Rather than continuing to do a straight ranking of all Halos' prospects, which after 20 seems like a pretty arbitrary process (how could you legitimately say that Baudilio Lopez will be more valuable than Bobby Wilson, or visa versa?), I'm going to run through the remaining Halos' prospects by position. I do rank the guys playing the same position against one another, but with the caveat that the order could change substantially as early as next July.
Lastly, I just want to say again how fired up I am about the talent we have at the lower levels, especially the pitching. I know that national organization rankings sunk the Halos to a discouraging low this year, but the Halos' '08 draft class looks fantastic so far, despite not including a first round draft pick. Those guys should team up with strong classes coming out of the DSL to push us back up the rankings the next year, and back to the top by 2010.
Matt Brown, Gabriel Jacobo,
Roberto Lopez, Efren Navarro, Nicholas Farnsworth, Terrel Alliman
Matt Brown had a great season in AAA. He’s young enough and good enough to help out an MLB team, but it’s difficult to see where he fits in with the Angels, especially after they re-upped Robb Quinlan. He’s too good to waste away in Salt Lake, but not good enough to take at bats away from younger Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez. Gabriel Jacobo began the summer as the Halo’s 10th round pick, and ended it mashing in Cedar Rapids, putting up a tremendous high power/high contact/no patience line across two levels. Expect big numbers from him in the California League in the upcoming season, and a possible move to the outfield either there or AA. Pre-draft scouting reports rated Jacobo highly as a defensive third baseman, but the Halos didn’t play him there much, so it seems unlikely he returns to the hot corner. Roberto Lopez put up a monster line in Orem as a 23 year old, but he was three years older than the fast-tracked prospects. Before lat season there were rumors of putting him behind the dish, an idea that might make sense now given the Halo’s paucity of catchers at the lower levels. Following Mark Trumbo’s promotion, Efren Navarro took over first base duties for the Quakes and flashed a lot of glove and OBP. The Halos rewarded him with the organization’s defensive player of the year award. He’s good enough for another promotion, but for purely selfish reasons, I hope that he stays in Rancho this year simply because I want to see the Quakes destroy the rest of the California League, especially Stockton and Inland Empire, after a disappointing ’08. Nick Farnsworth is a big left handed first baseman who put a great line as an Oklahoma prepster before the Angels took him in the ninth round last year. He looked solid in Arizona for a teenager, hitting a lot of doubles that will hopefully turn into homeruns as he ascends through the system. Terrel Alliman is a plus-plus athlete capable of playing both third base and centerfield, but he’s already 20 and hasn’t played above the ASL. Rumor is he’s learning to switch hit, but I can’t confirm that.
Angel Castillo, Christopher Pettit,
Terry Evens, Anthony Norman, Jeremy Moore
Teenage Orem outfielder Angel Castillo showed athleticism in the outfield, great power, and the willingness to take a walk; he’s still only 19, so if he can cut down on the K’s, he could be our first serious power-hitting outfield prospect in quite some time. Chris Pettit rocketed through the system in ’07, but stalled with an injury in ’08. He came alive again in the AFL, hitting .359/.417/.545, and will take a shot at AAA in the coming year. He reminds me a lot of Jeff Davanon, minus the switch-hittting skills. Terry Evans put up another decent power/contact line with the Bees when healthy this year, and provides depth for an already very deep Halos outfield. By my count, half of the Angels’ outfielders would have to go down with injuries for him to get another shot at an MLB role. I don’t want to label Anthony Norman an organizational soldier because he’s better than that, but the man is now 24 years old. His left-handed power/patience stick, speed, and great left field defense will hopefully translate into some MLB at-bats in ’10 or ’11. In the meantime, he’s going to help make the Arkansas Travelers much better than they’d be without him. Jeremy Moore has tremendous power and speed, but he’s 21 and the bat still hasn’t come around. Regardless of how BA and OBP pan out, he could hit lots of round-trippers in the California League this year.