Eduar Lopez & Steven Mateo: Top Angels Prospects

USA TODAY Sports

Keep in mind that this is not a traditional top prospect list because it focuses entirely on 2013 contributions. I rank guys according to advanced metrics which, for position players, include batting runs above average, positional adjustment, defense, and a replacement level calculation that scales the total to "Wins Above Replacement" (though the concept of replacement level doesn't really apply to minor leaguers). I use a standard "runs allowed based" WAR formula for pitchers.

(31) Eduar Lopez, 18, RHSP.  Rookie Ball DR. 2.2 WAR, 13 runs saved. 62.1 IP, 1.88 ERA, 83 K / 42 BB

For the second season running, Lopez paced all starters in the Dominican Summer League in strikeout percentage, this time with a 33% mark.  That's 32 teams worth of pitchers, and Lopez was still younger than most of them.  F'n awesomeness. Again.

He was considerably wilder in 2013 than he was in 2012, walking nearly 17% of opposing hitters versus 10% the previous season, but the free passes were really the only thing anyone managed against him: guys in other uniforms slashed just .132/.287/.146 with Lopez on the mound.

Interestingly, he induced a significant number of BABIP-killing pop-ups in 2012, but those mostly disappeared in 2013. That was fine though, because his GB rate spiked to a well above average 49%, and the hard flyballs that had hurt him previously (he gave up a very high iso in '12, considering the context) disappeared entirely.

I was surprised that the Halos left him in the DR all season.  I can't imagine why he wouldn't come stateside this year, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him in action. Baseball America's J.J. Cooper projects him as another potential bullpen piece, but I have a good feeling about the diminutive Dominican's ability to continue missing bats with his hammer curveball. He might be that guy who just out-pitches expectations all the way up the latter.

(30) Steven Mateo, 20, 1B.  Rookie Ball DR. 2.3 WAR, +18 bat, +0 glove. .279/.429/.406

At twenty years old, Mateo was a grizzled, silverback of a vet for the Dominican Summer League Angels.  His primary skill is grinding out AB's and getting on base 43% of the time; he finished with a .279/.429/.406 slash line. All of those deep counts meant a high k-rate, however, and he didn't show much sock in his bat.  Due to a paucity of rookie ball position players in the system, Mateo may see stateside time next year filling out a rookie ball roster. Or he might not.

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