Tony Campana, John Buck, J. B. Shuck, Matt Long, Fernando Salas, Luis Jimenez, Ryan Wheeler, Michael Roth, Cam Bedrosian and Drew Rucisnki. No, that’s not the Angels top prospect list. No, those aren’t their trade commodities. Those are the list of players that have a reasonable shot at being promoted come September. But before that let’s just get a rundown on what they can actually bring to the team other than “depth”.
OF Tony Campana – Speed. There isn’t any power to his game, not a ton of discipline or offensive ability. Campana gives the Angels a true base stealing weapon and defensive replacement once the roster expand.
C John Buck – Catching depth. Something the Angels haven’t had for at least three years. He’s an average defensive catcher with above average power. Not enough bat to be a starter but certainly worth having on hand.
OF J.B. Shuck – Grit. Shuck is the token undersized, over-aged white guy on the team. There isn’t anything he can do that Collin Cowgill or Tony Campana can’t, but Shuck almost always finds his way on to the roster and is in the middle of most celebrations. Good for him.
OF/2B/3B Matt Long – Versatility. Matt Long will literally play any position as long as you promise to keep paying him to play baseball. Now that’s a man with perspective.
RHP Fernando Salas – Middle Relief/Mop-up. The Angels could actually use Salas. His numbers were more than good enough to warrant being a major league reliever. The Angels bullpen is just too deep now. He’ll certainly lighten the load in September.
3B Luis Jimenez – Charisma. Lucho is either going to be a motivational speaker or MLB manager someday. Everybody likes that guy, and he can pick it at 3B and hit for the occasional power. You want him in the dugout because he just makes everything better.
IF Ryan Wheeler – See “J.B. Shuck”.
LHP Michael Roth – Lefty-Specialist, spot-starts and innings eater. The Angels play a ton of extra inning ball games. It’s just sort of the way it’s gone this year. Roth has been one of the best pitchers in the Texas League and has reinvented himself as a quick pitching, strike throwing lefty that let’s hitters get themselves out. He focuses less on velocity and more on location, movement and changing speeds, but he’s not a junk-baller because he does have the ability to dial it up to 92-93 for one inning increments, though he prefers to stay 88-90. Since he’ll drop down to sidearm against LHB, Roth can serve as a lefty specialist. If the Angels need someone to spot-start he’ll cover that too. If they just need someone to mop things up in ball games that aren’t particularly close he can handle that. If they’ve reached the 15th inning and just need warm bodies to lob the ball in the general direction of home plate, he’s got that too.
RHP Cam Bedrosian – Strikeouts/Middle Relief. Despite his lack of success in the major leagues, BEdrock showed glimpses of what’s to come. His numbers in the minors are completely unfair and he really should be in the major leagues right now. But the Angels bullpen is deep so he’s buying his time in AA. Still, in high leverage situations if you need a strike out, Bedorck’s your man. 72 K’s in only 38 AA innings.
RHP Drew Rucisnki – Feel good story. Everybody needs one and Rucinski has his.