Top Angels' Prospect Performances of 2009: Just How Good Was Mike Trout?

20) Nate Sutton, 26 - Utility, AA

.305/.387/.391 with 2 HR's and 21 SB's. +8 bat, +0 glove

Sutton provided patience at the plate and a veteran presence in the field, which helped to balance an Arkansas club built around young, less polished players. My guess is that he'll start at 2nd base for the Bees next year, while Mount gives AA another go. That puts him just one or two injuries away from the big league club.

19) Rolando Gomez, 20 - SS, Arizona Rookie League

.304/.408/.464 with 2 HR's and 12 SB's. +7 bat, +5 glove

This season was only his second out of high school, so Gomez should be considered a "young" 20. Still, we need to see him play against better competition to get a clearer idea of his value. He's the early favorite to land the starting shortstop job in the Midwest League, though he needs to beat out Jon Karcich. He's got some patience and pop, but most encouraging is the +5 glove, despite the 18 errors he made in the field.

18) Jeremy Moore, 22 - OF, A+ and AA

.279/.330/.443 with 11 HR's and 17 SB's. -2 bat, +8 glove

I took an extensive look at Moore in July. He was a different player in '09 than previously, spraying more line drives and consequently hitting for better average; but he also flashed less homerun pop and speed on the base paths. According to the runs created metric, the net result was slightly negative. His defense remained solid, and Total Zone even liked him in center, rating him at +4 in limited playing time. If Moore continues to hit line drives like he did last year and return to his homerun bopping ways, he could be a very good player in the upper minors and even see big league time come 2011 or 2012.

17) Andrew Taylor, 22 - LH RP, A

4 wins, 0 losses. 57 IP, 2.05 ERA, 91 K/27 BB. +18 runs saved.

Taylor has attracted notice as a potential sleeper for 2010. He put up ridiculous numbers in the Midwest League with a vicious fastball/slider combo, though he struggled earlier in the year in a brief trial in the California League. Lefties with his kind of stuff are rare, so he could move very quickly in 2010.

16) Thomas Mendoza, 21 - RH SP, AA and AAA

9 wins, 8 losses. 150.1 IP, 3.29 ERA, 96 SO/42 BB. +6 runs saved.

It wasn't all that long ago that Mendoza was considered a top Angels field hand - BA ranked him the 10th best Halos prospect in both 2006 and 2007. Two seasons of inconsistency followed, but he reemerged this year with a solid AA campaign and an impressive AAA debut. His fastball has always been a great pitch - he makes it better by cutting it and changing velocity - but his secondary stuff has been slower to develop, and he still lacks an outpitch. He's held up ok in the Arizona Fall League so far, striking out 10 while walking none over 15 innings, but has remained too hittable, leading to a less-than-stellar ERA of 5.40 over 4 games.

15) Mike Trout, 17 - CF, Arizona Summer League

.360/.418/.506 with 1 HR and 13 SB's. +10 bat, +9 glove.

What can I say, other than he looks great with both the bat and glove. BA agreed, ranking him the best prospect in Arizona last summer. I'm looking forward to seeing how he does against Midwest League competition.

14) Brandon Wood, 24 - SS, 3B, AAA

.293/.353/.557 with 22 HRs and 1 SB. +18 bat, -8 glove.

Keep in mind that Wood accrued this value over just 99 games; had he played the full 144, he would have ranked significantly higher here. The -8 glove is a tad disappointing, but the bad score is due entirely to his time at short. He was +1 at third, where he's likely to play next year, and will likely improve from there.

13) Tyson Auer, 23 - CF, A-Ball

.277/.344/.346 with 2 HR's and 43 SB's. -10 bat, +17 glove

Not bad for an undrafted free agent fresh out of college. He wasn't great with the bat, though the Fangraphs "runs created" formula (which gives Cedar Rapids a more substantial park factor and seems to value speed a bit more) puts him at almost average. And how about that +17 glove? Scouting reports back it up: Midwest League managers voted Auer the top defensive centerfielder in the league.

12) Hank Conger, 21 - Catcher, AA

.295/.369/.424 with 11 HR's and 4 SB's. + 9 bat, -1 glove

For a 21-year-old catcher in AA who continually draws the "raw" and "not sure he'll stick" clichés, a -1 glove amidst high-level competition is pretty damn good. I don't think that's a fluke either: he caught more baserunners and permitted fewer passed balls than the average Texas League catcher. Once he figures out how not to play catch with the centerfielder, he has a shot at being a solid average - or even better - receiver. He's off to a slow start in the Arizona Fall League, hitting just .222, but it looks like that's mostly bad luck: his 8 K/5 BB ratio over 45 AB's is fine, and his .178 ISO with 2 HR's isn't too far off where it should be. He could explode any game now.

11) Gabriel Perez, 18 - Pitcher, Dominican Summer League

8 wins, 2 losses. 89.1 IP, 2.22 ERA, 70 SO/27 BB. +17 runs saved.

As with most DSL pitchers, I don't know too much about them beyond the numbers. Perez led the DSL Halos in IP and K's, and was second in ERA. He's only 6' and his K/IP isn't comparable to what Fabio Martinez Mesa, Baudillio Lopez, and Ariel Pena achieved last year, so let's wait and see what he does stateside before getting too excited. Nevertheless, even after making a huge adjustment for his home park, the 148 ERA+ and +17 runs saved are impressive.

I'll post the top 10 performances later this week! 

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