Cowart Next To Carry The Banner For Angels' System
With Mike Trout
taking the big leagues by storm and Jean
traded to the Brewers in a midseason deal for Zack Greinke
Angels system lost its two blue-chip position prospects. The best hope
for a player who'll develop into one might be third baseman Kaleb
Cowart was one of the Angels' three first-round picks in the 2010 draft.
The other two (righthander Cam Bedrosian
and outfielder Chevy Clarke
have yet to make any progress. But the switch-hitting Cowart hit
.293/.348/.479 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs in 66 games at low Class A
Cedar Rapids, earning a midseason promotion to high Class A Inland
Empire. The 20-year-old hit .259/.366/.426 in the second half of the
season and totaled 16 home runs and 103 RBIs between the two levels.
Righthander Garrett Richards
nearly won a spring
competition for the Angels' fifth starter spot and did wind up spending
some time in the big league rotation (nine starts). A more permanent
spot figures to be waiting for him when he reports to spring training in
Richards gives the Angels a low-cost, payroll-balancing starter to plug
into next year's staff. The 24-year-old righthander went 3-3, 4.76 in 15
appearances for the Angels while refining his game at Triple-A Salt
Lake most of the season, going 7-3, 4.21 in 14 starts in the
Keep An Eye On:
An organization thin on pitching got even thinner when
the Angels included Double-A righthanders Ariel Pena
and Johnny Hellweg
with Segura in their deadline deal with the Brewers for Greinke. That
cleared the way for lefthander Nick Maronde
to complete a one-season
rise from the California League to the majors as a September callup.
Slowed by a shoulder injury, Maronde, 23, was 3-1, 1.82 in 10 starts at
Inland Empire, earning a midseason promotion to Double-A, where he went
3-2, 3.34. But the numbers that appealed to the Angels were his 90-19
strikeout-walk ratio combined over three levels.
• Cedar Rapids first baseman Frazier Hall
went to the Diamondbacks as
the player to be named in the Angels' July trade for Triple-A
righthander Barry Enright
. Hall, 24, batted .254/.322/.386 with 13 home
runs this year.
• For the second consecutive year, Inland Empire first baseman C.J.
, a first-round pick in 2011, had his season end early due to
surgery. Cron had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
He had been playing with the injury since his final year at Utah. Cron
finished the season with 123 RBIs in 129 games for Inland Empire, one
short of what the Angels believe is the organization's RBI record for a
minor leaguer (Todd Greene drove in 124 with Class-A Lake Elsinore in
1994). Cron was named the Cal League Rookie of the Year for 2012.