Sunday, April 21, 2013

Angels Prospect Mark Sappington is all smiles this season with the IE 66ers Prospect Hotlist 
By Scott Stedman, Minor League Reporter

1. Mark Sappington, RHP, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 1.59 ERA, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 11 K, 1.15 WHIP
Overall: 3-0, 0 Saves, 1.59 ERA, 22.2 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 23 K, 1.15 WHIP, .205 BAA

What’s Up: In his chat with AngelsWin, Angels Scouting Director Ric Wilson lauded Sappington as a player who, "has big stuff and... loves to learn." Those two qualities have lined up for Sappington to start the 2013 campaign as he continues to dominate High-A hitters.  The strikeout numbers (9K/9) speak for themselves, and those coupled with Sappington's ability to keep runners off base have have allowed the big right-hander to have an extremely impressive start to the year.  Sappington's fastball sits in the mid 90s and he can pump it up to 98 MPH in short bursts. The 6'5" 22-year-old also features a sharp slider and a change up that is much improved.  If Sappington continues to  dominate High-A ball, look for the team to jump him to Double-A mid-season.

2. Reid Scoggins, RHP, Burlington Bees
Past 10 Days: 0-0, 0 Saves, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 0.50 WHIP
Overall: 0-0, 0 Saves, 1.00 ERA, 9 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 11 K, 0.78 WHIP, .129 BAA

What’s Up: The Angels made a substantial move with Scoggins this year, converting him to a high-potential starting pitcher after a successful year as a closer.  Based on the numbers thus far, the move has worked better than anyone could have expected.  While Scoggins' fastball has ticked down all the way to the mid 90s, his control and command have been much better.  With this move to the rotation, the sky is the limit for Scoggins as his secondary pitches continue to improve.  Of note: His strikeout rate is still ridiculous, so his ability to get the punch-out has not deteriorated since moving to the rotation.

3. Pedro Toribio, SS/2B, Burlington Bees
Past 10 Days: 10/22 (.455), 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 3 Runs, 6 RBIs, 3 SBs
Overall: .364/.400/.545 with 0 HRs and 3 SBs

What’s Up: Pedro Toribio is an interesting case of a prospect who has flown well-under the radar even though his numbers have been consistently good.  A scout I spoke to described Toribio as an very aggressive hitter, plus defender, and plus runner. The scout also told me that Toribio is a high-energy type of player with great baseball instincts, although there are concerns about his body developing.  After 5 years in baseball, he sits at 150 pounds soaking wet.  However as we have seen with Amarista, Altuve and others, body size can be overlooked if the bat is special enough.  Time will tell with Toribio.

4. Mike Morin, RHP, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Days: 0-0, 0 Saves, 1.93 ERA, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K,1.29 WHIP
Overall: 0-0, 0 Saves, 1.08 ERA, 8.1 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 11 K, 0.84 WHIP, .233 BAA

What’s Up: Armed with the best change-up in the Angels system according to Ric Wilson, Morin has taken the lead in the 66ers bullpen.  Not only does the 21-year-old Morin have 11 Ks in just 8.1 IP, but he has yet to allow a walk.  Even though his fastball is not on the same level as a Scoggins or Sappington, it is respectable in the low 90s and he complements it with a solid curve. With the Angels lack of depth out of the bullpen, look for Morin to shoot up the depth chart and possibly compete for a spot in the Angels bullpen in 2014.

5. C.J. Cron, 1B, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 12/39 (.308), 2 Doubles, 0 Triple, 2 HR, 3 Runs, 6 RBIs, 0 SB
Overall: .305/.359/.441 with 1 HRs and 4 SBs

What’s Up: Rounding out AngelsWin's Prospect Hotlist is former 1st round pick C.J. Cron.  The power has yet to come for Cron, but he is one of the only players on the team succeeding at the dish.  By now I think most of us have heard the scouting report on Cron: light-tower power, solid hit tool, but concerns over his plate discipline and lack of a real defensive position.  With Pujols and Trumbo seemingly blocking his road to the show, Cron will really have to hit, and he can, or else he will become trade bait.  Either way, Cron's potential with the bat could make him a valuable piece for all 30 teams.

Affiliate Reports

Salt Lake Bees:  The Bees are currently tied in first place in the Pacific Coast League with a record of 10-7.  Led by the veteran presence of Chris Snyder, Jimmy Swift and Matt Shoemaker, Salt Lake has a well-balanced team.  Former Major League All-Stars Bill Hall and Chad Cordero joined the team on Sunday.  Cordero had started the season with Inland Empire.

Arkansas Travelers:  Arkansas is in 3rd place in the Texas League North with a mediocre record of 7-9.  With players such as Kaleb Cowart, CJ Cron, Randal Grichuk and Nick Maronde, there is no doubt that this team will turn around soon.  Of note, relievers Daniel Tillman and Michael Cisco have maintained a solid bullpen for the Travs'.

Inland Empire 66ers: With a record of 8-10, the 66ers are currently in 4th place in the California League South.  The team has stayed afloat due to the starting rotation which consists of Mark Sappington, Austin Wood, Eswarlin Jimenez, Kramer Sneed and Dan Reynolds.  The offense outside of Alex Yarbrough and Eric Stamets has struggled.

Burlington Bees: The Burlington Bees have struggled out of the gate, with a 6-9 record, good for 7th place.  Like the 66ers, virtually the only offense produced has been by two players - Pedro Toribio and Kyle Johnson.  An interesting note:  Cameron Bedrosian has been converted to a reliever after failing to come back from Tommy John surgery as a starter.

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