Smith Heads to AA: Angels Upper Minors Report

We're going right to the Upper Minors Report this week because both A-Ball teams lost time to their respective all star breaks. Check in Thursday for the first 2010 Rookie Ball Report. 

AAA Salt Lake Bees: 40 wins, 38 losses

Will Smith, lhsp - (1 start) 6.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 7 K/0 BB

Smith ended his first stint in AAA on a high note, throwing his fourth quality start for the Bees in nine tries. Impressively, in all but two of those outings he's made it into the sixth inning, throwing strikes and maintaining his composure even when the hits dropped like rain behind him.  It will be interesting to see which direction his numbers go in AA, where he, Chatwood, and Reckling (who's not on the DL...yet) now form the core of an exciting Trav's rotation.

Hank Conger, C - (19 AB's) .316/.480/.632 with 1 dbl, 1 trpl, 1 HR, and 4 K/6 BB

Conger has almost evened out his strikeout to walk ratio at 33/32, impressive for an Angels prospect. On the other hand, he's knocked only 25 RBI's in 211 AB's, indicating that he's either getting pitched around when it counts or he's become a little too passive at the plate with runners in scoring position. As Angels' fans, we're used to too much swing-at-the-first-pitch agony, but Conger might prove frustrating on the other end of that spectrum. 

Rich Thompson, rhrp - (3 appearances) 1 Sv, 4.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 9 K/0 BB

Thompson's remarkable season continues: he's given up only 2 runs in 29.2 innings and has held the opposition to a .177 BA (just .160 with runners in scoring position). Given that he's already on the forty man roster, it's a little bewildering that he hasn't spent more time with the big league club in the month since his injury.

Paul McAnulty, U/OF - (29 AB's) .414/.485/.586 with 2 dbls, 1 HR, 7 RBI's, and 5 K/4 BB

McAnulty continues to ravage minor league pitching.  He's still a couple of injuries removed from taking a shot as the Angels' next utility player, but let's appreciate his .343/.414/.592 line and 16 HR's across Arkansas and Salt Lake.

 

Mike Kohn, rhrp - (4 appearances) 2 Svs, 3.1 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER, 7 K/3 BB

Kohn couldn't find the strikezone last Thursday night, proving he's still human enough to lose his mechanics. That's a warning to those who'd have him on the big league club now, where the pressure is significantly more intense and the margin for error razor thin. Still, his other three appearances were dominant enough to earn him another spot on this list. 

 

AA Arkansas: 29 wins, 47 losses

Jeremy Moore, OF - (27 AB's) .333/.357/.556 with 1 dbl, 1 trpl, 1 HR and 7 K/ 1 BB

Moore's BABIP for June is .452, which is a nifty if not necessarily sustainable stat to pull off.  His line drive rate is creeping up every month, from 14% in April to 19% in June, but the K's and the BB's have stayed pretty consistent since May at 24% and 8% respectively. I still think he could take a big leap forward.

Jordan Walden, rhrp - (3 appearances) 1 Sv, 3 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 3 K/1 BB

The numbers don't indicate that he's overpowering guys, but Walden is definitely getting the job done.  The scouting reports are more positive, so he could break out big time in the second half.

Tommy Mendoza, rhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 5.1 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 5 K/4 BB

Following his Thursday evening start for the Travs, Mendoza boarded a plane for Salt Lake.  Between a promotion, a demotion, an injury and another promotion, he's thrown only 34.2 innings so far in 2010. Hopefully he'll have a chance to settle into the Bees' rotation for the second half and show what he can do.

Robert Fish, lhrp - (3 appearances) 1 W, 3.2 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER, 5 K/2 BB

After blowing hitters away in the California League, Fish has struggled some in AA, yielding 21 hits and 12 runs over 20 innings. His K rate remains outstanding, but his command needs to improve for him to continue the breakout he began with the Quakes.    

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