Tyler Chatwood, "Power Arm in A Short Package": Angels A-Ball Report

High A Rancho Cucamonga: 32 wins, 25 losses

Tyler Chatwood, rhsp - (2 starts) 2 W, 12 IP, 10 hits, 1.50 ERA, 5 K/8 BB

Abe Flores on what has made Chatwood so dominant this year: "It is command of the strike zone. Tyler threw 92 to 97 last year, he's throwing 92 to 97 this year.  He's maintaining his velocity, but it's his command of that fastball and curveball in the strike zone.  Walks were an issue last year, there not as big of an issue this year. His misses are down this year, where his misses last year were a little more up in the zone.  Those misses are down."

On Chatwood's change-up: "Good. I shouldn't have excluded that pitch. Very good.  So three pitch mix, power arm in a short package."

Chatwood did walk seven guys on Memorial Day, so he hasn't entirely exorcised his control demons, but I love the fastball, which has enough downward plane and movement on it for him to maintain an impressive 57% groundball ratio.

Matt Shoemaker, rhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 7 K/2 BB

Halos Heaven's own MMP saw Shoemaker this week, and provided this report:

"Shoemaker was really impressive for someone I had heard nothing about before. He seemed to live in the 78-93 range, though his very first pitch of the game was 96. He didn't have anything that looked absolutely dominant in his arsenal, but he seemed to mix his pitches well enough that he got 7 Ks and a decent number of grounders, and he limited the Jethawks to 1 hit through 6 innings (and that 1 hit was a bunt he fell down trying to field), before getting hit around a little in the 7th. I was watching him and wondering why I had heard nothing about him, because while I don't think he's up there with the Skaggs's or Chatwood's based on what I've heard about them, he was pretty good."

Shoemaker went undrafted following a non-descript career Eastern Michigan University, where he put up a 4.85 ERA over three seasons but struck out only 4.9 batters every 9 innings. He was effective as a swingman at Cedar Rapids last year, raising his K-rate to 7.6 per 9, and ended the season on a strong note at Rancho Cucamonga, where he started 3 games and struck 13 while walking just 1 and allowing 14 hits and 6 earned runs through 17.1 innings. My guess is his velocity has jumped significantly since leaving college, as the arm strength he's showing now in pro ball should have gotten him drafted by someone in 2008.  At 23, he's just a touch old for the Cal League, and if he can carry over his present success into AA he could turn into a legitimate MLB bullpen candidate.

Pat Corbin, lhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 6 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 6 K/4 BB

In two starts with the Quakes, Corbin has pitched very well, continuing the quiet 2010 breakout he began in Cedar Rapids. He's still 20 years old, just a few months older than young gun Tyler Chatwood, so is facing competition averaging two years older than he is. For those of you considering a trip out to Rancho, he's definitely worth seeing.

Luis Jimenez, 3B - (23 AB's) .435/.458/.565 with 3 dbls, 1 SB, 0 K/1 BB

Lucho's on a tear.  His secondary skills - patience and power - still lag behind his hit tool, so just a small improvement in his pitch selection skills could go a long, long way in boosting his numbers.  Regardless, he's a talented guy.  In a chat at another Angels' message board before the season, Eddie Bane reported that his new nickname in spring training was "The Mayor" due to his gregarious personality. 

 

A Cedar Rapids: 36 wins, 21 losses

Stephen Locke - (1 start) 1 W, 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 2 K/1 BB, 15 groundball outs

22nd round pick Stephen Locke racked up more quality starts for the '09 Orem rotation than anyone else.  Remember, that rotation also included Pat Corbin, Garrett Richards, Orangel Arenas and Tyler Kehrer, so the stat means something. He's a finesse lefty who lives in the mid to high 80's, but shows excellent command, mixes his pitches well, and has a knack for inducing the groundball.  He was the beneficiary of a generous outside corner Friday night, and to his credit, he picked up on it early and pounded that spot to hold the Dodger's affiliated Great Lakes Loons to one run over seven innings.  

Casey Haerther - (24 AB's) .500/.500/.708 with 2 dbls, 1 HR, 7 RBI's, 5 K/0 BB  

The UCLA alum got hot again this week, and now leads all active Kernels with 35 RBI's.  He's kept his K-rate reasonable at just 15%, and has done a good job of taking balls the other way for base hits in RBI situations (at least, when I've seen him).  On the other hand, he's made an alarming 5 errors (for a part time first baseman, that's scary), he doesn't walk much, and hits a lot of grounders for a big man, limiting his power output. He's been streaky so far this season, but will hopefully show more consistency as the year wears on.

Jeremy Berg, rhrp - (2 appearances) 3.2 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 5 K/0 BB

Berg went undrafted after a successful age 22 season at High Point University in 2009, where he racked up 5 saves and posted a 1.88 ERA as a reliever. He had started his college career at Cal State Northridge in 2005, but after one season disappeared for two years, likely due to injury, before reemerging at High Point.  The Halos signed him as a free agent early last summer and sent him to Orem, where he served as a dynamite middle innings man, notching 5 wins and striking out 24 while walking only 2 over 26.2 innings.  He continues to play a big role in high leverage innings with Cedar Rapids, and has dominated the Midwest League with a 1.23 ERA through 22 innings.

Jean Segura - (23 AB's) .478/.478/.652 with 2 trpls, 8 RBI's, 2 SB's, and 1 K/0 BB

Nice week for Segura. In most years, his .300/.355/.410 season line and 21 SB's in the Midwest League would draw more attention, but the guy below is making most of the 2010 Kernels' headlines. He's also following Alexia Amarista through the system, who left big shoes to fill in Cedar Rapids.  Segura is only 20 and still has plenty of projection, so we could still see him take off in the coming months. It will be very interesting to see what makes for the better prospect in the long run - Segura's tools, or Amarista's skills.

Mike Trout - (24 AB's) .417/.462/.542 with 1 HR, 9 runs, 5 SB's, and 3 K/2 BB

Trout got some love from Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus earlier this week, and ESPN's Keith Law before that.  Law said that he's arguably a top ten prospect in all of baseball.  I'm down with that. With an off day tomorrow, Trout rested on Sunday.

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