Monday, July 25, 2011

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

At this time of year, trying to write out the Top-10 Hot Prospects is a bit challenging. That's because the Angels have plenty of talent, and they are showcasing their skills. So, trying to whittle down this list to just 10 players is a big challenge. To help deal with all of this, from time to time we may add some extra sections to deal shine the spotlight on some players who may not fit into the regular categories. These categories may include players who are bouncing between the Minors and the Majors or players on the Dominican Summer League, who are completely dominating the competition.
For the week, the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees went 4-3 to improve their record to 44-58 (17.5 games out of first place). Sunday night, the Double-A Arkansas Travelers finally snapped their 7-game losing streak (their longest losing streak of the year) and are 14-15, 1.0 games out of first place for the second half. The Single-A Inland Empire 66ers went 4-2 to pull into third place, 5.0 games out of first (14-16 in the second half). The Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels had the opposite record of the 66ers for the week, going 2-4 to drop 4.0 games out of first at 13-16 in the second half. At 18-15, the Rookie Ball Orem Owlz are in second place, 3.0 games out of first, having split the week's schedule at 3-3. The AZL Angels went 3-2 and are 4.5 games out of first (14-13 overall). And finally, the DSL Angels continued their dominance, going 5-1, and have a 13.5 game lead with a 37-10 record.

1. Frazier Hall, 1B, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Overall: .382/.396/.618 with 5 HRs and 1 SB

What's Up: Hall went 11/24 (.458) for the week with 3 Doubles, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, and 1 SB. His power displays in the batting cages are impressive, and it's translating into power on the field. Hall had been struggling a bit against lefties up until this week, but now sports a .273/.304/.409 line against them. As a left-handed bat with power, Hall continues to impress as he rakes through the Pioneer League.

2. Matt Shoemaker, RHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 9-2, 0 Saves, 3.17 ERA, 130.2 IP, 115 H, 30 BB, 107 Ks, 1.11 WHIP, .234 BAA

What's Up: Shoemaker has already won the Texas League's Pitcher of the Week honor twice so far this season. But, he may be in line for it again this week. In his first start of the week, he pitched a 9.0 inning 1-hitter, only to lose as his team was no-hit and gave up an unearned run. In his other start on Sunday, Shoemaker won as he gave up 1 earned run in 7.0 IP. Talk about being en fuego!

3. Michael Wing, 2B, High-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: .314/.359/.502 with 11 HRs and 1 SB

What's Up: Wing continues to sizzle, going 13/28 (.464) with 3 Doubles, 2 HRs, and 9 RBIs for the week. For the second time in 6 days, Wing had a 2 homerun game Saturday night (the other night was July 17th). Drafted out of Upland High School in 2007, Wing has been putting on a pretty show for the home crowd over the past 2 weeks.

4. Pill Joon Jang, RHP, Single-A CR Kernels
Overall: 2-1, 0 Saves, 2.79 ERA, 42.0 IP, 31 H, 12 BB, 28 Ks, 1.02 WHIP, .203 BAA

What's Up: Lost in the shuffle, Jang has been putting together a solid season for the Kernels. For the week he went 1-0, giving up 4 runs in 14 IP (2.57 ERA), striking out 10, giving up 5 walks and only allowing 7 hits. As he develops, Jang's stuff may play out better in the pen. But for now, he's putting together a solid season as a starter.

5. Abel Baker, C, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Overall: .355/.446/.581 with 3 HRs and 1 SB

What's Up: Baker is a left-handed hitting catcher who frames pitches well and calls a good game. Like Carlos Ramirez, Baker has been putting up great offensive numbers, going 5/13 (.384) with a homerun for the week. Like many young catchers, Baker needs to improve his throws to second base and other aspects of his defense. However, it's nice to see the Angels developing another catcher with an offensive upside.

6. Junior Carlin, LHP, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Overall: 1-0, 1 Save, 0.00 ERA, 11.2 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 11 K, 0.60 WHIP, .114 BAA

What's Up: It's hard to try and avoid Jinxing Carlin, who has yet to give up a run (earned or unearned), but, he's been on fire this year. Originally drafted as an OFer, the Angels have been converting Carlin into a reliever. Carlin has a mesmerizing delivery that fools hitters and their timing. He tops out around 89-90, but could add velocity as he gains more experience pitching. The Angels will take it slowly with him as he is a work in progress.

7. Kole Calhoun, OF, High-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: .309/.399/.534 with 17 HRs and 15 SBs

What's Up: Generally speaking, as Calhoun goes, so go the 66ers. Over the past week, Calhoun went 8/26 (.308) with 2 HRs. Add in 4 walks (versus 3 Ks on the week), and his OB% for the week week rises to .400. With 72 runs scored and 70 RBIs in 96 games, Calhoun is on pace to crack 100 runs and 100 RBIs for the season.

8. David Carpenter, RHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 1-1, 11 Saves, 0.72 ERA, 37.2 IP, 26 H, 12 BB, 42 K, 1.01 WHIP, .195 BAA

What's Up: Since joining the Travelers in June, Carpenter has yet to allow an earned run in 8.2 IP. He's limited opponents to a .107 BAA, having surrendered just 3 H and 3 BB in that time. And, all of those walks came in one rocky performance where he didn't allow a run even though he walked 3 in 0.2 IP. Carpenter is getting plenty of groundouts (1.84 GO:AO overall, 2.67 in Double-A), which will help him as he continues to improve as a reliever.

9. Steve Geltz, RHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 1-3, 0 Saves, 3.94 ERA, 29.2 IP, 24 H, 12 BB, 43 K, 1.21 WHIP, .222 BAA

What's Up: Geltz has only allowed 2 ER since the start of June. Filtering out his rough outings at Triple-A Salt Lake, Geltz has posted a 2.89 ERA in 28.0 IP, having only allowed 20 H and 10 BB while at Doulbe-A Arkansas (1.07 WHIP). He's struck out 42 batters in those 28.0 IP. Still an extreme flyball pitcher, he should get another crack at Triple-A soon.

10. John Hellweg, RHP, High-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: 2-4, 0 Saves, 4.85 ERA, 59.1 IP, 59 H, 46 BB, 67 K, 1.77 WHIP, .259 BAA

What's Up: Looking at Hellweg's stats can be deceptive. That's because he's a work in progress. Initially he started the season as a reliever and posted a 2-3 record with a 7.71 ERA and 31 BBs in 25.2 IP. Since becoming a starter, Hellweg's numbers have improved dramatically. He's gone 0-1 with a 2.67 ERA and only allowed 15 BBs in 33.2 IP. He's actually increased the rate at which he generates groundballs as a starter as opposed to when he was relieving (4.90 GO:AO as a starter vs. 2.42 as a reliever).

In a League of Their Own

1. Hank Conger, C, Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
Overall: .333/.364/.571 with 1 HR and 0 SBs

What's Up: Apparently playing full-time agrees with Conger, as he's gone 7/21 with a homerun in the 5 games that he's played since being demoted to Triple-A. Conger needs to work on a few minor issues with his defense and to get back into an offensive groove. This isn't so much about a demotion as it is about trying to juggle rosters and getting Conger more playing time.

2. Jerome Williams, RHP, AAA Salt Lake Bees
Overall: 5-1, 0 Saves, 4.67 ERA, 44.1 IP, 53 H, 10 BB, 39 K, 1.42 WHIP, .296 BAA

What's Up: Having Made his Major League debut at 21 years and 140 days old, Williams has been bouncing between the Minors and the Majors. Trying to make a comeback with the Bees, he went 2-0 on the week with 18 Ks in 14.0 IP.

Meet the Dominicans

In response to some concerns raised about the Angels lack of major international players, and, in response to how well the DSL-Angels are playing, here are some of the stars from the team. looks forward to seeing them as they move over the the States and continue their development.

1. Pedro Toribio, SS, age 20
Overall: .329/.363/.576 with 4 HRs and 28 SBs

2. Daniel Hurtado, RHP, age 19
Overall: 6-0, 0 Saves, 1.36 ERA, 53.0 IP, 36 H, 16 BB, 41 K, 0.98 WHIP, .193 BAA
Love to hear what you think!

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