Friday, May 28, 2010

Hot Prospects May 28 2010

It is with great pleasure that presents another Hot Prospect List for the Angels. In our weekly column, we take a look at who has been hot down on the farm. Unlike our annual Top-50 Prospects, our Hot Prospects List is not ranked based on the ceiling of the prospect or the likelihood of him achieving that ceiling. Instead, it is weekly snapshot that reflects the players’ accomplishments based on their performances against their competition. This year, will be presenting the Hot Prospect List every Friday throughout the Minor League season.

1. Jean Segura, 2B, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 16/39 (.410), 1 Double, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 7 Runs, 9 RBIs, 6 SBs
Overall: .290/.354/.398 with 2 HRs and 16 SBs

What’s Up: After getting off to a slow start, Segura is showing off why he may be one of the best 5-tool players in the organization. Named as the MWL Player of the Week for the week of May 17-23, Segura is showing power, patience and speed at the plate. So far this season he’s posted an 18:25 BB:K ratio. Like Trout, Segura can bat in the top portion of the lineup or the middle of the order. He is capable of being both a table setter and a run producer. At just 20 years old, Segura could still fill out and add more power as he matures. He’s one of the more dynamic players in our system, and one who we look forward to seeing at the top of many more Hot Prospect Lists this season.

2. Hank Conger, C, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 14/37 (.378), 6 Doubles, 0 Triples, 1 HR, 11 Runs, 6 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .284/.368/.455 with 4 HRs and 0 SBs

What’s Up: When you add in 6 BBs to Conger’s .378 BA for his past 10 games, you come up with an incredible .465 OB%! Throw in a .622 SLG for the same time period, and you get a 1.087 OPS from your starting catcher who happens to be the youngest position player in the Pacific Coast League. When looking at what to do with Napoli at the Major League level, part of the thought process includes looking at Conger’s development. If he shows that he’s legitimate defensively behind the dish (which he has shown to be so far), then his bat will get him the playing time, and Napoli becomes either the primary DH for the Angels or could get traded to a team in need of a catcher. With a bit more seasoning, Conger could be primed to become a premium prospect sometime in 2011.

3. Paul McAnulty, RF, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 14/29 (.483), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 7 HRs, 10 Runs, 11 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .345/.438/.676 with 14 HRs and 1 SB

What’s Up: In the last ten days, McAnulty has doubled his HR total on the season from 7 to a league-leading 14! His line for his past ten games: .483/.595/1.276 for an OPS of 1.870! The lack of offense in Arkansas really shows with McAnulty’s stats. Even with 7 HRs and 2 doubles, he only scored 10 runs and drove in 11 players. That means he’s providing most of Arkansas’ offense, with little support from his team. Originally hired to help mentor and demonstrate success for the Double-A team, McAnulty is putting on quite a display for his teammates.

4. Jordan Walden, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Days: 0-0, 2 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 0.69 WHIP
Overall: 0-0, 3 Saves, 5.21 ERA, 19.0 IP, 21 H, 7 BB, 19 K, 0.69 WHIP,.152 BAA

What’s Up: When we asked Eddie Bane in our most recent chat about Jordan Walden, here’s what he said: “Jordan's ERA is higher than I would like it, but when you come out of the pen one bad outing kills your ERA. Jordan is doing fine and will be a heck of a pitcher in the big leagues. It is funny to listen to the daily minor league reports and hear Bobby Mags at 2A describe Walden, ‘Jordan Walden, fastball 95-100 with solid life.’ That is cool. You don't get to hear 100mph very often.” With Aldridge and Kohn up at Triple-A, look for Walden to be the primary closer and earning more saves all while flashing that plus heat.

5. Roberto Lopez, 1B, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 7 Games: 13/36 (.361), 4 Doubles, 0 Triples, 2 HRs, 9 Runs, 11 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .347/.408/.639 with 5 HRs and 5 SBs

What’s Up: Lopez lost a year of development to injuries, but apparently that hasn’t slowed him down. He’s really turning on the offense, sporting a 1.061 OPS for his last 10 games. Defensively, he’s splitting time between 1B and C. With his offense, he’d be more valuable as a catcher. Seeing how at age 24 Lopez is a year older than his peers at Rancho, we can see the Angels challenging him soon by moving him to Double-A Arkansas, which would add a welcome addition to their offensive needs and would still allow him to split time between C and 1B.

6. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 1.80 ERA, 10.0 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 12 K, 0.90 WHIP
Overall: 3-2, 0 Saves, 2.37 ERA, 38.0 IP, 30 H, 9 BB, 41 K, 1.03 WHIP, .221 BAA

What’s Up: When we say that the Kernels are loaded with prospects, we mean it. Skaggs is yet another pitcher in their rotation who is posting impressive numbers. As a young lefty (he will turn 19 in July), the Angels are being cautious with his arm, limiting his pitch counts in his starts. But, even in limited starts, Skaggs ranks 9th in the Midwest League in for WHIP and 16th in ERA. With more than a K per IP, Skaggs projects to a top of the order lefty with a great breaking pitch.

7. Patrick Corbin, LHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 3.75 ERA, 12.0 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 1.17 WHIP
Overall: 8-0, 0 Saves, 3.86 ERA, 58.1 IP, 52 H, 10 BB, 42 K, 1.06 WHIP, .245 BAA

What’s Up: Corbin has gotten off to an incredible start to the season. He’s won all of his starts except for one where he got a no-decision. He battles well, has excellent control, and is getting the ball down on the ground—all of which bode well for his future development. He could still add velocity as he matures and could develop like Saunders. Tonight he makes his first start after his promotion for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

8. Garrett Richards, RHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 0.58 WHIP
Overall: 4-2, 0 Saves, 3.19 ERA, 62.0 IP, 52 H, 20 BB, 53 K, 1.16 WHIP, .231 BAA

What’s Up: The Kernels’ rotation is stacked with talent. They are going to make our mid-season rankings prospect rankings a challenge as we try to parse the differences between their abilities in order to differentiate them. Richards is showing that with the right coaching, a talented player can blossom. Not only is Richards striking out plenty of batters, he’s inducing a bunch of ground balls, posting a 2.47 GO:AO rate. He is an intriguing pitcher who can be another front of the rotation starter with command of four pitches.

9. Orangel Arenas, RHP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Days: 1-1 0 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 7 K, 0.92 WHIP
Overall: 4-5, 0 Saves, 2.01 ERA, 53.2 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 36 K, 1.04 WHIP, .212 BAA

What’s Up: On Tuesday, Orangel took a tough-luck loss in a game where he only allowed 1 run, his last start for the Cedar Rapids Kernels before being promoted to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Wednesday. That was his first loss for the month of May, and only the third run he’s allowed for the month (covering 31.0 IP). When we asked Eddie Bane about Orangel Arenas, he said the following: “Arenas has a big arm and he could get lost in the shuffle with all the hype around the other guys, but he is not lost around our people. Has a plus fastball, very competitive now and is throwing better strikes.” We agree. Arenas has been lost in all the discussion of the other pitchers at Cedar Rapids, but, he is developing very nicely. He is an extreme ground-ball pitcher (2.40 GO:AO this year) who could become another Pineiro in our system.

10. Mike Trout, OF, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 12/38 (.316), 2 Doubles, 2 Triples, 1 HR, 9 Runs, 11 RBIs, 3 SBs
Overall: .352/.438/.542 with 5 HRs and 23 SBs

What’s Up: When a week in which you post a .999 OPS barely gets you onto our Hot Prospect List (including a .447 OB%), you know that you are having a fantastic season. Trout is posting incredible numbers, and, is starting to show the power and run production that Eddie Bane and Co. talked about when they drafted him last year. Trout has the potential to bat in several spots in the lineup, anywhere from top of the order to middle of the order. He truly is a special player to watch as he develops.

Bonus Two

11. Mark Trumbo, 1B, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 12/43 (.279), 2 Doubles, 2 Triples, 2 HRs, 8 Runs, 14 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .273/.312/.528 with 11 HRs and 2 SBs

What’s Up: This past week, Trumbo showed us why Eddie Bane raves about his power. Over his past ten games, Trumbo has posted a .698 SLG, and a .993 OPS. Where Trumbo plays is still a question. According to our most recent chat with Eddie Bane, Trumbo is “mixing in a bit out there [in the outfield] and with Owens and Mitchell helping him with Roenicke at the big league level . . . “With the way that Rivera and Abreu are playing the corners, it seems likely that Trumbo could provide similar defense to them (albeit with a plus arm) and could post monster power numbers. If Trumbo’s past is an indication of his future, he will continue to figure out the pitching at Triple-A, and is a threat to post 30+ HRs if given the ABs this year.

12. Tyson Auer, CF, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 7 Games: 13/36 (.361), 1 Double, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 13 Runs, 2 RBIs, 9 SBs
Overall: .290/.349/.391 with 1 HR and 26 SB

What’s Up: If speed is your game, then you want to watch Auer. Lost with all the hype about Trout, Auer is leading our organization in SBs this season with 26 which also tops the California League. And, he’s been doing it well: he’s only been caught 5 times on the season. At age 24, he is a bit behind the age curve. But, his birthday is in October, so, he’s not too far behind the age curve. If the Angels decide to promote Trout, we can see a corresponding move for Auer up to Double-A Arkansas. As Auer continues to develop, he could become a 4th OFer and pinch runner with all the speed he possesses.

Notables: Ryan Chaffee finally put a solid start together by throwing seven scoreless innings, striking out five, though walking four. Tonight Pat Corbin makes his first start since his promotion from Cedar Rapids for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. He'll try to improve upon his 8-0 record to start his 2010 first full season in professional ball. Last night, Fabio Martinez Mesa went seven innings allowing no runs while striking out seven. Mike Trout was given the day off on Thursday, just his second day off of the season.

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