Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Chat moderated by Scott Stedman, Contributor

Prior to the 2013 draft, Ric Wilson, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Director of Scouting told that “The strength of the draft seems to be the depth in pitching.” About international scouting and signings, Ric Wilson told us that the Angels “have developed a strong international staff and I do believe they will make a splash more sooner than later. I know they are out there beating the the bushes. They have a good foundation and solid leadership”.

Now that the 2013 draft is over, with all but one of the players signed, and, with the international signing period underway, once again caught up with the Angels Director of Scouting to find out more about the current crop of players.

In a great interview, Ric Wilson discusses the specifics of many of the current players as well as the organization’s top prospects. Be sure to read to the end of the interview where we conducted our traditional lightning round with Ric Wilson to get his take on the best tools taken with the 2013 draft.

AngelsWin: Good morning everyone! If you have questions, please send them to me in a private message.

AngelsWin: Good morning Ric Wilson. Thank you for joining us today. Congratulations on a good draft!

Ric Wilson: Good morning. We are excited to get the quality players that we acquired. Looks good so far the guys are out and beginning there careers.

AngelsWin: Was the drafting of so many pitchers a design to address organizational needs or was it simply a byproduct of taking the best player available?

Ric Wilson: A little bit of both we felt we had the need to add starting pitching so we attacked the draft in that way, but they were the best pitchers we thought were available.

AngelsWin: Let's talk a little bit about Hunter Green. What stood out to you guys about him and were you surprised he fell so far?

Ric Wilson: Hunter is a young guy 17 yrs old with a premium arm and a very good athlete, we like his now stuff along with the projectability. He has a very high ceiling and we’re a little surprised that he got to us but not shocked.

AngelsWin: Which MLB pitcher would Hunter Green be seen as an eventual comp to and do you have a timeline for him?

Ric Wilson: A good comparison may be Pat Corbin when we had him. Similar stuff and very athletic as well. No real timeline we will let him go at his own pace

AngelsWin: Great. Generally, how important is a player's personality or "grit" when you are scouting for the draft?

Ric Wilson: It all comes into play, and that is the one thing we try to keep consistent guys that go out with a positive attitude and good work ethic, this allows them a better chance to reach there full potential. It takes a lot more than pure ability to sustain a major league role. We feel we have done a good job in this area, and hope to continue. It becomes a separator with players with the same ability.

AngelsWin: Earlier today, it was announced by the Angels that Venezuelan prospect left-hander Ricardo Sanchez has signed with the club.  What can you tell us about him, and is there more to come in the international market?

Ric Wilson: I don't know a lot about him he's on the International side, I do know we are very excited to sign him. Will be a nice addition to add to some of the young guys we have. Similar to Green loose and projectable with a high ceiling.

AngelsWin: Alright, let's focus on some individual players now if you don't mind.  A player that has caught my eye with the Orem Owlz is 19-year-old shortstop Jose Rondon.  What do you see in the future for Rondon and what is his potential?

Ric Wilson: We are starting to build some depth quality fielder with the bat coming on should be able to stay there. Steady on both sides of the ball.

halosfan81: What's the latest on Blake Goins? Will he sign?

Ric Wilson: Still working through it. Advanced HS pitcher. We sure hope he does, would be a very good addition to add to the system

AngelsWin: Many of the pitchers drafted this year are considered to have potential as both starters and relievers. Is it the organization's intention to try to give each pitcher a chance as a starter?

Ric Wilson: We felt that going into the draft we were short on starting pitchers, pure starters are hard to find so we did try to get players that could possibly do both. So I do believe that most will get the opportunity to start at some point.

AngelsWin: When the Angels make a stellar pick like Mike Trout, or, when they have a player completely flame out, does the organization go back to reexamine what signs were present to make that player stand out or what warning signs were given that might have indicated a flameout?

Ric Wilson: Yes we do, we evaluate each draft for years out and we do look at how and why players have success or fail. It's an ongoing process but if we can't look back on history or fail to see what it is telling us, we can't get better as a staff or organization

IowaAngels27: Ric Wilson, a little off topic from other questions, but what types of internships do the Angels offer in baseball operations? Thanks!

Ric Wilson: You would have to reach out to the office that handles all the internships.

AngelsWin: Fire-baller Austin Wood has been on the DL with arm troubles for a couple months now.  How is he coming along?

Ric Wilson: I just saw Austin throw a bullpen in AZ and he looked very good. Still working through some things, but he said he is feeling a lot better. Very positive looking for the best.

AngelsWin: Is the organization still as high on Kaleb Cowart as they were before the season, considering his sub-par first half?

Ric Wilson: Yes we are, he is starting to make some key adjustments and looking forward to a big second 1/2 he is still young an learning.

Scioscialist Party: Was the focus on college players in the draft a move to focus on bolstering depth throughout the system?

Ric Wilson: To some degree as I said before we are working under different rules and you have to be in the right spots for quality young players. We felt we are starting to get some balance with the JC pitchers as well.

AngelsWin: What are Taylor Lindsey and Randal Grichuk's timetable to the big leagues?  They were our top 2 prospects in our Top 50 Mid-Season Prospect List.

Ric Wilson: Both have made great strides, and some very good adjustments, both are quality young players, not sure of the timeline a lot of things come into play, but I do feel they will be ready in a year or so.

AngelsWin: Okay, Ric Wilson.  This is our last question and then we will go to a lightning round to wrap things up. With the parent club's need for relievers this year, what have you seen in Mike Morin and R.J. Alvarez?

Ric Wilson: 2 different guys RJ pure power type stuff that attacks the hitters, and Mike more pitchability with life and a devastating change up, 2 different approaches that can be equally effective.

AngelsWin: Okay. Lightning round. Just respond with the name that fits the mold. Best Tools of the 2013 Angels Drafted Class.

AngelsWin: Best Overall Hitter?

Ric Wilson: Riley Good / Brandon Bayardi

AngelsWin: Best Power?

Ric Wilson: Bayardi

AngelsWin: Best Plate Discipline?

Ric Wilson: Hinshaw

AngelsWin: Best Speed?

Ric Wilson: Riley Good

AngelsWin: Best Defense?

Ric Wilson: Alex Allbritton

AngelsWin: Best Throwing Arm?

Ric Wilson: Cal Towey

AngelsWin: Most Athletic/Raw Tools?

Ric Wilson: Mike Hermosillo

AngelsWin: Closest hitter to the Big Leagues?

Ric Wilson: Kyle McGowin

Ric Wilson: Sorry you said hitter, Riley Good

AngelsWin: No problem. Alright now to the pitching side:  Best Fastball?

Ric Wilson: Elliot Morris / Kyle McGowin / Harrison Cooney

AngelsWin: Best Curveball?

Ric Wilson: Trevor Foss

AngelsWin: Best Slider?

Ric Wilson: Dan Tobik

AngelsWin: Best Changeup?

Ric Wilson: Matt Hernandez

AngelsWin: Best Command?

Ric Wilson: Kyle McGowin

AngelsWin: Closest pitcher to the Big Leagues?

Ric Wilson: Kyle McGowin

AngelsWin: And finally: Steal of the draft (either pitching or offense)?

Ric Wilson: Hunter Green!!!

AngelsWin: Alright, that should do it.  On behalf of, Ric Wilson, Thank you so much for joining us and hopefully we can catch up again sometime in the not so distant future!

ettin: Thank you Ric Wilson for sharing your time

Dave Saltzer: Thank you very much for your time and knowledge today Ric Wilson!

Ric Wilson: Thanks everyone for joining us! Go Halos! Yes sir had a good time always good to communicate with the best fans in baseball. Take care Talk to ya soon.

AngelsWin: Thanks everyone for joining us! Go Halos! Thanks everyone for joining us! Go Halos!
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