LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Prospect Star Of Camp: Brandon Wood never was in any real danger of losing the third base job. Manager Mike Scioscia began talking up Wood's merits as soon as the 2009 season ended. A lot of that was motivated by Wood being out of options, but the young third baseman has buoyed the Angels' confidence this spring, batting .308/.400/.477 with six extra-base hits (one homer) in 65 at-bats. His 8-to-14 walk-to-strikeout ratio suggests the pressure to perform did not affect him. Righthanded reliever Michael Kohn finished last season in high Class A. He may leapfrog that level and head to Double-A after a sterling spring: 8 2/3 innings, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, zero walks and zero runs allowed.
Keep An Eye On: In addition to Wood, the Angels also face option-related ultimatums with catcher Bobby Wilson and corner outfielder Terry Evans. Each would have to clear waivers to head back down to Triple-A Salt Lake. Evans hit well this spring (.293/.341/.488 in 41 at-bats) and made the team, thanks in part to Reggie Willits beginning the year on the disabled list. The Angels had given Evans all of 18 big league at-bats prior to Opening Day. Wilson is in a tough spot as the third point in a catching triangle that also includes Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis. He stated his case by hitting .370/.452/.481 in 27 spring at-bats and made the team as third catcher. It would have been hard to envision him clearing waivers.
A Rough Spring: Los Angeles gave righthander Rafael Rodriguez 9 1/3 innings over five appearances to work through his issues. The sinker specialist did not respond. He gave up 15 hits, including three homers, and 11 runs while striking out only one batter.
Prospect Star Of Camp: A versatile infielder acquired in an offseason trade with the Reds, Adam Rosales hit a robust .283/.375/.434 with two homers in 53 spring at-bats. The A's elected to carry both him and second baseman/outfielder Eric Patterson, who is out of options. Patterson held up his end of the bargain, batting .297/.365/.422 with six extra-base hits in 64 at-bats. The A's envision him as a super-sub who can bat at the top of the lineup.
Keep An Eye On: Righthander Tyson Ross, a second-round pick in 2008, dominated in four relief outings, going 1-0, 3.12 with a 12-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He wrapped up his ’09 season with Double-A Midland, but he made Oakland's Opening Day roster, thanks in part to a plethora of pitching injuries.
A Rough Spring: The future will have to wait for corner outfielder Michael Taylor, who scuffled through 37 spring at-bats, batting .189/.250/.270 with only one extra-base hit (a homer). He was assigned to Triple-A Sacramento but could resurface quickly if the A's need a bat. Like Patterson, Jake Fox is out of options, but he did not help his cause with a 5-for-46 showing (three of the five hits were homers) with 11 strikeouts. Nevertheless, the A's opted to carry him as their part-time DH/backup catcher.
Prospect Star Of Camp: Catcher Adam Moore hit for average and drew walks (.310/.396/.405 in 42 at-bats) and seems poised for at least a share of the starting job in Seattle. The bigger story might have been Rule 5 righty Kanekoa Texeira, who with a strong spring appears to have made the big league team. The ex-White Sock, ex-Yankee reliever tossed 14 innings over 10 appearances, allowing a mere two runs on nine hits. He struck out eight and walked four. His strikeouts 'n grounders routine will go over well with the Mariners' airtight infield.
Keep An Eye On: The Mariners gave Matt Tuiasosopo a long look in spring training and he delivered on offense, batting .313/.365/.542 in with six extra-base hits (two homers) in 48 at-bats. With the power came 12 strikeouts. He could be an average-ish fill-in at third base if Jose Lopez goes down, and he also has dabbled on the middle infield. He made Seattle's final cut.
A Rough Spring: Seattle gave virtually no innings to rookie pitchers and they ushered their top two positional prospects—Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders—out of camp with fewer than 20 at-bats.
Prospect Star Of Camp: With 147 big league innings under his belt, lefty Matt Harrison is not technically a rookie. But after working around a 6.11 ERA in 11 starts last year, he certainly does not qualify as established big leaguer. At any rate, the 24-year-old sewed up a rotation spot (something that can't be said for Derek Holland, for example) with a fine spring that included a 3.94 ERA over 16 innings. More impressive were his peripherals: 15 strikeouts, four walks and only one home run allowed.
Keep An Eye On: Colby Lewis may still have nightmares about his previous stint with the Rangers. From 2002-04 the hard-throwing righthander appeared in 44 games and ran up a 6.83 ERA. Six years and five organizations (if you count a two-year run of dominance in Japan) later, he broke camp in the rotation. Lewis proved effective in 18 2/3 spring innings, striking out 16 and walking just three. Also, Rule 5 lefty Ben Snyder remained with the organization after the Rangers worked out a trade with the Giants. His dominance against lefthanded batters last year in Double-A suggests a future as a situational reliever. But because he was outrighted to Double-A Frisco, Snyder will have to earn his way back on to the 40-man.
A Rough Spring: Righthander Neftali Feliz made the big club despite his poor spring. He worked nine innings over five games, but while he struck out 13, he gave up 13 hits and 12 runs for a 12.00 ERA.
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