Sunday, June 8, 2008

By Chuck Richter - Executive Editor

The Angels have used quite a bit of talent from their Triple-A affiliate (Salt Lake Bees) this year, such as Matt Brown, Sean Rodriguez, Brandon Wood, Alex Serrano, Bobby Wilson, Jose Arredondo, Rich Thompson, Kendry Morales and top prospect Nick Adenhart, who filled in for Dustin Moseley, who was filling in for John Lackey. They even saw Darren O'Day, who had a successful 2007 minor league season with the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, make the team out of spring training and contribute out of the bullpen. Depth is a good thing and one of the reasons the Angels entered today (June 8) tied with the Cubs for the best record in Major League baseball.

With coverage of the draft in this edition of the Crop Report, let me quickly run down some quick hits of the Angels top minor league performers through more than two months of action.

  • Peter Bourjos (Quakes, High-A Ball) has 32 stolen bases in 34 attempts. Bourjos has a 6.4 second time in the 60-yard dash that baseball uses as its standard distance. Bourjos is hitting .335 with 22 extra base hits.
  • Trevor Reckling (Kernels, Low-A Ball) extended his scoreless string to 20 innings with eight shutout innings Saturday against Burlington. Reckling's recent success has seen his ERA lowered to 2.64.
  • Besides Reckling, the Kernels starting pitchers, Michael Anton, Jordan Walden and Mason Tobin, all have respectable ERAs (Anton: 2.13 - Walden: 2.78 - Tobin: 3.13)
  • Mark Trumbo (Quakes, High-A Ball) is tied with Matt Brown for the most HRs in the organization with 14.
  • Sean O'Sullivan (Quakes, High-A Ball), who won the ERA title the past two seasons, has seen his ERA balloon to 6.25 after today's outing against the Inland Empire club.
  • Hainley Statia (Travelers, Double-A Ball) has raised his batting average more than 50 points in the last month. He's up to .240. Unfortunately, Statia pulled his right hamstring while running the bases Friday night and he was placed on the DL with teammate Adam Greenberg (strained right knee).
  • The Nick's (Bees, Triple-A Ball), Adenhart and Green, have given up 42 runs combined in their last 5 starts.
  • Top prospects (Quakes, High-A Ball), C/DH Hank Conger and 2B Ryan Mount were activated off the DL last week for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Conger, who has been the DH in the first seven games, should see some time behind the dish in a week or two. Jeremy Haynes and Matt Sweeney are close to being activated off the DL soon.
  • As a complement to Shields and K-Rod, the Travelers have their own 1-2 punch in the late innings with Kevin Jepsen and Steve Marek (Travelers, Double-A Ball). Entering Sunday's game, Jepsen had 10 saves and a 1.52 ERA while fanning 33 batters in 29 2/3 innings. Marek, who was converted to a reliever to start the season, had a 2.39 ERA and three saves entering Sunday's contest.

Let's talk amateur draft....

The Angels completed their draft a couple of days ago and with their first selection (second round, 74th pick overall) grabbed local product Tyler Chatwood, a 5-foot-11 prep righthander who had elbow surgery three years ago. Chatwood, according to a few scouts, reminds them of a young Roy Oswalt, equipped with a 93-97 mph fastball, a power breaking ball and a developing change up that rates as average right now.

Third round pick Ryan Chaffee was the winning pitcher for Chipola in the Junior College World Series championship game last season. He broke a bone in his foot in April and had surgery to repair it. Chaffee returned late in the season and pitched a shutout in the Florida junior college tournament, striking out 18 and sending Chipola back to the Junior College World Series. Chaffee attacks hitters from multiple arm slots, creating three different breaking balls. His fastball is in the low 90s and he throws a plus change up. When Chaffee commands all of his pitches, he's dominant.

Zach Cone (supplemental third) has a nice package of tools and was one of the most athletic kids in the draft. Cone has shown the ability to hit for power and the potential to hit for average. He also has above-average speed, getting down the first base line in 4.1 seconds from the right side. Zach has some professional bloodlines as his father played in the NFL. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Cone has the range and instincts to play center field at the major league level.

The Angels drafted a total of 19 high school players and 28 pitchers, while drafting just 12 college position players.

"We don't make a definite effort toward drafting high schoolers, but we prefer to take high school players," Scouting Director Eddie Bane said. "We don't want our players to do well in Salt Lake, we want them to do well in Anaheim. We have had success with it and we see teams going back to the old ways of drafting high school players."

The most intriguing pick was 6-foot-4 right-hander Kyle Hurst from South Mountain Community College in Gilbert, Ariz. The 36th-round pick is the son of former Major Leaguer Bruce Hurst, who won 145 games in his 15-year Major League career and was an All-Star in 1987 with the Red Sox.

"I believe in bloodlines and genetics and I think the rest of baseball does, too," Bane said. "Bruce was a great lefty and you have to hope he put some of that in his son."

All in all, Bane believes the draft was a good one.

"I don't think any team has ever walked out of here and thought they didn't do a great job," Bane said. "We're no exception. We'll see how the players develop, but I thought we did great."

Los Angeles Angels 2008 Draft Picks

Rd. - Overall - Player - Position - School
2 74 Tyler Chatwood RHP Redlands (Calif.) East Valley HS
3 105 Ryan Chaffee RHP Chipola (Fla.) JC
3s 112 Zach Cone OF Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga.
4 139 Jeff Boshiers LHP Calhoun (Ala.) CC Ala.
5 169 Khiry Cooper OF Calvary Baptist Academy, Shreveport, La.
6 199 Josh Blanco LHP Franklin HS, El Paso
7 229 William Smith LHP Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC
8 259 Christian Scholl RHP Green River (Wash.) CC
9 289 Nicholas Farnsworth 1B Union HS, Tulsa, Okla.
10 319 Gabriel Jacobo 3B Sacramento State Calif.
11 349 Rolando Gomez SS Flanagan HS, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
12 379 Braulio Pardo C St. Leo (Fla.) College
13 409 Michael Kohn RHP College of Charleston
14 439 Reyes Dorado RHP Arizona State Ariz.
15 469 Marcel Champagnie OF Arizona State
16 499 John Hellweg RHP Florida CC Mo.
17 529 James Mallard 1B Middleton HS, Tampa
18 559 Adam Younger SS Oral Roberts Okla.
19 589 Michael Burford C Manor HS, Austin, Tex.
21 649 DeWayne Bailey 2B Central Florida
22 679 Ryan Groth OF Oral Roberts
23 709 Matt Crawford OF Mercer Ga.
24 739 Taylor Jungmann RHP Georgetown (Texas) HS
25 769 Roberto Lopez OF Southern California
26 799 Kevin Nabors RHP South Alabama Ala.
27 829 Tim Kiely RHP Trinity (Conn.) College
28 859 Michael Kenney RHP Loyola Marymount
29 889 Jeremy Thorne RHP Florida Southern College
30 919 Jayson Miller LHP Washington State
31 949 John Hicks C Goochland (Va.) HS
32 979 Miguel Starks RHP Mundy's Mill HS, Jonesboro
33 1009 Jose Jimenez 1B Tampa
34 1039 Drew Taylor LHP North Carolina State
35 1069 Demetrius Washington OF Middle Georgia JC
36 1099 Kyle Hurst RHP South Mountain (Ariz.) CC
37 1129 Evan Scott RHP Battlefield HS, Haymarket, Va.
38 1159 John Rickard C Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas
39 1189 Kyle Hendricks RHP Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo,
40 1219 Donnie Roach RHP Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas
41 1249 Joshua Edmondson RHP Florida
42 1279 Chandler Griffin RHP Central Arizona JC
43 1309 Kevin Ferguson LHP Tampa
44 1338 David Fischer RHP Ballston Lake HS, Burnt Hills
45 1366 Jared Clark 1B Cal State Fullerton
46 1393 Ryan Hege C Maize (Kan.) HS
47 1420 Josh Copeland RHP Alabama
48 1447 Chris Vitus RHP Mount Hood (Ore.) CC
49 1474 Will Roberts RHP Walker Governor's School, Richmond
50 1501 Joey Belviso OF American Heritage HS, Plantation

Love to hear what you think!

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