By Scott Stedman, AngelsWin.com Minor League Reporter -
1. Jose Rondon, SS, Orem Owlz
Past 10 Games: 20/44 (.455), 4 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 6 Runs, 10 RBIs, 5 SBs
Overall: .351/.419/.459 with 0 HRs and 5 SBs
What’s Up: Jose Rondon is certainly making a name for himself in the Angels' system after surprising many with his terrific play in the Pioneer League. Seventh in the league in hitting, Rondon also shows his skills defensively, with just two errors this season. His range at shortstop is already plus and there is no reason for him to move off the position. He has 15 walks and just 14 strikeouts. Keep in mind, he is doing all of this at age 19. Although the power has not quite developed, there is reason to believe it will, given his tall and lean frame. Rondon is currently the Angels' closest thing to becoming an elite prospect, and given what he is accomplishing now, I wouldn't put anything against him. Give Jose Rondon one more year, and he might just become a top 100 prospect in all of baseball.
2. Michael Snyder 1B/DH, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Games: 13/34 (.382), 3 Doubles, 2 Triples, 2 HRs, 5 Runs, 3 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .300/.353/.551 with 21 HR and 0 SBs
What’s Up: With his continued excellence at the High-A level, the former 23rd round pick Michael Snyder has morphed into a legitimate prospect for the organization. A huge presence from the right-side of the plate, Snyder has developed plus power and his hit tool is getting better and better as he accrues more at-bats. At 23-years-old, Snyder currently leads the league in total bases and home-runs. His swing is long and generates a ton of torque, but this leads to high strikeout numbers and a lot of pop-ups and fly outs. Defensively, Snyder is becoming a solid defender at first-base, but with Cron, Trumbo, Pujols ahead of him on the depth chart, the cookie will have to crumble in Snyder's favor to get playing time with the Angels. The most likely scenario involves Snyder becoming trade bait.
3. Zach Borenstein, OF, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Games: 14/35 (.400), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 2 HRs, 8 Runs, 13 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .326/.375/.615 with 8 HR and 10 SBs
What’s Up: Back after spending more than a month on the DL, 23-year-old Zach Borenstein has returned to the 66ers, not skipping a beat. Second in the league in slugging, and third in OPS, Borenstein has, like Snyder, developed into a real prospect for the Angels. In fact, Borenstein and Snyder are very similar players. They both have tons of power and their bats still have potential to become even better, but they are slightly old for the league in which they play, and they have too many players ahead of them on the depth chart to have a clear path to the big leagues. However, the old mantra proves to be true in this case, if you play well enough, you can always make room for yourself on a major league roster.
4. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 16/42 (.381), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 1 HR, 6 Runs, 5 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .278/.334/.435 with 12 HRs and 2 SBs
What’s Up: After checking-in at #1 on our Midseason Top Prospect List, Lindsey went into a little slide to begin the 2nd half, but has since regained his form. At just 21-years-old, Lindsey is doing more than just holding his own in Double-A - he is the only middle-infielder with double-digit home-runs and has continually improved his defense. His line-drive rate is just above 17%, the highest of his three year career which bodes well for future success. At a premium position, Lindsey is that much more valuable if his bat continues to advance. Should Lindsey finish 2013 strongly, the Angels may look to trade Howie Kendrick in the off-season for pitching help and have Taylor Lindsey take over second-base duties in 2014.
5. Eric Stamets, SS, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 Games: 13/41 (.317), 3 Doubles, 0 Triples, 1 HR, 9 Runs, 5 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .293/.356/.381 with 2 HR and 12 SB
What’s Up: Perhaps one of the more undervalued prospects by Angels fans, Eric Stamets has quietly put up a great year for the Inland Empire 66ers. With plus-plus defense, and plus speed, Stamets automatically has the floor of a bench infielder. His ceiling, however, is that of a starting shortstop with minimal power but a good enough on-base percentage to justify the role. At the plate, Stamets is fairly loud and has some jitters but it works for him. Unlike most other prospects, Stamets' potential rests solely on his bat because his fielding and speed are already major-league ready. He utilizes his speed well and should be knocking on the door of the Angels within a year.
Salt Lake Bees:
Past Week: 3-2 (All-Star break)
Standings: T-1st place, 57-46
Notes: Kole Calhoun is still killing it, frustrating fans and on-lookers being as Brad Hawpe and JB Shuck are still on the Angels. Submarine reliever Jeremy Berg has a 2.64 ERA and just 12 BBs in 58 IP. Efren Navarro is still hitting .350
Past Week: 4-3
Standing: 1st place, 18-13
Notes: Nick Maronde and Mike Morin have teamed up to solidify the back-end of the Travs' bullpen. Maronde has walked just 1 batter in his past 11 innings. Kaleb Cowart and C.J. Cron have yet to hit their stride.
Inland Empire 66ers:
Past Week: 2-5
Standing: 3rd place, 17-15
Notes: Mark Sappington has tossed 5 quality starts in a row, although his control remains a major obstacle. His ERA is down to 3.47. Catcher Zach Wright is slugging .537 in his past 10 games, but he has been sent down to Burlington. Alex Yarbrough leads the league in hits (130).
Past Week: 3-4
Standing: 7th place, 12-18
Notes: Second/Third-baseman Sherman Johnson has a .880 OPS in his past 10 games as well as a .370 OBP overall. 22-year-old Tyler DeLoach has 44 strikeouts and a 2.48 ERA in 40 innings with the club. Shortstop Angel Rosa was promoted from the Owlz and is hitting .400 with the Bees in a short stint.
Past Week: 4-3
Standing: 2nd place, 16-15
Notes: Elliot Morris and Kyle McGowin made their debuts and each tossed a couple scoreless innings. Physically and mechanics-wise, Morris looks a ton like Garrett Richards. Reliever Grant Gordon looks very advanced with good stuff, although he is 22-years-old in Rookie Ball.
Past Week: 0-4
Standing: 3rd place, 13-11
Notes: 11th round pick Jonah Wesley pitched a shutout inning in his pro debut. The left-hander is near Hunter Green in terms of potential, but he is much more raw. 20-year-old Angel Guerra is showing control and command, posting a 3.38 ERA with just 5 BBs in 26.2 IP.
Past Week: 2-4
Standing: 6th place, 20-22
Notes: Pitcher Eduar Lopez has 54 punch-outs in just 37.1 IP. He is expected to join the AZL Angels in 2014 as a 19-year-old. Jose Rodriguez, armed with a mid 90s fastball at age 17, has posted a 1.29 ERA and 28 Ks in 28 IP.