Monday, August 15, 2011

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

With all the interviews and opportunities that had over the past few weeks, we were limited in our ability to cover the Minor Leagues. However, they were never far out of our minds, and we’re back to providing the Hot Prospect List until the end of the season. For the past week, the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees went 4-2; the Double-A Arkansas Travelers went a perfect 6-0; the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers went 3-3; the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels went 3-4; the Rookie Level Orem Owlz went 4-2; the Rookie Level AZL-Angels went 4-2; and the DSL Angels went 5-2. As was the case before, there were far more standout performances than spots on the list, so, many players who had very good performances did not make it for a variety of reasons.

1. Ryan Jones, OF, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Overall: .293/.388/.538 with 9 HRs and 2 SBs

What’s Up: This week saw a lot of fierce competition for the top spot. Two players hit for the cycle. Others stole bases. Some gave up no runs. But, this week’s top honor goes to Ryan Jones. In the past 10 games, Jones has gone 21/45 (.467) with 14 extra base hits (1.000 SLG), 5 walks (.520 OB%), and 1 SB. He drove in 20 runs in 10 games. Considering that he came to the Angels as an undrafted free agent, those are some lofty numbers. To see an interview that recorded with Ryan Jones click here.

2. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Overall: .408/.420/.816 with 8 HRs and 6 SBs

What’s Up: The best game of Lindsey’s career came on August 6th, 2011. He went 5 for 5 and hit for the cycle. A very impressive game indeed! But, to understand how impressive the offense is for the Owlz, consider this: within a week, another player for the team would hit for the cycle. And, all this has been accomplished without C.J. Cron in the lineup. Now that Lindsey is playing full-time, he’s showing off why he was a 1st round talent in 2010. To see an interview that recorded with Taylor Lindsey, click here.

3. David Carpenter, RHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 1-1, 14 Saves, 0.62 ERA, 43.2 IP, 32 H, 14 BB, 47 K, 1.05 WHIP, .205 BAA

What’s Up: In seeing how well some of the players are doing, it’s sometimes hard not to want to avoid jinxing a good thing. Take David Carpenter for example. Since joining the Double-A Travelers, he has yet to allow a run—earned or unearned—in 14.2 IP. He’s holding opposing batters to a .176 BAA and has increased the rate at which he’s generating groundouts to 2.40 GO/AO. After establishing himself for a while, he’s been given the opportunity to close out games and has earned 3 saves so far in August.

4. Jerod Yakubik, OF, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Overall: .350/.407/.455 with 1 HR and 1 SB

What’s Up: It’s been difficult keeping up with Yakubik’s career. Due to other peoples’ injuries, he’s moved around the organization, playing for 3 different levels. But, for now, he’s made a home in Orem and pushing his way onto the Hot Prospect List. With a .455/.510/.773 line, he made a strong case for being the #1 Prospect. Yakubik’s best game was August 13, 2011, when he was a perfect 4 for 4 and hit for the cycle. The homerun that he hit was the first of his professional career! Congratulations Jerod Yakubik.

5. Chevy Clarke, OF, Rookie-A AZL-Angels
Overall: .225/.292/.437 with 3 HRs and 4 SBs

What’s Up: Not all 19-year olds can perform like Mike Trout. And, some Angels fans have been all a-twitter about Clarke’s lackluster start to his career. But, even with a 1/5 performance on Sunday, Clarke put together a fine string of games, posting a .371/.450/.857 line with 1 double, 5 triples, and 2 HRs. Clarke’s talent is still very raw. He’s only 19 and working on it. But, this switch-hitting kid from Georgia has the tools to play. It will take time to develop them.

6. John Hellweg, RHP, High-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: 5-4, 0 Saves, 4.18 ERA, 75.1 IP, 66 H, 52 BB, 90 K, 1.57 WHIP, .237 BAA

What’s Up: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try and move into the rotation. That’s what Hellweg did, and look at the difference. Since joining the rotation, his numbers are: 3-1, 2.36 ERA, 49.2 IP, 41 H, 21 BB, 57 K, 1.25 WHIP, .228 BAA. Comparing the two sets of numbers shows just how much pitching out of the bullpen did not agree with Hellweg. With his 6’9” frame, Hellweg can get his upper-90s heat to really jump on the batters. He could become a middle of the rotation starter with continued success.

7. Mike Trout, CF, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: .328/.420/.541 with 10 HR and 33 SBs

What’s Up: Yes, it’s a bit awkward seeing the kid back on the Hot Prospect List instead of in a Major League lineup. But, developmentally, this is where he belongs for a little bit more. The opportunity to compete against talented pitching and playing on a contending team will help him down the road. He’s still crushing it, going .361/.452/.611 in his last 10 games. But, he still needs a little bit more seasoning. Still, Angels fans, we got to see him hit his first home run in the Majors before his 20th birthday. How unreal was that?

8. Carlos Ramirez, C, High-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: .317/.395/.462 with 5 HRs and 3 SBs

What’s Up: Carlos Ramirez may have won the Angels’ Minor League Defensive Player of the Month Award for July, but he could have easily won it for his offensive display. Since the All-Star Break, he’s hit .374/.418/.566 in 29 games, with 13 doubles, 2 HRs, and 17 RBIs. Not too shabby for a catcher. To read more about his award, click here.

9. Kole Calhoun, OF, High-A Inland Empire 66ers
Overall: .313/.406/.537 with 19 HR and 17 SBs

What’s Up: With a few weeks left on the season, Calhoun should easily make it to the 20/20 plateau. Calhoun’s season has been remarkably consistent. In August, Calhoun has posted a .324/.469/.622 line with 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 HRs in 11 games. With all the Angels outfield prospects, it will be a challenge for Calhoun to continue to rise through the organization. However, aside from all of his offensive production, his left-handed bat should help him stand out from the rest of the crowd.

10. Jeremy Moore, OF, AAA Salt Lake Bees
Overall: .296/.331/.535 with 12 HRs and 15 SBs

What’s Up: Moore is once again putting on a second half surge. In the 21 games since the All-Star Break, he’s hit .321/.348/.679 with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 6 HRs, and 5 SBs in 21 games. The plate discipline still proves to be a bit of a problem for him, though. He’s putting up numbers at the same rate as before the Break, and has only walked 18 times versus 98 Ks on the season. With the outfield situation for the Angels being very crowded, Moore still offers a solid mix of power, speed and defense that could play as a backup OFer.

Worth Noting

1. Robert Fish, LHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 1-0, 1 Save, 2.55 ERA, 24.2 IP, 18 H, 9 BB, 37 K, 1.09 WHIP, .209 BAA

What’s Up: After going on the DL at the end of June, he’s back and throwing heat. He’s struck out 4 out of the 5 batters he’s faced since coming back to the Texas League.

2. Chris Scholl, RHP, AA Arkansas Travelers
Overall: 2-3, 0 Saves, 2.28 ERA, 59.1 IP, 40 H, 17 BB, 51 K, 0.96 WHIP, .189 BAA

What’s Up: When Garrett Richards got the call up to the Angels, it created a ripple effect for Scholl. Tasked to fill in for Richrads in the rotation, Scholl was stretched up to 5.0 IP, allowing only 1 ER on just 3 walks (no hits). It’s not the first game that Scholl has started this season, but he’s mostly a reliever, and having another fine season.

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. Jose Rondon, SS, age 17
Overall: .323/.384/.418 with 0 HR and 8 SBs

2. Gabriel Perez, RHP, age 20
Overall: 9-1, 0 Saves, 1.70 ERA, 63.2 IP, 33 H, 25 BB, 64 K, 0.91 WHIP, .153 BAA
Love to hear what you think!

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