Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mike Trout (above) was polled as the Angels Minor League Player of the Year

Here's the chat transcript from today's time with Angels Director of Scouting, Eddie Bane.

Chuck Richter: The Live Chat with Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane will begin at 12:00 PM PST (noon). If you cannot make it for the entire portion of the live chat, enter your questions now so they can begin to queue up for Eddie to answer after we begin.

Your selection for the Angels Minor League Player of the Year is...?

Mark Trumbo
 ( 27% )
Tyler Chatwood
 ( 0% )
Mike Trout
 ( 55% )
Peter Bourjos
 ( 9% )
Michael Kohn
 ( 0% )
Alexi Amarista
 ( 9% )
The biggest surprise of the 2010 minor league season?

Jeremy Moore
 ( 66% )
Steve Geltz
 ( 0% )
Orangel Arenas
 ( 17% )
Jeremy Berg
 ( 17% )
What grade would you give the Angels 2010 Amateur Draft?

 ( 50% )
 ( 25% )
 ( 25% )
 ( 0% )
 ( 0% )
Eddie Bane: Hey guys. Eddie Bane here and I am ready to rumble. Probably should not put it that way. I just graded our draft an A also
Shane: Does Martinez-Mesa end up a reliever? If not, how long does he have to fix his command as a starter before you say enough is enough, lets put him in the bullpen?

Eddie Bane: Fabio is in CR and really just resting an arm that reached an innings limit. I would keep him as a starter, but in the back of the mind you always have the pen.

Shane: Are Trout's numbers coming back down to Earth, or is he just fatigued from going from 44 games played last year to over 120+ games played this year?

Eddie Bane: Sure Mike Trout is playing more then he ever has, but he is not tired at all. Watch him play in person and he is still the WOW player that most think he is. When I watched him in the Futures game run sub4 to 1st base 3 times then I was all in.
Shane: Does Grichuk and Trout both start 2011 in Rancho?
Eddie Bane: Hopefull Randal Grichuk and Mike Trout are looked at as separate entities. I know they like it that way. Grichuk, who I saw last week is really clubbing the baseball and getting a lot of extra base hits.

Jason: Eddie, given your penchant for drafting high schoolers should we read into that the either you, and/or the Angels, think less than highly of the state of NCAA D-1

Eddie Bane: No no. I think the instruction level in college is very good. Nobody is better then say George Horton. Nobody. But, we have an Angels way to play the game and we want to indoctrinate the players that way. Look at Mark Trumbo. I have been harping on him since 2004 and it seems like he is older, but a close look and he is close to the same age as a senior sign in the draft.

Shane: What signs do scouts and upper management look for in a minor league prospect to know that he can handle MLB pitching if moved up?
Eddie Bane: Shane. Toughest level move is from 3A to the big leagues. Fielders are much better. Pitching and umpiring is better and they add that extra deck to the ballpark. Sometime that extra deck(pressure) is what eats the player up.
Jason: How concerned are you at Trout's SB success ratio decline at Rancho? Is the game that much faster at High A than Low A? Or perhaps fatigue?
Eddie Bane: I have zero, none, nada, nil concerns about Mike Trout in any way shape or form. I can worry about a lot of things but Mike is not one of them. I get scared some times with the player comparisons I hear because of the lofty goals set for Mike. A guy told me the other day that Mike was Bo Jackson
Chuck Richter: Whoa @ the Bo Jackson comparison.

Guest: talk to us about Daniel Tillman? do you project him as a future closer or set up man? how fast will he be moving up the system if he continues putting up the numbers he has so far?

Eddie Bane: Daniel Tillman question. He has been outstanding for Kotchman. Closer would and should be his goal, but if we could get him to setup say Jordan Walden in the future that would be great

Ryan: When is the earliest we could see Trout in the Majors?
Eddie Bane: MIke Trout in a major league Angels uniform is tough to predict.

James: Rosario has looked good at Rancho so far. Whats the projection on him? He has a nice bat and quality throwing arm.

Eddie Bane: Rosario has played really well this year. DeLosSantos, Ramirez and Rosario have all caught and thrown well. Conger has caught and hit well. All 4 have good arms
James: A guy I have enjoyed watching play earlier this year in Rancho was Tyson Auer. He just seems like a smart ballplayer in all facets to me. What does you foresee his future being with the organization? Do you see him as a possible 4th or 5th OF one day?
Eddie Bane: Great question on Auer and an even better evaluation. That is exactly what Auer is projected to be. Smart players like Tyson can get to the big leagues and hang on for a long time by knowing how to play the game. Look at Reggie Willits and our great outfield instructor, Eric Owens. Owens was known in the big leagues as the most aggressive, love to play the game guy around and it helped him to a long ML career. Could be the same for Auer
Keith: How does Grichuk's power rate on the 20-80 scouting scale? Are you concerned about his lack of plate discipline?
Eddie Bane: Keith; Grichuk has 70 power and it is not just raw but useable. He does swing at a lot of pitches, but most young power guys do. My player comp is Dante Bichette with Randal.

Eddie Bane: I see Trumbo has no votes for Minor League player of the year. 33 homeruns and over 100 RBI in 5 months is a big year folks.
Chuck Richter: Speaking of Mark Trumbo, Eddie. Who is a good comparison to Trumbo already in the big leagues?
Chuck Richter: Dante Bichette without the Coors Field factor? :-)

Eddie Bane:
Good point Chuck. Dante was a very good hitter and got helped by Denver. I never bought the Denver deal until I pitched there in the minor leagues. It is true believe me.

Eddie Bane:
Mark Trumbo reminds a lot of Dave Kingman. People think of strikeouts when they think of Kingman, but they forget he hit a ton of homeruns. Mark wont strike out that much, but you simply cannot hit the ball further than Trum does in raw numbers.
Rob MacDonald: 43 of 55 with two undrafted free agents is a good haul from the draft. Are there any of the unsigned that you wish had signed? How do you get enough playing time for all the signees?

Eddie Bane: Rob; Great question. We want to sign all the guys we feel have any chance to play in the big leagues. We missed on Chuey Valdez and our Oregon State lefty in the 7th round, but by and large got everybody else.

Eddie Bane: Rob. Playing time is tough on TBone and Abe. But, if you noticed in Arizona the guys we drafted really high got to play a lot and got a lot of ab's
Tim: Is Jacoby Ellsbury an accurate comparison for Peter Bourjos?

Eddie Bane: Tim. Peter is faster then Ellsbury. Ellsbury is more advanced right now, but not many can run with Pete or play center with the reckless abandon that Pete does.   
Guest: Jean Segura or Alexi Amarista. Who are you guys higher on?

Eddie Bane: You must be in the office right now. I have been walking around asking the people here who they like better Amarista or Segura. Sorry, I wont tell you my opinion, but I will say that the field here is split. BTW Segura might even be looked at as a shortstop in the future as he has that kind of range and arm.
James: Angel Castillo has been impressive at times with his defense but his average and esp K ratio is alarming right now. The guy can mash the ball when he connects with it though. Is their a worry with his plate discipline or do you think that is something that is more of a product of inexperience an will improve dramatically? Is he bound to return to high A next season or will he continue to AA?

Eddie Bane: James, Angel and a lot of players find out more and more about plate discipline between 2A and Rancho. that is one of the things that splits the guys that make it from the guys that get left behind. It is a tough business.
Mike: Is Hank Conger ready defensively ready to play for Mike Sciosca?

Eddie Bane: Mike. Mike Scioscia should be a dream guy for a catcher to play for. Hank is working hard to be good enough to catch for Mike and that is a good thing.

Bill: What player drafted outside of round 10 this year do you think has the potential to breakout and become one of our better prospects?

Eddie Bane: Bill. You are thinking of this years Kohn or Borjous huh. I will say that Bryant George threw very well for Kotch in Orem and that Kevin Mosquit is a guy we want to see when 2011 rolls around. Guys like Borjous and Kohn are all due to the work of the area scouts. In those cases it was John Gracio and Chris McAlpin with Kohn and Bourjos. Kohn with a little help from Chrystal Kotchman while she was playing softball at Southern.

Mike: Is there any chance that Kaleb Cowart gets moved to SP eventually?

Eddie Bane: No chance on Kaleb Cowart. He is a 3rd baseman. Think of Caminitti from his Astro days
Mike: Thanks Eddie, so if you guys are looking at Segura as a possible SS when will he start playing there? Have you guys decided who you will be sending to the AFL this fall yet?

Eddie Bane: I think the next time Segura sees the field whether it be Instructs or at home in Latin America that we will take a look at short
Ryan: Does Tyler Chatwood project as a front of the rotation arm? Can you let us know a little bit about his repertoire and if command will be an issue down the line?    

Eddie Bane: Yes Chatwood is a front of the rotation guy. Chat's command is improving and will improve even more. Great competitor and human being. Fastball up to 98, but mostly works in the 93-95 range and an above average curveball that he also throws very hard. His player comp is Lincecum but that is a scout dreaming through the roof. He would be classified as a short righthander.
Jason: A year ago T. Reckling was the toast of the town. After his setback at AAA will a different tact on his development be pursued? Is he striking out enough batters?

Eddie Bane: Reck is still really really high on my charts and it shows his character that he bounced back from some tough times in SLC. He tried hard to get the ball over the plate more often and in my opinion he did that and sacrificed his stuff a little for better command. He cant do that. He will be a strikeout pitcher in the big leagues.

Eddie Bane: Speaking of toast of the towns, I think we all need to look at the rankings and the Baseball America stuff with a grain of salt. Peter Bourjos was not ranked in BA's top 100. Jordan Walden was not ranked in BA's top 100. You have seen Pete now and Walden is throwing 101 mph. Do you think they missed on them a bit?
Rob MacDonald: There were some really nice articles about the character of some of the late round draftees like George Barber? Talent is important but how much does a player's character come into play when being selected by the Angels?   
Eddie Bane: George Barber is an off the chart character young man that sacrificed his own time to work with the RBI inner city program. Did that on his own. Plus George has baseball ability and can fly. I am proud to sign a guy like that any time.

Nick: Taylor Lindsey was considered an overdraft by most publications at the time of the draft but he has put together a very good rookie season. What are his best tools and what did he do to impress the scouting staff to take him at #37?    

Eddie Bane: Yeah I saw where some of the pubs and socalled experts did not have Taylor Lindsey ranked very high. One guy I respect, Keith Law, took the time to personally see Lindsey play and he ranked him high. Lindsey was the best pure hitter we had in Arizona. He is not bothered by velocity and always has his hands in the right place to hit. Premium kid and premium bat. Again, guys like Lindsey are the least of my worries.
Chuck Richter: Question for you, Eddie (two actually). What's the scouting report on Steve Geltz and Jeremy Berg. These two young relievers have had an excellent season in 2010.
Eddie Bane: Geltz and Berg are guys that once again are just tributes to the hard work that the scouts do digging around and finding the under the radar guys. some of the times guys like this turn into Kohn and you have a big leaguer. I cant pay the area scouts what they are worth to the organization, but they do deserve all the credit when one of these type players go out and shine. I hope none of those guys use this line to try and get a raise out of me. they know it wont work anyhow.
Eric: What are your thoughts on Luis Jimenez? He is putting together an impressive season and I was wondering how he projects down the line.

Eddie Bane: Eric. Really cool to see Luis Jimenez get named to the futures team. Great personality. Known as the "Mayor" in Rancho. He has power and he can hit. Makes big time plays on defense, but lets his focus wonder at times. Luis can certainly be a big league 3rd baseman.   
Rob MacDonald: It was good to see Donn Roach and the Angels mend fences in time for this year's draft.

Eddie Bane: Rob; I had heard about that with Donnie and I know their side felt that a lot more then the Angels did. The business side of scouting can get a bit tough at times. We try not to carry it through though. Donn is throwing well in Orem and I am sure he is tired of answering q's about Bryce Harper and would just as soon answer q's about himself.
Carl: What's your thoughts on Dan Tillman's classmate from FL. Southern, Max Russell?
Eddie Bane: I have seen Max Russell in both Cedar and Orem and he is doing very well in Cedar's rotation. A lefty with average ML stuff is a great place to start when looking for a prospect.
Mike: the PTBNL from the Twins. How good of a prospect is this guy?

Eddie Bane: I'm sure the player to be named later is a player with nice upside as they say in the business. That is all I know right now about whoever the guy is.

Guest: Do you see us signing any international players this year?
Eddie Bane: Guys I have time for just a few more questions, but first I wanted to thank everyone for their great interests in the Angels, our minor league players and the drafted players.

Eddie Bane: Marc Russo, our international guy has been really busting it this year. But, as a 1st year intl guy he had to spend most of the year establishing relationships. Now that we have Lebi and other scouts signed up and ready to ge now is the time to start working on the players. The Angels will be strong internationally with Russo heading up the dept.

Chuck Richter: Eddie, we haven't talked much about Jeremy Moore. So one final question. What’s the best case projection for Jeremy Moore? Who does he profile as? He's had a fantastic season in AA this year.

Eddie Bane: You always dream the highest dream you can on every player. JMo has the potential to be a 30/30 guy so that is your dream and the best case scenario. You have to be realistic, but wo dreams scouting could get really boring. JMo is one of those athletes that is just scratching the surface of his ability. He will get even better.
Chuck Richter: Eddie, if you can, let's do a quick lightning round then of best tools.
Chuck Richter: BEST POWER

Eddie Bane: Best power is Mark Trumbo with Grichuk behind

Chuck Richter: BEST SPEED

Eddie Bane: Best speed. People would pay a lot to see Trout and Bourjos in the 60. Maybe we could make some money for charity if those 2 raced.


Eddie Bane: Best defensive player is Romine and Bourjos

Eddie Bane: Best plate discipline. I like what I have seen from Gabe Jacobo this year to pull a name out that others might not

Eddie Bane: Jean Segura and Mike Trout is best hitter for average if it is just me picking, with Taylor Lindsey not far behind.   

Eddie Bane: Throwing arm would be Wing, Segura and obviously Bourjos as he seems to get an assist every game in the big leagues.


Eddie Bane: Most athleticism is Mike Trout, but that would be the same answer if the q was most athletic in all of baseball. BTW when I did throwing arm I included accuracy as Segura showed a really accurate arm when I watched.

Chuck Richter: ---- PITCHING ----
Chuck Richter: BEST FASTBALL

Eddie Bane: Best Fastball. Walden, Hellweg, Chatwood. take your pick


Eddie Bane: Curveball, Chatwood and Reckling

Chuck Richter: BEST SLIDER

Eddie Bane: Best slider is a really tough one. Fabio and Arenas have nasty stuff. Not sure on that one though.
Chuck Richter: BEST CHANGEUP

Eddie Bane:
(No answer, we'll update as soon as he sends me an email with his selection)

Chuck Richter: BEST CONTROL

Eddie Bane: Best command I would give to McKiernan with Kiely in the picture.
Eddie Bane: Thanks again guys and girls. These chats help me as they make me think quick on my feet and get me doing my best scouting. You do your best scouting when thinking and comparing players and that is the one of the benefits to the chats. thanks for letting me share with you guys.   

Chuck Richter: Thanks a bunch of answering the Best Tools questions.

Chuck Richter:
Thank you as always for your time, Eddie. We all appreciate it.
Love to hear what you think!

Listen to "A Fish Like This" Tribute song to Mike Trout's Greatness

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