Monday, August 11, 2008

(Photo by Phillip Richmond)

By Jason Sinner - Columnist

Once a week (Monday) will cover the top 10 hottest prospects in the organization. We will list their current stats and feats with a little blurb on each player. This is a great way for you Halo fans to find out who's hot in the Angels organization. It is important as a fan to know who is up and coming in the organization because prospects not only strengthen our team in the future, but they also become trade fodder for teams looking to rebuild who might give up an established player in the big leagues.

Covering the minor leagues has been something we at enjoy doing for for the fans and parents of the Halos minor leaguers, giving recognition to top performers for the previous week . The top 10 hottest future Halos will be covered here, but if you have any questions on other prospects in other organizations or if want to send your comments on our weekly lists, send me an email at and I will respond in a timely manner.

Now, on to this weeks' Prospect Hotlist...

1. Brandon Wood, SS, Class AAA, Salt Lake Bees

Last 10 games: 12-37 (.324), 4 HR's, 11 RBI's, 3bb/5k
Season: .294 avg, 27 HR's, 69 RBI's, .959 OPS

Did anyone know that Brandon’s first name is actually Richard? Dick Wood? I think we need to have a chat with his parents. Anyway, I am really glad we didn’t trade this guy. In the minds of many fans, he had slipped from the top slot on the prospect list leaving some wondering if 2005 was a bit of a fluke. We have been waiting for him to turn a corner in terms of pitch recognition and plate discipline and we need wait no more. On July 6th, he went 0-4 with 2k dropping his average to .253. At the time, he had 13hr, and 39rbi. So in a little over a month, he has hit 14hr, and driven in 20 while raising his average by over 40 points to .294.

2. Kendry Morales, 1b, Class AAA, Salt Lake Bees
Last 10 games: 18-40 (.450), 4 HR's, 9 RBI's
Season: .332 avg, 14 HR's, 55 RBI's, .904 OPS in 274 ab's

There has been a spring in Morales step lately. I am sure it’s the fact that an opportunity may be on the way for the switch hitting Cuban if the halos decide not to shell out a monster contract to Teixeira. If he can continue to hit for average and power, he will likely see a roster spot become available regardless. There will be plenty of competition as other young guns vie for at bats come 2009, but there is no doubt this kid can hit.

3. Alexander Torres, SP, Class High A, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Last 3 starts: 2-0, 18 IP, 2.00 ERA, 5 BB, 24 K's
Season: 7-1, 2.83 ERA, 57.1 IP, 46 h, 21 BB, 60 K's, .230 BAA

The Halos obviously have a lot of confidence in this kid as he was promoted from the AZL directly to Rancho and is not yet 21 years old. He only pitched 5 innings last year, but at more than a strikeout per inning, it appears that he is in good health and ready to start moving up the ranks.

4. Cedar Rapids Starting pitchers

Trevor Reckling
Last 3 starts: 19 IP, 14 H, 1.42 ERA, 5 BB's 20 K's
Season: 9-5, 3.04 ERA, 133.1 IP, 110 H, 54 BB's, 110 K's, .230 BAA

Robert Fish
Last 3 starts: 18.2 IP, 11 H, 0.48 ERA, 6 BB's, 17 K's
Season: 8-4, 4.62 ERA, 120.2 IP, 114 H, 57 BB's, 115 K's, .247 BAA

Michael Davitt
Last 3 starts: 20.1 IP, 21 H, 0.89 ERA, 5 BB, 18 K's
Season: 5-7, 4.73 ERA, 99.0 IP, 115 H, 48 BB, 67 K's

Esmerlin Jiminez
Last 3 starts: 18 IP, 19 H, 3.00 ERA, 12 BB, 17 K's
Season: 5-6, 4.00 ERA, 87.2 IP, 90 H, 38 BB, 72 K's

Jeremy Haynes
Last 3 starts: 19.2 IP, 11 H, 0.92 ERA, 11 BB, 12 K's
Season: 3-3, 6.23 ERA, 47.2 IP, 53 H, 41 BB, 20 K's

After losing their top three starters with Walden and Anton heading to Rancho and Tobin heading to the DL, the Kernels have seen their rebuilt rotation step up as of late. Spanning three trips to the mound for each starter, the youngsters have gone 9-3 with a 1.32 era over their last 95.2ip amassing 81k.

5. Ryan Mount, 2b, Class High A, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Last 10 games: 16-43 (.372), 2 HR's, 7 RBI's
Season: .292 avg, 10 HR's, 33 RBI's, .845 OPS

It was only a matter of time till Ryan really got things going. A late start to the season after injury likely left him chomping at the bit to improve upon his subpar 2007. He has not disappointed in his 240abs and with a strong showing in the Quakes remaining 20 or so games, he will maintain his standing as one of the halos top 30 prospects.

6. Anthony Ortega, SP, Class AAA, Salt Lake Bees

Last 2 starts: 2-0, 1.38 ERA, 13 IP, 3 BB, 8 K's
Season (AA/AAA): 11-7, 3.53 ERA, 148 IP, 91 K's, 52 BB's, .247 BAA

All of a sudden Anthony is at AAA and doing well. He posted solid number in 2007 with a 4.02era which was good for fifth in the cal league. He’s got good stuff and although he may have a tough time cracking the rotation any time soon, he has been very good at every level he has been at. With a mid season call up being well deserved, my guess is that his stock is on the rise.

7. Rafael Rodriguez, RP, Class AA, Arkansas Travelers
Last 6 outings: 3 saves, 6.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K's, 0.00 ERA
Season (AA): 2.13 ERA, 42 IP, 37 K's, 11 BB, 7 saves

Rafael now shares the closer role with Ryan Aldridge after the departure of Steve Marek. After a tough start to the season with the Bees and a quick demotion, he has done very well for the Travs which can hopefully translate into him taking his high 90’s fastball back to Salt Lake next season

8. Corey Smith, 3b, Class AA, Arkansas Travelers
Last 10 games: 13-37 (.351), 6 HR, 8 RBI's
Season: .267 avg, 22 HR, 73 RBI's, .800 OPS

Corey had a recent stretch where he hit 6hrs in 4 games. At age 26 and with marginal defense, he’s likely pretty far down the depth chart, but it’s clear he has power to spare. If he keeps putting up solid numbers offensively, he could find himself in the bigs someday even if it’s not with the halos.

9. Andrew Romine, SS, Class A, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Last 10 games: 13-37 (.351), 3 RBI's
Season: .260 avg, 2 HR, 29 RBI's, 51 SB's

Mired in what seemed like a season long slump, the defensive stud with speed to burn has raised his average to a respectable level. Just in his second year of pro ball after departing Arizona State University, there is talk that he has some decent upside as a hitter to go along with his flashy defense.

10. Amalio Diaz, SP, Class AA, Arkansas Travelers
Last 4 starts: 3-0, 26 IP, 1.03 ERA, 12 BB, 19 K's
Season: (High A/AA): 10-6, 3.88 ERA, 139.0 IP, 140 H, 45 BB, 88 K's

Amalio had a rough year in 2007 with time spent at Cedar, Rancho, and Arkansas but he has made steady progress this year doing very well since his promotion to AA. It seems he’s not a strike out guy so he needs to keep the walks under control if he is going to succeed.

A few of note from Orem:

Christopher Garcia, 1b, Class Rookie, Orem Owlz
Season: .398 avg (103 ab's), 7 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 22 RBI's, 16 bb, 17 k, 1.031 OPS

Luis Jiminez, 3b, Class Rookie, Orem Owlz
Last 10 games: 15-48 (.349), 4 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR's, 10 RBI's
Season: .307 avg, 17 doubles, 5 triples, 10 HR, 41 RBI's, .931 OPS

Jayson Miller, SP, Class Rookie, Orem Owlz
Season: 4-2, 1.32 ERA, 54.2ip, 48h, 5 BB, 47 K's, .232 BAA

William Smith, SP, Class Rookie, Orem Owlz
Season: 5-2, 2.94 ERA, 49 IP, 48 H, 5 BB, 49 k's, .251 BAA

Michael Kohn, RP, Class Rookie, Orem Owlz
Season: 1-0, 2.87 ERA, 15.2 IP, 9 H, 6 BB, 29 K's (almost 2 per inning)
Love to hear what you think!

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