Friday, April 16, 2010

Hot Prospects April 16, 2010

It is with great pleasure that brings back its weekly Hot Prospect lists.  In our weekly column, we will be providing a look at who’s been hot down on the farm.  Unlike our annual Top-50 Prospects, our Hot Prospects column is not ranked based on the ceiling of the prospect, and instead is just a snapshot of the week that just past on the farm.  This year, will be presenting the Hot Prospect reports every Friday throughout the season. 

1.  Jean Segura, 2B, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 7 Games: 9/28 (.321), 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 5 Runs, 3 RBIs, 4 SBs
Overall: .321/.441/.464 with 0 HRs and 4 SBs

What’s Up: Segura really can do it all.  He can hit for average.  He can hit for power.  He can run with authority.  He can field his position.  As one of our members who saw him play regularly last year said “He’s a man amongst boys.”  The biggest challenge for Segura will be his health.  Injuries have sapped his playing time in the past two years, but appear to not have affected his development.  Segura may stick at 2B or may move to the OF, whichever would hasten his arrival in Anaheim.  But, wherever he plays, he will be a force in the lineup. 

2.  Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Class AAA Salt Lake
Past 7 Games: 9/29 (.310), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 2 HRs, 5 Runs, 6 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .333/.386/.920 with 2 HRs and 0 SBs

What’s Up: The best thing that may have happened to Trumbo is that Quinlan got demoted to Salt Lake.  That allowed him to move defensively from 1B to RF, where, if he shows adequate defense, he has a better shot of making the Major League club.  As Eddie Bane has told us, if Trumbo’s bat is performing, they will find a spot on the field for him.  So far, it’s good to see Trumbo off to a hot start.  In the past, he’s struggled when promoted to a new level, but over the course of the season, he’s made the adjustments.  Strikeouts for Trumbo are still a bit of a concern (6:1 K:BB), but, he’s making plenty of hard contact, including an opposite field HR on Wednesday.

3.  Fabio Martinez Mesa, RHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Days: 1-0, 0 Saves, 0.90 ERA, 10.0 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 15 K, 1.40 WHIP
Overall: 1-0, 0 Saves, 0.90 ERA, 10.0 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 15 K, 1.40 WHIP, .231 BAA

What’s Up: The race is on to determine which pitcher in Cedar Rapids will be the ace of the staff.  Martinez Mesa took a big step towards earning that title with a very impressive first game.  In that game, he struck out 10 in just 5.0 IP.  Martinez Mesa’s second start was only “good” by comparison.  Like all young pitchers, Martinez Mesa needs to work on his pitching efficiency to put batters away rather than walking or falling into deep counts.   

4.  Peter Bourjos, OF, Class AAA Salt Lake
Past 7 Games: 10/29 (.345), 1 Doubles, 2 Triples, 0 HR, 5 Runs, 3 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .345/.333/.517 with 0 HRs and 0 SBs

What’s Up: Leading off for the Bees, Bourjos has been off to a hot start.  He’s showing more power at the plate, but, is still not showing enough patience at the plate to be an effective leadoff hitter.  As he draws more walks, look for the SBs to come.  He stole plenty during Spring Training, and is a dynamo on the base paths. 

5.  Gabriel Jacobo, 1B, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 7 Games: 10/30 (.333), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 2 HRs, 4 Runs, 8 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .333/.375/.600 with 2 HRs and 1 SB

What’s Up:  It’s good to see that Jacobo is taking off right where he left off in Instructional League and in the second half last year.  He’s been doing exactly what he needed to do—driving in runs in the heart of the Quakes lineup.  What will be most important is to see how he fares the second time through the league to see how the league adjusts to him and how he adjusts to the league over the coming season. 

6.  Will Smith, LHP, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 7 Days: 1-1, 0 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 0.69 WHIP
Overall: 1-1, 0 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 0.69 WHIP,.152 BAA

What’s Up:  Control is Smith’s game, and in control is how Smith is playing.  Smith pitched a quality start in his first game of the season (6 IP with 3 ERs allowed), and took a hard-luck loss.  In his second game, Smith pitched much better, striking out 5 and only allowing 2 unearned runs.  Smith has a challenge pitching in the Cal League, but, we believe that he is more than capable of rising to it.

7.  Garrett Richards, RHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 7 Days: 0-0, 0 Saves, 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 12 K, 1.00 WHIP
Overall: 0-0, 0 Saves, 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 12 K, 1.00 WHIP, .206 BAA

What’s Up: Coming off a very impressive professional debut last year, Richards is picking it up right where he left off in Spring Training.  Blessed with four plus pitches, Richards could end up being the best player drafted in 2009.  He has the stuff to be a true ace of a Major League staff, and will be one if he continues to throw strikes—something that was a challenge for him as an amateur.  One of the goals for this year for Richards will be to build up his durability as a pitcher.  Last year, after being promoted to Cedar Rapids to help with their playoff run, he experienced tightness in his shoulder while throwing a bullpen session.  So far, though, he’s off to a great start. 

8.  Alexia Amarista, 2B, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 7 Games: 12/33 (.364), 3 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 3 Runs, 2 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .364/.382/.455 with 0 HRs and 2 SBs

What’s Up: Amarista is no stranger to our Hot Prospect sheets from last year, so, it’s only fitting that he’s in the inaugural one for 2010.  Amarista is off to a hot start but needs to work on two key areas:  drawing more walks and being more selective on the base paths.  Amarista has only drawn 1 walk versus 7 Ks.  And, he’s been caught stealing so far 4 times.  On a positive note, though, he has yet to give up an error.   

9.  Mike Trout, OF, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 7 Games: 10/32 (.313), 0 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 3 Runs, 2 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .313/.405/.313 with 0 HRs and 2 SBs

What’s Up:  Sitting on top of the Kernels lineup is Mike Trout.  At just 18 years old, he’s more than holding his own against older competition.  He’s showing patience at the plate, drawing 5 walks while only striking out 6 times.  Trout has the speed to be a plus base stealer and his power should develop as he physically matures, which could allow him to hit deeper in the lineup.  It’s good to see, though, that Trout is continuing where he left off in Spring Training, where he got an extensive look by Scioscia. 

10.  Andrew Romine, SS, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 7 Games: 8/25 (.320), 1 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 4 Runs, 2 RBIs, 2 SB
Overall: .320/.452/.360 with 0 HRs and 2 SBs

What’s Up:  Leading off for the Travelers, Romine has been getting the job done on both offense and defense.  Blessed with soft hands, Romine could be a Gold Glove winner in the Major Leagues, if his bat will take him there.  So far, Romine has yet to commit on error on the season and has been getting on base at a prolific rate.  With more offense hitting behind him, his number of runs scored would be higher.

Just missed the list:
Several Angels prospect relievers who have yet to give up a run. Michael Kohn, Ryan Aldridge, Jordan Walden, Jon Bachanov, Rafael Rodriguez (3 saves) and newly converted reliever, Ryan Braiser who worked six scoreless innings in his first start of his professional career.
Love to hear what you think!


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