Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Hot Prospects May 30th, 2011
By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

Wow! As far as we can recall, Sunday was the first time this year that the entire Angels organization won at every level. More importantly, it was a rare week where the entire organization posted a winning record, going 17-12. The Triple-A Salt Lake Bees were the only affiliate not to post a winning record as they went 3-5 for the week. The Double-A Arkansas Travelers had 2 more games canceled due to weather, but, managed to finish the week with a 4-2 mark. The Single-A Inland Empire 66ers managed to post their first winning weak for the month going 5-2. Finally, the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels rounded out the winning ways as they went 5-3.

1. Casey Haerther, 1B, Single-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: .292/.414/.416 with 1 HR and 0 SBs

What’s Up: It’s been a rough month for the 66ers, no doubt about it. They had back-to-back weeks of horrid records. But this past week, Haerther caught fire and helped fuel the 66ers into their first winning week of the month. He finished with week with 4 multi-hit games, and went 12/26 (.462) with 4 doubles, 1 home run and 6 RBIs. After getting off to a slow start in April, Haerther has heated up for the month of May posting a .337/.384/.538 line. The former Bruin doesn’t have the prototypical power for a first baseman—he has gap power (17 doubles in 188 ABs), but then again, neither did Mark Grace. Without the HR power, Haerther will have to prove that he can hit at each and every level in the organization before earning a promotion. So, far, with a career .317/.362/.444 line, he’s definitely shown that.

2. Andrew Taylor, LHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 2-2, 0 Saves, 3.93 ERA, 36.2 IP, 34 H, 16 BB, 25 K, 1.36 WHIP, .248 BAA

What’s Up: The Angels don’t have a lot of lefty arms. One of the few who has really flown under the radar has been Andrew Taylor. He’s pretty much done all the Angels could ask of him: he’s gone out and consistently gotten outs. Originally a reliever, since joining Double-A last year, Taylor has been converted into a starter. For the week, Taylor went 1-0 in 2 appearances (1 relief), pitching 10.0 innings of shutout baseball, allowing only 6 hits. Taylor seems to be more effective as a reliever than as a starter, so, we at AngelsWin.com won’t be surprised if he gets moved back to the pen. But, we also know that Taylor is also the kind of guy who will do whatever it takes to make the Majors, and will fit into whatever role he’s asked to perform.

3. Mike Trout, CF, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: .308/.415/.538 with 6 HR and 9 SBs

What’s Up: It usually takes a bit more than a 6/21 (.286) week for a player to land on the Hot Prospect List. And, that’s just what Trout has. Add in his 4 walks on the week, and that lifts his OB% to (.400) for the week! In 4 out of the 6 games that the Travelers played this week, Trout stole a base. A lot of talk has been made about bringing Trout up this year or that he will be blocked by Abreu if his contract vests. Most likely Trout won’t be ready until the middle of 2013. But, when he is, he’ll be a younger, faster version of Abreu (high OB and good power) and will fit in nicely with the Major League lineup.

4. Darwin Perez, SS, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: .292/.414/.416 with 1 HR and 8 SBs

What’s Up: Something has clearly clicked with Darwin Perez. Not only has his hitting dramatically improved, so has his fielding. On the season, he’s only made 1 error, giving him a .993 FLD%. A switch hitter, Perez is performing nearly identically from both sides of the plate. He has an .844 OPS vs. right handers and an .801 OPS vs. lefthanders. The big difference between the sides has to do with his only homerun coming against a righthander. It’s still too early to tell if last year was an aberration for Perez or if this year is a sign of good things to come, but, it’s exciting to watch his development either way.

5. Daniel Tillman, RHP, Single-A CR Kernels
Overall: 3-1, 1 Save, 2.75 ERA, 39.1 IP, 35 H, 21 BB, 41 K, 1.42 WHIP, .235 BAA

What’s Up: There’s a special something about an elite closer that makes them able to take the pressure situation and thrive. There’s a special something about an ace pitcher that makes him want the ball every fifth game and go out there and throw like a bulldog. Sometimes a pitcher can move from one role to another, sometimes they can’t. This year, the Angels tried Daniel Tillman as a starter after he dominated as a closer. But, according to Abe Flores, that experiment is now over. Tillman has returned to the bullpen where he should excel. For the week, he earned his first save throwing 2.0 scoreless innings in two appearances. With the move back to the pen, AngelsWin.com expects big things again from Tillman.

6. Garrett Richards, RHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 5-1, 1 Save, 3.90 ERA, 57.2 IP, 48 H, 23 BB, 40 K, 1.27 WHIP, .232 BAA

What’s Up: Watching the way that Chatwood has emerged in the Majors gives hope that the next wave of Angels pitching talent will have similar success. For the week, Richards won his only start, giving up 2 runs in 7.0 IP. He limited the opposition to 5 hits and 3 walks. The only concern for Richards so far has been the drop in strikeouts on the season. But, Chatwood also experienced a similar drop in Ks when he moved up to Double-A and has still found success in the Majors. What is very encouraging with Richards is that in 9 starts on the season, 6 have been quality starts.

7. Jeremy Moore, OF, AAA Salt Lake Bees
Overall: .274/.303/.458 with 3 HRs and 5 SBs

What’s Up: It’s been a while since Jeremy Moore has appeared on this list. That’s because he’s been having feast or famine days, as is typical with free swingers. Take this past week for example: he had a 5 for 5 day and a 3 for 4 day. But, he also had an 0 for 3 and two 0 for 4 days to go with it. For the week, he finished up 12/30 (.400) with 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 homerun. Until he becomes more disciplined at the plate (so far he has 8 walks and 49 Ks in 190 ABs) he’ll continue to struggle. When he does figure it out, though, watch out!

8. Kole Calhoun, OF, Single-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: .287/.377/.536 with 10 HR and 7 SBs

What’s Up: If Jeremy Moore earned a spot on here with his 5 for 5 game, Kole Calhoun earned a spot on here with his 1 for 3 performance with 4 walks. For the week, Calhoun finished with 7 walks and went 5 for 12 (.429 OB%) with a homerun. As the homerun leader for the 66ers, Calhoun has had to shoulder a lot of the weight for the team. So far he’s driven in 34 runs and scored 33 in 47 games. Like the parent club, the 66ers don’t have an overwhelming amount of power in their lineup. That Calhoun is doing so well with such little support says a lot about his skills.

9. Andrew Romine, SS, AAA Salt Lake Bees
Overall: .288/.345/.363 with 2 HRs and 13 SBs

What’s Up: Romine is putting together a solid season that should warrant a call up at some point. The problem is that he’s stuck in the Angels organization, which is filled with MIF candidates. His slick glove is ready, it’s just a matter of time. For the week, he went 6/19 (.316) with 3 SBs. With Amarista showing that he needs a little bit more seasoning at Triple-A, it’s likely that Romine could get the call the next time the Angels need some MIF depth on their Major League roster.

10. Robert Fish, LHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 3-1, 1 Save, 2.75 ERA, 39.1 IP, 35 H, 21 BB, 41 K, 1.42 WHIP, .235 BAA

What’s Up: Last Wednesday, Robert Fish came back from Extended Spring Training and picked up right where he left off. The lefthander struck out the side in his first appearance for the Travelers since May 3rd. With a career 9.3 K/9 IP ratio, this hard thrower just needs to stay healthy to earn a shot at the Majors.
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