2012 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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1. Mike Trout, of
2. Jean Segura, ss
3. Garrett Richards, rhp
4. Johnny Hellweg, rhp
5. C.J. Cron, 1b
6. Kaleb Cowart, 3b
7. Taylor Lindsey, 2b
8. Daniel Tillman, rhp
9. Ariel Pena, rhp
10. Nick Maronde, lhp
Best Hitter for Average Mike Trout
Best Power Hitter C.J. Cron
Best Strike Zone Discipline Kole Calhoun
Fastest Baserunner Mike Trout
Best Athlete Mike Trout
Best Fastball Johnny Hellweg
Best Curveball Johnny Hellweg
Best Slider Ariel Pena
Best Changeup Lay Batista
Best Control Orangel Arenas
Best Defensive Catcher Alberto Rosario
Best Defensive Infielder Andrew Romine
Best Infield Arm Kaleb Cowart
Best Defensive OF Mike Trout
Best Outfield Arm Angel Castillo
Catcher Chris Iannetta
First Base Albert Pujols
Second Base Jean Segura
Third Base Kaleb Cowart
Shortstop Erick Aybar
Left Field Mike Trout
Center Field Peter Bourjos
Right Field Howard Kendrick
Designated Hitter C.J. Cron
No. 1 Starter Jered Weaver
No. 2 Starter Dan Haren
No. 3 Starter C.J. Wilson
No. 4 Starter Ervin Santana
No. 5 Starter Garrett Richards
Closer Jordan Walden
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2002 Casey Kotchman, 1b Rays
2003 Francisco Rodriguez, rhp Brewers
2004 Casey Kotchman, 1b Rays
2005 Casey Kotchman, 1b Rays
2006 Brandon Wood, ss Pirates
2007 Brandon Wood, ss Pirates
2008 Brandon Wood, 3b/ss Pirates
2009 Nick Adenhart, rhp Deceased
2010 Hank Conger, c Angels
2011 Mike Trout, of Angels
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2002 Joe Saunders, lhp Diamondbacks
2003 Brandon Wood, ss
2004 Jered Weaver, rhp
2005 Trevor Bell, rhp (1st supp.)
2006 Hank Conger, c
2007 Jon Bachanov, rhp (1st supp.)
White Sox
2008 Tyler Chatwood, rhp (2nd)
2009 Randal Grichuk, of
2010 Kaleb Cowart, 3b Angels
2011 C.J. Cron, 1b 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

If you want to know the standard the Angels hold themselves to these days, witness the changes that took place after they completed an 86-76 season.

Los Angeles reeled off its seventh winning season in the last eight, but missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 2000-01, Mike Scioscia's first two years as manager. What's more, the Rangers repeated as the American League West champion and AL pennant winner, with a former Angel as a driving force.

The Angels' January 2011 trade of Mike Napoli not only skewed the balance of power in the AL West, but it also led to a front-office overhaul in Anaheim.

General manager Tony Reagins dealt Napoli and Juan Rivera to the Blue Jays for Vernon Wells—and the full $86 million left on his bloated contract. Toronto then flipped Napoli to Texas, where he led all big league catchers in hitting (.320), on-base percentage (.414), slugging (.631) and homers (30). To top it off, he batted .328 with three homers in the playoffs.

Wells had a terrible season, hitting 25 homers but posting a .248 on-base percentage. Jeff Mathis hit .174 after picking up the bulk of the catching duties in Napoli's absence, and Los Angeles plummeted to 10th in the AL in runs scored.

The changes came swiftly. Two days after the season ended, owner Arte Moreno forced Reagins to resign. He later fired farm director Abe Flores and assistant GMs Ken Forsch and Gary Sutherland.

The Angels hired Diamondbacks senior vice president of scouting and player development Jerry Dipoto to replace Reagins in late October. Dipoto retained Ric Wilson as amateur scouting director and hired Red Sox scout Hal Morris as pro scouting director. He also hired Rangers farm director Scott Servais as assistant GM.

Emboldened by a new $3 billion, 20-year local television deal with Fox, the new front office dramatically improved the roster. Dipoto signed the most coveted position player and pitcher on the free agent market, landing Albert Pujols with a 10-year, $254 million contract and then signing  C.J. Wilson away from the Rangers for five years and $77.5 million.

Dipoto also upgraded the Angels at catcher, dealing righthander Tyler Chatwood (the system's No. 2 prospect a year ago) to the Rockies for Chris Iannetta, then dealing Mathis to the Blue Jays for lefthander Brad Mills.

Chatwood was one of six Angels rookies in 2011. Jordan Walden rode a 98 mph fastball to 32 saves and a place on the AL all-star team, while Mark Trumbo belted 29 homers and finished runner-up for AL rookie of the year honors. Unless he learns a new position, however, Trumbo becomes redundant with the acquisition of Pujols.

Last season, the trio of Mathis, Trumbo and Wells extinguished many a rally by combining for a .262 on-base percentage. In 2012, Los Angeles could replace that trio in the lineup with Iannetta, Pujols and elite prospect Mike Trout. Those upgrades, combined with a stout rotation featuring Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Wilson and Ervin Santana, give the Angels hope of snapping their two-year playoff drought.

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