Angels' Segura Stands Alone As System's Best





Best Player: With Mike Trout and Garrett Richards making their impact on the big league club, the Angels' only real blue-chip prospect remaining in their minor league system is shortstop Jean Segura.

Segura brought a .316 career average into this season after five years in the Angels system. He made the jump to Double-A Arkansas this year and has been steadily improving. The 22-year-old hit .256 in April, .294 in May and .301 in June to boost his overall line to .286/.332/.404. Overall, his 27 steals ranked second in the Texas League.

More importantly, Segura played in 81 of the Travelers' first 82 games. Injuries have slowed his development in previous seasons.

Biggest Leap Forward: A year ago at this time, outfielder Kole Calhoun was in the midst of his first full season as a professional. He hit .324 with 22 home runs and 99 RBI in the high Class A California League in 2011, impressed the Angels in his first major league spring training and was jumped straight to Triple-A to start the season. Calhoun, 24, showed he could handle the more advanced competition of the Pacific Coast League and earned a May callup to the big leagues when the Angels outfield was hit by injuries. Calhoun was 3-for-12 in eight games with the Angels during that brief big-league cameo and has continued to hit at Triple-A Salt Lake—.317/.378/.529 with six home runs and 41 RBIs in 52 games.

Biggest Disappointment: Trevor Reckling's release in early May was the culmination of a three-year downward spiral for the 23-year-old lefthander who was once considered one of the Angels' top pitching prospects.

Reckling was the Angels' minor league pitcher of the year and was selected to the Futures Game in 2009. But he regressed in the two years since, losing velocity and command to such an extent that he was demoted from Triple-A to Double-A and all the way back to high Class A to start this season. After he went 0-1, 18.90 with 15 walks in 62⁄3 innings over four games for Inland Empire, he was released just short of his 23rd birthday.

Angel Food

• After an all-star first half in the Cal League, outfielder Travis Witherspoon was promoted to Arkansas. Witherspoon, 23, hit .319 in the Cal League with 25 steals (third in the league), 86 hits (fifth), 52 runs scored (sixth) and a .399 on-base percentage (sixth) in 67 games.

• Following the Witherspoon move, 2010 first-round pick Kaleb Cowart was promoted to Inland Empire. Cowart, a 20-year-old third baseman, earned his promotion from low Class A Cedar Rapids after batting .293/.348/.479 with nine home runs in 263 at-bats.