Angels Minor League Report: (Or, "More Sean Rodriguez News")

Has PJ Phillips' strong August punched his ticket to Arkansas in 2010?

AAA Salt Lake Bees, 65 and 69

Sean Rodriguez, 2B, SS, OF - (27 AB's) .519/.594/1.000 with 2 Dbls, 1 Trpl, 3 HR's and 11 runs scored.

Our PTBNL in the Kazmir trade? Surely the Halos wouldn't send S-Rod to Tampa to become the sunshine state's next Dan Uggla... would they? Last week I mentioned that S-Rod is a difficult guy to value for both scouts and sabermetricians, but no one believes a 24-year-old middle infielder mashing a 1.029 OPS in AAA doesn't deserve a shot. I've never understood why he doesn't get more press, other than general confusion over PCL stat inflation, worrisome clumps of K's, and conflicting reports about his defensive chops. He'll be an allstar in a couple of years, and we'll look back at his minor league numbers and think, "how could anyone not see it coming?" He's collected 93 RBI's in only 101 games, by the way.

Matthew Brown, 3B, 1B - (16 AB's) .438/.500/.750 with 2 Dbls 1 HR, and 6 RBIs

Brown hit .322/.388/.437 this August, somewhat redeeming a disappointing season. Remember when he hit .468/.527/.787 across 47 spring training at-bats? I think that guy's still there, but it may take another organization to find him.

Brandon Wood, SS, 3B - (28 AB's) .321/.406/.643 with 3 Dbls, 2 HRs, and 4 K's/4 BB's

For the first time in recent memory, Wood's showing BOTH patience and power simultaneously; usually it's one or the other. At the end of last year, I was convinced that S-Rod was the more complete hitter. Then, due to Wood's '09 decline in K's and boost in contact rate, I came around to the general consensus that Wood has the most to offer offensively. Now... well, now I'm not so sure. I know the scouting reports say Brandon Wood has the better bat speed, the leverage, etc., but for the second year in a row S-Rod has posted a superior OPS by 70 points and upwards. That's got to count sooner or later. 

Brett Salmon, rhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 5 K/5 BB

He tiptoed the baserunner-tightrope all night (is that a mixed metaphor?), but shut out the Colorado Skysox long enough to collect an important win. Despite a losing 2nd half, the Bees are still in the division race, 4.5 games behind the Skysox but closing rapidly.

Robert Fish, lhrp - (1 appearance) .2 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER's, 0 K/1 BB

Fish has been an absolutely infuriating prospect to follow. He's a big lefty who can touch the mid-90's with his fastball and historically gets a decent number of K's. He also gets absolutely torched more often then he should. Between that and the injury trouble this year, it looks like the Halos are trying him out in the pen. I'm rooting for him.

AA Arkansas 28 and 33 (second half)

Alexander Torres, lhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 6 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER's, 8 K/2 BB

In his last 3 starts with the Travs, Torres was 2 and 0, allowed only 1 earned run and 12 hits over 17 innings, and had an 18 K/10 BB ratio. That's far better than any other starter in the Angels system has done lately, including Trevor Reckling (though to be fair, the latter guy is 1.5 years younger). We're going to miss you, Alex. Don't come back to haunt us.

Ryan Mount, 2B - (31 AB's) .419/.419/.484 with 2 Dbls

Mount is on a BABIP binge, racking up multiple hits in 6 of his last 8 games and hitting safely in his last 9. However, he walked just once and doubled just twice in that period, while striking out 7 times. Mount had a difficult return in July from a wrist injury - he hit just .179/.289/.205 that month - but his larger issues are three-fold: only warning track power outside of the Cal League, an inability to hit fellow lefties, and mediocre control of the strikezone, as evidenced by his 54 K/16 BBs. He'll likely get another shot at AA next year, and with a tad more strength, a tad more patience, and a tad more luck, could still turn in some monster seasons at the higher levels.

Fernando Rodriguez, rhrp - (3 appearances) 1 Sv, 5.2 IO, 2 hits, 0 ER, 10 K/3 BB

He got knocked around in the majors (2 runs in 2/3's of an inning), shellacked in AAA (.312 BAA), but is flat-out dominant in AA. What do we do with you, Fernando?

High A Rancho Cucamonga, 29 and 33 (second half)

Matthew Sweeney, 3B - (in 22 AB's since coming off the DL) .227/.370/.545 with 1 Dbl, 2 HR's, 8 RBI's, and 5 BB's

Sweeney's career line with the Angels' organization reads .285/.361/.492 over 953 plate appearances. In his allstar 2007 Cedar Rapids season, Matt hit more homeruns than better-known, older sluggers Mark Trumbo and Hank Conger. He made the Allstar Team in 2 of his 3 active seasons, and only missed the 3rd because of injury. His k-rate has always been outstanding for a young slugger, and was improving year over year; he has solid plate discipline; and his power is already excellent with more projected. He might end up as a plus defender at first base. And, at 21, he's accomplished all that at the same age that Dallas McPherson was when the latter completed his first season in rookie ball.  That's a good prospect. You can't root for a guy year after year, following their triumphs and wallowing in their set-backs, without feeling a personal loss when he leaves the organization. Good luck in Tampa, Matt.

PJ Phillips, CF, SS - (26 AB's) .346/.393/.500 with 2 Dbls, 1 Trpl, and 1 SB

Phillips keeps rolling along on a nifty little 7 game hitting streak. He's closing out August with a .321/.376/.464 line. He hit well last August too, but... does that mean he's mastered High A? What do the Halos do with the almost-23-year-old Phillips next year? Do they promote him and hope his hot month carries over? Or do they keep him in High A for the third time?

A Cedar Rapids, 33 and 27 (second half)

Alexi Amarista, 2B - (15 AB's) .467/.500/.667 with 3 Dbls and 2 SB's

Let's clear it up: Amarista WAS NOT removed from Friday's game because he is the PTBNL. Rather, he "tweaked his left leg," and is now listed as day to day (hat tip, futureangels.com). Before the mishap, he was doing as he does, getting on base, hitting for gap power, and swiping bags.

Darwin Perez, SS, 2B - (17 AB's) .529/.600/.647 with 1 Trpl, 3 BB's, 4 runs scored.

I. WILL. BE. IN. HIGH A. NEXT. SEASON. You can almost hear the determination reverberating in Perez' August stat line of .390/.462/.512. He's pushed his season average up to a respectable .256, and his OBP is fine at .350; it's in the power department that 5'10" Perez struggles. He's knocked a season high 7 extra base hits this month, and you can bet he'll be hitting the weight room hard over the offseason, so hopefully he'll show more pop next year.

Chris Scholl, rhrp - (2 appearances) 5.1 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER's, 10 K/0 BB

Scholl entered the year with more baseball pedigree than anyone else in Kernels bullpen, having been an 8th round draft pick in '08 and made a successful professional debut, limiting the opposition to a .195 BAA in Orem. He may have been overshadowed for most of '09 by first Mike Kohn and then Andrew Taylor, but  was simply awesome this week in the difficult role of long relief. He's posted a 3.68 ERA over 78.1 innings this year, and has 78 K's to 35 BB's with a .226 BAA. 

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