It's Been A Rough Summer For Angels





ANAHEIM—It hasn't been the best of summers for farm director Abe Flores.

Three of the Angels' top four minor league affiliates were on pace to finish with losing records, while two of them—Double-A Arkansas and high Class A Inland Empire—also lost managers during the season.

Add in the fact that top pick C.J. Cron had his first pro campaign cut short by a dislocated kneecap and three other top prospects missed most of the season to injury and Flores concedes, "It's been a difficult deal."

Look beyond the dark clouds, however, and the organization is making progress, he said.

After a dismal first half, Inland Empire was making a strong push for a second-half playoff berth in the California League. And Randal Grichuk, Fabio Martinez and Jean Segura—the injured prospects—were all healthy again.

Cron's season ended in early August after surgery to repair ligament damage in his right knee. He was already scheduled for offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Cron, who hit .308/.371/.629 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs in 34 games with Rookie-level Orem, could be playing again by the end of instructional league.

The Angels took heat this summer for failing to make a move at the trade deadline, and some of that was due to a lack of depth. While Flores understands the frustration, he says the lower rungs of the system are rich with prospects. All they need is time to mature.

"They're just not on everybody's radar," Flores said. "We'll be fine. People need to have patience. The discipline and the system are there. And the philosophy is there.

"Overall the system works."

ANGEL FOOD

• Outfielder Mike Trout had his first multi-home run game in the majors when he belted two and drove in five runs against the Mariners in late August.

• The Angels signed 39 of the 49 players they took in the draft, including their first 12 selections.