By Adrian Noche, AngelsWin.com Minor League Reporter -
1.) Sean Newcomb, Starting Pitcher, Inland Empire 66ers
Last two starts: 0-0 10.1 IP 0.87 ERA 8 H 5 BB 10 SO 1.25 WHIP
Overall: 1-0 39.1 IP 1.83 ERA 29 H 20 BB 52 SO 1.25 WHIP .209 BAA
As you all know, Sean Newcomb was promoted to High-A Inland Empire on May 14th. Newcomb, who was the Angels top draft pick in 2014, was dealing before his promotion. Let’s look at his numbers in Low-A Burlington: 1.83 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 11.8 SO9. The only number that should be a cause of concern (if any) is his BB9 of 5.0. However, his promotion shows that the Angels are comfortable where he is in his development and believe he is ready to take the next step. Now, let’s look at his first start in High-A and it is clear that they were right. On Saturday, Newcomb pitched 5.0 innings of one-run ball. The southpaw also struck out 7 batters while only giving up 1 walk and 4 hits. Look for Newcomb to continue to climb the organizational ladder, continuing to make hitters look like fools along with way. This should be a fun ride.
2.) Jeremy Rhoades, Starting Pitcher, Burlington Bees
Last two starts: 0-1 13.1 IP 2.70 ERA 7 H 4 BB 10 SO 0.82 WHIP
Overall: 3-1 33.2 IP 2.41 ERA 29 H 7 BB 36 SO 1.07 WHIP .227 BAA
Along with Newcomb, there should be another pitcher who should be expecting a promotion soon. That pitcher is Jeremy Rhoades, who is arguable having a better season than Newcomb. Rhoades has a strong SO9 of 9.6 yet a minuscule BB9 of 1.9. Rhoades carried a no-hitter into the 8th inning before surrendering 3 earned runs and getting tagged with the loss on Wednesday. Rhoades' line exiting after 7.1 IP was 3 hits and 2 walks allowed, with 5 strikeouts. Out of every minor league prospect in the Angels organization, Rhoades has taken the biggest step by far among all of them. Just a year ago, Rhoades possessed shotty mechanics and only one plus-pitch (his slider, maybe even plus-plus). Fast forward to today, Rhoades not only improved his mechanics but also added a potentially plus-changeup to his arsenal.
3.) Andrew Heaney, Starting Pitcher, Salt Lake Bees
Last two starts: 1-0 13.0 IP 0.69 ERA 10 H 5 BB 16 SO 1.15 WHIP
Overall: 5-0 43.1 IP 3.12 ERA 49 H 12 BB 43 SO 1.41 WHIP .280 BAA
Andrew Heaney has been somewhat inconsistent so far this season. Despite the inconsistency, Heaney has managed to carry some solid numbers. However, Heaney has been on a groove lately. In his last two starts, the Angels top prospect has only allowed 1 earned run in 13.0 innings while striking out 16 batters. After seeing his ERA balloon up to 4.85 ERA, Heaney has seen this number drop all the way down to 3.12 this season. Hitters have been hitting Heaney for a high average (.280) but this can be a result of some bad luck as his BABIP is .356.
4.) Jett Bandy, Catcher, Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 games: .375 AVG 12 H 3 Doubles 0 Triples 3 HR 0 SB
Although Carlos Perez was promoted to the Angels, the Bees have not been missing a beat at the catcher position with the way Jett Bandy has been playing. Bandy has been smacking the ball all over the place this season. Bandy had himself a stretch of 5-games where he hit .611 (11-for-18) to go along with 3 home runs, 3 doubles and a ridiculous 14 runs driven in. Overall, Bandy has a slash line of .364/.427/.606 on the season.
5.) Eric Aguilera, First Baseman, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 games: .400 AVG 18 H 4 Doubles 0 Triples 1 HR 2 SB
Eric Aguilera is one of the more under-the-radar and underrated prospects in the Angels farm system. Aguilera was probably the best player on the Burlington Bees last season, with a slash line of .306/.341/.539. So far this season, Aguilera has been the best hitter on the 66ers as well. In his last 10 games, Aguilera is hitting an even .400 (18-for-45) with 3 doubles and a home run. It has been a steady climb up the minor leagues for Aguilera since being drafted in the 34th round of the 2013 draft. Aguilera started out in Rookie Ball Orem in 2013, Low-A Burlington in 2014, and is now starting this season with High-A Inland Empire.
Minor League Affiliate Report
Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
Salt Lake played .500 ball this past week (3-3) and sit 9.0 GB first place with an overall record of 15-21. Nick Tropeano pitched has pitched a pair of quality starts since last week, only allowing a combined 4 earned runs in 12.2 innings pitched while allowing 11 hits, 3 walks and striking out 11. Grant Green continues to swing a solid bat, with a .280 batting average this past week. Kyle Kubitza hit 2 doubles and added to his league leading total which sits at 15 on the season.
Like the Bees, Arkansas split 6 games this week with 3 wins and 3 losses. As of today, the Travelers have an overall record of 21-14 (second place of the Texas League North) and sit 2.5 GB first place. Tyler DeLoach continued his strong 2015 campaign with 6.0 shutout innings on Friday. The southpaw only allowed 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8 batters. DeLoach owns a 1.89 ERA ERA in 38.0 innings pitched this season (34 SO 11 BB 25 H). Nate Smith also had himself a strong start this week. On Sunday, Smith only gave up 1 earned run, 5 hits and 1 walk whiling striking out 6 batters. Chad Hinshaw was placed on the 7-day DL on Thursday.
High-A Inland Empire 66ers
The 66ers only played 4 games this week and won 3 of them. The 66ers now hold a .500 record, sitting 5.0 GB of first place. Chris Ellis only allowed 1 earned run in 6.0 innings pitched on Tuesday. Ellis gave up 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 batters. Harrison Cooney struck out 11 batters in 6.0 innings pitched on Wednesday while only giving up 1 earned run, 3 hits and 2 walks. Jordan Kipper threw 8 innings and only gave up 1 earned run as well. Kipper struck out 2 batters and allowed 6 hits and 1 walk. Kaleb Cowart is starting to turn a corner, hitting .282 with 2 doubles, 2 triples and a home run in his last 10 games. Mike Fish has been on a tear as of late, hitting .474 with 1 double and 1 triple in his last 10 games. Outfielder, Brandyon Bayardi, continued his strong season and has now lifted his average up to .330 on the season.
Low-A Burlington Bees
The Low-A Bees owned a 3-3 record this week and are one game above .500 with an overall record of 19-18 (10.0 GB). Austin Robichaux pitched 7 shutout innings on Sunday, striking out 4 while giving up 2 hits and 3 walks. Jake Jewell pitched 4.0 innings of long relief on Tuesday. Jewell struck out 7 batters and gave up 1 earned run, 4 hits and no walks. With a combined 2.2 shutout innings of relief pitched this week, Jonah Wesely has lowered his ERA to 2.87 on the season (15.2 IP 20 SO 8 BB). Second baseman,Andrew Daniel, has had the power stroke working for him lately, with 3 home runs and 3 doubles in his last 10 games. Outfielder, Natanael Delgado, has been on an offensive surge. The 19 year old is batting .425 with 2 doubles and 2 triples in his last 10 games and has raised his season average to .302. Miguel Hermosillo has reached base plenty for the Bees this week. The outfielder has 10 hits and 7 walks in his last 10 games.