Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eddie Bane chatted live with members in this month's edition of "The Bane Connection". Let's find out what was discussed at below.

Q: (Angelswin) - How is Bob Wilson defensively vs our current ML catchers?

Eddie — Hey guys. Sorry it took so long to get on, but now here I am and ready to go. Bobby Wilson is solid defensively and on par with our 2 guys in the Major Leagues in my opinion.

Q: (Angelswin) — Not sure you can comment on this Eddie. But what could Toronto possibly be asking for Eckstein, McDonald or Scutaro. With all due respect to the future of Sean Rodriguez, but the very real prospect of him having to play this post-season isn't appealing.

A: (Eddie Bane) — Guys, I will answer some of the ML questions the best I can, but as you know my field is trying to find homegrown products and I can help in that area.

As far as Sean Rod and Brandon Wood go we are very lucky to have these guys as possible help when guys go down and I have complete faith in those guys. That part of the equation is up to Tony, Ken, Mike S and Gary Sutherland though.

Q: (Angelswin) — I'm interested in the org's plan for Wood. Does he get a shot at a full time position next year? Are we thinking SS or 3B?

Similarly, what are the feelings regarding the future of Sandoval and Brown with the big club?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Brandon Wood can play either SS or 3B and play it Major League which is a surprise to some scouts because of his size at SS. Wood hit his 31st homerun the other night in the PCL and that is a big deal to us. He needs to get a chance, and he will, but when he gets that chance he needs to take off and run with it. He will get a chance here shortly, but nobody can be quite sure when.

Remember fellas, if you know me, then you realize that tech is definitely challenging for me and I will get to as many as I can, but be patient.

Sandoval put his name on our map this year for the first time. He can hit and has hit all the way through and now he has 2B and 3B he can play. He would be wise to shag some balls in the OF during BP to increase his worth.

Q: (Angelswin) — I was wondering if you could profile a couple guys from Rancho for me: Bryan Rembisz (cool story and performing well it seems) and Alexander Torres (also doing very well). Was he hurt last year?

A: (Eddie Bane) — I personally call Rembisz the "hat" because when he is on the mound he is so short that it looks like a hat and a jersey on the mound. Very short and as they say "vertically challenged" but he comes at the hitter and attacks guys.

Torres is a legit prospect from that side of the rubber and with Fish and Reckling it helps us in an area that I had not done very well in (LHP's).

Q: (Angelswin) — There is so much talent at Salt Lake yet very little room on the big club. Do you see any position changes for some of these guys any time soon? And on that note, we saw that Kendry has played some outfield. Does he have the tools to do so at the major league level?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Honest to goodness guys, I do not look as bad as that picture in person. That guy is a lot older than I am.

Kendry Morales grew up at 3B and RF for the Cuban National team and he is comfortable at both of those spots as well as 1B. But, Kendry is showing that he is real comfortable at the plate from either side.

Yes, the talent level at 3A and 1A is bigger than most any club in the game, but that is our job. Make it hard on the big league guys and create competition everywhere in the org.

Q: (Angelswin) — How much stock do you put in statistics for amateur baseball like High School, college (D1-D3)? Do you overlook them and just go by their physical tools and raw stuff?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Great q. I watched Phil Hughes in HS and he never walked anyone. He was also doing it against some of the best HS teams in SoCal. That makes it mean something. Also watched Mark Rogers pitch in HS in Maine. No competition and in fact the catcher for the other team asked Rogers for his autograph during the game.

We were all set to take Hughes in the 04 draft, but got lucky and had Jered Weaver fall in our lap.

Stuff, location, movement, velocity are all things I look at before stats at the HS level, but when facing So Cal HS hitters it has to count for something. Same thing in Florida.

Q: (Angelswin) — Freddy Sandoval - I know he's been discussed before with regards to being a major league utility player, but besides what he can do with the bat (he has been exceptional) how is his glove at 3B?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Freddy is a little above avg. at any INF spot except SS.

Q: (Angelswin) — I saw the 'hat' pitch last night ... couldn't believe how short he was. He did get through an inning or two unscathed. Was a little disappointed with O' Sullivan ... they seemed to hit him hard ... but he does throw hard and has a solid frame for a pitcher. What's his projection?

btw Conger hit a monster HR last night.

A: (Eddie Bane) — I was also at the game in High Desert hiding down the sidelines. Sean has 15 wins in a 5 month league. That is a stat that I would follow. High Desert is a launching pad and Sean was overstriding last night which hurt his life.

I was glad nobody was around when Conger hit his HR because my hot dog almost came up. It was a legit bomb. It was a LH home run BTW.

Q: (Angelswin) — Mount has been raking. Is his recent power surge something that was expected and does he profile as having that much pop down the line? Also, how is his defense at 2B?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Rob Piccilo and Ryan Mount both deserve a ton of credit for Mount's improvement on defense. He made 2 plays last night he could not have made before.

Mount has 16 home runs right now and that is in half the season. Yes, his power was expected, but not this soon. The other stat that stands out at with the Rancho club is that Conger is averaging about an RBI per game. 67 games and 66 Ribbies. That from a young man that would not even be eligible until next years draft if he had attended USC.

Q: (Angelswin) — Is anything in particular going on with Peter Bourjos? He has barely walked in the last 2 months and hasn't stolen many bases either.

A: (Eddie Bane) — Sure, good q. Peter's tank has worn out and he has to do better than that. He is one of the best prospects in the game and the sky is the limit, but he has to smooth out and not have the highs and lows he is experiencing right now. That being said Peter is a great young man, with great habits, a great mom and dad and faster than most anyone in the game. I wish they were all like Pete. And, the power is coming like one of our ML scouts, Brad Sloan, said it would.

Q: (Angelswin) — Looks like Roberto Lopez has a chance to win the Pioneer league Triple Crown. Any reason he hasn't seen time at Cedar considering that he is older than most at his current level?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Most organizations might have moved a Lopez type by this time, but the Angels are not most organizations and he has competition from all sides here. He has been a very pleasant surprise where you have to give props to Bo Hughes and Bobby DeJardin and Tim Corcoran of our scouting department.

Aside on Lopez. He is playing great now, but off the field he plays a really, really good piano. Elton John type stuff.

Q: (Angelswin) — Ryan Aldridge, I see he hasn't played lately, arm injury or? (hoping not).

A: (Eddie Bane) — Ryan has a constant battle with his arm, but this is not a big one and when healthy he is a major league pitcher with 2 plus pitches in his fastball and slider.

Q: (Angelswin) — Can you tell me where Demetrius Washington and Rolando Gomez are? I saw them a few times in the box scores early on. Are they both in Arizona working on a few things first?

A: (Eddie Bane) — We signed Gomez a little late and he went to AZ but shut it down after a few games with a hand problem and he should be available at the end of the AZIL. Rollie has family in the Dominican so he will be going there after the AZIL.

Q: (Angelswin) — Any other updates on injured players?

A: (Eddie Bane) — I wish I could help more, but at this time of the year the grind of playing everyday is starting to take its toll.

Q: (Angelswin) — Which players have developed beyond your expectations this year? How do you think Trumbo is doing at AA? Who might be asked to go to Winter Ball? What skills would they be looking to develop? How will you determine where to place a player like Sweeney next year who lost the whole year due to injury? How much do you foresee the loss affecting his development?

A: (Eddie Bane) — It was nice to see Sandoval hit at 3A and put himself in front of the ML people. You cannot ignore the 15 wins from O'Sullivan. Herndon to the pen was a great idea. Mount has showed up big after hurting his knee in the spring.

Trumbo has done what he should at Arkansas. He is driving in a lot of runs and every once in awhile he smashes a tape measure HR. I have been on the Trumbo bandwagon for a longtime and am getting joined by a lot of other folks now. Mark has power like the great power hitters in the game have had. Now he needs to get it consistent and he will help us at the ML level.

When I played (a long time ago) players went to Winter Ball to make money. Now they go to hone a skill like base running or to learn a new pitch.

Q: (Angelswin) — Jordan Walden, how has his secondary stuff progressed? (Changeup, Slider, etc.)

A: (Eddie Bane) — I just saw Jordan the other night and his fastball was huge at up to 97. His fastball down in the strike zone is a brick that is hard to get in the air. His curve (he probably calls it a slider) is tighter every time I see him pitch. He is close to being a big leaguer and he knows it. He has to do the little things that ML pitchers do in order to get over that hump.

Q: (Angelswin) — Eddie, I watched Nick Adenhart last night in Portland (just a 3 hour drive from Seattle) and he looked dominant. Showed an excellent curve and changeup, while spotting his FB which was hitting 91-95 MPH. He also showed some moxy on the hill, getting out of a couple jams, one with runners at 1st and 3rd and 1 out where he fanned two hitters in a row. Positive signs for a pitcher that has struggled in '08, especially considering the Beavers have a good hitting ball club in Triple A.

A: (Eddie Bane) — I have said here before that I believe Nick Adenhart is one of the top pitching prospects in the game. It was nice to see him pitch the clincher for the Bees. I agree the walks and lack of 1st pitch strikes is a bother, but for me it is just a blip. He has 3 big league pitches now, he has had command of his stuff in the past and he is a winner. I like my chances with Adenhart. Did you know that Nick played some basketball in high school against Carmelo Anthony.

Q: (Angelswin) — How's Abe Flores doing?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Abe is doing great and this is as good a time as any to say this. Every team in the Angels system will probably make the playoffs. That is from the DR on up to the Major League club. Unheard of. The great thing about is that almost every one of those clubs has the youngest club in that league. I know we stabilized in 2A with some older guys in the 1st half, but since then they have added Trumbo and Pettit.

That being said, Abe left me in scouting and took Tony Reagins’ old job and we have not missed a beat. Prospects and winning are a hard combination to beat.

Q: (Angelswin) — Tom Kotchman - this guy is incredible. I know you and your staff can take some credit to the Owlz success over the years (before Orem it was Provo) because of your advanced scouting, but wow, this guy is an incredible manager and scout for the Angels. A HUGE asset to the organization. The Orem club this year is STACKED!

A: (Eddie Bane) — We do have some nice prospects in Orem and Tom gets them to play the game the Angels way from the moment they come into the organization. TBone does the same thing with the guys in Arzona.

Q: (Angelswin) — Almost of us have to go by are the stats that we see on Are there any guys that you have been really impressed with or surprised by that wouldn't necessarily translate via a box score?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Take a look sometime at a guy like Bobby Cassevah. His numbers do not jump out until you get really in depth with them and see a guy that gets nothing but ground balls. He needs to throw more strikes, but the fastball is back up to an occasional 94 and his other stuff has improved. Also, Mosebach is having a nice season, but his stats don’t show it. But, he has to know that scouts love his season. Stuff like that is what a scout will do with the press box info we get.

Q: (Angelswin) — So what's been going on with Adenhart? After his call up he pretty drastically fell off the log for a while, but just recently seems to have found his form. What's the story - just development bumps or did the call up perhaps rattle him a bit?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Good call. Nick did have some bumps, but the stuff never faltered and neither did his makeup. He is a gamer on the mound and a perfectionist. Next time Nick pitches up here I believe he won’t go back again. And, you are right also on the fact that lately he has teed it up.

Q: (Angelswin) — Gabe Jacobo, looks like he was a great pick. He sure is raking!

A: (Eddie Bane) — Thanks, Scott Richardson, our NorCal scout found this guy. Has a plus bat and has shown some versatility. Thanks for the compliment about the draft, but we try and stay away from the Mel Kiper, Baseball America way of grading our draft 1 day after the draft is over.

A: (Eddie Bane) — Guys, I wanted to say thanks and I am floored that you guys would take the time out to ask so many Angel Questions and I am sorry I cannot answer all of them. You guys keep me on my toes with all of your knowledge about all things Angels, but keep up the great work. You also should thank Chuck as he is relentless at working on me to do this type stuff which I really enjoy. Go Angels and ASU SunDevils both. ASU has a tough game with the NAU Lumberjacks this Saturday, but I think we can handle them.

Q: (Angelswin) — Eddie, do the Angels still project Nick Green as a starter or is the thought to eventually move him to the bullpen?

A: (Eddie Bane) — Nick Green has starter stuff and in the pen he would only project as a long man, but I see him as a starter at the big league level and he is close.

Q: (Angelswin) — How do you believe the changes to the draft affected the process? Did it give more leverage to either side or just move up the date to sign on the calendar?

A: (Eddie Bane) — August 15 deadline just changed the date and gave the colleges a set date which helped them. We are seeing the same things happen on Aug 15 that used to always happen the Sunday before school started. Same deal but a different day.

Q: (Angelswin) — Tyler Chatwood. His strikeout numbers are great, but what's with the walks? Is it a mechanical issue or does he just have trouble throwing strikes? BTW, nice outing last time out (5 innings, 0 runs and 11 K's). A testament of excellent scouting by you and your guys Eddie. That is a dominant type performance for such a young kid.

A: (Eddie Bane) — Chatwood, and I will leave after this story, talked with Gerrit Cole before the signing deadline and Cole complained about money and everything else and later did not sign at all with New York and cost the Yankees their 1st round pick. Tyler Chatwood told him that he loved everything about professional baseball and especially the competition. This is one great kid and the walks will go down with more innings and time on the mound.

Q: (Angelswin) — Eddie, THANK YOU for showing up and fielding questions from the members. We really appreciate it and are thankful the Halos have you driving this thing going forward. Feel free to pop in every now and then (and even later on tonight to answer a couple questions from the guys that got here late if time permits). Go Angels

A: (Eddie Bane) — Thanks again guys and have a good night. Let's change that picture Chuck. Looks like my grandpa for heaven’s sake.

Q: (Angelswin) — I know organizations have area scouts, but do you ever make it out to see potential prospects (like do you have an area yourself) or do you just go see the big names at places like the College World Series where they are all at one place?

A: (Eddie Bane) — It is now Friday and I am in the office, but I wanted to give you an answer to a couple q's that I was not able to get to. We got to the $ figure that both Cone and Cooper asked for and they still turned us down. With Cone we got to his number twice so it was tough that it did not get done. Chris McAlpin our area scout for Cone did a great job with Cone and his family. But, in the end when you deal with mostly 18 year old young men they have a tendency to change their mind at times. Not a great deal, but it happens.

As far as my personal travel, I see a lot of players and love the actual scouting part of the job. I will go into a scout’s area and tell them something like they have 5 days to show me their best players. You take that 5 days and then move on to the next area. You just keep moving like that until you can’t handle the road any longer and then you go home for a couple days. Then repeat the process. But it is a great job and I love working for the Angels and having the Director job.
Love to hear what you think!

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