Angels' Cowart Has Opportunity Ahead Of Him
LOS ANGELES—In the past year, the Angels have signed multi-year
contracts with their everyday starter at first base (Albert Pujols
second base (Howie Kendrick
), shortstop (Erick Aybar
) and catcher (Chris
In the outfield, they appear committed to a trio of young players with
bright futures (Mike Trout
, Mark Trumbo
and Peter Bourjos
), two of whom
made their first all-star teams in 2012 (Trout and Trumbo).
That leaves third base as the only infield position that still carries a
question mark for the future. The position belongs to Alberto Callaspo
at this point after Maicer Izturis
departed via free agency. But the
Angels are not committed to Callaspo beyond 2013—opening the door for a
quick rise to the big leagues if top prospect Kaleb Cowart
is up the
"We obviously think a great deal of Kaleb Cowart
," general manager Jerry
Dipoto said. "(However) I think it would be unfair to place
expectations or an ETA on a kid who just finished his 20-year-old
season, who was playing at the full-season levels for the first time.
"We don't have a timeline, and frankly I think that's best for the player. We're going to allow him to develop at his own pace."
One of the Angels' three first-round picks in 2010, the 6-foot-3,
195-pound Cowart took a big step forward in 2012, combining to hit
.276/.358/.452 with 16 home runs and 103 RBIs between low Class A Cedar
Rapids and high Class A Inland Empire. He failed to consolidate those
gains in the Arizona Fall League, however, as the switch-hitter batted
.200 with one home run and 16 strikeouts in 60 at-bats.
"I think he tired out and, admittedly, did not have a very good Fall
League," Dipoto said. "Kaleb did a great deal of good for his
professional career with the year he had last year. (We) couldn't have
asked for a whole lot more, truthfully, for a player of his age and
stage of development to move through multiple levels. Right now, our
design is to have him start next year in Double-A and see where he
• The Angels lost infielder Angel Sanchez
to the White Sox in the major
league Rule 5 draft. They signed Sanchez as a minor league free agent in
November but did not add him to their 40-man roster. The Angels had
planned to include Sanchez in a group with Brendan Harris
competing for a utility role on the major league bench.
• The Angels selected outfielder Robbie Widlansky
from the Orioles in
the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Widlansky, 28, spent six
years in the Orioles system, reaching Triple-A briefly in 2011. He hit
.316/.404/.446 at Double-A Bowie in 2012.