Wednesday, September 5, 2007

1. Seth Loman, 1B, Rookie League, AZL Angels
Seth was red hot to close out the year going 10-16 (.625avg) with two homeruns, five doubles, and 10 RBI in his last four games. The 21 year old switch hitting first baseman finished the year with 25 extra base hits, and 1.069 OPS, and 34 RBI in just 155 at bats. He finished in the top five for all three triple crown categories and walks. It was feast or famine for Seth as he also led the AZL in strikeouts with 69.

2. Nick Gorneault, OF, Class AAA, Salt Lake Bees
Nick was a forgotten man for most of the year as he really only got things going toward the end of the season. He hit in 8 of his last nine going 16-38 (.421avg) with four doubles, three home runs, and nine RBI. He saw his season average dip about twenty points from last year to .261 yet he continued to show some decent power slugging 19 home runs and smacking 24 doubles. Hopefully he can work his way back to the show so he can get that first major league hit.

3. Blake Holler, RP, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Blake was a late season addition to the Quakes and he proved that his call up was justified. In two starts for the Angels high A affiliate he logged 13 innings and gave up only two earned runs while striking out eight and walking two. Blake had some control problems last year with twenty walks in 30.2 innings for Orem, but seems to have found his command as the 6’4” lefty had only 17 walks and fanned 71 in 79 innings between Cedar and Rancho.

4. Brandon Wood, 3b/SS, Class AAA, Salt Lake Bees
Brandon finished the season with a nine game hit streak going 14-37 (.378avg) in that stretch with three home runs, six doubles, and six RBI. He raised his overall season average to a very respectable .272 and had 51 extra base hits in 437 minor league at bats. Not exactly the ‘monster’ season one would expect from a top prospect in an organization with a slew of other top notch players, but reasonable considering that he was shuttled back and forth from the big club quite a bit and endured a position change fairly well.

5. Hank Conger, C, Low Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Hank “The Tank” shook off his mid season injuries to finish strong in his Kernels campaign. In his last ten games he went 12-33 (.364avg.) with three doubles, two home runs, and eight RBI. Overall, he hit .290 with an .809 OPS. and had 31 extra base hits in 290 at bats. Not bad for a 19 year old catcher. If his defense progresses he could move through the ranks pretty quickly as he has shown he can handle the bat pretty well. He may however, be blocked by the ever improving Jeff ‘Mike’ Mathis (I had to work that in somewhere).

6. Alex McRobbie, SP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
This kid flew under the radar for most of the season as he joined the Quakes mid year. He only made ten starts and gave up two earned runs or less in 7 of them. Two of his first three starts were fairly forgettable and largely responsible for his ERA being 3.43 on the season. He even logged a complete game shutout on 8/10/07. Alex was a Toronto farmhand last year in which he was mediocre for their rookie ball club after a solid career as a reliever for UCSB.

7. Tommy Murphy, OF, Class AAA, Salt Lake Bees
Tommy was on fire the Last week to end what is will likely be a fairly forgettable season for him. Over his last ten games he was 14-33 (.424avg) with a triple, three doubles, and two home runs. He was able to get the season average to .270 although his overall power numbers were down from last year. Hopefully, he can build on his strong finish and find his way back to the majors although perhaps with a different club considering all of the young talent in the Halo’s system.

8. Barret Browning, RP, Low Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Barret threw up a string of zeroes for the Kernels to end the season. He went his last nine outings without giving up a run – a span of 14 innings in which he struck out 13 and walked only four. On the year the 22 year old lefty made 48 relief appearances and struck out 74 in 74 innings while giving up only 54 hits and holding opponents to a .201avg. His season ERA was a very solid 2.80 and he was ridiculously tough against lefties holding them to a .132avg.

9. Warner Madrigal, RP, Low Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
As the late, great Rodney Dangerfield once said, “The answer is…..four.” So what’s the question? That’s how many earned runs Warner gave up over June, July, August, and September. He pitched 37.1 innings over that stretch in which his ERA was 0.97. He also whiffed 54 batters and recorded 18 saves in that time. I think we can stop attaching the ‘once outfield prospect’ to his name and just consider him a top relief prospect.

10. Sean O’Sullivan, SP, Low Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Although he was less than dominant in his last start of the season giving up 4 earned runs over six, Sean was lights out in the prior outing allowing only three hits over eight innings. At that point he had gone 36.2 innings giving up only two earned runs and striking out 26 while walking only seven. On the season, Sean led the Midwest league in ERA at 2.22 and finished second in innings at 158.1.

Player to keep an eye on:
Bobby Cassevah, RP, Low Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Bobby had a strong second half after seeing his workload increase. He had a 1.42 ERA over his last ten outings which included 19 innings and 17 strikeouts. On the season the 21 year old righty threw only 39.1 innings but made his call up to the Kernels seem like a smart move as he had a 2.32 ERA and 25 strike outs in 32 innings for Cedar.

On the outside looking: Jose Arredondo, Ben Johnson, Trevor Bell, Michael Anton, Brad Coon, Jordan Renz, Anthony Ortega, Young-Il Jung, Chris Garcia, Matt Sweeney, Freddy Sandoval, Jeremy Haynes, Brok Butcher, Jordan Walden, Mark Trumbo, Robert Mosebach, PJ Phillips, David Herndon, Steven Marek, Chris Pettit, Andrew Romine, Chris Armstrong, Matt Brown, Jay Brossman, Gordon Gronkowski, Nick Adenhardt, Doug Brandt, Miguel Gonzalez, Terry Evans, Tommy Mendoza, Cliff Remole, and Ryan Mount.

Please stay tuned for the Minor League Top Performers and Biggest Disappointments for the 2007 season.
Love to hear what you think!

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