Our countdown of the Angels Top 20 Prospects continues - here is a transcript of our interview with Halos Heaven's minor league analyst Ryan Ghan, recorded on March 29...
Rev Halofan: Hey! Let's move on to number eight.
Ryan Ghan: I've got Kaleb Cowart there. Our new 3B of the future. Most teams liked him better as a pitcher, but the Halos took him as a position player. A switch-hitter. He does have a lot of raw power. He has a lot of bat speed. Defensively, mixed reviews, but it seems to me that with his athleticism, he could be a very good defender, though a lot of other smart people aren't putting his ceiling in the field that high. With him though, mostly it's just a question of how quickly he learns to hit.
All the sources I've looked at speculate that he's going to be in the Cedar Rapids lineup to begin the year. I'm not so sure that's going to happen. I think there's a decent shot the Angels choose to send him back to Orem and I don't think that would be a horrible thing. I mean, it would put him behind the Mike Trout / Randal Grichuk / Brandon Wood elite prospect, elite high school prospect timeline. It would knock him off of that timeline, but it's going to take him a long time to learn how to pitch or hit and you also have to remember that, as a switch-hitter too, he's got twice the work of a guy who is just batting from one side of the plate. He's got to put together two good swings. He needs to improve his pitch recognition. I don't feel it would be an awful thing if he goes to Orem, but that's not what I'm hearing. So, chances are he's going to Cedar Rapids, and if he struggles -- and he could -- we'll just have to be patient.
RevHF: You think one of the reasons that he's in Cedar Rapids is because he's more of a pitching league, the Midwest League, and that if he just starts to kind of tank with the bat, it would be -- I still want to call it an experiment at third base and at the plate, but they'll put him back as a pitcher.
Rghan: I think they'll give him a couple of years before they consider it. I mean, I think they, in good faith, told him he would be playing third base. You know, he was a 3B when he signed for over two million. I think they're going to stick to that for as long as possible, but if it does go to that direction eventually, think about Casey Kelly, the prospect who was just traded to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez. He's an example of a guy who converted after he began his pro career. He saved a lot of wear and tear on his arm. There's no downside to keeping Kaleb Cowart in the lineup as long as possible.
Cowart started the season in June at Orem - in 123 Plate Appearances he has 2 HR, 52 Total Bases and a .909 OPS. He has made 8 errors in 24 games at 3B.