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Mason Tobin, Terrell Alliman: Potential Breakout Prospects of the 2007 Cohort

While these guys fell short of the top 30 Angels Prospects list this year due to disappointing seasons or injury, they all have breakout potential in 2010. 

Mason Tobin (7/8/87) - 2.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 K/2 BB. 

The 2007 16th round draft pick went down last spring with an elbow injury requiring Tommy John surgery, so I had assumed we wouldn't see him this year.  Not so.  Eddie Bane reports that Tobin's up and throwing long toss in Arizona, and that we should see him on the mound come mid-May (assuming no set backs).  Tobin throws a heavy sinking fastball in the low to mid 90's that ranked as one of the best in the organization before the injury ended his season.  The slider has been inconsistent, and the change-up nearly nonexistent. Scouts love the fastball though, and the Halos' FO has repeatedly labeled him as a guy who could move very quickly in a bullpen role. Think Kevin Jepsen if things break right. 

Terrell Alliman (10/15/88) - .293/.371/.371, 98 OPS+ with 0 HRs and 12 SB's

Entering 2009, Baseball America and John Sickles both considered 43rd round pick Alliman a potential power-hitting prospect. BA even cautioned that he would have to tone down his pull tendencies and uppercut in order to maintain a decent batting average.  Then the season rolled around, and Alliman's homerun swing never showed up - in fact, pop of any kind never showed, mainly because he hit 60% of his balls in play into the ground.  That helped him to leverage his speed and hit for average, but the price was power.   On the bright side, he trimmed his strikeout rate from 22% in 2008 to just 13% in 2009 while maintaining a decent walk rate, so his skills clearly remain in a state of flux.  That's enough to make me hopeful that they take a big step forward next year. In an Angels system flooded with young centerfield and leftfield prospects, his plus arm makes him a candidate to play right field somewhere.  Alliman is a tremendous athlete, so if he learns to drive the ball he might still top out as an Alex Rios (when he was good) type player.

Eduardo Soto (4/25/91) - .213/.275/.383, 82 OPS+ with 1 SB, -3 glove

Soto signed out of the DR and will only be 19 entering the 2010 season. At 6 feet, he's a little more physical than Alexia Amarista and Jean Segura, who are ahead of him on the depth chart. He absolutely destroyed the Dominican Summer League as a 17 year old in 2008, putting up a .323/.394/.472 line in a horrendous hitting park, equating to a 164 OPS+.  He saw only sparadic playing time last summer, so don't take the disappointing '09 line above too seriously. I am confused as to why he didn't get more consistent AB's - the Halos didn't really have anyone ahead of him in Arizona for much of the spring and early summer - and it appears that he's going to have to compete with 2009 4th round pick Wes Hatton for a job this season.  He's a deep sleeper, but again, remember the bat he showed in 2008.

Mike Wing (10/25/88) - .313/.393/.484, 133 OPS+ with 5 HR's and 4 SB's. -2 glove.

In his third season of professional baseball, 26th round pick Wing filled the super-utility role for the Owlz, playing third, second, and short. He didn't excel defensively anywhere, but he is athletic and has a promising bat.  He struck out in 20% of his plate appearances, so barring significant gains in his contact skills and/or power, the batting average should slip going forward, but he also took his share of walks and showed good doubles pop.  The Halos have a lot of infield depth ahead of him, but will likely continue to work his bat in playing him in the utility role for Cedar Rapids.  He looks like a more athletic Matt Brown to me, and still could grow into a Mark DeRosa type player.