Angels Midseason Report

Trout Off To A Hot Start





Best Player: Mike Trout started the season with an inordinate number of infield hits, and Angels scouting director Eddie Bane was asked whether he was concerned that one of his first-round picks last year might have trouble getting the ball out of the infield.

Bane laughed.

Then he said he considered Trout one of the 10 best prospects in the minor leagues. At the halfway point of the 2010 season, a consensus has formed around Bane's opinion. Trout, 18, in his first full season in pro ball, was scheduled to be the youngest player in the Futures Game.

The outfielder was batting .372/.453/.551 at low Class A Cedar Rapids. He was leading the Midwest League in runs (66), hits (104), average, on-base percentage and stolen bases (38). And, perhaps most impressive for a player one year out of high school, he has almost as many walks as strikeouts.

He has emerged as the Angels' best prospect by far, and he could become the first regular outfielder developed by the Angels since Darin Erstad, the No. 1 draft pick in 1995.

Biggest Leap Forward: The Angels pride themselves on nurturing power arms for their bullpen, and Michael Kohn is on the fast track. The righthander pitched just 13 innings at the College of Charleston, and the Angels took a 13th-round flier in 2008 on his high-90s fastball. In two years, no one has hit him, and he's already at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Kohn, 24, split last season between Cedar Rapids and high Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He has split this season between Double-A Arkansas and Salt Lake, going 4-4, 2.45 with 50 strikeouts and 16 walks in 36 innings.

Biggest Disappointment: The Angels honored lefthander Trevor Reckling as their organizational pitcher of the year last season. He pitched in the Futures Game, went 8-7, 2.93 at Arkansas with 122 strikeouts and 75 walks in 135 innings.

The Angels jumped Reckling, 21, this year to Salt Lake, where he went 4-7, 8.53, with 50 walks in 70 innings. After he had given up at least eight runs in three consecutive games, the Angels sent him back to Arkansas.

ANGEL FOOD

• Arkansas catcher Brian Walker, 24, retired after hitting a home run in his final game.

• The Angels promoted righthander Tyler Chatwood, 20, to Arkansas. Chatwood, a second-round pick in 2008, went 8-3, 1.77 at Rancho Cucamonga.