By Scott Stedman, AngelsWin.com Minor League Reporter -
1. Randal Grichuk, OF, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 15/42 (.357), 4 Doubles, 0 Triples, 3 HRs, 9 Runs, 8 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .251/.305/.467 with 18 HR and 7 SBs
What’s Up: Randal Grichuk had a monster night on Sunday, going 4-4 with 2 HRs and a double, wrapping a very productive week for the soon-to-be 22-year-old. One thing has remained in Grichuk's game since day one: His incredible power. Since his high-school days, Grichuk has been launching moon-shots, and nothing has changed. Putting up a .467 slugging % in the Texas League is no easy feat but Grichuk has done it fairly easily. Aside from his power, Grichuk possesses an average hit tool, average speed but plus defense and a plus-plus arm. If there is a weakness in Grichuk's game, it is his plate discipline and pitch recognition. Although slightly improved this season, if he were to better his plate discipline it would likely lead to a spike in his batting average and on-base percentage. Long-term, it looks like a tough road for Grichuk to having a starting spot on the big-leagues but if he proves to be the real 4-tool player that he is, he will make room for himself.
2. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 14/34 (.412), 2 Doubles, 3 Triples, 3 HRs, 6 Runs, 10 RBIs, 1 SBs
Overall: .288/.349/.472 with 16 HRs and 4 SBs
What’s Up: Taylor Lindsey continues to prove why he should be considered the number one prospect in the system. Not only has his bat been great this season considering his environment, but his plate discipline has improved exponentially and his body has begun to fill out. He came into the year as a skinny, slap-hitting second-baseman with not one tool that stood out. Now, he is knocking on the door of the big-leagues with a potential all-star ceiling. The 21-year-old's hitting style is very unorthodox, as he starts with his hands around his chest and really whips the bat. However, his bat speed or torque are not compromised by this approach. Defensively, Lindsey has worked hard to get to be an average second-baseman with an average arm. His bat at a premium position makes Taylor Lindsey incredibly valuable.
3. Michael Fish, OF, Orem Owlz
Past 10 Games: 18/37 (.486), 3 Doubles, 1 Triples, 4 HRs, 7 Runs, 8 RBIs, 4 SBs
Overall: .421/.463/.789 with 4 HRs and 6 SBs
What’s Up: Drafted in the 32nd round of this year's first-year player draft, Michael Fish was seemingly selected on the basis of his last name alone. However, his play in his first professional season has put the emphasis on his skills and not his name. Missing time as a sophomore and junior at Siena College, Fish's stock slipped before the Angels caught him in the 32nd round. After tearing it up with the AZL Angels, Fish earned a call up to the Owlz on Friday. Fish has plus raw power, which is likely his biggest asset. His swing is very quick and violent, and he uses every inch of his 6'1" frame to generate his solid bat speed. In the outfield, Fish has a great arm and takes great routes which makes up for his fringy range. If he continues to succeed with the Owlz, Fish would likely start 2014 with the Burlington Bees.
4. Joey Krehbiel, RP, Burlington Bees
Past 10 Games: 3-0, 0 Saves, 0.98 ERA, 18.1 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 22 K, 0.93 WHIP
Overall: 5-5, 1 Saves, 3.13 ERA, 54.2 IP, 38 H, 26 BB, 56 K, 1.17 WHIP, .194 BAA
What’s Up: Krehbiel has done nothing but improve out of the bullpen as the season has progressed. The best way to describe Krehbiel's stuff is that everything is sharp. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90s and has great sink movement. His slider has incredible bite to it and his changeup, which he rarely throws, has heavy downward action. Krehbiel, who was originally drafted as a third-baseman, is still just 20-years-old and is making tremendous progress with just two years of pitching under his belt. Krehbiel's weaknesses include his spotty control and lack of ground ball outs. If he can harness these two dimensions of his game, Krehbiel could be a future lockdown reliever.
5. Elliot Morris, SP/RP, Orem Owlz
Past 10 Games: 2-1, 0 Saves, 2.57 ERA, 14.0 IP, 13 H, 4 BB, 11 K, 1.21 WHIP
Overall: 2-1, 0 Saves, 2.57 ERA, 14.0 IP, 13 H, 4 BB, 11 K, 1.21 WHIP, .250 BAA
What’s Up: Elliot Morris was the Angels third selection in the draft this year (4th round), and he originally profiled as a reliever. His fastball is his best pitch, sitting in the 91-93 range and occasionally touching 95 and his curveball is inconsistent, yet flashes potential of being a plus pitch. Scouts saw a far below average changeup which led to the reliever projections, however with his short time with the Owlz, the changeup has improved enough to where he got his first start on Sunday and tossed three scoreless innings. Although Morris does not have much projection left in his 6'4" body, he profiles as a back-end of the rotation guy if he can keep his three pitches in a good place.
Salt Lake Bees:
Past Week: 5-1
Standing: 1st place, 70-52
Notes: Although the youngest active player on the Bees is 24-years-old, some veteran players have been getting the job done. Efren Navarro and Robbie Widlansky are having very good seasons offensively. Matt Shoemaker has been the rock in the rotation, leading the league in innings pitched and games started.
Past Week: 1-5
Standing: T-1st place, 26-24
Notes: The aforementioned Lindsey and Grichuk have been carrying the team offensively, as Cron, Cowart and Witherspoon have really struggled. Mike Morin is dominating out of the bullpen (1.69 ERA, 21 Ks/3 BBs) and should be destined for the Halos soon.
Inland Empire 66ers:
Past Week: 2-3
Standing: 3rd place, 25-25
Notes: Alex Yarbrough is leading the league in hits and is hitting .324. Zach Borenstein is still OPSing 1.050 but has cooled off in his past 6 games or so. R.J. Alvarez is striking out schools of hitters (64 Ks/41 IP) and seems to be developing into a future closer.
Past Week: 2-4
Standing: 7th place, 19-30
Notes: 20-year-old shortstop Angel Rosa is holding his own, hitting .304 after just being drafted this year. Former starter and highly touted prospect Cam Bedrosian has reinvented himself into a great reliever. His status as a prospect is now reaching what it was when he was drafted.
Past Week: 4-2
Standing: T-1st place, 8-8
Notes: Jose Rondon is still hitting .337 and has definitely become a top 5 prospect in the organization. A definite 5 tool player if his power can develop a little bit more. Pitcher Victor Alcantara has had 2 solid outings in a row but still profiles to be a reliever long-term considering his violent mechanics.
Past Week: 3-3
Standing: 3rd place, 7-6
Notes: Hunter Green has tossed 12.1 innings, maintaining a 2.92 ERA. Although he has walked more batters than he has struck out (11/8), he is preventing the runners from scoring which is an important trait as a young pitcher. Reliever Ramon Rodriguez is turning heads with his mid 90s fastball and 16 Ks in 14 innings.