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Checking on the Cherubim: July

July 12th, 2014
Jose Rondon, legit shortstop prospect.

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
Age: 22
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.

Checking on the Cherubim: June

June 6th, 2014
No. 8 prospect Alex Yarbrough's been putting up strong numbers at Double-A.

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

Level: Triple-A
Age: 22
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.

Cron, Morin Do Well in the AFL

November 21st, 2013

Arizona-Fall-League-324x200

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.

Scouting Report: Alex Yarbrough

August 23rd, 2013

Angels second base prospect Alex Yarbrough.

Name: Alex Yarbrough

Position: 2B

Organization/School:  Angels

DOB: 8/3/1991

Height: 5’11”

Bats: S

MLB ETA: 2014

Weight: 180

Throws: R

Current Team: Inland Empire 66ers (A+)

Date(s) Seen: Multiple times in June and July of 2013

Filed by/date: Justin Millar

How Acquired: 4th round 2012 draft

Physical/Health

Solid, slightly compact body; appears listed size.

Hit Tool

Polished hitter who has a great idea of what he’s doing at the plate. Very smooth swing from both sides. Could be an above average bat hitting .280+ consistently.

Grade: Present 45/ Future 55+

Power

Solid gap power. Some HR power, could have home run totals in the mid-teens at peak. Most of his slugging value will come from doubles.

Grade: Present 40/ Future 50

Glove

Polished glove with decent footwork. Could be an average 2B defensively.

Grade: Present 45/ Future 50

Arm

Rather weak arm. Right side of infield profile.

Grade: Present 45/ Future 45

Other

Value lies in ability to hit for average. Strong makeup. Decent plate discipline. Having an excellent season in the California League this year. Ready for Double-A; too advanced for High-A ball.

Baserunning/Speed

Average runner. High effort helps make up for lack of elite athletic ability.

Grade: Present 50/ Future 50

Overall

Solid, offensive-oriented 2B potential. Could be an above average regular. High floor.

OFP: 55; slightly above-average regular

Risk Factor: Medium

Scouting Report: Eric Stamets

August 2nd, 2013

Angels shortstop prospect Eric Stamets playing in the Cape Cod League.

Name: Eric Stamets

Position: SS

Organization:  Angels

DOB: 9/25/1991

Height: 6’0”

Bats: R

MLB ETA: 2015

Weight: 185

Throws: R

Current Team: Inland Empire 66ers (A+)

Date Seen: 6/24/2013

How Acquired: 6th round 2012 draft

Physical/Health

Looks listed size; small, filled out frame, but doesn’t have any apparent effect on game.

Hit Tool

Weak hitter at present. Singles hitter only. Has projection to be a 40/45 hitter, but still far off. Hitting ability needs to drastically improve to be more than a role player.

Grade: Present 30/ Future 45

Power

Minimal power. Could develop some down the line, but lacks much projection. Maybe maxes out at 5-7 home runs per year.

Grade: Present 20/ Future 30

Glove

Could play plus defense in big leagues today. Excellent defender who makes tough plays look easy. Gold Glove potential; impact defense at big league level.

Grade: Present 60/ Future 70

Arm

Strong arm that fits comfortably at shortstop.

Grade: Present 60/ Future 60

Other

A lot of future value tied up in outcome of hit tool. Difference between utility guy and average regular.

Baserunning/Speed

Strong speed. Not a burner, but still has above average speed.

Grade: Present 55/ Future 55

Overall

Defense should make him at least a bench option. Above-average regular if hit tool is average or better.

OFP: 45/50; utility infielder/ 2nd division starter.

Risk Factor: High

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