RHP Ryan Chaffee tops the Prospect Hotlist this week
By David Saltzer - Angelswin.com Columnist
In a week that saw the Angels’ combined minor league teams go a collective 11-14, many of the regular weekly Hot Prospects struggled. But, since baseball is a team sport, even when some struggle, others shine. It’s not surprising that the minor league team with the best record, Cedar Rapids (with a record of 6-1 over the past week), also finds itself with the most players on this week’s list. Hitting this week took a back seat to the pitching, so, the list is mostly comprised by our hurlers. With that, we again bring you our weekly Hot Prospect List for May 27, 2009.
Hot Prospects May 27, 2009
1. Ryan Chaffee, RHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 7 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 3.60 ERA, 10.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 19 K, 1.00 WHIP
Overall: 3-1, 0 Saves, 3.48 ERA, 31.0 IP, 20 H, 15 BB, 35 K, 1.13 WHIP, 190 BAA
What’s Up: Last week Ryan Chaffee came in as our #8 pick in part because he fanned 15 batters in 11 innings. This week, he topped those numbers and struck out 19 in 10.0 innings to earn the top honors! What makes this week’s numbers better than last week’s is that his control was much more spot-on and he only gave up 3 walks compared to 7 the week before. Although Chaffee is a year older than Reckling, Chatwood, and Smith, his ceiling may be as high as any of our other top-shelf pitchers.
2.Tyler Chatwood, RHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 7 Days: 1-0, 0 Saves, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 0.83 WHIP
Overall: 2-2, 0 Saves, 1.85 ERA, 34.0 IP, 16 H, 20 BB, 28 K, 1.06 WHIP, 150 BAA
What’s Up: With another quality start for the Kernels, Tyler Chatwood continues to show why he was our #1 draft pick last year. While the overall number of walks is too high, his rate of BB/IP is dropping. There’s no doubt why the Kernels had the best record for all of our minor league franchises last week—it’s the starting pitching. The combination of Chatwood, Chaffee, Correa, Flores, and Smith makes for a fearsome rotation, and probably the best starting rotation in any of our minor league affiliates.
3. Julio Perez, OF, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 7 Games: 11/23 (478), 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 2 HRs, 3 Runs, 7 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: 317/343/534 with 6 HRs and 3 SBs
What’s Up: Hitting in the middle of the Quakes lineup, Julio Perez has mashed 20 extra-base hits so far this season. Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2002, Julio has been slowly working his way up the Angels organization. Typically Julio has gone on torrid 2-3 week stretches like this, but this may be the beginning of his best stretch yet.
4. Trevor Bell, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 7 Days: 0-0, 0 Saves, 1.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 0.57 WHIP
Overall: 3-2, 0 Saves, 2.34 ERA, 50.0 IP, 39 H, 11 BB, 39 K, 1.00 WHIP, 209 BAA
What’s Up: Bell’s development hasn’t been a linear progression. Last year was definitely a detour for him. While the Travelers are struggling well below 500, Bell has been pitching like a 1st round draft pick even though his W/L record does not reflect it. He hasn’t been getting the press that Reckling and Walden have been getting, but maybe that’s allowing him to develop into a solid middle to top of the order pitcher for the Halos. With nearly a 4:1 K:BB ratio, he’ll keep moving up the Angels’ ladder.
5. Will Smith, LHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 7 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 1.38 ERA, 13.0 IP, 12 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 1.00 WHIP
Overall: 2-1, 0 Saves, 3.86 ERA, 28.0 IP, 33 H, 6 BB, 26 K, 1.39 WHIP, 297 BAA
What’s Up: Will Smith has finally given up as many walks this year as he did in all of last year. But, when you’re 25% of the way through the season and only are talking about 6 walks, that’s nothing to complain about! While slightly more of his pitches have fallen in for hits this year, his numbers otherwise are very solid, especially for a 19 year old lefty. While Reckling is more advanced and pitching at a higher level, Will Smith has been progressing steadily out of the radar while still exhibiting excellent control.
6. Tim Kiely, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 7 Days: 1-0, 0 Saves, 1.00 ERA, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0.55 WHIP
Overall: 4-3, 0 Saves, 3.59 ERA, 57.2 IP, 59 H, 5 BB, 35 K, 1.11 WHIP, 259 BAA
What’s Up: Drafted deep in the 2008 draft, Tim Kiely pitched a gem his last time out against the Lake Elsinore Storm last weekend allowing only 1 run in his complete game. Add to it his start from last Monday, where he pitched another 6 full innings and only allowed 1 run at Lancaster, and it’s easy to see that Tim Kiely is on a bit of a tear.
7. Tyson Auer, OF, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 7 Games: 13/30 (433), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 9 Runs, 4 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: 278/345/367 with 2 HRs and 14 SBs
What’s Up: Batting leadoff for the Kernels, Tyson Auer was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 out of the University of Central Florida. He has raw speed (he’s been caught 8 times), and needs to refine his approach to base stealing to become a more successful leadoff hitter. He also needs to work on his plate discipline (he’s posted a 43:15 K:BB ratio). But he really mashed this week and benefited from having the patient and talented Alexi Amarista hitting behind him.
8. Barret Browning, LHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 7 Days: 0-0, 0 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 0.67 WHIP
Overall: 0-1, 0 Saves, 2.49 ERA, 25.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 1.42 WHIP, 263 BAA
What’s Up: Pressed into a starting role for the back end of a double header, Browning responded admirably going 5 complete innings and only allowing 2 hits. Primarily used as a reliever, Browning is more in the mold of Darren Oliver LHP in that he’s a lefty that can go for more than just 1 batter, and often goes for more than 1 full inning. With almost a full year in Double-A Arkansas, Browning may get a bump up to Salt Lake sometime this season as we continue to search for bullpen help.
9. Peter Bourjos, OF, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 7 Games: 10/29 (345), 3 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 3 Runs, 2 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: 319/370/452 with 1 HR and 12 SBs
What’s Up: The Travelers haven’t been winning many games of late, and just can’t seem to get their pitching and hitting in sync. But, what has been getting in sync is Bourjos’ plate discipline which has risen to a 370 clip. That’s almost 50 points higher than last year. But, he hasn’t sacrificed any of the power to maintain that higher OB%. Already Bourjos has walked 13 times in 41 games compared to 19 walks in 121 games for all of last year. Bourjos has still been a bit reckless on the basepaths, having been caught 6 times in 18 attempts, but, we expect him to refine his craft with more opportunities over the season. We are, however, encouraged by all the improvement in plate discipline which will allow Bourjos more opportunities to try and swipe a bag.
10. Bryan Rembisz, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 7 Days: 0-0, 0 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.75 WHIP
Overall: 1-2, 0 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 20.2 IP, 9 H, 7 BB, 13 K, 0.77 WHIP, 129 BAA
What’s Up: Shhhh! Here’s a secret: Bryan Rembisz doesn’t have your typical pitcher’s body. At 5’8”, he’s a bit short for a pitcher. He’s so vertically challenged that Eddie Bane nicknamed him “The Hat” because all you see out there is a blur and a hat. But, that’s hasn’t stopped Rembisz from shutting down the opposition all year long allowing just 9 hits and 7 walks in 20.2 innings. At times, Bryan has suffered from some bad luck, losing both games on unearned runs. But, as we all know, W/L records aren’t what pitchers are entirely judged upon, and all the other numbers for Rembisz are superb.