Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Prospects

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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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Matt Eddy
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1. Mike Trout, of
2. Tyler Chatwood, rhp
3. Jean Segura, 2b
4. Hank Conger, c
5. Jordan Walden, rhp
6. Kaleb Cowart, 3b
7. Garrett Richards, rhp
8. Fabio Martinez, rhp
9. Mark Trumbo, 1b/of
10. Cam Bedrosian, rhp
Best Hitter for Average Mike Trout
Best Power Hitter Mark Trumbo
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Hank Conger
Fastest Baserunner Mike Trout
Best Athlete Mike Trout
Best Fastball Jordan Walden
Best Curveball Tyler Chatwood
Best Slider Fabio Martinez
Best Changeup Trevor Reckling
Best Control Tim Kiely
Best Defensive Catcher Alberto Rosario
Best Defensive Infielder Andrew Romine
Best Infield Arm Kaleb Cowart
Best Defensive Outfielder Mike Trout
Best Outfield Arm Angel Castillo
Catcher Hank Conger
First Base Kendry Morales
Second Base Jean Segura
Third Base Kaleb Cowart
Shortstop Erick Aybar
Left Field Mike Trout
Center Field Peter Bourjos
Right Field Torii Hunter
Designated Hitter Mark Trumbo
No. 1 Starter Jared Weaver
No. 2 Starter Dan Haren
No. 3 Starter Ervin Santana
No. 4 Starter Tyler Chatwood
No. 5 Starter Garrett Richards
Closer Jordan Walden
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Joe Torres, lhp White Sox
2002 Casey Kotchman, 1b Mariners
2003 Francisco Rodriguez, rhp Mets
2004 Casey Kotchman, 1b Mariners
2005 Casey Kotchman, 1b Mariners
2006 Brandon Wood, ss Angels
2007 Brandon Wood, ss Angels
2008 Brandon Wood, ss Angels
2009 Nick Adenhart, rhp Deceased
2010 Hank Conger, c Angels
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Casey Kotchman, 1b Mariners
2002 Joe Saunders, lhp Diamondbacks
2003 Brandon Wood, ss Angels
2004 Jered Weaver, rhp Angels
2005 Trevor Bell, rhp
(1st round supp.)
2006 Hank Conger, c Angels
2007 Jon Bachanov, rhp
(1st round supp.)
2008 Tyler Chatwood, rhp
(2nd round)
2009 Randal Grichuk, of Angels
2010 Kaleb Cowart, 3b Angels
Jered Weaver, 2004 $4,000,000
Kendry Morales, 2004 $3,000,000
Kaleb Cowart, 2010 $2,300,000
Troy Glaus, 1997 $2,250,000
Joe Torres, 2000 $2,080,000
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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.

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