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Angels Minor League Report: O'Sullivan tosses no-hitter

AAA Salt Lake Bees, 54 and 54

Sean O’Sullivan, rhsp9 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, 7 K/1 BB

I’m speechless. That was the first complete no-hitter ever thrown by a Salt Lake Bee, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for recently demoted O’Sully. I hope he bought a round or five for the eight guys behind him – they took a few hits away from Sacramento, especially S-Rod, Bradley Coon and Garry Patchett. O’Sully will likely be recalled when the Halos again need a fifth starter here in another week or so, and I imagine he’ll be brimming with confidence. A quick aside – kudos to Baseball America, which was the only publication to include O’Sully in their top five Halos’ prospects. Everyone else had him ranked eighth, tenth, eleventh, or not at all.

Sean Rodriguez, U(25 total Ab’s, 8 in the majors) .360/.448/.520 with 1 Dbl, 1 HR and 3 big league RBI’s

I’m cheating by including Sean’s laser over the centerfield wall today, as these lists compile stats running from Saturday to Saturday, but S-Rod has me all in a tizzy. In addition to preserving no-hitters in the field with diving stops and mashing .375 in a major league call-up, Sean also dusted off his outfield glove for the first time in the second half. Despite never playing left field regularly, he made it look easy, turning would-be doubles into outs and fielding hops off the wall as if he’d done it his entire life. He also has yet to strikeout in this cup of coffee, which is a great thing to see after he K’d seven times in the three games prior to his call-up. He’s going to be around for the Halos for a long time.

Brad Coon, cf.419/.471/.484 with 2 Dbls, 7 runs, 5 RBI’s and 1 SB

Coon slumped through most of July, but finished the month with a stellar week. In organizations that don’t have a zillion big league outfielders, his OBP, contact skills, and solid centerfield defense would have earned him a call-up or two by now. According to range factor, he’s having his best pro season in the field, chasing down a very good 2.85 balls every nine innings.

AA Arkansas 13 and 21 (second half)

Trevor Reckling, lhsp – 7 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 9 K/4 BB

Another great start for Reckling, who continues to garner more attention both in the halosphere and nationally. For much of the season he was the Texas League’s youngest player, pitching through April and May while still a teenager. He’s clearly got nasty stuff, limiting hitters averaging four years his senior to a .238 BAA, and Angels’ scouting director Eddie Bane has said repeatedly that he could get major league hitters out right now. Even in games where he’s allowed too many baserunners – and there have been a number of those – he routinely limits the damage, largely due to giving up only 3 homeruns over more than 100 AA innings. That said, he’s handing out a lot of free passes and his groundball ratio is steadily slipping against more advanced competition. For those of you who put stock in such things, his FIP – a defense independent pitching metric – has him playing way over his head right now, so he is a candidate for some regression.

Hank Conger, C(13 AB’s) .462/.563/.615 with 2 Dbls, 3 RBIs, and 3 walks

With a pair of hits last night, Hank raised his season average to .301 and his OPS+ to 115. That’s a bit of a come down from the 131 OPS+ and 123 OPS+ he put up in Rancho Cucamonga and Cedar Rapids respectively, but he’s walking more, hitting better from the right side, and has caught 63 games while allowing only 1 passed ball and throwing out a respectable 30% of baserunners. We can chalk up some of the lost power to both his cavernous home park and a May wrist injury that he’s played through while missing minimal time. Being at Arkansas this year has provided opportunities to work with just about every pitching prospect we have in the upper minors. He’s a great prospect, is currently flying under the national radar, and is a good bet to explode offensively in AAA next year.

Coby Smith, OF(26 AB’s) .346/.370/.615 with 1 Dbl, 2 HR’s, 7 RBI’s and 2 SB’s

Smith jumped out to a hot start in April, hitting .368 that month while leading off most games for the Trav’s. He suffered through a rough May and June, but then rebounded nicely in July, hitting .273 with some pop. He’s fast – he can handle center and has stolen 32 bases so far this season. All in all, he’s been a solid organizational player for the Halos since they plucked him out of an independent league before the 2007 season.

High A Rancho Cucamonga, 17 and 20 (second half)

Alex Torres, lhsp1 W, 8 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 6 K/2 BB

Torres tossed another gem, punching his ticket to Little Rock. That likely closes the book on his Quakes' career, so let’s look back at the numbers he’s put up over the past two seasons: 13 wins and 5 losses with a 3.12 ERA over 173.1 innings. He struck out 186 hitters, walked 92 and gave up a mere 7.49 hits per nine innings and just 5 homeruns across a lot of hitter-friendly California League parks. He’s looked stronger since the allstar break, improving from an average of 5.5 innings per game in the first half to 6.29 innings per game in the second half. His first start for the Travs should take place on Monday or Tuesday.

Mike Kohn , rhrp 1 W, 3.2 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, 4 K/1 BB

Kevin Nabors, rhrp2 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 3 K/1 BB

If anything, Kohn has been more dominant since advancing to High A: the opposition is hitting .151 against him over 16 innings, as opposed to .161 in the Midwest League. His K rate dropped though, down to "just" 12.94 hitters per 9. Eddie Bane mentioned in a chat last week that he might see one more promotion before the season is out. Nabors joined Kohn on the Quakes a couple of weeks ago, and has also put up good numbers with his wicked curveball.

A Cedar Rapids, 20 and 15 (second half)

Buddy Boshers, lhsp – 1 W, 7 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 4 K/1 BB

6’3" southpaw Boshers was the forgotten man when the Halos FO put together the Kernels’ roster this spring, despite his '08 2.68 ERA, 2.03 GO/FO ratio, and .221 BAA being superior to lefty Will Smith’s numbers last year in Orem. Those stats suggest that Boshers’ raw stuff is a bit nastier, though Smith has shown better command, a better change, and is a year younger. After putting up nearly identical numbers in Orem to last years’ campaign, Boshers finally got his promotion, and pitched a gem in his second A-ball outing.

Ryan Chaffee, rhsp1 W, 6 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 4 K/3 BB

21-year-old Chaffee has held the opposition to a mere .176 BAA so far this season while k’ing just over a batter an inning. He’s also walking nearly 5 batters every 9 innings, meaning he still has some work to do on his control in A-ball, but he’s a guy the Angels could advance very, very quickly once he gets more efficient.

Manuel Flores, lhsp( Single A) 1 W, 8 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 2 K/0 BB

In nineteen starts with the Kernels, Flores has gone six inning or more sixteen times. He’s made it to the eighth inning or beyond four times, and led the Kernels with 120.1 innings pitched before this week’s promotion to Rancho Cucamonga. He’s a classic pitch-to-contact guy, inducing groundballs and devouring innings, but the move to a more hitter-friendly league could ding his numbers.

Nick Pugliese, rhrp1 save, 4 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 5 SO/1 BB

Pugliese has thrown up 16.2 consecutive scoreless innings in middle relief, limited the opposition to a .134 BAA, and is striking out 12.55 hitters every 9 innings. Like Kernels’ leadoff hitter Tyson Auer, he went undrafted in last year’s draft before signing with the Angels as a minor league free agent. We need to see him log more innings against advanced competition, but he looks like a sleeper to me.