Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Slugger Matt Sweeney has been red hot of late for the Quakes.

Hot Prospects - May 20th, 2009

By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Executive Editor

Quick programming note. Since we're going on air weekly with Jeff Biggs on the Angels local radio station AM 830 every Wednesday night from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. PST in a feature called "The Richter Scale" with Angelswin.com Executive Editor Chuck Richter - we'll be publishing the prospect hotlist every Wednesday from now on, until the end of the minor league season.

OK, let's get right into it. This week the Hottest Prospect in the Angels organization is.........

1. Matt Sweeney, 3B, High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: .405, 2 HR's, 6 doubles, 12 RBI's, 9 walks/5 strikeouts
Overall: .319/.394/.543 - 5 HR's, 12 doubles, 28 RBI's

What’s Up: Fans clamoring for Brandon Wood to replace Chone Figgins at thirdbase after the season take notice. Matt Sweeney missed the entire 2008 season after sustaining an ankle injury in spring camp last year, needed season ending surgery. The well built, 6'3' 220 lb slugger who is just 21 years old, is making up for lost time. Hitting from the left-side of the plate, Sweeney has posted a .937 OPS to date and aside from his power totals (5 HR's, 12 doubles) he's shown an impressive 16/19 walks to strikeouts rate for a slugger. Sweeney gets the nod for the top spot after hitting .405 for the week, including 12 RBI's, while walking 9 times.

2. Brandon Wood, SS, Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Days: .405, 4 HR's, 9 RBI's, 8 walks/6 strikeouts
Overall: .359/.451/.782 - 9 HR's, 4 doubles, 19 RBI's

What’s Up: Brandon Wood is doing everything he can to warrant a full time promotion to the big league club. Hit .405 in his past 10 days, including 4 home runs and 9 RBI's. Like Sweeney, he's also shown a good eye at the plate, walking eight times vs. six strikeouts. The question for Brandon Wood is, who does he replace? Erick Aybar at SS or Chone Figgins at 3B? Both of these guys are excelling at the top of the order for the Angels, so it's doubtful Brandon sees a promotion any time soon, unless there is a trade or an injury to either of the infielders on the left side of the diamond.

3. Peter Bourjos, OF, Double-A Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Days: .450, 18 hits, 1 HR, 5 RBI's, 7 runs scored
Overall: .314/.375/.438 - 5 triples, 12 SB's

What’s Up: Peter Bourjos was named Texas League Player of the Week for May 11 to 17, announced by the Texas League officials on Monday. Normally the type of week that Bourjos had would earn him the top spot in any hotlist. Bourjos hit .450 in his last 10 games which includes 18 hits in that span. The speedy centerfielder with a lightening quick bat is one of the most exciting players to watch in the organization.

4. Alexi Amarista, 2B, Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: .448, 13 hits, 3 SB's, 6 walks/3 strikeouts
Overall: .344/.435/.500 - 10 doubles, 5 triples, 15 SB's

What’s Up: The 5'8 buck 50, second baseman has been a regular on our prospect hotlist this season. Alexi racked up 13 hits in his last 10 games and continues to show an amazing knack for getting on base. His .435 on base pct. and 15 stolen bases provide the Kernels with the perfect table setter for Jacobo, Lopez, Brooks and Castillo. Alexi's 15 extra base hits early on prove he's not just a lite hitting, slap and dash hitter too.

5. Michael Kohn, RHP, Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 1.42 ERA, 19 strikeouts, 12.2 innings, 2 saves
Overall: 2-0, 2 saves, 21.2 innings, 31 strikeouts, .143 BAA

What’s Up: Kohn has emerged as the closer for the Kernels and has notched 2 saves out of his last two chances. Fanned 19 Midwest League batters in his last 12.2 innings of work. On the season, Kohn has struck out 31 in just 21 2/3 innings. His mid 90's fastball to go along with his above average breaking stuff, has produced some steller results. Kohn boasts a 1.42 ERA for the Kernels.

6. Sean Rodriguez, 2B, Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Days: .378, 5 HR's, 13 RBI's, 9 runs scored
Overall: .273/.370/.659 - 14 HR's, 41 RBI's, 5 SB's

What’s Up: Someone must have posted a sticky on Howie Kendrick's locker with 2B Sean Rodriguez latest numbers with the Bees after struggling mightily for a 3 week span, Howie is 4-9 in his last two games. Sean Rodriguez has posted two multi-homer games in his last 10, driving in 5 a piece for each of those contests, including a 5-5 effort against Iowa on May 16th. Sean hit 21 home runs in just 248 at bats with the Bees last season, is the Angels organizational home run leader with 14 on the season. That's the good, the bad is he's fanned 43 times in just 38 games thus far after striking out just 45 times in 66 contests in 2008.

7. Jeremy Moore, OF, High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: .349, 15 hits, 6 RBI's
Overall: .329/.364/.455 - 2 HR's, 6 doubles, 3 triples, 3 SB's

What’s Up: Teammate of Matt Sweeney, Jeremy Moore is also on a roll with the Quakes. Moore has hit .349 in the last 10 days while playing left field for the Quakes. Moore, an atheltic build and equipped with both power and speed, has hit just 2 home runs in the California League after clubbing 17 with the Kernels last season in just 96 games, suggesting he's shortening his swing a bit (hit just .240 in the Midwest League last season). Moore has above average speed, but he's had a tough time swiping bases this season, getting caught 8 times out of 11 chances. Moore stole 28 bases out of 38 tries last season.

8. Ryan Chaffee, RHP, Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 2 starts: 11 innings, 2 runs, 15 strikeouts, 4 hits allowed
Overall: 2-1, 2.77 ERA, 26 innings, 24 strikeouts, .174 BAA

What’s Up: Chaffee is starting to pick it up with the Kernels, notching 15 strikeouts in his last two starts (11 innings total), while allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits. Chaffee along with Will Smith, Manuarys Correa, Tyler Chatwood & Manual Flores boast one of the finest and most talented rotations' in the minors.

9. Matt Brown, 1B, Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: .382, 13 hits, 5 HR's, 2 doubles, 15 RBI's
Overall: .248/.350/.496 - 6 HR's, 28 RBI's

What’s Up: After hitting just a buck eight-nine in the month of April, Matt Brown has turned things around in the month of May, hitting .297, while clubbing five of his six home runs on the season. Matt Brown gets my vote to replace Robb Quinlan on the Angels roster, as he's a guy that can play first base and third and provide some pop off the bench. Matt has driven in 15 runs in his last 10 games.

10. Tyler Chatwood, RHP, Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 2 starts: 12 innings, 4 earned runs, 13 strikeouts
Overall: 1-2, 1.93 ERA, 28 innings, 26 strikeouts, .151 BAA

What’s Up: The Angels #1 pick in last years' amateur draft notched his third start in which he's given up no runs, this time showing better command of his pitches as he walked just two, while fanning 6 through 6 scoreless innings. Chatwood is boasting a 1.93 ERA through five starts for the Kernels. His fastball and curve are both plus pitches and he's making strides with his changeup from all reports as well.

Just missed the list: Sean O'Sullivan, Manual Flores, Steven Geltz, Rich Thompson, Fred Sandoval, Trevor Reckling, Will Smith, Trevor Bell, Tommy Mendoza, Ryan Mount, Terry Evans, Michael Anton and Beau Brooks.
Love to hear what you think!


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