Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chris Pettit gets back on top in this weeks' Prospect Hotlist

By Jason Sinner - Columnist

1. Chris Pettit, OF, Salt Lake City Bees
Past 7 days: 12/30 (.400avg), 4 dbls, trpl, 2hr, 7rbi
Overall: .370avg, 21 dbls, 2trpls, 4hrs, 34rbi, 14sb

What’s up: After cooling off a bit, Chris is heating up again with his most recent performance including a hr and two doubles. He can steal a bag, hit for average and power, take a walk, and play some solid outfield. His poor performance last year is all but a distant memory and we can already see Halo fans starting to get their hopes up for this kid as a potential starter next year. It’s a distinct possibility that he finds a spot with all the potential free agents the Angels with have at the end of the season.

2. Matt Sweeney, 3b, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Last 7 games: 9/26 (.346avg), 2dbl, 2hr, 6rbi, 3bb, 3k
Overall: .304avg, 16dbl, 1tpl, 7hr, 35rbi, 20bb, 29k, .890ops

What’s up: Matt continues to put his injury wasted year behind him. The sweet swinging left handed hitter has been impressive all year hitting for both average and power as well as showing excellent plate discipline. At barely 21yo, he is still right on track in terms of his prospect status. He has also cut down on his errors this year making only 6 and sporting a .908 fielding %. Not exactly Mike Schmidt esque, but good enough as far as I’m concerned

3. Tyson Auer, CF, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Last 10 games: 22/45 (.489avg), 7rbi, 5bb, 8k, 7sb
Overall: .312avg, 10dbls, 1trpl, 2hr, 17rbi, 19sb/8cs, .787ops, 19bb, 48k

What’s up: Tyson continues his hot streak (I know there is a Tyson chicken joke in there somewhere). A real nice streak for the Longwood, FL product out of the University of Central Florida. Like any college player making his way thru the system, he’s a bit old for his level. His strikeout rate is a bit heavy for a leadoff guy, but he’s shown good plate discipline and the ability to steal a bag.

4. Will Smith, SP, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Last Start: 7ip, 5h, 2er, 0bb, 9k
Overall: 2-1, 3.60era, 35ip, 35k, 6bb

What’s up: Unlike his teammates, Will has shown exceptional control that is somewhat of an oddity for a 19yo. It’s also very impressive that he is maintaining a strikeout per inning pace. My guess is that he will only continue to improve as defenses around him get better at each level. At the very least, he could end up a guy that gets deep into games and gives the pen a rest. I wonder if we can promote him now. 

5. Ryan Chaffee, SP, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Last Start: 6.1ip, 5h, 1er, 3bb, 7k Overall: 4-1, 3.13era, 37.1ip, 25h, 18bb, 42k

What’s up: Another week, and another strong outing for Ryan. Not to be outdone by his teammate Tyler Chatwood, his ability to strike people out and limit baserunners while improving his control is making him a regular on the Hotlist. As he came out of Junior College, we might see him move through the system a little more quickly if he can continue to throw strikes.

6. Terry Evans, OF, Salt Lake City Bees
Past 10 games: 13/38 (.342avg), 7r, 4dbls, trpl, 2hr, 8rbi, 4bb/9k, 3sb
Overall: .290avg, 14dbl, 1tpl, 11hr, 32rbi, 12sb, .885ops

What’s up: Terry struggled early in the season but has turned things around as of late. Although he strikes out a fair amount, he hits for very good power and can steal a bag. His season was shortened by injury last year and his slow start made me wonder if this 27yo late bloomer hit a wall. This recent tear has me believing that his is still fairly toolsy and may find his way into a major league lineup before long.

7. Trevor Reckling, SP, Arkansas Travelers
Most Recent Start: 7ip, 8h, 1er, 5k, 1bb
Overall: 4-3, 1.65era, 60ip, 47k, 17bb, 40h

What’s up: Trevor got tossed from the game a couple of starts ago and followed that up with a pretty mediocre outing in which he gave up 3er in 5ip. I wondered if we might be seeing the first chink in the armor for his 2009 season but alas he came back strong maintaining the best ERA in the Texas league. Almost half a run better than the next closest player (his teammate Trevor Bell). He’s no longer a teeny bopper (turned 20 on 5/22), so he better start getting his game together (sarcasm).

8. Tyler Chatwood, SP, Cedar Rapids, Kernels
Last Start: 5.2ip, 2h, 0er, 6bb, 7k
Overall: 3-2, 1.94era, 41.2ip, 22h, 26bb, 39k

What’s up: Everytime I look at the box score after Tyler pitches and I see his line showing a bunch of walks and k’s with very few hits I imagine him throwing whiffle balls. This kid must have some serious movement on his pitches because it appears that neither he nor the batter knows where it’s going. At 19 years old he’s got some serious promise if he can harness his ability. Maybe still even if he doesn’t. He’s had four starts where he’s gone at least five IP and given up 2 hits or fewer. That’s some pretty sweet action.

9. Efren Navarro, 1b, Ranch Cucamonga Quakes
Past 7 games: 11/24 (.458avg), 4dbls, trpl, hr, 7rbi
Overall: .310avg, 13dbls, 4hr, 29rbi, 17bb, 23k, .837ops

What’s up: Efren struggled his first year in pro ball after coming out of UNLV. In his second year as a pro he got the call from Cedar to Rancho and it appears something just clicked because he has done well since. Not the prototypical power hitting 1bman, he may be have a tough time breaking thru, but if he can continue to be consistent and show plate discipline as he has, there could be a place for him with someone someday.

10. Tommy Mendoza, SP, Arkansas Travelers
Last 2 starts: 15ip, 2er, 8h, 7k, 2bb
Overall: 2-2, 3.14era, 43ip, 45h, 11bb, 25k

What’s up: It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Tommy. After a pretty rough 2008 at Rancho, he’s done well to right the ship in 2009 putting up solid numbers for the Travs. At the time he was drafted, he was highly regarded but struggled after a strong season in rookie ball in 2005 at the age of 17. Still just 21, Tommy may be starting to figure things out and realize some of his potential that we saw as a teenager.

Bonus Player: Jeremy Hill, RP, Salt Lake City Bees
Overall: 20.1ip, 19h, 2.21era, 7bb, 18k

What’s up: Could we have another Brendan Donnelly type player on our hands? Jeremy was drafted in 1996 by the Royals and has toiled thru the minor putting up relatively decent numbers. He got cups of coffee with KC in 2002, and 2003, but never caught on. He ended up in an independent league in 2006 and playing in Mexico in 2008. This year he’s been rock solid with the Bees notching 11 saves and throwing up some pretty decent peripherals. At 31 years old, he might get his chance with the Halos pen being what it is.
Love to hear what you think!


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