Angels Minor League Report: Sean Rodriguez mashes his way to big leagues

AAA Salt Lake Bees, 36 and 27

Sean Rodriguez, u - .286/.318/.619 with 1 dbl, 2 HR and 8 K/1 BB

S-Rod's final hit of the week was a major league knock. My hope is that Rodriguez brings his AAA power - 21 homeruns in only 205 plate appearances - and not his k-rate - he whiffed 33% of the time, up 15% from last year's AAA stint. Rodriguez is a very smart player, and has successfully changed his approach to fit the ballpark before, so it could be that he's consciously swinging from the heals in Salt Lake, knowing that a lot of flyballs will leave the yard, and is going to make the necessary adjustments with the Halos.

Sean O'Sullivan, rhsp - 6 IP, 1 W, 5 hits, 2 ER, 5 K/3 BB

O'Sullivan threw his third quality start in a row on Thursday. He'll have setbacks in the months ahead, of course, but it's beginning to look like he belongs in the Pacific Coast League as a twenty-one year old. There are very few ball players you can say that about.

Rafael Rodriguez, rhrp - 4 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 K/2 BB

Rodriguez couldn't bring it in the majors, but he continues to handle the Pacific Coast League with a season ERA of 0.68. His K/BB ratio is uninspiring, but he's generating a lot of ground ball outs.

AA Arkansas, 23 and 37

Jordan Walden, rhsp6 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 7 K/2 BB

Walden's finally settling down after elbow problems robbed him of a month. In two June starts he has a 0.82 ERA, 16 K's, and a .189 average against. The groundball ratio still isn't up to his usual standard, but it's now trending in the right direction.

Trevor Bell, rhsp6 IP, 1 L, 6 hits, 1 ER, 6 K/3 BB

Another week, another quality start for Bell. His startling consistency isn't just due to pitching in a favorable park: his road ERA is a sterling 2.19 versus 2.25 at home. The 22-year-old is finally beginning to show why the Halos nabbed him in the supplemental first round of the 2005 draft.

Tommy Mendoza, rhsp - 6 IP, W, 5 hits, 2 ER, 3 K/2 BB

Mendoza has lowered his ERA from 5.79 in April, to 3.16 in May, to 2.08 in June. Like Bell, he was drafted in '05, but in the fifth round. He's not a strikeout guy, but is generating plenty of outs for the Travs.

High A Rancho Cucamonga, 25 and 37

Alex Torres, lhsp7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 5 K/1 BB

Torres finally made it through the 7th inning for the first time this season. After a May slump, he's got a 0.68 ERA in June and 3.41 ERA overall. Opponents are hitting just .228 against him, he's given up only one homerun all season, and he's maintaining a tremendous 3.22 GO/AO. If you want a recipe for success in the California League, that's it.

Carlos Colmenares, u - .500/.560/.500 with 3 walks and 3 SB's.

The 23-year-old utility man collected 11 hits this week, and 35 in a 100 Cal League at bats. He's walking at a decent rate and not striking out much. His versatility and switch-hitting skills should keep him in baseball for a long time.

A Cedar Rapids, 36 and 26

Manaurys Correa, rhsp - 15 IP, W, L, 11 hits, 2 ER, 2 SO/2 BB

Correa has tossed five straight quality starts, and his season ERA is now 4.11, down from a high of 6.55 before the streak. I'm not sure how he's doing it - his ratios are still all over the place - but he is clearly keeping hitters off balance. Last night he threw a complete game shutout.

Beau Brooks, c, DH -263/.417/.684 with 1 trpl and 2 HRs

Brooks continues to hit for lots of power and patience. He's not catching much these days - only once this week - so it's not clear what his path is from here.

Matthew Crawford, of .364/.500/.409 with 1 dbl, 6 runs, and 1 SB

Crawford won the Arizona Summer League batting title after being drafted in the 23rd round of last year's draft, and has carried that success over to Cedar Rapids. He's a switch-hitter who plays the small ball game well. 

DSL Angels, 6 and 6

Gabriel Perez, rhsp7 IP, W, 6 hits, 0 ER, 9 K/0 BB

Perez just turned 18 on June 3rd.  So far he's the DSL Angels frontline guy, leading the rotation in innings pitched and ERA.

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