It is with great pleasure that AngelsWin.com presents another Hot Prospect List for the Angels. In our weekly column, we take a look at who has been hot down on the farm. Unlike our annual Top-50 Prospects, our Hot Prospects List is not ranked based on the ceiling of the prospect or the likelihood of him achieving that ceiling. Instead, it is weekly snapshot that reflects the players’ accomplishments based on their performances against their competition. This year, AngelsWin.com will be presenting the Hot Prospect List every Friday throughout the Minor League season.
What’s Up: It’s been a while since Bourjos has appeared on the Hot Prospect List. But that doesn’t mean that he’s a failed prospect. He’s been on a tear for a while now, and had learned the art of stealing a base to go with his blazing speed. He hasn’t been caught stealing since May, and has 15 SBs in that stretch. He’s torching lefties and improving against righties. He’s still in the Angels future plans for the OF, and still has the potential to be a leadoff hitter. If the Angels get down to a tough stretch, it’s also possible he could be brought up to be a defensive replacement for Rivera or Abreu and part of the post season roster as a true base stealing threat.
2. Patrick Corbin, LHP, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 14 K, 0.58 WHIP
Overall: 12-2, 0 Saves, 3.41 ERA, 103.0 IP, 93 H, 24 BB, 92 K, 1.14 WHIP, .244 BAA
What’s Up: As the organizational leader in wins, Corbin is trying to show that Chatwood is not the only Angels’ prospect able to tame the Cal League. Since his promotion, Chatwood has been posting better numbers against older competition in more hitter friendly ballparks. He’s inducing more ground ball, striking more batters out and lowered his ERA! With a week and a half to go before he turns 21, Corbin will be another top-notch lefty prospect for Angels fans to follow as he continues to climb the organizational ladder. With Reckling above him and Skaggs in development below him, the Angels have a nice trio of lefty starters to mix into their future rotation.
3. Jeremy Moore, OF, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 16/38 (.421), 0 Doubles, 2 Triples, 1 HR, 6 Runs, 5 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .287/.344/.412 with 6 HRs and 12 SBs
What’s Up: Abe Flores speaks very highly of Jeremy Moore. In our last interview, Abe praised Moore, as well as the coaching staff, for really improving himself this year. There’s no doubt that Moore is still a bit raw. He needs to work the count better and cut down on his strikeouts. But, he has the potential to put up plus power from a corner OF spot with solid defense and above average speed. As he continues to harness his potential, he’s a lefty with power to watch in our system.
4. Alexi Amarista, 2B, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 13/37 (.351), 3 Doubles, 1 Triple, 0 HRs, 7 Runs, 5 RBIs, 2 SBs
Overall: .308/.349/.451 with 4 HRs and 19 SBs
What’s Up: Imagine your last ten games consisted of the following: starting in the Cal League (Single-A), jumping up to the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) for two games, and the settling down to Double-A. That’s what life has been like for Amarista. Yet, with all those jumps, his production hasn’t slipped. Amarista is clearly a man on the move and forcing his way up the system. Even with the organizational injuries that caused some of his shuffling, he more than warranted a promotion to Double-A Arkansas.
5. Tyler Chatwood, RHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Days: 0-1, 0 Saves, 2.53 ERA, 10.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 4 K, 0.78 WHIP
Overall: 8-5, 0 Saves, 2.38 ERA, 94.2 IP, 92 H, 45 BB, 75 K, 1.45 WHIP,.260 BAA
What’s Up: After a horrid introduction to the Texas League, Chatwood has bounced back to redeem himself. While he hasn’t gotten a win yet in the Texas League, he’s adjusting pretty well, and pitched more than capably to earn victories in both of his last two outings if he had received better defense or more offense. The most impressive aspect to Chatwood’s game is that he is still generating groundballs at an impressive rate. In his last two games, he’s induced more 2.20 and 2.33 GO/AO ratios! He can still strike batters out, though, like most young pitchers, he has to watch the rising walk rates.
6. Tyson Auer, CF, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Games: 16/44 (.364), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 5 Runs, 3 RBIs, 3 SB
Overall: .337/.386/.447 with 3 HRs and 43 SB
What’s Up: Auer is a late bloomer with plus defense and plus-plus base running. He’s one of the few potential threats to Trout for the organizational lead in stolen bases. Having been promoted to Double-A recently, Auer is still smoking the ball. He’s been a bit exposed on the bases to the better pitchers and catchers, though. Still, he’s already stolen as many bases this year as he did in all of last year in 47 fewer games. And he’s been caught 3 fewer times (15 CS this year compared to 18 last year). Auer is getting better and could be a valuable 4th outfielder at the minimum for this organization down the line or an interesting target for a trade.
7. Trevor Reckling, LHP, Class AA Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 Days: 1-0, 0 Saves, 2.45 ERA, 7.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 10 K, 0.82 WHIP
Overall: 5-7, 0 Saves, 7.95 ERA, 77.0 IP, 103 H, 52 BB, 56 K, 2.02 WHIP, .325 BAA
What’s Up: In every pro’s life, there will be some adversity. For most players, especially young players, it’s not how the adversity affects them. It’s more about seeing how they respond to the challenge of the adversity. We all know that Reckling has had a horrid forgettable year. Everyone would like to forget about this year except for Trevor Reckling. He has something to prove. And what he’s proven so far at Double-A is that he still has the stuff to be an elite prospect and that he has the capability to bounce back and adjust. Reckling won’t be the AngelsWin.com #1 prospect going into the 2011 season. But if he continues to show that he has the stuff like he has in his past two starts, he won’t be too far removed either.
8. Dillon Baird, 3B, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 13/39 (.333), 4 Doubles, 0 Triples, 4 HRs, 8 Runs, 11 RBIs, 1 SB
Overall: .272/.351/.543 with 9 HRs and 2 SBs
What’s Up: It’s good to see that Baird has recovered from his injury and is back on the field playing as if he hadn’t missed a beat. In his first AB back from the disabled list, he smoked a double off the wall in Rancho with a pretty left-handed swing. He’s showing overall improvement offensively and defensively in his game. The Angels plan to continue to work him out of 3B primarily, where he will be sharing time with Future’s Game teammate Luis Jimenez (playing for the World Team). But, Baird will also see time at 1B and the DH spot to give all the players plenty of opportunity to continue to develop their skills.
9. Hank Conger, C, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 10/33 (.303), 1 Double, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 4 Runs, 5 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .274/.373/.409 with 5 HRs and 0 SBs
What’s Up: For those who say that the Angels can’t produce a prospect that can work a count, meet Hank Conger. Conger has walked 11 times in his past 10 games to go with just 6 strikeouts, giving him an OB% of .477! On the season he has exactly the same number of walks as he does strikeouts (38 a piece) and playing solid defense. It will be interesting to see how the trade deadline works out and how that affects Conger—whether he gets time in the Majors this year or starts next year.
10. Mike Trout, OF, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 10/35 (.286), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HRs, 13 Runs, 2 RBIs, 6 SBs
Overall: .362/.453/.528 with 6 HRs and 44 SBs
What’s Up: Folks, this is the closest that Mike Trout has come to not making a Hot Prospect list this week. But, it’s a good week to show some of the intangibles that Trout brings to the table. In a week where he struggled at the plate (well, for him a .286 line is struggling this year), he still walked 10 times, bringing his OB% to .457. He still managed to score 13 runs. And, he still played stellar defense in the OF. Watch for Trout this week in the Futures Game because he is our future.
This week, there were many truly noteworthy performances, and it was difficult to just spotlight the Top 10 performances. So, we are including three more players for additional recognition
1. Roberto Lopez, 1B, Class AA Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 12/34 (.353), 3 Doubles, 0 Triples, 2 HRs, 9 Runs, 7 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .291/.371/.469 with 9 HRs and 5 SBs
What’s Up: After a tremendous start in Rancho, like many on his team, Lopez struggled once he was promoted to Double-A Arkansas. But, it appears that he is finally battling his way out of the slump and adjusting to the league. The Travelers need his bat and the bats from the rest of his team to come to life for them to start putting together a quality second half.
2. Daniel Tillman, RHP, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Past 10 Days: 2-0, 2 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 8.2 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 0.81 WHIP
Overall: 2-0, 2 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 8.2 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 0.81 WHIP, .226 BAA
What’s Up: One bad game. In his first professional game, Tillman gave up the only two runs he’s allowed this season in 1 IP and 3 of the 7 hits that he’s allowed. Take away that one game, and he’s been nearly flawless. Sporting a low to mid-90s fastball that can touch 96, and a slider, Tillman is at least a future setup man if not a future closer. Both his fastball and slider rate as plus pitches. Mixing in a third pitch would go a long way towards helping him develop as a reliever, but, the Angels’ second round pick from this year already has the mound presence to be an improvement on the Major League’s bullpen.
3. Drew Heid, OF, Rookie-A Orem Owlz
Past 10 Games: 15/45 (.333), 2 Doubles, 0 Triples, 1 HR, 11 Runs, 4 RBIs, 0 SBs
Overall: .379/.423/.515 with 9 HRs and 5 SBs
What’s Up: At 5’10”, Heid isn’t the biggest player that the Angels drafted in 2010. But, what the Angels’ 9th round pick this year does do well is hit from the left side of the plate. The Angels have already moved him from CF to a corner spot, but still believe that his hitting potential is well worth it. He’s an average runner who will play solid defense on the corners. How his bat plays out will largely determine his ceiling as a prospect. But, a potential .300+ hitter with gap power will force his way up the organizational ladder.