Colon can't go on Saturday.
6. Douglas Brandt, SP, Low Class A, Cedar Rapids (Angels) What's not to like about Brandt? His ERA is at 0.76, though he's just making his 3 start for the Kernels as he started the season off in the bullpen. His strikeouts to innings pitched is a solid 24/23 2/3 and hasn't given up more than 1 run in each of his starts. We'll get more on Brandt from Eddie Bane later this week in our "Bane Connection" segment.
7. Darren O'Day, RP, Class A Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) If it isn't the ERA which currently sits at 0.00, or the 6 saves converted out of 6, then it's the Ground Outs to Fly Outs rate which is currently at 7.00. The League is hitting .107 off O'Day and he's fanned 9 hitters in 8.1 innings. Like Brandt, we're getting the lowdown on O'Day this week from Eddie Bane.
8. Matt Brown, 3B, Class AAA Salt Lake (Angels) With Brandon Wood rotting on the bench for the Angels since his last recall the Angels decided to promote Brown to get Wood some at bats. We're unsure if the Angels are going to use Brown at third base for the struggling Figgins, but Brown has also played 2B for the Bees this year. Matt has been on a tear of late so perhaps the Angels are hoping to catch lightening in a bottle here. Brown has hit .375 in his last 7 games with 1 HR, 4 doubles and 6 runs batted in.
9. Steven Shell, RP, Class AA Arkansas (Angels) What's not to like about Steven Shell this season thus far? After making a relief appearance and start in Salt Lake which saw him give up only 1 earned run in 7 innings, he's been on fire pitching out of the bullpen for Arkansas. Check this out; in Shell's last 4 relief appearances for Arkansas, he's struck out 17 hitters, 19 in total in 5 games for the Travelers. His ERA currently sits a 0.68. Keep an eye on Shell as the Angels could use his arm in the bullpen at some point this season.
10.Christopher Pettit, OF, Low Class A Cedar Rapids (Angels) Struggled with either Pettit or O'Sullivan who threw a nice 8 inning gem last night, but went with Pettit for his overall consistent play of late. Pettit leads the Kernels in multiple categories. Pettit has 3 multi hit games in his last 4 games. Pettit is another player with excellent on base skills, good speed and power. Track his progress this season in Cedar Rapids. His average is at .337 and has posted a .404 on base pct.
Keep an eye on: Daniel Davidson, SP, Class AA Arkansas Davidson who's repeating Double A with the Travelers has seemed to turn it around this season. The southpaw has a solid ERA of 1.96 after getting murdered in AA last year (5.64 ERA). Davidson hasn't given up more than 2 runs in any of his last 5 starts. Keep an eye on Davidson as perhaps he's figured it out this season. The Texas League is only hitting .215 off him.
On the outside looking to get in soon: Brandon Wood, Peter Bourjos, Jason Bulger, Sean Rodriguez, Sean O'Sullivan, Terry Evans, Stephen Marek, Kendry Morales, David Herndon, Robert Mosebach, Jeff Mathis, Ryan Aldridge, Timothy Schoeninger, Matthew Sweeney, Jose Arredondo, Jeremy Haynes, Trevor Bell, PJ Phillips, Amalio Diaz, Nick Gorneault, Hank Conger, Jordan Renz, Andrew Hill, Michael Collins, Mark Trumbo, Anthony Ortega, Kevin Jepsen, and Hainley Statia.