Los Angeles Angels: Top 10 Prospects

Los Angeles Angels

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, 2008.

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1. Brandon Wood, 3b
2. Nick Adenhart, rhp
3. Jordan Walden, rhp
4. Hank Conger, c
5. Sean O'Sullivan, rhp
6. Stephen Marek, rhp
7. Sean Rodriguez, ss
8. Nick Green, rhp
9. Peter Bourjos, of
10. Anel de los Santos, c
Best Hitter for Average Hank Conger
Best Power Hitter Brandon Wood
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Chris Pettit
Fastest Baserunner Peter Bourjos
Best Athlete P.J. Phillips
Best Fastball Jordan Walden
Best Curveball Nick Adenhart
Best Slider Jason Bulger
Best Changeup Nick Green
Best Control Sean O'Sullivan
Best Defensive Catcher Anel de los Santos
Best Defensive Infielder Andrew Romine
Best Infield Arm Sean Rodriguez
Best Defensive Outfielder Peter Bourjos
Best Outfield Arm Julio Perez
Catcher Hank Conger
First Base Casey Kotchman
Second Base Howie Kendrick
Third Base Brandon Wood
Shortstop Erick Aybar
Left Field Gary Matthews Jr.
Center Field Torii Hunter
Right Field Vladimir Guerrero
Designated Hitter Kendry Morales
No. 1 Starter John Lackey
No. 2 Starter Nick Adenhart
No. 3 Starter Kelvim Escobar
No. 4 Starter Jon Garland
No. 5 Starter Jered Weaver
Closer Francisco Rodriguez
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Troy Glaus, 3b Blue Jays
1999 Ramon Ortiz, rhp Rockies
2000 Ramon Ortiz, rhp Rockies
2001 Joe Torres, lhp White Sox
2002 Casey Kotchman, 1b Angels
2003 Francisco Rodriguez, rhp Angels
2004 Casey Kotchman, 1b Angels
2005 Casey Kotchman, 1b Angels
2006 Brandon Wood, ss Angels
2007 Brandon Wood, ss Angels
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Seth Etherton, rhp Marlins
1999 John Lackey, rhp (2nd) Angels
2000 Joe Torres, lhp White Sox
2001 Casey Kotchman, 1b Angels
2002 Joe Saunders, lhp Angels
2003 Brandon Wood, ss Angels
2004 Jered Weaver, rhp Angels
2005 Trevor Bell, rhp (1st supp.) Angels
2006 Hank Conger, c Angels
2007 Jon Bachanov, rhp (1st supp.) Angels
Jered Weaver, 2004 $4,000,000
Kendry Morales, 2004 $3,000,000
Troy Glaus, 1997 $2,250,000
Joe Torres, 2000 $2,080,000
Casey Kotchman, 2001 $2,075,000
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Los Angeles Angels

Stability is something every major league organization strives for. But in the case of the Angels, stability already has gotten old.

With an excellent bullpen, improved defense and a resourceful manager orchestrating the offense, Los Angeles had the majors' best record at times last season before finishing with 94 wins, clinching its third American League West crown in four years. But after the Angels were swept by the Red Sox in a Division Series, it was more than just the fans who were feeling frustrated. In five years since their 2002 World Series championship, the Angels have won a total of four postseason games.

In 2007, Mike Scioscia may have done his best managerial job yet, filling out 126 different lineups while 13 players made 19 visits to the disabled list. But after watching his club get outscored 19-4 by Boston in the sweep, even the stoic Scioscia was out of answers. He vented about the team's need to acquire a power presence, and a few weeks later he found himself in position to make that happen.

General manager Bill Stoneman, who led Los Angeles to four playoff appearances in eight years and the only World Series championship in franchise history, stepped down, citing burnout. Owner Arte Moreno introduced Tony Reagins, who joined the Angels as an intern in 1992 and has served as farm director the past six years, as Stoneman's successor. Reagins' most important qualification may have been his strong working relationship with Scioscia. The moves indicated a clear shift in the club's epicenter toward Scioscia, who will have a larger voice in player procurement moving forward.

Los Angeles' first big move on Reagins' watch was the signing of free agent center fielder Torii Hunter to a five-year, $90 million contract. A week later, the Angels traded Orlando Cabera to the White Sox for Jon Garland, loosening their shortstop logjam while bolstering their rotation.

They also exchanged numerous proposals with the Marlins regarding Miguel Cabrera, only to lose out to the Tigers. The silver lining is that there's an opening for one of baseball's best power prospects in Brandon Wood.

Stoneman did a magnificent job at supplementing the big league roster without sacrificing young talent, but Scioscia's patience with youngsters might be waning. It remains to be seen if Wood will get his shot at an everyday role, as Chone Figgins and Maicer Itzuris are more proven options, albeit with less upside.

The farm system isn't as deep as it has been in years past, but righthander Nick Adenhart is another frontline prospect who's nearly ready for the majors.

Los Angeles was strangely conservative in the 2007 draft, especially considering it lost its first-round choice as compensation for free agent Gary Matthews Jr. The Angels didn't take any of their trademark gambles and spent just $1.8 million to sign players, the second-lowest total in baseball. Their top pick, supplemental first-round righty Jon Bachanov, tweaked his elbow before he could make his pro debut. Before the draft, they did spend $1 million to lock up hard-throwing Jordan Walden as a draft-and-follow.

By signing Hunter, Los Angeles gave up the 27th overall choice in the 2008 draft, leaving it without a first-rounder for the third time in four years.

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