11. Peter Bourjos, CF
Birthday: 03/87 Height: 6’1" Weight: 175
A+ 509 AB’s .295/.326/.444
Through the first half of the season, Peter Bourjos looked unstoppable. His batting average rose steadily through April, May and June to peak at .340, and he stole bases with impunity, getting caught only once a month, or every 15 or so tries. Scouts’ biggest question about him going into the 2008 season was whether he could hit for sufficient average, and Bourjos appeared to be answering with a tremendous breakout season. Then the half came around, and Bourjos hit a wall. I saw him play in late July, and he struggled at the plate, aggressive to the point of futility. Scouting reports are unanimous in their enthusiasm regarding Peter’s tools: he has tremendous speed, great instincts in centerfield and on the basepaths, and the bat speed to potentially hit for solid-average power at the big league level. He’s an exciting guy to watch and an intense competitor. However, I think the general point to make about Peter is that he is unlikely to hit .320 again, which correlates with the last time that his OPS touched .800, so his secondary skills will have to improve for him to be an even average offensive contributor. Peter is almost 22, so at this point I think his power is more likely to come around than his plate discipline - that results in a player with the punch to whack 15 to 20 homeruns, the speed to steal 40 or more bases, but who rarely reaches first base. Hello Corey Patterson. That could help your fantasy team a whole lot, but an MLB team will likely find a better alternative.
12. Tyler Chatwood, rhsp
Birthday: 12/89 Height: 5’11" Weight: 175
ASL.- 38 innings. ERA: 3.08 k/inning = 1.26 k/bb = 1.33 go/ao = 2.35
The Angels elected to take two-way stud Tyler Chatwood in the 2008 supplemental first round as a pitcher, instead of as an outfielder, shortstop, or catcher. That call looks good so far, as Tyler's strikeout and groundball rates were through the roof in his professional debut. He pitches in the mid 90’s and already shows two above average offspeed offerings. The one red flag so far is that Chatwood struggled mightily with his control, even if the walks never really caught up to his ERA.
13. Matt Sweeney 1B / 3B
Birthday: 04/88 Height: 6.3" Weight: 210
Did Not Play
A pre-spring training ankle roll from hell resulted in surgery and a lost season for Sweeney, but he’s still young and has a ton of potential at the plate. He’s not a great third baseman, but has decent lateral range for a big guy and most of his errors were of the throwing variety, so he could be above average at first base. I think he’ll break out this year, and will be drawing Chris Davis comparisons by 2010.
14. Mark Trumbo 1B/ DH
Birthday: 01/86 Height: 6’4" Weight: 220
A+ - 407 AB’s .283/.329/.553
AA - 123 AB’s .276/.311/.496
Mark Trumbo finally mashed the way the Angels had been waiting for him to mash since they drafted him in 2004. He was the cornerstone of the Quakes’ lineup until a midseason promotion to AA, where he continued to hit for power and decent average through the Travellers’ successful playoff run. There’s even been talk of Trumbo as the long term first base solution for the Halos after Teixeira followed the green to NYC. Mark makes lots of contact and belts homeruns, but he has never hit .300 in three years of professional baseball; in of itself, that isn’t a huge concern, except that he walks just once or twice a week. Odds are he will not develop into an above average offensive first baseman, and he doesn’t have the glove to support another starting role. The Halos have Kendry Morales ahead of him, who will likely contribute more both offensively and defensively, and Matt Sweeney behind him, who bats from the left side, has more potential as a defender, and was putting up better numbers at younger ages before an injury last year. Trumbo could end up as a back-up/platoon first baseman and DH in the MLB. I hope I’m wrong on this one.
15. Michael Kohn, rhrp
Birthday: 06/86 Height: 6’2" Weight: 200
Rk - 23.3 Innings ERA: 1.93 K/Inning: 1.89 K/BB: 4.00 GO/AO: 1.60
The Angels took Kohn in the 13th round of this year’s draft, and he threw up gaudy strikeout numbers in the Pioneer League as the Owlz closer: the strikeout rate above works out to 17 k's over 9 innings. I believe the Angels' got an under-the-radar steal here, because Kohn only recently took up pitching after not being drafted in ’07 as a first baseman. Before long he was dialing it up to 96 mph and experimenting with a promising breaking ball. He’s for real, and could move very quickly next year. Let the Percival comparisons begin.
16. Jason Bulger, rhrp
Birthday: 12/78 Height: 6’4" Weight: 210
AAA - 43 Innings ERA: 0.63 K/Inning: 1.74 K/BB: 3.41 GO/AO: 1.43
MLB - 16 Innings ERA: 7.31 K/Inning: 1.25 K/BB: 2.22 GO/AO: 0.87
Jason was stunningly good in AAA last year, but had a rough couple of big league innings and therefore remains buried on the depth chart. It would take a few injuries for him to get another shot, so I don't think his next opportunity will come with the Halos. Instead, I think he’ll be packaged this year in some sort of mid-season trade and have a Brandon Donnelly type career with his next team.
17. Freddy Sandoval, 3B / 2B / 1B
Birthday: 08/82 Height: 6’1" Weight: 200
AAA - 525 AB’s .335/.389/.514
MLB - 6 AB’s .167/.286/.167
I’ll admit it - I’ve got a man crush on Halos’ organization player of the year, Freddy Sandoval. He’s a bit like Reggie Willits in his switch-hitting skills, ability to work counts and make contact, though he trades some OBP for solid gap power and the occasional round-tripper. He’s above average defensively at third, even after taking into account a higher than usual number of errors last year, and as a former shortstop probably has the athleticism to handle second, where he played a little last season and all through the winter. He could make a lot of teams better right now.
18. Ryan Mount, 2B
Birthday: 08/86 Height: 6’0" Weight: 175
A+ - 338 AB’s .290/.337/.512
Injuries keep salting Ryan’s game - they robbed him of April and May, and then barred him from playing in the AA playoffs. When he was on the field, though, he was solid, knocking six homeruns in July, and eight more in August. Next year will be a big one for him - he’ll be on the older side for AA, and is going to have to prove that (1) the power wasn’t a California League tease, and (2) he can stay healthy.
19. Manuarys Correa, rhsp
Birthday: 01/89 Height: 6’3" Weight: 170
Ari - 57.6 Innings ERA: 2.65 K/Inning: 1.16 K/BB: 6.70 GO/AO: 1.02
Rk. - 20.33 Innings ERA: 6.20 K/Inning: 0.84 K/BB: 3.40 GO/AO: 1.29
Manuarys struggled in his stint with the Pioneer League, but he was impressive enough both this season in Arizona and last year in the Dominican Summer League to rank highly. He’s got a great fastball that he controls well, so there's a lot of reason to believe he’ll succeed next year in the Midwest League.
20. Alexander Torres, lhsp
Birthday: 12/87 Height: 5’10" Weight: 160
AZL - 23.3 Innings ERA: 1.54 K/Inning 1.03 K/BB: 2.4 GO/AO: 3.22
A+ - 53 Innings ERA: 3.91 K/Inning: 1.17 K/BB: 2.14 GO/AO: 2.26
I want to see more of this guy! Torres put up numbers comparable to Jordan Walden’s at Rancho Cucamonga last year. However, the sample size is too small, and his track record in the Arizona Rookie League too uneven, to rank him higher. He’s also only 5’10", or an inch shorter than Tim Lincecum and two inches shorter than Roy Oswalt. For an MLB pitcher, that is tiny, and may limit Torres’ ability to improve or stay healthy, either of which would make a move to the bullpen imminent. Only more innings at the upper levels will clarify the projection, however, so he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch in 2010.
The Top Ten...