Monday, May 19, 2008

(Adam Greenberg Photo by Larry A. Woolis)

By David Saltzer - Columnist

1. Adam Greenberg, OF, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
For the Week: 12/35 (343), 4 Doubles, 0 Triple, 0 HRs, 8 Runs, 5 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: 343/425/457 2 SBs

On May 10th, the Travellers signed Adam out of an independent team in Bridgeport to replace the injured Cody Fuller in centerfield. Since then, the Travelers went on a 7 game winning streak, which unfortunately snapped on Sunday.

Originally drafted in the 9th round in 2002 by the Cubs, Greenberg’s only ML experience resulted in a beaning in 2005 that left him with a bad case of vertigo. Greenberg brings a mix of power and speed (stealing 23 bases and hitting 8 dingers last year) as well as a good eye at the plate (74 walks last year).

2. Jordan Czarnieki, OF, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
For the Week: 11/26 (423), 3 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 8 Runs, 1 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: 308/413/439 5 SBs

The very first question in the 5-Key Questions column for the Arkansas Travelers was will this team be able to score some runs. At the time, it appeared that the offense was stagnant and in need of an infusion of talent in order to bolster its prospects on the field. Although I thought the talent might be arriving a bit later from internal promotions, the Angels stepped up to improve the team at AA and signed a former Jordan Czarnieki, Texas League All-Star, on April 11 after Jordan Renz was given his unconditional release. Originally drafted in the 25th round out of Tennessee by the Colorado Rockies, he was picked up by the Angels after being given his release in Spring Training. Since coming aboard, he definitely has been giving the team a boost with a week like this.

3. Ben Johnson, C, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
For the Week: 11/31 (355), 2 Doubles, 0 Triple, 4 HRs, 6 Runs, 10 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: 259/320/494

Last year, Johnson was a catcher without a home. He jumped from Rancho to Salt Lake, back to Rancho, up to Arkansas, down to Rancho and then back to Arkansas for the rest of the season. That’s hardly the way to maintain a consistent routine for a player. This year, though, it seems that he is finding a home. He’s showing an improved power at the plate. He leads the team with 9 dingers and a 494 SLG %.

4. Michael Collins, 1B, Class AA Arkansas Travelers

For the Week: 9/24 (375), 3 Doubles, 0 Triple, 0 HRs, 6 Runs, 8 RBIs, 1 SBs
Overall: 280/365/441

As one of our Aussie prospects, Collins has been a big part of the offensive resurgence in Arkansas that led to the 7 game winning streak this past week. Collins is definitely improving this year by repeating his experience at AAA. And, with some support from the newly signed OFers, he is definitely getting to see better pitches. Collins is still hitting Lefties better than Righties, but, the difference between the numbers is nowhere near as dramatic as last year.

5. Michael Anton, SP, Low Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels

For the Week: 1-1 in 2 starts 0.59 ERA, 15.1 IP, 9 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 0.85 WHIP
Overall: 5-2, 2.01 ERA, 53.2 IP, 41 H, 13 BB, 36 K, 1.01 WHIP, 215 BAA

Michael lost a tough one on May 14th, giving up 1 earned run in an eventual 2-0 loss. But, we shouldn’t let his W/L record diminish the fact that he’s been lights out this season. In 6 out of his 8 starts he’s allowed 1 or no runs at all. After a bad first game, in which he allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, the most he’s allowed since then has been 3 runs in 7.2 innings. That’s some dominance. Michael has been pitching deep into games—going 6 or more innings in 7 out of 8 starts, and including a complete game shutout! While a lot of press and attention has been focused on Walden and Tobin, the lefties at Cedar Rapids are showing that they’re a force to be reckoned with.

6. Trevor Bell Rancho, SP, Class A Cucamonga Quakes
For the Week: 1-1 in 2 starts 2.45 ERA, 11 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 1.18 WHIP
Overall: 4-3, 3.45 ERA, 47 IP, 43 H, 13 BB, 34 K, 1.19 WHIP, 242 BAA

Trevor isn’t just making a case to be a player of the week—he’s making a case to be the organization’s pitcher of the month (although Michael Anton is giving him a run for the money). After a rough April, Trevor has just dominated in May, going 3-1, giving up a total of 3 earned runs for the month and pitching 25 innings. Since May 1st, he’s sporting a 17:3 K:BB ratio and given up just 17 hits in those 25 innings. This has included some games in some of the league’s notorious launching pads. He’s inducing plenty of groundballs overall, sporting a 2.09 GO/AO ratio which will help him in the high-octane California League.

7. Bobby Wilson, C, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
For the Week: 11/26 (346), 3 Doubles, 0 Triple, 0 HRs, 2 Runs, 3 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: 320/394/418

If the Angels decide to make Napoli a DH, it might have a lot to do with whether or not they see Wilson as a capable replacement as a catcher. So far, Wilson is making the most of his opportunity by hitting steadily at AAA and doing a good job behind the plate. While no one could expect the Bees to continue the torrid pace they set at the start of the season, their record is now 31-11. Wilson, as one of the few who has not ridden the expressway between Salt Lake City and Anaheim has been one of the reasons why our team at AAA has been able to shuffle players back and forth and still maintain such a strong record.

8. Kendry Morales, 1B/RF, Class AAA Salt Lake City Bees
For the Week: 8/20 (400), 2 Doubles, 0 Triple, 1 HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: 306/342/486

When Kendry catches fire, he can carry a team for a few weeks at a time. After a very slow start, Kendry seems to be heating up faster than an Angels fan baking in the sun over the weekend. What’s interesting to note is that Kendry is getting more and more playing time in Right Field. While the FO won’t say anything about GA’s option, it seems that the team is getting some options ready to get Kendry’s bat into our lineup.

9. Jordan Walden, SP, Low Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
For the Week: 1-1 in 2 starts 1.54 ERA, 13.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K, 0.54 WHIP
Overall: 2-4, 2.76 ERA, 45.2 IP, 36 H, 14 BB, 36 K, 1.09 WHIP, 208 BAA

On May 13th, Jordan had a 1 hitter going through 6 innings. The rest of the damage was done today (Sunday the 18th) when he gave up 3 runs and 4 hits in 7 innings—still a quality start in anyone’s book. At the end of April through the beginning of May, Walden hit a bit of a skid where he became hittable. He had a run of 4 bad starts. But, since then, he’s rebounded nicely. What’s interesting is his GO/AO rate—it’s up to 2.38. It will be interesting to see if he can continue to induce as many groundballs as he moves up in the levels.

10. Peter Bourjos, OF, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
For the Week: 11/32 (344), 1 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 5 Runs, 3 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: 335/367/468 24 SBs

Although Peter cooled towards the end of this week, at the end of last week through the beginning of this week he was blazing hot. He was 13 for 26 (.500) with 5 SBs from May 9th through the 14th. Not bad at all for a leadoff hitter. The best part about Peter’s speed is that he is learning when to use it. He’s stolen 24 bases in 26 attempts—a 92.3% rate. He’s getting on and getting the job done. A mid-season promotion might not be out of the question for him.

Love to hear what you think!


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