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February 17, 2009

Future Shock

Los Angeles Angels Top 11 Prospects

by Kevin Goldstein

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top 11 prospects

Team Audit | DT Cards | PECOTA Cards | Depth Chart

Four-Star Prospects
1. Jordan Walden, RHP
2. Nick Adenhart, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
3. Hank Conger, C
4. Trevor Reckling, LHP
5. Peter Bourjos, CF
6. Tyler Chatwood, RHP
7. Will Smith, LHP
8. Mark Trumbo, 1B
9. Manuarys Correa, RHP
10. Luis Jiminez, 3B
11. Sean O'Sullivan, RHP

Just Missed: Robert Fish, LHP; Kevin Jepsen, RHP; Alex Torres, LHP

Ranking Challenges: They were numerous. It's very hard to properly value Nick Adenhart's still-optimistic scouting reports against his mediocre performance record. As for Hank Conger-is it fair to assume he's still a catcher? There is a ton of dead wood in the upper levels of the system, and it's hard to determine which of the high-ceiling young players have the best chance to succeed.

1. Jordan Walden, RHP
DOB: 11/16/87
Height/Weight: 6-5/220
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 12th round, 2006, Mansfield HS (TX)
2008 Stats: 2.18 ERA at Low-A (107.1-80-32-91), 5.71 DERA; 4.04 ERA at High-A (49-42-24-50), 7.69 DERA
Last Year's Ranking: 3

Year in Review: This high-profile draft-and-follow shined in his full-season debut last year.
The Good: In a league loaded with talented pitchers, one scout thought Walden was the Midwest League's best pure arm. His fastball often sits at 93-94 mph, touches 98, and features incredible sink and run, turning him into that rare pitcher who is both a strike-out artist and a ground-ball machine. He has a classic power pitcher's frame, clean arm action, and excellent stamina.
The Bad: Walden's development path will depend on how his secondary offerings come along. His slider has promise, but he frequently gets around on the pitch, causing it to flatten out, while his changeup is still pretty rudimentary.
Fun Fact: He made two starts against Low-A Kane County in 2008, allowing just two hits over 13 shutout innings.
Perfect World Projection: He'll be a number two starter if the secondary stuff comes around.
Glass Half Empty: He ends up as a bullpen artist if it doesn't.
Path to the Big Leagues: The Angels have four good starters in their prime or younger, but that could change by the time Walden is ready.
Timetable: He'll likely return to High-A to begin the year, and he could reach Double-A by the end of the season.

2. Nick Adenhart, RHP
DOB: 8/24/86
Height/Weight: 6-3/185
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 14th round, 2004, Williamsport HS (MD)
2008 Stats: 5.76 ERA at Triple-A (145.1-173-75-110), 5.94 DERA; 9.00 ERA at MLB (12-18-13-4), 8.18 DERA
Last Year's Ranking: 1

Year in Review: He was the top prospect entering the year, and got off to a great start, but things went downhill in a major way following a poor big-league debut in '08.
The Good: Scouts still see a lot to like in Adenhart, despite his struggles. He has three pitches that grade as average or above, beginning with a low-90s fastball that can touch 95 mph, a very good slider, and a solid changeup. He has clean, easy arm action and maintains his stuff deep into games.
The Bad: Most of Adenhart's struggles last year can be attributed to his command. Some scouts felt that his confidence plummeted following the stint with the Angels, when he began trying to paint the corners and make each pitch perfect, as opposed to just trusting his stuff and letting it fly. Others saw him as pitching backwards; getting behind in the count by throwing breaking balls in the dirt and then being forced to come in with fastballs.
Fun Fact: He allowed just three earned runs in his first five starts for Triple-A Salt Lake last year, and finished the season by allowing just one earned run in his final two outings. In the 19 starts in between, his ERA was 7.75.
Perfect World Projection: Many scouts still see Adenhart as a third starter, perhaps a little better.
Glass Half Empty: He's been given a bit of a mulligan for 2008, but if he keeps pitching like he did, it's hard to see anything good in his future.
Path to the Big Leagues: If he pitches well, there is an opening at the back end of the Angels rotation.
Timetable: The Angels want to see Adenhart turn it around at Triple-A before they give him another shot. If he does, the opportunity is still there.

3. Hank Conger, C
DOB: 1/29/88
Height/Weight: 6-0/205
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2006, Huntington Beach HS (CA)
2008 Stats: .303/.333/.517, .242 EqA at High-A (73 G)
Last Year's Ranking: 4

Year in Review: He's a slugging catcher who kept on hitting last season while continuing to deal with non-stop injuries that prevent him from playing behind the plate.
The Good: Conger certainly can hit. He has significant strength and a quick, quiet, level swing that has most projecting him to hit for both average and power. He makes consistent hard contact to all fields, and had little trouble hitting Double-A pitchers during the postseason. His arm strength is above average.
The Bad: The biggest question mark for Conger has always been his ability to stay at catcher; a series of injuries, the two largest involving back and shoulder problems, have had him spending more time on the disabled list or as a designated hitter than behind the plate. He has a massive frame, limited mobility behind the dish, and his only other positional option would be first base. He needs to improve his plate discipline, though scouts are optimistic on that front, as he doesn't take many bad cuts.
Fun Fact: Huntington Beach was the first high school to ever have a varsity surfing program, and the school has produced more pro surfers than baseball players.
Perfect World Projection: He'll become an offense-oriented catcher who hits in the middle of a big-league lineup.
Glass Half Empty: If he can't catch, what is he? Craig Wilson?
Path to the Big Leagues: Mike Napoli has a firm grip on the Angels' catching job for now.
Timetable: Conger will begin the year at Double-A, and reports are that he is healthy. More eyes will be on what he does behind the plate, as opposed to what he does when he steps up to it.

4. Trevor Reckling, LHP
DOB: 5/22/89
Height/Weight: 6-2/205
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 8th round, 2007, St. Benedict's Prep (NJ)
2008 Stats: 3.37 ERA at Low-A (152.1-137-59-128), 7.51 DERA
Last Year's Ranking: Not Ranked

Year in Review: This little-known eighth-round pick exceeded all expectations in his full-season debut in 2008.
The Good: With his silky-smooth mechanics and plus-plus athleticism for the position, Reckling offers significant projection. His 89-92 mph fastball features significant sink and run, and he already has a quality breaking ball that flashes plus at times.
The Bad: He still has some rawness in him. His control is better than his command is right now, and his changeup could use some refinement. He ran out of gas toward the end of the season, and needs to prove he can hold up under a full starter's workload.
Fun Fact: An all-boys Catholic School in the Newark area, St. Benedict's is known more for having one of the best soccer programs in the country, with many alumni in the MLS and Euro leagues.
Perfect World Projection: He's a future third or fourth starter.
Glass Half Empty: He settles in as a starter at the back end of the rotation, or as a swingman.
Path to the Big Leagues: While the Angels' rotation is full right now, there's not much ahead of him in the minors; the pitching is quite shallow at the upper levels.
Timetable: Reckling will face a tough test this year pitching for the Angels' High-A affiliate at Rancho Cucamonga in the southern division of the California League.

5. Peter Bourjos, CF
DOB: 3/31/87
Height/Weight: 6-1/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 10th round, 2005, Notre Dame HS (AZ)
2008 Stats: .295/.326/.444, .229 EqA at High-A (121 G)
Last Year's Ranking: 7

Year in Review: The best athlete in the system competed for the California League batting title in '08 before a second-half slump, but he still led the circuit with 50 stolen bases.
The Good: Bourjos' all-around set of tools rank with that of anyone else's in the system. He has a quick bat and gap power, and his best tool is speed that grades 60-65 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale. His quickness is made even more valuable in center field and on the basepaths due to his outstanding instincts and his strong arm.
The Bad: His tools are that of a leadoff man, but he's an impatient hitter with an uppercut in his swing that results in contact issues. Scouting reports caught up to him in the second half last year, as pitchers began feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls, which led to a significant drop in his batting average.
Fun Fact: The son of a scout, Bourjos was a teammate of Cubs catching prospect Michael Brenly (son of former big-leaguer and Cubs color-man Bob Brenly) at Notre Dame High in Scottsdale.
Perfect World Projection: He'll be an everyday center fielder.
Glass Half Empty: His lack of plate discipline will make him a fourth outfielder.
Path to the Big Leagues: There's no rush, as Torii Hunter is signed through 2012.
Timetable: Bourjos will move up to Double-A in 2009.

6. Tyler Chatwood, RHP
DOB: 12/16/89
Height/Weight: 5-11/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2nd round, 2008, Redlands East Valley HS (CA)
2008 Stats: 3.08 ERA at Rookie-level (38-25-36-48)
Last Year's Ranking: N/A

Year in Review: The Angels' top selection in the 2008 draft was raw, messy, but nonetheless impressive in his full-season debut.
The Good: Chatwood defies the clichés usually attached to small-statured pitchers by featuring a lightning-quick arm that allows his fastball to sit at 91-94 mph, and he's touched as high as 97 without using significant sink on the pitch. His breaking ball is a plus offering right now, and he's an exceptional athlete who also has pro-level talent as a position player with plus speed and gap power.
The Bad: Chatwood has had little need for a changeup so far in his career, so the effectiveness of the pitch is still well behind his other offerings. His biggest problem is with his control; there's already some grunt in his delivery, and when he overthrows he loses track of the whereabouts of the strike zone.
Fun Fact: Batters leading off an inning against him in the Arizona Summer League went 3-for-33 with 14 strikeouts (and seven walks).
Perfect World Projection: A solid major league starting pitcher.
Glass Half Empty: His body can't handle 200 innings, and he ends up in the bullpen.
Path to the Big Leagues: It's too soon for any concern.
Timetable: This spring Chatwood will need to prove that he's ready for a full-season assignment, but it's more likely he'll work on throwing strikes prior to a June assignment to Orem in the Pioneer League.

7. Will Smith, LHP
DOB: 7/10/89
Height/Weight: 6-5/215
Bats/Throws: R/L
Drafted/Signed: 7th round, 2008, Gulf Coast CC
2008 Stats: 3.08 ERA at Rookie-level (73-73-6-76)
Last Year's Ranking: N/A

Year in Review: Another late pick who already looks like quite the find, Smith had scouts in the Pioneer League wondering how 228 players were selected before him in last June's draft.
The Good: Like Reckling, Smith is a big, athletic lefty with a ton of projection. He fills the strike zone with an 88-92 mph heater that should gain a couple of ticks as he matures. He can miss bats with his hard, slurvy breaking ball, and he also has some feel for a changeup.
The Bad: His excellent control can be a problem, and he needs to improve the way he sets up batters and make better use of his chase pitches when ahead in the count, as he offers too many hittable pitches in each at-bat. He needs to commit more to his breaking ball, with most feeling that it would work better as a true slider.
Fun Fact: Smith faced 73 batters with runners in scoring position at Orem in his pro debut without issuing a single walk.
Perfect World Projection: He'll be a mid-rotation starter, maybe a bit more.
Glass Half Empty: His secondary stuff still has a ways to go in order for him to have a true three-pitch mix, and he could end up in the bullpen.
Path To The Big Leagues: He's still at least three years away.
Timetable: Smith will make his full-season debut at Low-A Cedar Rapids.

8. Mark Trumbo, 1B
DOB: 1/16/86
Height/Weight: 6-4/220
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 18th round, 2004, Villa Park HS (CA)
2008 Stats: .283/.329/.553, .247 EqA at High-A (103 G); .276/.311/.496, .242 EqA at Double-A (32 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Not Ranked

Year in Review: This bonus baby who had been seen by some as a failed prospect suddenly broke out last year by leading the organization in home runs (32) and RBI (93).
The Good: Trumbo's calling card is his plus-plus power, which began to show itself in game situations after he stopped trying to yank every pitch and just allowed his natural hitting ability and strength work for him. He makes surprisingly consistent contact for a power hitter, and team officials praise the work ethic he showed during his previous struggles.
The Bad: This is a pure hitting prospect. He's big, unathletic, slow, and a poor defensive first baseman. He's an aggressive hitter who needs to work the count and wait for more drivable pitches.
Fun Fact: While Trumbo is the only player ever drafted out of Villa Park High, the school does have a baseball connection, having graduated Kevin Costner.
Perfect World Projection: He's a solid everyday first baseman.
Glass Half Empty: The season he had in 2008 was a fluke, his aggressiveness hurts him at the upper levels, and he ends up as a Quad-A type.
Path to the Big Leagues: The loss of Mark Teixeira has created an opening at first base, but Trumbo isn't in the picture yet.
Timetable: He'll return to Double-A to begin 2009, and he could get a look by the end of the year if he keeps on mashing.

9. Manuarys Correa, RHP
DOB: 1/5/89
Height/Weight: 6-3/170
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2007
2008 Stats: 2.65 ERA at Rookie-level (57.2-56-10-67); 6.20 ERA at Rookie-level (20.1-32-5-17)
Last Year's Ranking: Not Ranked

Year in Review: The best young Latin pitcher in the system, he excelled in his state-side debut last season.
The Good: Correa has an intriguing combination of polish and projection. His fastball sits at 91-93 mph, touches 95, and with his long, lanky frame, he could develop even more velocity in the future. His slider is a solid offering with good two-plane break, and he has good control of his pitches.
The Bad: Like Smith, Correa has more control than command; he grooves too many pitches and needs to learn to throw his slider effectively out of the strike zone. His changeup is below average, and while he repeats his delivery well, there are a lot of arms and legs in it.
Fun Fact: He faced 34 batters in the fourth inning for the AZL Angels. Six got hits, and 18 struck out.
Perfect World Projection: He'll be a third starter in The Show.
Glass Half Empty: There is still a long, long way to go.
Path to the Big Leagues: Well, for now he's at least got a path to a full-season league.
Timetable: Correa will likely join Smith in what is shaping up to be an interesting rotation at Low-A Cedar Rapids.

10. Luis Jimenez, 3B
DOB: 1/18/88
Height/Weight: 6-1/170
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2005
2008 Stats: .331/.361/.630 at Rookie-level (66 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Not Ranked

Year in Review: He's a little-known Dominican prospect who led the Pioneer League in '08 in doubles (28) and home runs (15).
The Good: Jimenez' hitting skills are highly advanced. He has that special brand of bat speed that allows him to wait on pitches before unleashing his swing, leading to consistent hard contact to all fields with considerable pull-power. Some scouts see more power coming as his frame fills out, and in the field he's a solid third baseman with a good arm.
The Bad: Despite the prodigious numbers that he put up at Orem, most give him average-to-plus scores on his power due to the league and park. He's a highly impatient hitter whose excellent plate coverage works against him at times, as he rarely finds himself in a hitter's count. While he has all of the tools needed to stay at third base, he could use some improvement on his jumps and footwork.
Fun Fact: Usually hitting fourth or fifth in the Orem lineup, Jimenez was strangely ineffective during 11 games out of the three-hole, where he hit .213/.229/.426.
Perfect World Projection: He'll be a classic run-producing third baseman.
Glass Half Empty: Prospect history is littered with Pioneer League mashers who proved to be no more than the flavor of the month.
Path to the Big Leagues: If Brandon Wood is a third baseman, Jimenez is blocked. If not, the road is clear.
Timetable: Jimenez has a shot to move way up on this list if he can deliver a repeat performance at Low-A Cedar Rapids.

11. Sean O'Sullivan, RHP
DOB: 9/1/87
Height/Weight: 6-1/220
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 3rd round, 2005, Valhalla HS (CA)
2008 Stats: 4.73 ERA at High-A (158-167-50-111), 7.46 DERA
Last Year's Ranking: 5

Year in Review: He's a finesse righty who had an up-and-down campaign in the tough California League last year.
The Good: Sullivan's fastball grades up from its average velocity due to its location and movement, and he already has a full three-pitch arsenal with a plus curve and an average changeup with nice depth and fade. He understands his limitations, pitches within himself, and has a knack for setting up hitters.
The Bad: Sullivan's velocity has dipped from what it once was, and some question his conditioning, as his body became soft and his stuff even softer during the final month of the season, when he was often sitting at just 85-88 mph. He doesn't have a real knockout pitch, so there is little room for error in his game.
Fun Fact: While Valhalla High also produced slugger Tony Clark, its most famous alum is Olympic diving gold medalist Greg Louganis.
Perfect World Projection: He'll become a back-end innings eater.
Glass Half Empty: He'll settle for being a strike-throwing middle reliever.
Path to the Big Leagues: To be determined once it's seen what he can do at the upper levels.
Timetable: O'Sullivan will advance to Double-A Arkansas in 2009.

The Sleeper: Shortstop Andrew Romine's .260/.347/.336 line at the age of 22 in the Low-A Midwest League is hardly anything to write home about, but he draws walks, runs very well, and was the best defensive shortstop in the league.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (as of Opening Day 2009)

1. Howie Kendrick, 2B
2. Brandon Wood, 3B/SS
3. Jordan Walden, RHP
4. Erick Aybar, SS
5. Kendry Morales, 1B
6. Nick Adenhart, RHP
7. Jose Arredondo, RHP
8. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
9. Hank Conger, C
10. Trevor Reckling, LHP

Well, they do still have young talent, and what we have here is a list of players that I more or less still believe in. Howie Kendrick? I still think he's going to get healthy and hit .340 one year. Wood? He'll hit 30 home runs once the Angels just pick a spot for him, put him there, and leave him there. Aybar still has great tools, and I'm also not convinced that first base is going to be an offensive black hole, based on some nice reports on Morales this winter. Jose Arredondo showed that you really can go far if you just have a very good fastball, while I'd like Sean Rodriguez more if he could play on the left side or had shown anything in the majors during his time there.

Summary: The Angels' system is down significantly from previous years, as free-agent signings have severely hamstrung them in the draft, while other prospects have disappointed. Other than for Adenhart, it's going to take the players on this list some time to arrive.

Up next: the Minnesota Twins.


Director of Player Development Abe Flores explains how the Angels reload to avoid rebuilding, and the importance of having an "Angel Way" that starts at the top, on Baseball Prospectus Radio.

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Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

31 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links


Some nitpicking user feedback: is you're going to give all the systems 4 or 5 stars on the front page, what's the point of doing it at all? I mean, the Astros are pretty universally considered one of the worst systems right now, yet they still rate 4 stars?

I understand the difficulties of trying to define the difference between a 4 star and 5 star player or not wanting to try and rate players 1 star to 10 stars or whatever, but I suppose I'd have the same complaint if you rated every prospect 4 or 5 stars without any 3 or 2 or 1 star players.

Enjoy your work, though.

Feb 17, 2009 08:20 AM
rating: -1

I don't think the stars represent the team's system, they represent the team's top prospect. In this case, Jordan Walden is 4 stars.

Feb 17, 2009 08:30 AM
rating: 0

You are an observant human.

I am not.

I will retreat from the field showered in shame.

Feb 17, 2009 09:22 AM
rating: 3
Dr. Dave
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

[Bourjos's] tools are that of a leadoff man, but he's an impatient hitter

Is this really a BP article? Avoiding outs is the only leadoff hitter tool that matters, to a first approximation. We've known this for decades now. Basestealing is a leadoff tool the way a powerful arm is a first baseman's tool -- great as a bonus, but irrelevant if he can't do the important things. Eddie Yost (who went 1-for-12 in SB attempts one year) was a much better leadoff hitter than Vince Coleman.

Feb 17, 2009 08:56 AM
rating: -5

Dr. Dave: "to a first approximation"? lol are you writing a dissertation or a wall post.

I shouldn't have to tell a doctor this, being a lowly grad student but the little inclusion of "but" means means that he would be a solid lead off hitter if he works on his plate discipline. It dosen't mean he is a good leadoff hitter with the lack of plate discipline.

Feb 17, 2009 09:20 AM
rating: 0
Dr. Dave

I'm writing English, and trying to say what I mean without lying. I tend to do that whether it's a dissertation or a text message. YMMV.

Saying that he'd be a good leadoff hitter if he improves his plate discipline is exactly like saying he'd be a good cleanup hitter if he started hitting home runs. It's not quite as bad as saying I'd be a good goalie if I were 11 inches taller, but that's the flavor of it. It's misleading because it looks, at first glance, a lot like "he has a starting pitcher's tool set, but needs to perfect some kind of changeup", which is a much more plausible development.

Feb 17, 2009 09:48 AM
rating: -2

Developing a change up is more plausible than developing plate discipline?

I am not sure how to discuss baseball with someone who believes that.

Feb 17, 2009 10:05 AM
rating: -3
James Martin Cole

Dude, he's 21 years old. It's not like he's 30 and increasing his number of BB's is out of the question. Anyway, Kevin acknowledged the limitation that you're complaining about in the very sentence you quoted. And then he goes on to say:

Glass Half Empty: His lack of plate discipline will make him a fourth outfielder.

What is the problem?

Feb 17, 2009 10:16 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Drawing walks is a tool, not a skill, and avoiding outs is NOT the only thing that matters in a leadoff man in my mind. If you presented me with a .400 obp guy who can't run and a .365 obp guy who can fly, the second player is a better leadoff man. There are three other bases you need to guy to run to.

Leadoff men ideally need to get on base AND run well. When you don't have that combination, it's fine to go with a Yost-esque player, but it's hardly ideal.

Feb 17, 2009 10:19 AM
Dr. Dave

Thanks for the reply, Kevin.

Drawing walks is a tool, not a skill

I suspect you meant that the other way around. I'm willing to be convinced I'm wrong about this, but it seems to me that developing unexpected power is at least as common as developing unexpected plate discipline as a pro. Sammy Sosa is pretty much the only example that springs to mind of the latter.

If you presented me with a .400 obp guy who can't run and a .365 obp guy who can fly, the second player is a better leadoff man.

That's precisely where we disagree. The difference between those 2 guys, over the course of a season, is that your #2-#5 hitters bat an extra 35-40 times behind the .400 guy. You can count on one hand the number of guys in the history of MLB who were good enough on the bases to make up that kind of deficit year after year in a modern run-scoring environment.

(Besides, if you lead the speed guy off, you waste part of the value of his speed, which is avoiding more outs by staying out of GIDP.)

Feb 17, 2009 10:56 AM
rating: 2

I think the main hang up here is that you think developing plate discipline is extremley hard to do.

Obviously, there can be varrying degrees of plate discipline but typically players do improve in that area as they get older.

Feb 17, 2009 11:12 AM
rating: -1
Al Skorupa

Players do improve their discipline and patience as they get old, but think of it more as "slight improvements" and "over the course of their career."

Not so much "drastic improvements" and "upon reaching the high minors/MLB."

The ability of young players (like Andrus) to improve their OBP/walk rate is being dramatically overstated as of late.

Feb 17, 2009 12:36 PM
rating: 0
Matthew Avery

There's a reason you don't see a lot of 1Bs leading off, and it's not their low OBA's. You can't compare these theoretical .400 OBA and .365 OBA + speed guys because "leadoff hitter" isn't the only spot you have in a lineup. You have to consider opportunity cost. A guy with elite speed and a strong OBA is used to maximum potential in the leadoff spot where he can get on base and move around them quickly. A guy with a .400 OBA can probably fit in most anywhere. If you bat him leadoff instead of 2nd or 3rd or 5th or something, that means you're putting someone else there like, say, your .365 OBA + speed guy. Surely that's not optimal.

The real problem is making blanket statements in a vacuum without considering who you've got in the other 8 spots of your lineup.

Feb 17, 2009 14:27 PM
rating: -1
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Yes, I reversed those.

Can I use this space here to say that the story of Sammy Sosa developing unexpected plate discipline is pretty much a myth. He still had horrible plate discipline, it's just that nobody would throw him a strike.

As for the 2-players question; I poised it to many people in the industry, including many who are, shall we say, stat-inclined, and 4 out of 5 want the 70 runner.

Feb 17, 2009 21:24 PM
Pat Folz

"avoiding outs" is not a tool, at least not in the traditional sense that KG has been using for years.

Feb 17, 2009 10:23 AM
rating: 1

I think the distinction here is maybe one between "tools" and "skills"?

Feb 17, 2009 11:51 AM
rating: 0

Wait a minute, I posted the above before reading Kevin's answer... nevermind. Nice to see I was on the right track though

Feb 17, 2009 11:52 AM
rating: 0

I am very underwhelmed by this list - especially for a team that people typically refer to as drafting well. Obviously they haven't had alot of first round picks.

They have a slew of early picks this year and I wouldn't be surprised to see 3 or 4 on this list next year.

Feb 17, 2009 09:21 AM
rating: 1

How is Brandon Wood's name still on there? Hasn't he proven to enough people he is awful?

Feb 17, 2009 09:29 AM
rating: -3

Wood hit 296/375/595 with 31 homers in 103 games as a 23 year old at Triple-A Salt Lake, all while bouncing up and down between the majors and minors all summer, and moving back and forth between short and third. How is that "awful"? If you're the Angels are you really going to give up on him at this point, or would you just plant him at one position, give him 500 PAs in the majors, and see what he can do?

Feb 17, 2009 09:40 AM
rating: 1
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Feb 17, 2009 10:19 AM
Al Skorupa

Anyone who doesnt burst on the scene as a ready made fantasy God like Evan Longoria is immediately labeled a "bust" or "awful" these days.

Feb 17, 2009 12:37 PM
rating: 0

Ya those are some impressive numbers for Wood, but lets not forget a couple of things. He put up those numbers in the PCL, one of the best hitter's leagues in the minors, and played his home games in one of the very best hitter's parks in the minors. Making those numbers look a little bit less impressive is the fact that Wood was repeating the league. Furthermore, he played extremely poorly in both the majors and the Dominican Winter league this year.

I'm not saying Wood should be forgotten about or labeled a bust just yet, but I think expectations should be tempered a bit. He is not a guarantee to hit in the majors, and I think KG would be hard pressed to find many GMs or scouting directors who would rather have him than Walden.

Feb 17, 2009 16:34 PM
rating: 0
James Martin Cole

So what's the reason for their not playing Wood at 1st, and then some combo of Izturis/Figgins @ 3rd, Izturis/Aybar at SS, Wood at 1st, and Morales nowhere?

I mean, short of one of these guys hitting .210, this has got to be better than trotting Morales out there every day.

Feb 17, 2009 10:05 AM
rating: 1

I'd argue that Adenhart didn't get off to a great start. Sure, his 0.87 April ERA looked great, but he had a 15/19 BB/K and that isn't an indication of someone pitching that great. That promotion to the big leagues was ill-fated.

Among pitchers, I think I'd put Reckling and Smith ahead of him, but that's just me.

Feb 17, 2009 10:25 AM
rating: 1

Any thoughts on Clay Fuller?

Feb 17, 2009 10:39 AM
rating: 0

I dont understand all the love for Brandon Wood, and the lack of appreciation for Sean Rodriguez. I agree that Wood is the better prospect, playing in the leftside of the infield and with better frame, but hasnt Rodriguez also shown that he can hit? His numbers in the minors last year were comparable to Wood's

Feb 17, 2009 12:35 PM
rating: -1

Rodriguez can also play, and play pretty well, on the left side. The Angels chose not to give him a shot there last year, but he was one of the better shortstops in AA the previous year. He's also got a cannon for an arm.

Feb 17, 2009 12:47 PM
rating: -1
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Scouts disagree with your evaluation -- almost universally.

Feb 17, 2009 21:26 PM

Interesting - BA gave him best infield arm in the system rating in 2008 and he looked good getting the ball to first while turning the DP last year in the mlb. As far as defense goes, he was among league leaders in chances and errors (as in, among the fewest) at ss in AA, leading to good evaluations by both CHONE's and PECOTA's defensive metrics. That's what I'm going on - I wish I had the opportunity to talk to more scouts!

Feb 18, 2009 09:50 AM
rating: 0
Austin (Raleigh)

"There is a ton of dead wood in the upper levels of the system,"

Was that a knock on Brandon? ;)

Feb 18, 2009 06:51 AM
rating: 1
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