Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Prospects With Scouting Reports




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Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.

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Los Angeles Angels

The 2007 Angels won 94 regular-season games, captured the American League West by six games and had no shortage of optimism for the future.

The organization's young, homegrown core had arrived. John Lackey won 19 games and led the American League with a 3.01 ERA, first-round phenom Jered Weaver completed his first full season and 25-year-old closer Francisco Rodriguez saved 40 games. Howie Kendrick and Casey Kotchman had terrific seasons after claiming starting jobs in their early 20s, and Chone Figgins batted .330 and stole 41 bases.

On the farm, shortstop Brandon Wood and righthander Nick Adenhart stood as the Angels' two brightest prospects. They ranked 16th and 24th on our Top 100 Prospects list and seemed about a half-season away from making major contributions in Los Angeles.

Fast-forward three short years, and only Weaver, now the staff ace, and Kendrick, coming off his worst year, remain in the picture. In the course of two years, the Angels lost Figgins, Lackey and Rodriguez as free agents. They traded Kotchman to the Braves to rent Mark Teixeira, who filed for free agency three months later.

Los Angeles acted prudently in letting the free agents walk, in light of the dollars involved or the players' subsequent diminished production. But the farm system has struggled to fill in the gaps.

Despite recently graduating quality regulars such as Erick Aybar, Kevin Jepsen and Kendry Morales, the Angels simply didn't have the talent on hand, homegrown or imported, to contend in 2010. Los Angeles went 80-82, its first losing record in seven seasons, and finished third in the AL West, 10 games behind the Rangers.

The Angels' offense never recovered from the loss of Morales—who broke his leg celebrating a walkoff homer May 29—or the departure of Figgins and lesser years by Aybar and Kendrick. All told, the club scored 202 fewer runs than it did in 2009, plummeting from an exemplary 5.5 runs per game to a below-average 4.2.

Wood's failure to develop has hurt the offense. In parts of four seasons with the Angels, he has hit .169, the second-lowest average in major league history for a player with as many as his 479 plate appearances.

The loss of Adenhart, killed by a drunk driver in April 2009, also continues to hurt. Los Angeles surrendered three young players, including standout lefty Alex Torres, to acquire Scott Kazmir from the Rays in August 2009. It made a similar move last July, sending four pitchers, most notably athletic lefties Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin, to get Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks.

After going without a true first-round pick three times in four years from 2005-08, the Angels had six picks among the top 100 in each of the past two drafts, compensation for all their free-agent losses. Those choices included dynamic center fielder Mike Trout, their No. 1 prospect, as well as Skaggs, Corbin, third baseman Kaleb Cowart and righthander Garrett Richards.

Despite the recent draft bounty, Los Angeles opted not to renew scouting director Eddie Bane's contract at the end of the season. His seven drafts with the club yielded Weaver and promising 2010 rookies Peter Bourjos, Hank Conger and Jordan Walden, and Bane also signed Morales on the international market. The Angels promoted national crosschecker Ric Wilson to take over as scouting director.

1.  Mike Trout, of   Born: Aug. 7, 1991B-T: R-RHt: 6-1Wt: 200
 Drafted: HS—Millville, N.J., 2009 (1st round)Signed by: Greg Morhardt
Mike TroutBackground: Trout lived a charmed life in 2009. In June, he was the only player to appear at MLB Network's studios for the television broadcast of the draft. After going 25th overall to the Angels and signing for $1.215 million, he ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Arizona League, finishing second in the batting race at .360. Not bad for a player who some feel got somewhat underrated in the draft because he hails from the Northeast. Incredibly, Trout was even more spectacular in his full-season followup in 2010. He began the year by hitting .362 at low Class A Cedar Rapids, winning the Midwest League's batting and on-base (.454) titles and MVP award despite getting promoted in mid-July. Managers rated him the best hitter, best and fastest runner, best defensive outfielder and most exciting player in the MWL. After going 2-for-4 with a double and a steal in the Futures Game in Anaheim, Trout headed to high Class A Rancho Cucamonga at the tender age of 18. He erased a rough start by hitting .338 over his final 34 games and then .367 with three homers in the California League playoffs. All told, he batted .341/.428/.490 with 10 home runs and a 73-to-85 walk-to-strikeout ratio. He ranked fifth in the minors in steals (56 in 71 attempts) and sixth in runs (106) and OBP. Trout ranked as the No. 1 prospect in both the Midwest and California leagues, giving observers little to dislike.

Scouting Report: Built like a football defensive back, Trout is a rare five-tool talent who can really hit, a product of his strong, compact stroke and impressive batting eye. He shows no fear of hitting with two strikes, an unusual trait in a teenager. He scores well above-average marks for his running speed—a present and future 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale—and center-field range. One scout saw him hit a 400-foot homer in one at-bat, then get to first base in 3.65 seconds on a bunt his next time up. Trout's weakest present tools, his power and throwing arm, still grade as future average. His physicality and bat speed hint at more power down the road. He handles inside pitches well but has yet to demonstrate that he can pull or loft the ball with consistency. If and when he does, he has the potential to hit 20 or more homers annually. He compensates for fringy arm strength with above-average accuracy. His maturity, drive and instincts further separate him from other prospects his age.

The Future: During a four-year pro career in the Twins system that ended in 1986, Trout's father Jeff first reached Double-A at age 23. Mike ought to get to Double-A by July at the latest—four years ahead of Jeff's pace. Like the Braves' Jason Heyward and the Marlins' Mike Stanton in 2010, Trout could be ready to produce in the majors as a 20-year-old come 2012. The presence of Peter Bourjos, an elite defensive center fielder, in Anaheim clouds Trout's future somewhat. If Bourjos hits enough to stay in the lineup, then Trout may move to an outfield corner, probably left field because of his arm. Even in that scenario he profiles as a top-third-of-the order hitter with a wide array of offensive skills and Gold Glove potential on defense.
 
2010 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
Cedar Rapids (Lo A) .362 .454 .526 312 76 113 19 7 6 39 46 52 45
Rancho Cucamonga (Hi A) .306 .388 .434 196 30 60 9 2 4 19 27 33 11
 
2.  Tyler Chatwood, rhp   Born: Dec. 16, 1989B-T: R-RHt: 6-0Wt: 185
 Drafted: HS—Redlands, Calif., 2008 (2nd round)Signed by: Tim Corcoran
Tyler ChatwoodBackground: The Angels lost their first-round pick in the 2008 draft after signing free agent Torii Hunter, but they made up for the deficit by selecting Chatwood in the second round and buying him out of a UCLA commitment for $547,000. Acute wildness was a problem early in his career, but he has cut his walk rate at each stop of the minors.

Scouting Report: At his best, Chatwood works with a mid-90s four-seam fastball and a mid-70s, knee-buckling curve. His heater runs in on the hands of righthanders, and when he keeps the ball down he generates plenty of groundouts. He started working in more low-90s two-seamers in 2010. He also made big strides with his changeup, which now rates as at least average. Chatwood toned down the stabbing action on the backswing in his delivery, reaping tangible gains in control. However, he still showed below-average command of his fastball and curve, too often missing up in the zone.

The Future: Chatwood's plus stuff and aggressive style speak louder than his smallish stature. If he commands his pitches better, he profiles as a front-end starter. If not, he could thrive in a bullpen role.
 
2010 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG
R. Cucamonga (Hi A) 8 3 1.77 14 13 0 0 81 71 6 36 70 .241
Arkansas (AA) 4 6 3.82 12 12 1 0 68 72 3 27 36 .273
Salt Lake (AAA) 1 0 6.35 1 1 0 0 6 9 1 0 3 .346
 
3.  Jean Segura, 2b   Born: March 17, 1990B-T: R-RHt: 5-10Wt: 185
 Signed: Dominican Republic, 2007Signed by: Leo Perez
Jean SeguraBackground: Though the Angels signed Segura with little fanfare in January 2007, he quickly has developed into one of the organization's most dynamic prospects. A broken ankle in 2008 and a broken finger in 2009 truncated his first two seasons in the United States, but he stayed healthy and ranked third in the Midwest League in batting (.313) and steals (50) last season.

Scouting Report: An aggressive hitter, Segura makes frequent contact and hits the ball to all fields. Stocky, strong and athletic, he generates the bat speed to hit for average power down the road, especially to his pull side. He takes his share of walks and steals bases with plus running speed. Though managers rated him the MWL's best defensive second baseman, Segura suffers from occasional concentration lapses. His arm strength is plus and his hands are clean, but he flubs routine plays on occasion. Despite his speed, he lacks a quick first step, a concern compounded by a thick lower half.

The Future: The Angels played Segura at shortstop during instructional league and plan to try him there when he moves up to high Class A in 2011. It's a no-lose proposition: If he can't handle shortstop defensively, he has more than enough bat to develop into a quality regular at second.
 
2010 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
Cedar Rapids (Lo A) .313 .365 .464 515 89 161 24 12 10 79 45 72 50
 
4.  Hank Conger, c   Born: Jan. 29, 1988B-T: B-RHt: 6-1Wt: 220
 Drafted: HS—Huntington Beach, Calif., 2006 (1st round)Signed by: Bobby DeJardin
Hank CongerBackground: The top power hitter in the 2006 high school ranks, Conger signed for $1.35 million as the 25th overall pick. He hit for power from the outset, but hand, back, hamstring and shoulder injuries prevented him from logging many innings behind the plate until he reached Double-A in 2009. He belted a three-run homer to win MVP honors at the 2010 Futures Game in Anaheim and made his big league debut in September.

Scouting Report: A switch-hitter, Conger can put a charge into the ball from the left side, where his bat is noticeably quicker. He's geared more for gap power, however, with his line-drive stroke. He makes steady contact and gets on base consistently from both sides. Observers aren't as sold on Conger's defense. He receives and blocks well, but his footwork on throws gets out of whack on any pitch he doesn't handle cleanly, detracting from his average arm strength. He's an easily below-average runner who will have to stay in shape to remain behind the plate.

The Future: Even his detractors concede Conger is a safe bet to hit between .270-.280 with 15-20 homers at his peak. But that presents the Angels with a tough profile if he has to move to first base or DH. He'll work on refining his defense at Salt Lake to start 2011.
 
2010 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
Salt Lake (AAA) .300 .385 .463 387 56 116 26 2 11 49 55 58 0
Los Angeles (AL) .172 .294 .276 29 2 5 1 1 0 5 5 9 0
 
5.  Jordan Walden, rhp   Born: Nov. 16, 1987B-T: R-RHt: 6-5Wt: 240
 Drafted: Grayson County (Texas) CC, D/F 2006 (12th round)Signed by: Arnold Brathwaite
Jordan WaldenBackground: Much as he rebounded from a poor senior season in high school to land a $1 million draft-and-follow bonus from the Angels, Walden bounced back from a 2009 season marred by a strained elbow ligament to reach the big leagues. Los Angeles converted him to the bullpen during spring training and he finished the year as its top set-up man.

Scouting Report: Walden hit triple digits on the radar gun multiple times in the big leagues and sat consistently at 94-97 mph. He throws mostly riding four-seamers, but the pitch features sinking, two-seam action when he pitches to his arm side. Opposing batters struggle to lift pitches against Walden, who has permitted just 17 home runs in 346 pro innings—and only one in his big league debut. His low-80s slider is average at best and serves mostly to keep batters off his fastball. His control remains below-average and his changeup is unrefined, so he's in the bullpen to stay.

The Future: Relieving suits Walden's personality and inconsistent delivery, and it's a role in which he can excel. If Angels closer Fernando Rodney falters, Walden could pick up save opportunities with an eye toward assuming that role full-time in 2012.
 
2010 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG
Arkansas (AA) 1 1 3.35 38 0 0 8 43 44 2 22 38 .277
Salt Lake (AAA) 0 0 4.05 6 0 0 0 7 8 0 2 3 .296
Los Angeles (AL) 0 1 2.35 16 0 0 1 15 13 1 7 23 .224
 
6.  Kaleb Cowart, 3b   Born: June 2, 1992B-T: B-RHt: 6-3Wt: 190
 Drafted: HS—Adel, Ga., 2010 (1st round)Signed by: Chris McAlpin
Kaleb CowartBackground: The first of three successive Angels 2010 first-round picks from Georgia high schools, Cowart went 18th overall and signed for $2.3 million at the signing deadline. A two-way standout, he batted .654 with 11 home runs and went 10-1, 1.05 on the mound to win BA's High School Player of the Year award. Most clubs preferred the Florida State recruit as a pitcher, but he wanted to hit and Los Angeles liked his potential as a switch-hitting third baseman.

Scouting Report: Cowart has undeniable power potential, but he swings with more authority from the right side and must improve his efficiency and pitch recognition while batting lefthanded. He's strong and has an excess of bat speed, though the Angels would like to see him shorten his swing and keep his bat in the zone longer. A below-average runner, Cowart makes routine plays at third base but projects as an average defender at best. His hands are fine and he has plus arm strength. His fastball sat in the low 90s with sink in high school.

The Future: The Angels recognized Cowart as the most improved player in instructional league. Because of his background as a two-way player and the need to iron out his lefthanded swing, he'll need time to develop. He'll probably begin 2011 in low Class A.
 
2010 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
AZL Angels (R) .143 .136 .143 21 0 3 0 0 0 4 0 6 0
Orem (R) .400 .500 1.000 5 1 2 0 0 1 3 1 2 0
 
7.  Garrett Richards, rhp   Born: May 27, 1988B-T: R-RHt: 6-3Wt: 210
 Drafted: Oklahoma, 2009 (1st round supplemental)Signed by: Arnold Brathwaite
Garrett RichardsBackground: Richards posted a 6.57 ERA in three years at Oklahoma, but his live arm and strong finish in 2009 made him the 42nd overall pick that June. He has had little trouble since signing for $802,000, putting his command problems as an amateur behind him and succeeding in high Class A at the end of his first full season.

Scouting Report: All four of Richards' pitches have a chance to be at least average, and his plus fastball and slider are weapons. He touches 96 mph at times and sits comfortably at 92-93 with sink and occasional cutting action. His low- to mid-80s slider is his go-to secondary pitch, and he also throws a big-breaking 12-to-6 curveball. He mixes in an occasional changeup that flashes average. Richards throws so far across his body that it adds deception—but it also places extra stain on his shoulder. When he stays down and through the ball, he creates good angle to the plate from his three-quarters arm slot, but his stuff flattens out when he gets under his pitches.

The Future: The Angels moved Richards conservatively in 2010, but he's ready for Double-A. Depending on how they assess his delivery and attendant command concerns, observers peg him as everything from a mid-rotation starter to a power reliever.
 
2010 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG
Cedar Rapids (Lo A) 8 4 3.41 19 19 2 0 108 92 6 34 108 .229
R. Cucamonga (Hi A) 4 1 3.89 7 7 0 0 35 38 4 9 41 .281
 
8.  Fabio Martinez, rhp   Born: Oct. 29, 1989B-T: R-RHt: 6-3Wt: 190
 Signed: Dominican Republic, 2007Signed by: Leo Perez
Fabio MartinezBackground: Martinez and Jean Segura have distinguished themselves as the system's top two international talents since signing out of the Dominican Republic in early 2007. Martinez burst on the U.S. scene in 2009 by leading the Arizona League in strikeouts (92). He was on pace to repeat the feat in the Midwest League last season, but he missed the final month of the season with shoulder tendinitis.

Scouting Report: The scouting consensus on Martinez boils down to: great stuff with marginal pitchability. He obsesses over radar-gun readings, seeking to overpower the opposition. His fastball sits at 90-96 mph, with a few 98s thrown in, though his arm slot is so high that his heater tends to be straight. Because he overthrows, he doesn't locate his fastball well, often missing up in the zone and running into trouble with walks. Martinez's low-80s slider can be devastating, featuring so much tilt at times that it resembles a splitter. He gained more confidence in his circle changeup last season, but it's still below-average.

The Future: Martinez's love for lighting up the radar gun, poor command and busy, hard-to-repeat delivery point to a future in the bullpen. His two plus pitches are up to the task. He returned to the mound in instructional league, and he'll head to the Angels' new high Class A Inland Empire affiliate in 2011.
 
2010 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG
Cedar Rapids (Lo A) 7 3 3.92 20 19 0 0 103 80 6 76 141 .216
 
9.  Mark Trumbo, 1b/of   Born: Jan. 16, 1986B-T: R-RHt: 6-4Wt: 220
 Drafted: HS—Villa Park, Calif., 2004 (18th round)Signed by: Tim Corcoran
Mark TrumboBackground: Signed for an 18th-round record $1.425 million in 2004, Trumbo didn't reach Double-A until late 2008. Moving from a pitcher-friendly park in Double-A in 2009 to a launching pad in Triple-A last season, Trumbo boosted his home run output from 15 to 36 and tied the Royals' Mike Moustakas for the minor league lead.

Scouting Report: Trumbo has plus power and could produce 25 homers annually in the big leagues if he improves his feel for the strike zone. He maintains good balance and doesn't have glaring holes in his swing, though he's still a little too tempted by high fastballs. He doesn't chase offspeed stuff away like he once did, but he swings and misses too much to hit for a high average. Detractors question whether he has the bat speed to hit the very best fastballs. Trumbo rates as an adequate defender at first base. A standout pitcher in high school, he possesses plus arm strength and isn't afraid to make tough throws on the infield. He has dabbled in right field but has below-average speed and range.

The Future: Trumbo didn't hit much in a September callup, but his power could earn him a supporting role with the Angels in 2011. He also serves as insurance in case Kendry Morales stumbles in his comeback from a broken leg.
 
2010 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
Salt Lake (AAA) .301 .368 .577 532 103 160 29 5 36 122 58 126 3
Los Angeles (AL) .067 .125 .067 15 2 1 0 0 0 2 1 8 0
 
10.  Cam Bedrosian, rhp   Born: Oct. 2, 1991B-T: R-RHt: 6-0Wt: 204
 Drafted: HS—Sharpsburg, Ga., 2010 (1st round)Signed by: Chris McAlpin
Cam BedrosianBackground: Bedrosian's father Steve pitched 14 seasons in the major leagues and won the 1987 National League Cy Young Award. Cam's middle name, Rock, serves as homage to Steve's nickname, Bedrock. The Angels used the 29th pick in the draft to select Bedrosian, signing him away from a Louisiana State commitment for $1.116 million. He didn't pitch after Aug. 5, not even in instructional league, after they shut him down for precautionary reasons with a sore elbow.

Scouting Report: Bedrosian has such a strong lower half that most scouts are willing to overlook the fact that at 6 feet, he's shorter than the prototypical righty starter. His fastball tops out at 96 mph and sits comfortably at 92-94. Like his father, he features a plus power slider that gives righthanders fits. Bedrosian also throws a fringe-average changeup and curveball, both of which will require additional refinement if he's to remain a starter. He repeats his delivery well, but it's not without effort, leading to some concerns about his future command.

The Future: While Bedrosian's power repertoire could allow him to move quickly in a relief role, he has the chance to have at least three solid pitches and average command, so Los Angeles will develop him as a starter. Expected to be 100 percent healthy by spring training, he'll probably open 2011 in low Class A.
 
2010 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG
AZL Angels (R) 0 2 4.50 5 4 0 0 12 13 0 7 10 .283

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