Sunday, April 28, 2013

By Scott Stedman, Staff Writer - 

1. Eric Stamets, SS, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Games: 12/36 (.333), 0 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HR, 7 Runs, 4 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .294/.365/.353 with 0 HRs and 1 SB

What’s Up: Shortstop Eric Stamets takes the top spot for the AngelsWin Prospect Hotlist this week.  Two facets of Stamets' game truly stand out above the rest: Speed and defense.  In his chat with AngelsWin, Angels scouting director Ric Wilson ranked Stamets as being the fastest baserunner and best defensive infielder in the system.  Although a minor leg injury has slowed Stamets somewhat this year, he is still covering incredible amounts of ground at the shortstop position.  At the plate, Stamets has a very quick swing - a slap and run type of approach.  Couple with this an extremely good understanding of the strike zone and you have a solid, complete player.  Stamets will likely continue to be paired up with second-baseman Alex Yarbrough as they climb the ladder in the organization, possibly replacing Kendrick and Aybar one day.  

2. Kyle Johnson, OF, Burlington Bees
Past 10 Games: 12/39 (.278), 2 Doubles, 0 Triple, 0 HR, 6 Runs, 6 RBIs, 7 SB
Overall: .359/.500/.438 with 0 HRs and 15 SBs

What’s Up: Kyle Johnson was a 25th round pick for the Halos last year out of Washington State, and the put up a solid season at Rookie Ball Orem.  Johnson has quick hands from the right side which bodes well for his well above-average speed.  In addition to his speed, he knows how to steal a base, a perfect 15/15 in stolen base attempts this year.  Also of note is Johnson's .500 OBP, a testament to his control of the strike zone.  At 23-years-old, Johnson will have to move quickly to be considered a real prospect.

3. Joseph Krehbiel, RP, Burlington Bees 
Past 10 Days: 1-0, 1 Save, 0.93 ERA, 9.2 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 15 K, 0.81 WHIP
Overall: 1-0, 1 Save, 0.93 ERA, 9.2 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 15 K, 0.83 WHIP, .125 BAA

What’s Up: Originally drafted as a third-baseman out of high school, Krehbiel was quickly transitioned into a reliever after his strong arm at the hot corner impressed scouts.  At just 20-years-old, Krehbiel has seemingly grasped the position change.  Armed with a hard fastball and a huge curveball with tons of depth, Krehbiel profiles well for a back-end reliever if he can continue to progress.  Like many relievers with big stuff, Krehbiel's biggest obstacle will be controlling his pitches and commanding the strike-zone.

4. Zach Borenstein, OF/1B, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Games: 14/37 (.378), 2 Doubles, 0 Triple, 5 HRs, 6 Runs, 6 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .288/.329/.630 with 7 HRs and 1 SB

What’s Up: Borenstein has thrust himself onto the season for Inland Empire in a year where he was expected to be just a backup outfielder for the team.  However Borenstein put up a .824 OPS in a tough hitting environment in Cedar Rapids, so the power has seemingly always been here.  Borenstein, while unspectacular in the outfield, takes good routes and makes the routine play.  If the power at the plate continues to progress, Borenstein could make his way into the Angels' plans due to the fact that he can play the outfield and some first-base.

5. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 10/37 (.270), 2 Doubles, 0 Triple, 1 HR, 4 Runs, 4 RBIs, 0 SB
Overall: .200/.260/.286 with 1 HR and 1 SB

What’s Up: Taylor Lindsey rounds out this weeks list mainly because of his defense.  Yes, his bat is slowly coming around as evidenced by the .270 clip in the past week.  In fact, former Angels scouting director Eddie Bane believes that Lindsey is the best pure hitter in the Angels minor leagues.  However defensively, Lindsey has really turned a corner.  In addition to making the routine plays, Lindsey has been improving his range and his throwing arm looks stronger than ever. 

Affiliate Reports:

Salt Lake Bees: The Bees endured a really rough week, going 1-6 and dropping to .500 on the season.  The offense has been doing just fine, with 5 hitters including Chris Synder and Efren Navarro, batting above .500.  However, only relievers Jeremy Berg and Fernando Cabrera have ERA's below 4.15.  The pitching will need to step it up if the Bees hope to compete this year.

Arkansas Travelers: The Travs' went 4-3 this week with the help of an offense that is beginning to wake up.  Cowart, Witherspoon, Cron, Lindsey and Grichuk are all slowly waking up for their early season woes.  Veteran Jarret Grube and reliever Michael Cisco have held the pitching staff together.  With the amount of talent on this team, there is no telling how good they can be.  

Inland Empire 66ers: The 66ers finished off a scorching week, going 5-1 and now just a game out of first place.  The offense has certainly carried the team to this point.  Stamets, Yarbrough, Borenstein, Synder among others are having terrific seasons.  Of note:  Mike Scioscia's son, Matt Scioscia joined the team this week.

Burlington Bees: Burlington went 2-3 this week with 2 games that were rained out.  Overall, the Bees are 8-11, 7 games back in the Midwest League Western division.  Offensively, Pedro Toribio and Kyle Johnson are leading the way.  On the pitching side, 23-year-old Alex Keudell and Ryan Crowley are consistently throwing up quality starts.

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