By Adrian Noche, AngelsWin.com Minor League Reporter -
1.) Jeremy Rhoades, Starting Pitcher, Burlington Bees
Last two starts: 1-0 11.2 IP 3.86 ERA 11 H 2 BB 11 SO 1.11 WHIP
Overall: 3-0 26.1 IP 2.05 ERA 26 H 5 BB 31 SO 1.18 WHIP .252 BAA
Jeremy Rhoades is yet another pitcher from the Angels’ 2014 draft class. Drafted in the 4th round out of Illinois State, Jeremy possesses arguable the best slider in the entire organization. There were many questions as to whether Rhoades would be better suited as a reliever or starter, with the majority choosing the former. However, the Angels decided to give Jeremy a shot as a starter and the results have been more than promising. So far this season, Rhoades has posted impressive per 9 numbers with a SO9 of 10.6 to go along with a BB9 of 1.7. Jeremy has given up more than one earned run in a start only once so far this season, allowing 4 in 5.2 innings pitched on Monday. Take away that start and Jeremy owns an even more impressive 0.87 ERA across 20.2 innings pitched.
2.) Austin Robichaux, Starting Pitcher, Burlington Bees
Last two starts: 0-0 11.0 IP 0.82 ERA 9 H 0 BB 6 SO 0.818 WHIP
Overall: 1-1 19.2 IP 2.75 ERA 16 H 5 BB 11 SO 1.07 WHIP .229 BAA
It’s time for another starting pitcher to introduce himself to the prospect hotlist. His name is Austin Robichaux and he is also a member of the Angels’ 2014 draft class. Prior to being drafted, Austin pitched 3 years at Louisiana-Lafayette and was arguable their best pitcher. Austin owned a career 19-9 record with a 3.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 189 strikeouts in 242 IP (57 BBs). After only lasting 2.2 innings and giving up 3 earned runs in his first start of the season, Austin has since only given up a combined 3 earned runs in his last three starts (17.0 innings pitched). Drafted in the 18th round, Austin has been a steal thus far for the Angels.
3.) Caleb Adams, Outfielder, Burlington Bees
Past 10 games: .359 AVG 14 H 1 Doubles 0 Triples 0 HR 1 SB
Caleb Adams managed to sustain his high batting average on the season with a batting average of .346 and 1 double since our last prospect report. What stands out with Adams is his eye, the outfielder boasts an impressive .486 OBP on the season. Adams saw his 9-game hitting streak come to an end on Monday, going hitless in 4 at-bats.
4.)Alex Yarbrough, Second Baseman, Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 games: .298 AVG 14 H 6 Doubles 0 Triples 0 HR 0 SB
Alex Yarbrough has found his way back into our prospect hotlist. After a very slow start to the season, Yarbrough has been playing like the Texas League MVP he was with the Travelers a year ago. Over his past 6 games, Yarbrough is batting .419 to go along with 6 doubles and 7 RBI’s. Prior to that stretch, Yarbrough only had 2 doubles all season. Since April 22nd, Yarbrough has seen his batting average climb from an average of .173 to .248. Hitting in the PCL, one can expect that average to climb even higher for the second baseman.
5.) Keynan Middleton, Starting Pitcher, Burlington Bees
Last two starts: 0-0 11.0 IP 3.27 ERA 11 H 4 BB 6 SO 1.36 WHIP
Overall: 1-0 28.1 IP 3.49 ERA 25 H 9 BB 19 SO 1.20 WHIP .248 BAA
Unlike the pitchers mentioned before him, Keynan Middleton was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft. Despite pitching in college, Middleton is an intriguing prospect due to the fact that he was a 2-sport athlete up until he was drafted. Due to this, Middleton is very raw and could take some time to develop. His play so far this season has been very encouraging. Middleton threw is 4th straight quality start on Monday, pitching 5.0 complete innings while only giving up 6 hits, 3 walks and 2 earned runs (3 strikeouts). During his stretch of quality starts, Middleton has an ERA of 2.42 and 1.11 WHIP.
Minor League Affiliate Report
Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
The Bees went 3-4 in their last 7 games and now sit 7.0 GB first place with an overall record of 9-15. Andrew Heaney saw himself go 7.0 complete innings on Friday. The southpaw struck out 7 batters while allowing 9 hits, 1 walk and 4 earned runs. Grant Green continued to hit as he is 3-6 to go along with 1 double in two games following his demotion back to Salt Lake. 1st baseman, Mark Krauss’ bat is starting to heat up as well. Mark is currently on a 4-game hitting streak where he owns an average of .428 (14 at-bats) and a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. After a rough patch to start the season, Josh Rutledge has seen his batting average climb up to .280 for the season. The trio of Bees outfielders have performed well as of late. Roger Kieschnick, extended his hitting streak to 10 games on Monday. He is hitting .425 during that stretch. Left fielder, Alfredo Marte, hit .386 this past week to go along with two doubles and one triple. Former Giants top prospect, Gary Brown, is currently on a 5-game hitting streak where he is hitting .347 (23 at-bats) with one double, one triple, a stolen base and 7 RBI’s.
Double-A Arkansas Travelers
The Travelers went 5-3 in their last 8 games. The Travs are currently in first place of the Texas League North and hold a 1 game lead over the second place Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Tyler DeLoach continued to pitch the ball well with 7.0 complete innings to go along with 8 strikeouts and 2 runs allowed on Monday. His second start didn’t fare as well, having allowed 4 earned runs in 6 innings with no strikeouts. Overall, the southpaw still owns a strong ERA of 2.25 and 0.97 WHIP. Starting pitcher, Kyle McGowin, is looking to right the ship after a rough start to the season. McGowin struck out 8 batters in 6.0 innings while only allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 2 earned runs. Brian Hernandez continued to be as consistent as ever, batting .321 with 2 doubles and 8 RBI’s over these past 8 games. Wade Hinkle is batting .347 during the same stretch to go along with 5 walks. Hinkle owns a career minor league OBP of .397.
High-A Inland Empire 66ers
The 66ers went 3-4 since our last affiliate report and fell to 2.0 GB first place with an overall record of 12-13. Victor Alcantara pitched 5.0 quality innings on Monday, striking out 7 batters while only allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 3 earned runs. Alcantara struggled with his last start on Sunday, allowing 5 earned over 4.1 innings pitched. Chris Ellis had a strong start on Friday. The 3rd round draft pick only allowed 1 hit, 1 walk and 1 earned run while striking out 4 batters across 6.0 innings pitched. Starting pitcher, Jordan Kipper, pitched his 4th straight quality start on Thursday. Kipper struck out 4 batters in 6.0 innings pitched while only giving up 4 hits, 1 walk and 2 earned runs. Austin Adams stretched his scoreless inning streak to 11.0 innings. Adams struck out 4 batters in 1.2 innings pitched (2 appearances). Kaleb Cowart hit his 1st home run of the season on Thursday, but is still managing to hit only .170 on the season. Roberto Baldoquin is currently on the 7-day DL for a strained left lat.
Low-A Burlington Bees
Like the 66ers, the Bees went 3-4 and currently sit 5.0 GB first place with an overall record of 14-11(2nd place). Sean Newcomb pitched 4 innings in his last start on Friday. The top prospect struck out 7 batters while giving up 5 hits, 3 walks and 2 earned runs. Overall, Newcomb owns a 2.25 ERA on the season to go along with a WHIP of 1.21 and 35 strikeouts in 24.0 innings pitched. 5th round draft pick, Jake Jewell, gave up just 2 hits, 1 walk and a single earned run while striking out 4 batters in 3.1 innings pitched on Wednesday. Jewell has managed to just walk 2 batters all season (16.0 innings pitched) and owns a sterling 2.81 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. Shortstop, Jake Yacinich, is starting to heat up again. The 8th round draft pick (2014 draft) is batting .400 in 6 games this week (25 at-bats) and has brought his average up to .295 on the season. Third baseman, Zachary Houchins, is batting .286 in his last 10 games to go along with 3 doubles and a triple. Outfielder, Natanael Delgado, is batting .310 during that same stretch, with the help of a 4-hit game on Saturday.