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Cowart won Baseball America's 2010 High School Player of the Year award thanks to his dominance as a two-way player, hitting .654 with 11 home runs in 107 at-bats and going 10-1, 1.05 with 116 strikeouts in 73 innings. Most teams at the time preferred him on the mound, where he showed a plus fastball in the low 90s with sink along with a hard slider. He preferred to hit, however, and the Angels thought enough of his future as a third baseman to draft him 18th overall and pay him $2.3 million at the signing deadline. He didn't make much of a splash in his first two pro seasons, barely playing in 2010 and hitting .283/.345/.420 at Rookie-level Orem in 2011. He finally reached full-season ball in 2012 and had a breakthrough year in 135 games split between low Class A Cedar Rapids and high Class A Inland Empire. Cowart has developed into a well-rounded prospect at third base. A switch-hitter with strong hands, he shows the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field when he's going well. The book on him coming out of high school and entering the 2012 season was that his swing was more natural from the right side. His lefthanded stroke does still tend to get loopy, which causes him to pop the ball up more than he should, but he became more comfortable as a lefty last season. He hit 14 of his 16 homers from the left side of the plate in 2012. He has plus bat speed from both sides of the plate and the potential to hit more than 20 home runs annually when he reaches the big leagues. His plate discipline also has improved markedly, helping him to get into better hitter's' counts to drive the ball and to increase his on-base percentage with more walks. He didn't have as much success following his promotion to high Class A, yet he didn't stray from his patient approach. Cowart is athletic, has a quick first step and has become a solid defender at third base. He's a surehanded defender who makes all the routine plays, gets good jumps on balls and is adept at fielding bunts and slow choppers hit right at him, though he does need to get better on balls to his left. His long, over-the-top throwing motion is a little unorthodox for a third baseman, but it works for him because he has above-average arm strength and consistent accuracy. He had just 16 errors in 125 games in 2012 after making the same number in 66 games the year before. Cowart has below-average speed but runs the bases well. He earns praise for his aptitude and ability to make adjustments, and for being a good teammate. In a farm system that lacks impact talent and depth, Cowart stands out as the lone farmhand whom scouts feel comfortable about projecting as an everyday player in the big leagues. The Angels have produced just two homegrown all-star third basemen in their first 52 seasons--Dave Chalk and Troy Glaus--and Cowart has the potential to become their third. He should make the jump to Double-A Arkansas during the 2013 season, with a chance to compete for a starting job in the major leagues at some point in 2014.
After ranking as the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in his 2011 pro debut, Maronde rocketed to the big leagues in his first full pro season. Despite missing most of May and June with back and elbow injuries, he became the fourth player from the 2011 draft to reach the majors. Maronde has excellent command of a deceptive fastball that ranges from 89-95 mph. He keeps his fastball down and locates it on both sides of the plate. His 82-85 mph slider is a plus pitch that features good depth. It can flatten out when he doesn't stay on top of the ball, but when it's on he can throw it for strikes or as a chase pitch. The Angels want Maronde to improve his below-average changeup, though he rarely threw it as a big league reliever. Maronde's athleticism helps him repeat his delivery, while his arm action makes some scouts worry about his durability. Maronde has the stuff and command to be a No. 3 starter, but durability concerns and lack of a third pitch may keep him in the bullpen. He could open 2013 in the big leagues in the latter role.
The 17th overall pick in the 2011 draft and recipient of a $1.467 million bonus, Cron came into spring training in 2012 out of shape. He looked lost early in his first full pro season before losing weight and rebounding to lead the minors with 123 RBIs. Following the season, he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which he had played with since his final season at Utah. Cron also had an operation on his right knee following his pro debut. His father Chris played briefly in the majors with the Angels and his brother was an unsigned third-rounder in 2011 that now attends Texas Christian. The ball makes a different sound coming off Cron's bat. He has plus-plus raw power, and thanks to his hand-eye coordination he doesn't strike out excessively. But he also doesn't walk much because he swings at borderline strikes and chases breaking balls. His ability to handle breaking pitches improved as the season went on, though some scouts have reservations about his ability to catch up to quality fastballs. All of his value lies in his bat, as he's slow-footed and a limited defender at first base. His hands and feet are adequate, but he needs to improve his flexibility and first-step quickness to avoid becoming a DH. Cron will have to show improved plate discipline to reach his ceiling as a middle-of-the-order bat. He should start 2013 in Double-A.
Clevinger boosted his draft stock in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2010 before signing for a slightly above-slot $250,000 in the 2011 draft. He made a strong impression in low Class A to start the 2012 season, but he made just eight starts before needing Tommy John surgery. Clevinger has four pitches that grade as average or better. He throws an 89-93 mph fastball from a three-quarters arm slot and has reached 96 as a reliever. He gets plenty of swings and misses with his secondary stuff, most notably an above-average 81-84 mph slider with wide break. His changeup is average and shows the potential to give him another plus pitch. His curveball is average as well, though he tips it off by throwing it from a slightly higher release point. Some scouts think Clevinger tries to get too many swings and misses on chase pitches early in the count rather than pitching off his quality fastball. His delivery creates deception, though it's an aggressive motion and he tends to overthrow when he gets jacked up. He has average control but could use better command. Clevinger has the repertoire to be a mid-rotation starter, but concerns about his durability may make a relief role more likely. He may not return to game action until late in the 2013 season.
After struggling at Florida State in 2009 and falling out of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC rotation in 2010, Wood still was a fourth-round pick of the Rays and dominated the Cape Cod League that summer. He did not sign and transferred to Southern California, but he fell to the sixth round after posting a 5.61 ERA as a junior. As a pro, he has continued to produce pedestrian results despite quality stuff. Wood's fastball ranges from 91-96 mph and he can hit 99. His plus slider has power and hard bite, but he doesn't miss as many bats as expected because he gets behind in the count too frequently. He left fastballs up in the zone early in 2012, though he did a better job of keeping them down as the year went along. Wood has shown feel for his changeup, but it regressed last season because he rarely used it. He prefers to pitch away from hitters, rather than attacking them inside. He's athletic but has trouble repeating his mechanics and rushes his delivery, which leads to poor control and command--as evidenced by his 72 walks in 128 innings this season. Wood has the arsenal to be a starter if he can improve his changeup, but his lack of success and control may lead him to the bullpen. He should advance to high Class A in 2013.
Taken one pick ahead of Mike Trout in the 2009 draft, Grichuk signed for $1.242 million as the 24th overall selection. He battled thumb and wrist injuries in 2010, then hurt both of his knees in 2011. His ability to stay healthy for a full season in 2012 was a step in the right direction, and he nearly doubled his career at-bat total. Grichuk has strong wrists, a quick bat and above-average raw power. His swing can get complicated, but he has made adjustments with his set-up, widening his base and quieting his hands. He wraps his bat, which adds length to his stroke, but he has good hands and accelerates the barrel into contact well. He hits breaking balls when he maintains a gap-to-gap approach, but he's vulnerable to them when he flies open with his swing. He doesn't strike out excessively but needs more discipline at the plate after putting up just a .335 on-base percentage in 2012. Grichuk is coachable and has made huge strides with his defense and baserunning, both of which were poor when he entered pro ball. He's now a reliable right fielder with a solid, accurate arm. Trout and Grichuck are friends, and their proximity in the 2009 draft drives Grichuk to join Trout in the majors. His free-swinging approach will be tested in Double-A in 2013.
The Angels surprised several teams when they drafted Lindsey 37th overall and signed him for $873,000 in 2010, but he responded with a Rookie-level Pioneer League MVP season in 2011. The club's new front office chose to skip him a level in 2012 and jumped him to high Class A, where he held his own offensively at age 20. Lindsey is an unorthodox hitter who succeeds largely because of his impressive hand-eye coordination. He has a narrow stance and scouts would like to see him use his legs more in his swing, but he has strong forearms and wrists along with good hands, which gives him a knack for squaring up the baseball. He sets up with his hands unconventionally low, then raises them late to get to his trigger. The Angels tried raising his hand position to help his timing, but it's still something he's getting comfortable with. He's not a major power threat and works more line to line. A below-average runner, Lindsey has enhanced his footwork to avoid having to move to the outfield, but his lateral movement and range need to get better. While his arm strength has improved, it's still fringy. Lindsey will move to Double-A in 2013. He'll have to stay at second base to profile as a regular.
Alvarez went a combined 9-7, 5.17 as a starter in his first two seasons at Florida Atlantic, and excelled as a reliever in the Cape Cod League for two summers. The Owls moved him to the bullpen in 2012 and he responded by posting a 0.53 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 34 innings. The Angels, who lost their picks in the first two rounds as compensation for signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson as free agents and had the lowest bonus pool allotment, used their top choice (114th overall) to draft Alvarez in the third round and signed him for $416,300. Alvarez has a quick arm that produces fastballs ranging from 95-97 mph in most outings and reaching as high as 100 mph. He can miss bats with both his fastball and his mid-80s slider, which features late action. He does have a tendency to get around his slider, causing it to morph into more of a power slurve. He has a fringy changeup in his arsenal, though he doesn't need it as a reliever. He has a high-effort delivery and throws across his body, which adds deception but affects his command. The Angels would like to move Alvarez through the system quickly, though his command will dictate that more than his stuff. He has the repertoire to eventually pitch in the back of their bullpen if everything comes together.
Sappington's fastball parked in the mid-80s when he was a high school senior, so he didn't get much attention from college recruiters. He spent three years at NCAA Division II Rockhurst (Mo.), where his velocity improved dramatically. He became the highest-drafted player in school history when the Angels took him in the fifth round in June and signed him for $218,000. Sappington now cruises at 94-95 mph and reaches 97. He has a big, physical frame and throws his fastball with downhill angle and late, heavy sink, which helps him generate plenty of groundballs. His secondary stuff lacks consistency, but his slider shows flashes of becoming a plus pitch and his changeup has the potential to develop into an average offering. Sappington has a unique delivery, with effort, twists and turns that result in a lot of knees and elbows flying at the batter. His mechanics create deception but lead scouts to wonder how good his command can be and if he might be better suited to the bullpen. Sappington got hit hard in Orem, though the Angels say he was just tired after pitching 96 innings in the spring. They'll keep deploying him as a starter in 2013, most likely at their new low Class A Burlington affiliate. Even if he winds up as a reliever, he needs innings for development.
The Angels system is littered with free swingers, so it was notable that the first position player drafted under GM Jerry Dipoto has the patient approach the organization is trying to emphasize. After hitting .380 as a Mississippi junior, Yarbrough went in the fourth round in June and signed for $302,800. Yarbrough's barrel stays in the hitting zone a long time and he has excellent hands at the plate, which results in a high contact rate. He showed modest pop in college and didn't homer in 63 pro games, so he'll have to get stronger. He likes to use the opposite field, even on inside pitches, and some scouts are concerned that his lack of bat speed could get exposed at upper levels against good fastballs on the inner half. Yarbrough is a modest athlete and there's nothing flashy about his defense. He's a fringy runner who doesn't have great range or arm strength, but his hands are clean and he's reliable on the balls he reaches. He needs to improve his double-play pivot but he shows aptitude for receiving instruction. Yarbrough reached Double-A at the end of 2012, but he might start his first full pro season in high Class A. He profiles as an offensive second baseman, albeit not as talented as Howie Kendrick, who's signed through 2015.
After Calhoun spent his first full pro season in high Class A Inland Empire in 2011, the Angels pushed him to Triple-A Salt Lake to start 2012 and he didn't disappoint. He made his major league debut in May and stayed with the Angels for a couple of weeks before returning to Triple-A, then came back to Anaheim at the end of August. Calhoun's tools are uninspiring, but club officials gush about his makeup. He's a smart player with outstanding instincts and a leader who brings out the best in his teammates. He's an aggressive player in all aspects of the game. Calhoun compensates for modest bat speed by getting himself ready to hit with a compact swing and a keen idea of the strike zone. He keeps the barrel in the zone a long time and surprises with sneaky power that grades out as close to average. He's a below-average runner but a good defender in right field. His arm, above-average in terms of both strength and accuracy, is his best tool. Calhoun's ceiling is probably limited to that of an extra outfielder, but he's a lefty bat in a predominantly righthanded-hitting Angels outfield and he's the type of players managers love, so he should get plenty of opportunities to stick around. He'll try to crack the Opening Day roster, though the Angels' November waiver claim of Scott Cousins didn't help Calhoun's cause.
Schugel didn't sign with the Padres drafted him as a high school third baseman in the 33rd round in 2007. He turned pro for $40,000 three years later as a 25th-round pick, and while he didn't pitch much at Central Arizona JC, he quickly found success on the mound with the Angels. His father Jeff is a big league scout for the team. From a three-quarters arm slot, Schugel throws strikes with an 89-93 mph fastball that has late sink and tail and can touch 95. His changeup has improved significantly to become an average pitch that can get swings and misses. Some scouts think his changeup can continue to develop into a plus offering. His breaking ball is more slider than curve, but it's a below-average pitch that's often soft and slurvy. Schugel has a fairly fluid delivery with a slight hook in the back of his arm action. He throws across his body but he repeats his delivery, creates deception and keeps the ball in the bottom of the zone. His athleticism helps him field his position extremely well. While his breaking ball is a concern, Schugel's fastball/changeup combination and ability to stay around the strike zone could be enough to fit into the back of a rotation. He'll advance to Triple-A in 2013.
The winning pitcher for Chipola (Fla.) JC in the 2007 Junior College World Series championship game as a freshman, Chaffee broke a bone in his foot the next March, requiring surgery to insert a screw. He returned to the mound and signed with the Angels for $338,000 as a third-round pick in 2008, but he reinjured the foot that summer and didn't make his pro debut until 2009. After three unsuccessful seasons as a starter, he moved to the bullpen late in 2011 and finally found success in the role last season. Working from a three-quarters arm slot, Chaffee has excellent arm speed that produces a lively 90-95 mph fastball with downhill plane. His curveball can be a power hook in the low 80s that comes out of the same line of his fastball and disappears to get swings and misses, though it gets slurvy and is still inconsistent. He has shown feel for a changeup with solid fade but doesn't use it frequently. Chaffee's command and control are still below-average, and he gets in trouble when he leaves the ball up. He works quickly with a high-effort delivery. Chaffee has the stuff to carve out a role in middle relief and could get his chance to make his big league debut in 2013. However, the Angels opted not to protect him on their 40-man roster during the offseason.
Stamets was one of the best defensive shortstops in college baseball in 2012, though concerns about his bat dropped him to the sixth round, where he signed for $169,000. He makes all the routine plays with excellent hands, clean footwork and a solid arm. He's also a plus-plus runner whose speed and first-step quickness give him the range to make spectacular plays. He's especially good on balls to his right, showing the ability to jump and make a throw from deep in the hole. He's more athletic and explosive than Andrew Romine, another plus defender at shortstop in the system. While Stamets' defense gets glowing reviews, his bat is a huge question mark. He has good hand-eye coordination and doesn't strike out excessively, but there's funkiness to his swing and he rolls over a lot of balls because he tries to hook them rather than use the whole field. He has limited power, and some scouts are concerned he won't be able to catch up to good fastballs as he moves up the system. He could hit for a decent average while providing little in the way of on-base or slugging percentage. Stamets held his own offensively against low Class A pitching in his pro debut, so he'll move up to high Class A this year.
After Scoggins missed the 2011 season because of Tommy John surgery, area scouts made their way to Howard (Texas) JC last spring when word spread that he was hitting triple digits with his fastball. He pitched just 20 innings out of the bullpen, so he fell to the Angels in the 15th round, where they signed him for $100,000. He struck out 34 of the 78 batters he faced in the Rookie-level Arizona League, though he also walked nearly a batter per inning in his pro debut. Scoggins' fastball will range from 91-100 mph, and he usually works at 95-97. His slider has the potential to become an average or better pitch, but it's slurvy and he needs to improve the timing of his delivery when he throws it. He also has a rudimentary changeup but rarely throws it. Scoggins has a huge amount of effort in his delivery, including a pronounced head whack when he finishes that impedes his control. Even coming out of the bullpen, he'll need to refine his mechanics so he can be around the strike zone more often. He'll open his first full pro season where he ended his debut, in low Class A.
The younger brother of Mariners minor league outfielder Denny Almonte, Yency generated attention early in the 2012 high school season before a dead arm cost him several weeks. Hamstrung by the loss of their first two picks as free-agent compensation and a $1.6 million bonus pool for the first 10 rounds, the Angels looked for ways to add extra talent in the draft. They grabbed Almonte in the 17th round and signed him for $250,000, though he had a setback with his shoulder after turning pro and pitched just three innings. He has an athletic, projectable frame and fires low-90s fastballs that have reached as high as 94 mph. He has feel for spinning the ball and threw a three-quarters breaking ball for strikes during instructional league. He's working on a changeup but hasn't used it much yet. Almonte doesn't have much pitching experience and he comes with durability concerns, but he has become a favorite of some club officials among the newer players in the system.
Jimenez may not always look pretty, but he has been a productive offensive player who has hit for average and power at every level of the minors. He has solid raw power, though there are questions about how much he'll be able to get to it at the big league level. He takes an uppercut swing and gets pull-conscious, which limits his coverage of the outer half of the plate. The biggest thing holding Jimenez back is his pitch selection. He's a free swinger who doesn't walk much and chases borderline pitches instead of waiting for something he can drive. Despite having below-average speed, he has stolen at least 15 bases in each of the last three seasons. He takes pride in being an aggressive baserunner with good instincts. Jimenez has an average arm, but his footwork costs him accuracy on his throws and his limited range makes him a below-average third baseman. He's a good teammate, though Angels personnel have met with him to improve his focus on the field. Jimenez may get a chance to make his big league debut in 2013, but he also has Kaleb Cowart breathing down his neck at third base.
Martin Alcantara signed with the Indians in February 2011, four months before his younger brother agreed to a $174,000 bonus with the Angels. Victor was attractive because he was an 18-year-old with a projectable, athletic frame and a fastball that touched 93 mph. He since has morphed into a power arm, hitting 96 the winter after he signed and reaching 100 during his 2012 pro debut. Alcantara has a quick arm and a durable body, which allows him to hold mid-90s velocity deep into outings. He features a pure power approach, backing up his heater with an 86-88 mph slider. He's still learning a changeup, which won't get better unless he uses it more frequently. His control still needs a lot of work, and it could improve if the Angels succeed in smoothing out his delivery. If he can't develop an offspeed pitch and throw more strikes, Alcantara might not be more than a late-inning reliever, but he's still young and the Angels will develop him as a slider. They may challenge him with an assignment beyond the Arizona League in 2013.
After signing for $70,000 in January 2011, Rondon had a strong pro debut in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. When he arrived in spring training last year, the organization game him a mandate to get bigger. He responded by going from 160 to 180 pounds by the end of the year while holding his own at the plate. Rondon is young, raw and aggressive. He has good bat-to-ball ability and loves to hit the fastball, though he's too much of a free swinger right now and often goes after the first fastball he sees. Though he has gotten stronger, he still has minimal power. He's also a fringy runner, so his offensive contributions may be limited to his batting average. Rondon shows flashes of becoming a solid shortstop with a strong arm and reliable hands. He still gets caught on his heels and gets poor jumps on balls, and he tries to make too many routine plays look flashy. If he outgrows shortstop, he might have to slide over to third base, and his bat wouldn't profile well there. Rondon has a realistic ceiling of a utilityman, though he'll have to show more impact with the bat and slow the game down to get there. The Angels plan to push some of their players more aggressively than they have in the past, so Rondon could jump to low Class A in 2013.
After he cruised through the lower minors in his first two pro seasons, Tillman was a major disappointment in 2012. Pushed to Double-A after spending most of the previous year in low Class A, he showed a power arm but little feel for the strike zone. He recorded a 12.10 ERA and 19 walks in 19 innings, necessitating a demotion to high Class A, where he managed to have success in the second half. Tillman's fastball operates at 92-95 mph and gets as high as 98 mph. His heater has occasional sink, though some scouts think it's too flat. His No. 2 pitch is a below-average slider that lacks depth and can get slurvy. Tillman has high-effort mechanics and struggles to find his release point, which leads to erratic control. He's an emotional pitcher, and once he starts to struggle, he gets rattled and lets the game speed up on him. His velocity makes him an intriguing bullpen possibility, but he still has plenty of adjustments before he can help the Angels. He'll take another shot at Double-A in 2013.
Romine comes from a baseball family. His father Kevin played for the Red Sox for seven seasons, while his brother Austin is a Yankees catching prospect who has played briefly in the big leagues. Andrew has had short stints in the majors in each of the last three seasons, thanks to his defensive ability. He's a quality shortstop who can play anywhere in the infield with his solid range, clean hands and plus arm with tremendous accuracy from an over-the-top slot. He's an excellent decision-maker in the field and has a knack for taking advantage of baserunners' mistakes. Romine's athleticism works well in the field but doesn't carry over to the batter's box. He gave up switch-hitting last year to bat exclusively lefthanded, but the results weren't noticeably different. Romine has good hand-eye coordination and strong hands, but his bat speed is fringy, his power is limited and he doesn't hit the ball hard. He has a simple, no-stride approach yet deviates from his plan at the plate too often. He's an average runner and bunts well. With Maicer Izturis signing with the Blue Jays as a free agent in the offseason, the door is open for Romine to show he can fill a utility spot at the big league level.
The Angels worked on a restricted budget during Marc Russo's brief tenure as international scouting director, but he and his staff managed to find a few intriguing arms. One of those is Fernandez, who signed for $150,000 out of the Dominican Republic in August 2011 at age 18. After he impressed the Angels during the club's Dominican winter program, they decided to start him in the Dominican Summer League and bring him to the United States as soon as the Arizona League season began. Fernandez has a big frame and comes straight over the top with a fastball that sits at 89-92 mph and touches 94. He flashes some feel for his 74-77 mph curveball and maintains his arm speed on his changeup, though he doesn't miss many bats yet. He has a sound delivery. While he doesn't project to match the velocity of fellow 2011 Dominican signee Victor Alcantara, Fernandez has a wider array of pitches and a better chance to remain a starter. The Angels gave him a start in low Class A at the end of last season and could push him there in 2013.
Lopez signed out of the Dominican Republic last year for just $45,000, but he made a strong impression during his pro debut. He ranked third in the Dominican Summer League with 83 strikeouts and would have ranked first with 14.0 whiffs per nine innings if he had enough innings to qualify. Lopez has a compact frame and an 89-91 mph fastball that he can get up to 93 mph and throw for strikes. He has a mid-70s curveball with quick break and solid depth, and DSL hitters often swung over it or froze up when he threw it. Like most pitchers with his experience level, he's still learning a changeup. A pleasant surprise in 2012, he'll head to the Arizona League this year.
The Angels knew Witherspoon was a raw project who might not hit when they signed him for $100,000 as a 12th-rounder in 2009, but they were drawn to his speed and athleticism. Four years later, his profile is still much the same. He posted an .869 OPS in high Class A during the first two months of the 2012 season, but his offense cratered when he got to Double-A. Witherspoon has a quick bat and is at his best when he uses the whole field. He doesn't often stay with that approach, however. He has below-average power, yet he still takes a big swing and his barrel doesn't spend much time in the hitting zone. After he got to Arkansas, he chased too many pitches and had trouble recognizing breaking balls, an issue he's had since signing. Witherspoon's carrying tool is his above-average speed. He gets great jumps off the bat and takes good routes on flyballs, making him a plus defender in center field with an average arm. He also has stolen bases at an 83 percent success rate. Mike Trout is about as big a roadblock as there could be, though Witherspoon still needs to prove he can hit enough to get to the big leagues. The Angels still believe in his upside and protected him on their 40-man roster in November.
A high school catcher, Brasier moved to the mound when he got to Weatherford (Texas) JC. He pitched his way into the sixth round of the 2007 draft and began his pro career as a reliever. The Angels tried to make him a starter in 2009-10, but he was ill-suited for the role and moved back to the bullpen in 2011. While Brasier has yet to dominate as a pro, he does have a fastball that can range from 92-96 mph with late hop and run. His secondary pitches are what hold him back. He flashes an average slider, but it doesn't have a lot of depth so he doesn't miss many bats. His changeup is well below-average, and he throws it only occasionally against lefthanders. Brasier has a stocky build, stabs in the back of his arm action and has effort in his delivery, so his command never has been a strong suit. He'll need a more consistent slider and better location for his pitches before he's ready for a big league callup, which could come this season. The Angels added him to the 40-man roster in November.
Signed as a nondrafted free agent in 2008, Geltz made his major league debut last season and became the first Buffalo player in the big leagues since Joe Hesketh wrapped up an 11-year career in 1994. There's not much that jumps out about Geltz, yet he has averaged 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings in the minors. He keeps hitters off balance with a lot of deception from a high three-quarters arm slot. Talent evaluators use words like "fearless," "moxie" and "bulldog" to describe Geltz, who attacks hitters mostly with a 91-94 mph fastball that features late hop. He locates his fastball well on the outside corner against lefthanders, but his control is no better than average. He's had a lot of success with mostly one pitch, though he does flash an average breaking ball and mixes in an occasional splitter. Geltz has a middle-relief ceiling, and there's still concern that his smoke-and-mirrors act might not work against big leaguers.
Taylor made only one start in three years at North Carolina State, but the Angels tinkered with him in that role here and there over parts of his first four pro seasons after signing him for $45,000 as a 34th-round pick. He got hammered as a starter in Double-A in 2011, so they moved him back to the bullpen full-time last season and he got to the majors for three appearances in September. Taylor has a high-effort delivery, but his game is more about keeping hitters off balance than power. His fastball sits around 88-89 mph and touches 91. He can get sink and tail on his fastball, but when he leaves it up it flattens out and gets pounded. Taylor likes to pitch backward by leaning on his slider, an average pitch with late break. He has a changeup but rarely uses it because it doesn't have enough separation from his fastball to be effective. Taylor struggled with his control both in Triple-A and the big leagues, and he'll have to throw more strikes to carve out a role as a situational lefty.
Steve Bedrosian won the National League Cy Young Award in 1987. Twenty-three years later, the Angels drafted his son Cam 29th overall and signed him for $1,116,000. He came down with a sore elbow a month after turning pro and had Tommy John surgery in May 2011. He returned to the mound last May in low Class A, but he struggled with his stuff and control, failing to make it out of the third inning in several outings. Bedrosian's fastball touched 96 mph in high school, but his arm wasn't as quick last year and his fastball varied from 87-94 mph. His curveball was big and loopy and often missed the strike zone, so he tinkered with a slider at the end of the year. He didn't get much of a chance to work on his raw changeup because he fell behind in the count too often. If there was a positive to his trying 2012 season, it was that Bedrosian stayed healthy, though he understandably tired toward the end. He's at a crossroads as he enters the 2013 season, and he could wind up in the bullpen if he can't regain his high school form. He'll probably return to Cedar Rapids.
Johnson went undrafted out of high school, two years at Alabama Southern CC and after his first year at NCAA Division II West Florida. After his senior season ended, he pitched two games with the independent Pensacola Pelicans (American Association) before the Angels took him in the 20th round of the 2010 draft and signed him for $2,000. He reached Triple-A two years later and is on track to possibly make his major league debut in 2013. Johnson succeeded in college with a high-80s sinker that touched 91 mph, but he has added velocity in pro ball. His fastball now ranges anywhere from 88-96 mph and still features the heavy sink that results in an abundance of groundballs. He mostly gets by on one pitch, as his slider is a fringy offering without much depth. He averaged just 4.4 strikeouts per nine innings last season, so the development of his slider will be key. He has a lot of effort in his delivery, but he still throws plenty of strikes. If he can find a way to miss a few more bats, he could earn a middle-relief job with the Angels.
On pure stuff, Roth would just be another arm in the organization, a senior sign who saved money in the ninth round with his $20,000 bonus. But his stellar college track record and performance on college baseball's biggest stage are hard to ignore. A reliever for most of his first two seasons at South Carolina, he made his first two starts (including a shutout of Clemson) at the 2010 College World Series as the Gamecocks won their first national championship. As a junior, he topped NCAA Division I in wins (14-3) and ERA (1.06) as South Carolina repeated as national champions. He led the Gamecocks to a national runner-up finish in 2012, setting career CWS records for starts (eight) and innings (60) while ranking second in wins (four) and fifth in ERA (1.49). While scouts respect what Roth did in college, there are obvious questions about how well his skill set will translate to pro ball. He has outstanding savvy, but his fastball parks around the mid-80s and peaks at 89 mph. He has a deceptive delivery, varies his arm angles and moves the ball around the strike zone. His best pitch is his changeup, which has deep action and late sink. He mixes in an upper-70s slider, can bust cutters in on the hands of righthanders and throws an occasional slow curve. His funkiness could work in relief, where he doesn't have to get through a lineup multiple times. He could begin his first full year in high Class A because he'll be 23.
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