Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Trevor Reckling tops the #1 spot in our mid-term top 30 prospect list

By Chuck Richter, David Saltzer & Jason Sinner

We’re past the halfway point for the minor league season, and, we’ve had the opportunity to see our minor leaguers play for another season. Additionally, we’ve had the opportunity to see many of our players from the class of 2009 play professional baseball for the first time.

So far our organizational records are: Triple-A Salt Lake Bees 53-51 (510); Double-A Arkansas Travelers 39-62 (386); Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 46-57 (447); Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels 57-43 (570); Short-Season Orem Owlz 18-15 (545); Short-Season AZL Angels 20-11 (645).

Beneath those records, though, are many notable performances, and unfortunately some struggles and injuries. It’s with that in mind that we present our Top 30 Mid-Season Prospect List. This list is a snapshot of how the players are performing over the course of this season. The rankings do include an evaluation of a player’s major league potential as well as the likelihood of achieving that potential. However, this list is not as definitive as our Top 50 Prospects List that we present annually in the offseason and rankings may still change between now and then.

With that in mind, we present our Top 30 Midseason Prospects as of July 29, 2009.

1. Trevor Reckling, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Born: 05/22/1989 - Height: 6' 1" - Weight: 195 - Throws - L
Season Stats: 2.40 ERA, 120 IP, 95 hits, 95 K's, 58 walks, .223 BAA

What's not to like about the type of season Reckling has had? Was promoted to Double-A as a 19-year old after posting a 0.95 ERA through three starts with the Quakes. Trevor has held his own since and is the youngest pitcher in Double-A and second youngest to recently promoted top prospect Mike Stanton of the Marlins.

2. Peter Bourjos, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Born: 03/31/1987 - Height: 6' 1" - Weight: 180 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .291/.364/.443, 2 2B's, 11 3B's, 4 HR's, 19 SB's

Bourjos only flaw last season was his plate discipline and he's worked hard to improve that by posting a .364 on base pct., walking 31 times already despite missing a handful of games this season due to a sore wrist. Bourjos walked just 19 times over a full season in 2008. He's a bonifide centerfielder and looks to be a fantastic leadoff hitter in the future.

3. Sean O'Sullivan, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Born: 09/01/1987 - Height: 6' 2" - Weight: 230 - Throws - R
Season Stats: 7-5, 5.58 ERA in the minors, 3.72 ERA and 3-0 in the big leagues

While Sean O'Sullivan's minor league #'s aren't so hot, he sure has looked good in the big leagues. Combine that with a throwing a gem of a game, no-hitting the Sacramento River Cats last night -- the first ever no hitter by a Salt Lake Bees pitcher, Sean has all the makings of being a solid major league pitcher for many years to come. He's younger than Trevor Bell and he beat him to the big leagues.

4. Hank Conger, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Born: 01/29/1988 - Height: 6' 1" - Weight: 220 - Bats: S
Season Stats: .296/.361/.426, 8 HR's, 47 RBI, 33 walks, 52 strikeouts

The best two things about our #1 prospect going into the season was the fact that he's seen considerable time behind the plate and the fact that his plate discipline has improved. Case and point, Conger has walked 9 times vs. 3 strikeouts in his last 10 games. Conger's home run power was sapped early on due to a lingering wrist injury, but not to worry, he's got tremendous pop from both sides of the plate and we're seeing it a lot more as the season goes on.

5. Trevor Bell, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Born: 10/12/1986 - Height: 6' 2" - Weight: 180 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 2.35 ERA, 126.1 IP, 97 hits, 85 K's, 31 walks, .210 BAA

Trevor Bell the Angels #1 pick in '05 has recorded two complete game shutouts since his promotion to Salt Lake, while recording another seven inning scoreless contest in his second start in Triple-A. Bell's low to mid 90's fastball, curveball and changeup -- and ability to command the strike zone with all three pitches, while working quickly on the mound - has given opposing hitters fits.

6. Alexander Torres, Class A Ranch Cucamonga Quakes
Born: 12/08/1987 - Height: 5' 10" - Weight: 175 - Throws: L
Season Stats: 10-3, 2.74 ERA, 121.1 IP, 124 K's, 63 walks, .217 BAA

The Angels southpaw leads the organization with the most strikeouts for a pitcher. After last night's game, Torres has fanned 124 California League hitters while posting a solid 2.74 ERA. The impressive stat here though is the amount of HR's given up. Torres has given up just 4 home runs, despite playing in a league where the ball flies out of the ball park with regularity.

7. Michael Kohn, Class A Ranch Cucamonga Quakes
Born: 06/26/1986 - Height: 6' 2" - Weight: 200 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 5-1, 7 saves, 2.10 ERA, 51.1 IP, 82 K's, 18 walks, .163 BAA

Are you kidding me? A .163 batting average against? Michael Kohn has opposing batters baffled by his sharp breaking ball and mid to high 90's heater. Look for Kohn to move quickly through the system, possibly earning a September callup.

8. Chris Pettit, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Born: 08/15/1984 - Height: 6' 0" - Weight: 195 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .347/.399/.510, 4 HR's, 22 2B's, 15 SB's, .910 OPS

Chris Pettit was on a roll before he broke his hamate bone in June, hitting close to .400. Offers solid on base skills, good stolen base potential and some pop from the top of the order going forward. Profiles as a future .300 hitter hitting somewhere at the one or two spot in the lineup.

9. Matt Sweeney, Class A Ranch Cucamonga Quakes
Born: 04/04/1988 - Height: 6' 3" - Weight: 215 - Bats: L
Season Stats: .307/.377/.513, 7 HR's, 16 2B's, 21 walks, 31 strikeouts

Sweeney has been out since early June with a hip injury and currently there is no timetable for his return. Be that as it may, Sweeney showed enough through 50 games to earn a spot in the top 10, showing power, plate discipline and improved defense at the hot corner. He's definitely a slugger to keep an eye on going forward.

10. Jean Segura, Class A Rookie Orem Owlz
Born: 03/17/1990 - Height: 5' 11" - Weight: 155 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .379/.420/.547, 3 HR's, 12 2B's, 3 3B's, 9 SB's, .966 OPS

Segura, though barely 19 years old, has been a man among the boys in the Pioneer League. Segura has shown good power, speed and the ability to make solid contact, while showing an impressive eye at the plate (11 walks vs. 10 strikeouts with the Owlz). You can never have enough future middle infielders who can put some hurtin' on a ball like Segura.

11. Will Smith, LHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Born: 07/10/1989 - Height: 6' 5" - Weight: 215 - Throws: L
Season Stats: 8-3, 0 Saves, 3.29 ERA, 90.1 IP, 84 H, 19 BB, 75 K, 1.14 WHIP, .247 BAA

Will is tied for 6th in the Midwest League for wins and 12th for ERA. Since the All-Star Game, Smith is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA and could see some time in Rancho before the end of the season.

12. Alexi Amarista, 2B, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Born: 04/06/1989 - Height: 5' 8" - Weight: 150 - Bats: L
Season Stats: .306/.380/.439 with 2 HRs and 28 SBs

Batting 2nd for the Kernels, Amarista has a nearly 1:1 K:BB ratio (41:38). He has the patience and speed to bat at the top of the order guy. Could be a future role player like Maicer Izturis but with more speed.

13. Mike Trout, CF, Class A AZL Angels
Born: 08/07/1991 - Height: 6' 1" - Weight: 200 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .293/.408/.414 with 0 HRs and 6 SBs

After signing with the Angels, Trout is showing every reason why he was a first round draft pick. He has power, patience, and speed, and everything the Angels will need from a future center fielder defensively.

14. Fabio Martinez Mesa, RHP, Class A AZL Angels
Born: 10/29/1989 - Height: 6' 3" - Weight: 190 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 2-1, 2.67 ERA, 30.1 IP, 19 H, 20 BB, 48 K, 1.14 WHIP, .174 BAA

This is a pitcher to watch. He’s leading the Arizona League in Ks and 7th in ERA and only 19 years old. This kid has some big league velocity, hitting the mid 90's already, touching 98 MPH.

15. Ryan Chaffee, RHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Born: 05/18/1988 - Height: 6' 2" - Weight: 190 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 6-4, 0 Saves, 3.17 ERA, 82.1 IP, 49 H, 46 BB, 86 K, 1.15 WHIP, .178 BAA

When Ryan cuts down on his walks, watch out. He’s a future ace in the making. He generates lots of Ks and groundballs, and part of the great rotation at Cedar Rapids.

16. Terry Evans, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Born: 01/19/1982 - Height: 6' 3" - Weight: 205 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .293/.337/.542 with 22 HRs and 22 SBs

A definite late bloomer, Evans has been providing a good portion of the offense for the Bees this season. He could make a good corner 4th OFer for the Angels or could start on several teams and provide 20/20 offense.

17. Andrew Taylor, LHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Born: 08/18/1986 - Height: 6' 2" - Weight: 190 - Throws: L
Season Stats: 3-0, 0 Saves, 2.38 ERA, 41.2 IP, 28 H, 22 BB, 67 K, 1.20 WHIP, .163 BAA

After a brief stint at Rancho, Andrew has been on fire with the Kernels. With Cedar Rapids, he’s posted a 1.25 ERA in 36.0 IP, with 59 Ks and a 0.94 WHIP. This lefty could zoom through the system as he can give the club more than 1 inning pitched and can get guys out late in the game.

18. Jordan Walden, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Born: 11/16/1987 - Height: 6' 5" - Weight: 240 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 1-5, 0 Saves, 5.25 ERA, 60.0 IP, 72 H, 29 BB, 57 K, 1.68 WHIP, .301 BAA

Injuries. Walden’s season has been marred for forearm tightness that has limited his duration and effectiveness. A move to the pen may be in order when his high heat and slider would be more effective.

19. Randal Grichuk, Class A AZL Angels
Born: 08/13/1991 - Height: 6' 1" - Weight: 195 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .312/.353/.448 with 1 HR and 4 SBs

Our 1st overall selection in the 2009 draft is off to a hot start. He projects to be a corner OF with 25+ HR power as he fills out.

20. Pil-Joon Jang, Class A AZL Angels
Born: 04/08/1988 - Height: 6' 3" - Weight: 190 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 4-2, 0 Saves, 3.59 ERA, 47.2 IP, 39 H, 6 BB, 32 K, 0.94 WHIP, .224 BAA

Our 2nd high-profile Korean signees (signed in December of 2008), Jang has been living up to the hype. He’s got excellent control and a low 90s fastball, solid breaking balls and a decent change to keep the hitters off balanced.

21. Mark Trumbo, 1b, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Born: 01/16/1986 - Height: 6' 4" - Weight: 220 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .272 avg, 22 2b, 11 hr, 61 rbi, .747 OPS

A slow first half knocks him down the list from his preseason top 10 ranking yet he seems to be finding his power stroke as of late which could boost him back into the upper echelon.

22. Tyler Chatwood, SP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Born: 12/16/1989 - Height: 5' 11" - Weight: 175 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 4.33 ERA, 79 ip, 75 h, 44 bb, 71 k, .261 BAA

Has shown tremendous stuff at times yet as with many young players, he is still finding his control. Has the ability to be a top 5 prospect in a system deep in pitching talent.

23. Terrell Alliman, RF, Class A Rookie Orem Owlz
Born: 10/15/1988 - Height: 6' 3" - Weight: 185 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .337 avg, 9 doubles, 8 rbi, 10bb/13k, 6 sb, .850 OPS

Picked up where he left off after an excellent 2008 in the AZL. On pace to more than double his bb total from a year ago while cutting his K’s nearly in half. Good extra base power so far as well.

24. Robert Mosebach, RP, Class AA/AAA (Currently in the Majors)
Born: 09/14/1984 - Height: 6' 4" - Weight: 195 - Throws: R
Season Stats: (combined AA/AAA) 4-1, 1.47 ERA, 10 sv, 49 ip, 36 h, 19 bb, 31 k, .212 BAA

In his first year as a reliever he started the season in AA yet has worked his way up to the big club. His fastball is tremendous and his strikeout numbers may improve as he becomes more comfortable coming out of the pen.

25. James Mallard, 1b/DH, Class A Rookie AZL Angels
Born: 08/23/1990 - Height: 6' 0" - Weight: 265 - Bats: R
Season Stats: .295 avg, 4 hr, 16 rbi, 6bb/15k, .840 OPS, 61 ab

An instant fan favorite he has already started to show the HR power that the Halos saw when they drafted him in the 18th round recently.

26. Tommy Mendoza, SP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Born: 08/18/1987 - Height: 6' 2" - Weight: 195 -Throws: R
Season Stats: 7-6, 3.36 ERA, 109.2 ip, 113 h, 29 bb, 71 k, .263 BAA

A nice bounce back season so far after getting the Rancho treatment last year has put him back on the radar.

27. Jeremy Moore, LF, Class A Ranch Cucamonga Quakes
Born: 06/29/1987 - Height: 6' 1" - Weight: 190 - Bats: L
Season Stats: .297 avg, 15 2b, 12 3b, 9 hrs, 51 rbi, 23 bb/113 k, .824 OPS

He’s “toolsy”. Good power/speed combo having a solid campaign yet still working on limiting those strikeouts and improving his plate discipline.

28. Jon Bachanov, P, Class A Rookie AZL Angels
Born: 01/30/1989 - Height: 6' 4" - Weight: 210 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 14.1 ip, 14 h, 3 BB, 23 K's, .246 BAA

Still building arm strength after Tommy John surgery, his most recent and longest outing included 3ip, 1h, 6k. The 2007 compensation pick could be a fast riser on the prospect list.

29. Dillon Baird, 1b, Class A Rookie Orem Owlz
Born: 01/13/1988 - Height: 6' 3" - Weight: 190 - Bats: L
Season Stats: .423 avg, 7 2b, 2 3b, 1 hr, 14 rbi, 9 bb/9 k, 1.120 ops

A recent 11th round pick off to a tremendous start for the Owlz. He led the pac-10 in hitting (.472avg), hits (51), doubles (13), and RBI (32) in his first and last year at the University of Arizona.

30. Baudilio Lopez, SP, Class A Rookie AZL Angels
Born: 11/20/1990 - Height: 6' 1" - Weight: 190 - Throws: R
Season Stats: 2-1, 2.48 ERA, 29 ip, 32 h, 8 bb, 25 k, .281 BAA

Terrific for the Halos DSL team last year and off to a strong start in Arizona this year. Had a 10k, 2h performance over 6.2ip on July 21st.e

Just outside the top 30: Manual Flores, Brad Coon, Michael Anton, Jayson Miller, Ryan Mount, Bobby Wilson, Gabe Jacobo, Carlos Martinez, Angel Castillo, Luis Jimenez, Steven Geltz, Jake Rife, Andrew Romine, Roberto Lopez, Vladimir Veras.
Love to hear what you think!


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