Sunday, June 2, 2013

By Scott Stedman, Staff Writer - 

1. Sherman Johnson, 2B/3B, Burlington Bees
Past 10 Games: 12/36 (.336), 3 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 10 Runs, 4 RBIs, 0 SB
Overall: .246/.359/.339 with 0 HRs and 6 SB

What’s Up: If you thought Chris Iannetta was the only one that could walk an ungodly amount of times, think again.  Sherman Johnson, AngelsWin's #12 prospect coming into the year, has 31 walks this season leading to a .113 swing in his average/on-base percentage.  Johnson' incredible plate discipline is just one of his assets.  Not only can he play both second and third-base, but he has a good glove at both positions to go along with a plus arm.  The 22-year-old Johnson's bat is the part of his game that will determine how far and how well he can play.  While he flashes potential of becoming a solid top of the lineup hitter, the consistency has yet to arrive.  This week, Johnson slugged .472, showing that there is some sneaky power in his bat as well.  Long-term, Johnson may eventually become a very solid utility man for the Halos.

2. Kole Calhoun, OF, Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 17/41 (.415), 3 Doubles, 0 Triples, 3 HRs, 10 Runs, 13 RBIs, 3 SB
Overall: .387/.466/.581 with 3 HRs and 5 SB

What’s Up: It looks like the Angels may need to give Kole Calhoun another chance, and soon.  Since coming off the DL in Salt Lake, Calhoun has done nothing but rake.  Remarkably, Calhoun has hit lefties (.375) nearly as well as righties (.391), so he shouldn't have to worry about being platooned anywhere down the road.  By now, we all know what Calhoun brings to the table: a gritty, Erstadian style of play, with 5 average-plus tools.  Calhoun can easily play all three of the outfield positions, but has been playing mainly center-field this year.  Should any of the current Angels outfielders go down, Calhoun needs to be given the chance to start for the Halos.

3. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 13/38 (.333), 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 3 Runs, 4 RBIs, 0 SB
Overall: .261/.320/.424 with 7 HRs and 2 SB

What’s Up: Taylor Lindsey has completely made up for an April in which he hit just .208 - and more.  The 21-year-old former supplemental first-round pick has brought his OPS up to nearly .750 in a tough hitting environment in Arkansas.  Lindsey, 2011's Pioneer League MVP, has confirmed what scouts believed going into the 2010 draft - he has extraordinary hand-eye coordination from the left-side and can square up any pitch, anywhere.  What scouts didn't foresee, however, is his power.  He was labeled as a guy who may get a hold of 5-8 home-runs a year, but now it seems as if 15 may not be out of the question.  His defense remains a work in progress, but he is, without a doubt, getting better with time.  Taylor Lindsey may in fact be the eventual replacement of Howie Kendrick.

4. Mike Morin, RP, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Games: 0-0, 5 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 13 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 15 K, 0.92 WHIP
Overall: 3-1, 7 Saves, 1.84 ERA, 29.1 IP, 23 H, 3 BB, 34 K, 0.89 WHIP, .221 BAA

What’s Up:  At this point, it's difficult to come up with an answer to the question, "Why is Mike Morin still in High-A ball"?  Not only is Morin not allowing many hits or runs at all, he has walked 3 (!!) batters all season.  That is just ridiculous, and a breath of fresh air, considering what the Angels are working with in their bullpen this season.  The 22-year-old Morin encompasses the best change-up in the organization by far, and sits in the low 90s with his fastball with impeccable command and control.  A conservative timeline puts Morin with the Angels sometime in 2014 although if they continue to fall further and further out of the playoff race, I would not be surprised to see Morin in the big leagues in September of this year.  

5. Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 11/36 (.306), 0 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HR, 7 Runs, 3 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .226/.286/.333 with 3 HR and 6 SB

What’s Up:  It feels great to be able to put Kaleb Cowart on the Hotlist considering his brutal start to the season.  Although the power has not shown up this year for the Angels top prospect, it looks as if the bat is slowly but surely coming around.  Cowart's weakness coming into the season was that his swing from the left-side got long at times, causing him to be tardy on the fastball.  This is what plagued him at the beginning of the year but he is coming around now with a quicker swing.  Defensively, Cowart had struggled as well - 11 errors thus far - but as his hitting improves, I expect his fielding to get back to normal as well.  The only thing that Cowart's slow start hurt is his timeline to the big leagues.  The potential for the former 1st round pick is still sky high.  Sunday was his 21st birthday, so happy birthday Kaleb!

Affiliate Reports:

Salt Lake Bees: The Bees went 4-3 this week, staying in 3rd place in their division.  Offensively, Brad Hawpe, Efren Navarro and Matt Long are carrying the team.  On Sunday, Matt Shoemaker was the first Bees pitcher to strike out 10 since Jerome Williams did it in 2011.  Out of the bullpen, Ryan Brasier has tossed 5 consecutive scoreless outings.  

Arkansas Travelers: Arkansas' 2-4 week dropped them to .500 and second-place in the Texas League North.  Jett Bandy and C.J. Cron continue to hit very well for the Travs'.  Bandy especially is quickly working his way up the catching depth chart.  Randal Grichuk was forced on to the 15-day DL with a lower back strain.  Not much positive news to report from the pitching side.

Inland Empire 66ers: The 66ers are back at .500 after a disappointing 2-5 week.  R.J. Alvarez has really shined out of the bullpen lately, although his walk rate is still fairly high.  Eric Stamets, Michael Snyder, and Alex Yarbrough have excelled lately, carrying the team offensively.  All three of those players have extremely high ceilings. 

Burlington Bees: Burlington had to play catch up this week after being rained out a lot in the last month.  They went 4-4 but still remain in the cellar of the division.  Cam Bedrosian continues to turn heads out of the bullpen - remaining lights out.  Joey Krehbiel has put together a string of 7 consecutive shutout outings.  He has 27 strikeouts in just 21 innings.

Love to hear what you think!

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