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.
July 15th, 2013
If you missed yesterday’s Futures Game, you saw a game that the Angels didn’t lose. You also saw C.J. Cron pick up two hits and man first base for the United States team. Cron looked yummy in batting practice, launching home runs and displaying the plus-plus raw power that made him the Angels first round pick in 2011.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden is especially fond of Cron. I like Cron’s potential at the plate, and think he’s a player with a long Major League future ahead of him. He’s got the raw power, and he’s triple-slashed .293/.335/.507 through just over 1,000 PAs in the minor leagues.
I spoke with CJ for a minute prior to the game and he had this to say about the development of his offensive game:
“It’s just something that I’ve kind of grown with. I try to get better at every aspect every day so it’s been nice to see that. It’d be nice for the power numbers to be there as well, but I think those will come.”
Cron’s father Chris, who coached the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate, threw batting practice to his son prior to the game.
In other news, Hardball Scouting has a really detailed report on Halos’ 2013 third round pick Keynan Middleton. The people are HBS are very handsome and very talented.
Middleton is a player whose physical gifts can be dreamt on, and Ryan Parker offers up details on the specifics of his stuff, mechanics, and story.
Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been cleared to sign a professional contract. Not too long ago, Garrett
Richards Wilson argued that the Angels need to make a run at Gonzalez. If Gonzalez is as good as he’s thought to be, he’d be a tremendous addition to Halos’ farm system, and could contribute at the Major League level very soon.
July 1st, 2013
Justin Millar recently sat down to speak with Angels pitching prospect Mark Sappington.
Sappington, the Angels’ 5th round draft pick in 2012, is currently a member of the Inland Empire 66ers, the Angels’ affiliate in the High-A California League. He is currently 6-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 16 starts, and was recently named to the California League’s All-Star team.
Sappington spoke about the adjustments that he’s had to make since entering professional baseball and detailed his experience thus far.