October 7th, 2014
The Arizona Fall League begins Tuesday, and the roster for Angels’ affiliate, the Mesa Solar Sox, includes eight of the club’s more promising prospects. The dudes:
- Trevor Gott
- Chris O’Grady
- Mark Sappington
- Nate Smith
- Kaleb Cowart
- Cal Towey
- Eric Stamets
- Chad Hinshaw
The AFL is designed for players who are either near big league ready, or desperately need some playing time after an injury-plagued season. It can also be used for teams to evaluate players for potential 40-man roster spots, or to showcase potential trade chips.
Each of the prospects the Angels have offers some intrigue, with some of them being high-ceiling/low-floor types and others low-ceiling/high-floor types. Today we’re going to break down each prospect.
July 12th, 2014
Jose Rondon, legit shortstop prospect
There are several fresh faces down on the farm this summer as a result of last month’s draft, but only a few have made the immediate impact to warrant a mention here.
However, their mere presence makes me ponder about the merit of using the same pre-season Top 10 list all year. If Baseball America were to re-do their list today, at least four of the Angels’ pre-season top 10 would no longer be in the group because of promotions (Cron), trades (Borenstein), and miserable performance (Cowart and Sappington). This is how it’s supposed to be, of course, but that kind of thing probably doesn’t best serve our function here.
I haven’t had the time to make an updated list of my own, so we’ll stick with the BA list for now, but I may sit down, pore over reports, and conjure up a whole new Top 10 for August’s installment. We’ll see.
Top 10 Prospects
1. Taylor Lindsey - 2B
Level: Triple-A | Rookie Ball
2014 Stats: .246/.323/.405 with 8 HR, 13 2B, 4 3B in 321 PA (Triple-A)
Lindsey missed most of June recovering from a concussion, but, thankfully, has shown no ill effects in the three weeks since returning to the diamond. In fact, Lindsey has been on fire over the past week, tallying 10 hits — including five for extra bases — in his last 22 at-bats. The second baseman’s BABIP (.288) is slowly creeping up to his career norms (~.330), so hopefully the front end of his slash line will be more representative of his performance by the time the season finishes up. If nothing else, Lindsey’s first foray through Triple-A should earn him a September call up to Anaheim.
June 6th, 2014
No. 8 prospect Alex Yarbrough has been putting up strong numbers at Double-A.
With the Angels in the process of selecting a new stock of prospects, I thought it might be nice to check in on how the organization’s current farmhands are doing. When we last left our future heros, most of them were putting up solid numbers at their respective affiliates. That’s still more or less the case, though there are a few guys having a pretty tough go of things.
All stats are through Wednesday, unless otherwise stated. Without further ado:
Top 10 Prospects
1. Taylor Lindsey - 2B
2014 Stats: .233/.324/.368 with 6 HR, 8 2B, 2 3B in 255 PA
Lindsey’s first run through Triple-A has gone much better than a quick glimpse at his slash line would suggest. Yes, his batting average is alarmingly low, but much of that is the result of his .237 BABIP, which is about 100 points off his career mark. If you assume that number’s going to right itself eventually, then his numbers begin to look really good. His 10.9% walk rate is a career best, and is nearly equal with his K rate (11.3%), which is nearly unheard of these days. Adjusting his BABIP to a normal rate (~.290) by giving him 10 more singles results in a .278/.363/.360 slash line, which probably still undersells how well he’s fared as one of the youngest position players in the league.
Unfortunately, Lindsey is currently on the DL with concussion symptoms, which is always an extremely frightening scenario. I can’t find any information on how the head trauma occurred, but I’m hopeful that the decision to put him on the disabled list was mostly a precautionary measure and that he’s back on the field soon.
November 21st, 2013
If you didn’t know, there was baseball happening this past month in Arizona that should be of particular interest to Angels fans.
The Arizona Fall League is a six-team league comprised of many of the highest-regarded prospects in minor league baseball. The Mesa Solar Sox is the team that consists of prospects from the Angels, A’s, Cubs, Nationals, and Tigers, and they fared pretty well this year. The Solar Sox went 19-11-1 during the regular season, finishing first in their division. They played in the championship game on Saturday, but lost 2-0 to the Surprise Saguaros.
Two Angels prospects, first baseman C.J. Cron and relief pitcher Mike Morin, played exceptionally well for the Solar Sox. Cron led the league in batting average (.413), and he was second in the league in home runs (5) and in RBI (20). Morin had a 2.03 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in 13 and 1/3 innings against some of the best prospects in the minors.
Cron is looking more and more valuable to the Angels as he continues to impress, either as a trade piece or as the Angels’ future first baseman when Albert Pujols finally has to make the permanent transition to full-time DH (assuming Trumbo has been traded by then).
His bio on the Solar Sox website brags that “in 2009, [Cron] was the only player in the country to get three hits in a game off No. 1 Draft pick Stephen Strasburg.”
On an additional note, the Arizona Fall League honored former Angels outfielder/first baseman extraordinaire Darin Erstad by inducting him into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame on November 13.