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Crystal Ball Shows All-L.A. Series In 2009

Jim Callis -Premium Content

We always like to look ahead at Baseball America. Our Major League Preview doesn't just focus on 2006, but also gazes three years into the future. In this space in 2002, I correctly predicted that the Astros would reach the 2005 World Series. Alas, I had them defeating the Mariners, who wound up winning just 63 games. I did forecast that the Braves, Padres and Yankees would capture division titles, though I also projected that the Athletics, Cubs and Twins would join them in the playoffs.

Minors | #2006#Column

AL West Organization Reports

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TEMPE, Ariz.—You won't find too many 19-year-olds with a grand total of two Rookie-level games on their professional resumes in big league camp, but in Nick Adenhart the Angels feel they have a special case. Adenhart, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthander, was projected as a first-round pick in 2004 until an elbow injury ended his senior season at Williamsport (Md.) High that May. Though they knew he would need Tommy John surgery, the Angels chose Adenhart in the 14th round and gave him second-round bonus money: $700,000.

Majors | #2006#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports

AL West Organization Reports

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LOS ANGELES—The signing of righthander Jeff Weaver not only rounded out what should be a strong big league rotation for the Angels, but it also reduced any pressure on his younger brother Jered to try to make the big league team out of spring training. General manager Bill Stoneman rated it as an outside chance for Jered to make the big league squad even before the team signed Jeff. Now Jered, the 12th overall pick in the 2004 draft, can just relax and soak in the lessons from his first spring training.

Majors | #2006#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports

AL West Organization Reports

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LOS ANGELES—If Nick Gorneault's career path were to continue on its current trajectory, the 26-year-old outfielder would hit about .300 with 30 home runs and 120 RBIs for the Angels this season. Of course, the chances of that are as remote as Bengie Molina leading the league in stolen bases. Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson are entrenched at the corner outfield spots in Anaheim, and the Angels made a two-year, $3.275 million commitment to Juan Rivera, a reserve outfielder and the team's primary DH, virtually assuring Gorneault a ticket back to Triple-A Salt Lake this spring.

Majors | #2006#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports

AL West Organization Reports

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ANAHEIM—After the Angels won the World Series in 2002, they went shopping for a reserve outfielder. Eric Owens signed up happily, hoping for the chance to participate in the playoffs for the first time. Owens started the year slowly. By the time he started hitting the Angels had long vanished from contention, and they finished 19 games out of first place. The team released Owens after the season, and he never played another game in the major leagues.

Majors | #2006#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports

AL West Organization Reports

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ANAHEIM—In the years before Arte Moreno, Vladimir Guerrero and Bartolo Colon, Angels general manager Bill Stoneman made a name for himself by assembling quality bullpens on the cheap. The Angels paid longtime closer Troy Percival handsomely, but Stoneman shuddered at seven-figure salaries for set-up men and plugged in an assortment of minor league free agents, waiver claims or promotions from within. Within the past two years, however, the Angels have lost five promising relievers on waivers. Righthanders Bobby Jenks and Derrick Turnbow emerged as closers, Jenks for the White Sox and Turnbow for the Brewers.

Majors | #2006#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports

Detour To Stardom

Derrick Goold -

On the day Rick Ankiel solved the riddle that was his star-crossed talent for pitching by borrowing an outfielder's glove, the lefthander was scheduled to start a back-lot game at Cardinals spring training. A persistent storm threatened to rain out the entire day of workouts for the club. Pitchers had to throw, puddles or not, and contingency plans were quickly being penciled in the coaches' office. Having been thinking about it since his last turn on the mound went horribly haywire, Ankiel already decided how he would make up the washed-out innings. He wasn't going to. Not that day. Not any day. Ankiel was done pitching.

Majors | #2006#Season Preview

No Need To Feel Blue

Tony Jackson -

At the end of the 2005 season—the Dodgers' second-worst since they arrived on the West Coast almost four decades ago—anyone who followed the club closely could survey the organizational landscape and see something akin to the surface of the moon. It was barren, with holes everywhere, and offered few reasons for optimism. When Ned Colletti surveyed it, he saw a Picasso—grotesque and disfigured on the surface, but with a hidden beauty waiting to be brought to the surface.

Majors | #2006#Season Preview

Second Best In Second City?

Jeff Vorva -

Last July 26, the first-place White Sox were playing in Kansas City in a night game, while the Cubs' evening home game against the Giants did not get started for close to three hours because of a rain delay. For a two-hour period, the television coverage of the Cubs' rain delay—which consisted mostly of interviews and canned features—doubled the local ratings of the White Sox game. For a long time, Chicago has been a Cubs town and the White Sox were considered second-class citizens.

Majors | #2006#Season Preview

2005 Arizona Fall League Top 20 Prospects

Chris Kline -Premium Content

The AFL has always been known as a premier hitter's league, and that trend picked up in 2005, as all-time league records fell one after the other. Among the marks shattered were batting average (.296), runs per game (12.14), hits per game (20.83), slugging percentage (.469) and ERA (5.40). Still, three pitchers made the cut on the Top 20—two more than last year. Athletics righthander Huston Street, BA's 2005 Rookie of the Year, was the lone pitcher on the 2004 AFL list.

Minors | #2005#Arizona Fall League#Winter Baseball

Chris Kline’s AFL Road Trip: Scouting Jered Weaver

Chris Kline -

Angels righthander Jered Weaver finished up 2005 at Double-A Arkansas, allowing three earned runs on six hits in his final start against Midland in the Texas League championship series. His fastball, slider and changeup were all quality pitches into the postseason, where he struck out 16 in 13 innings over two starts. But so far in the Arizona Fall League, Weaver has quickly found out that this isn't the Texas League anymore. In seven innings, the Angels' first-round pick in 2004 has allowed seven runs on 12 hits. His secondary numbers are still solid, with a 12-2 strikeout-walk ratio.

Minors | #2005#Arizona Fall League#Winter Baseball