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Angels Minor League Report: Opening Weekend

AAA Salt Lake Bees: 1 win, 3 losses

Trevor Reckling, lhsp - 6 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 3 K/2 BB

Reckling needed just 80 pitches to put up six goose eggs on opening night. Las Vegas loaded the bases against him in the fifth, and forced a first/third situation in the sixth, but true to form, Reckling induced a couple of timely double play balls to shut down the threats.  Jams just don't seem to faze him. He starts the season two or three spots down on the MLB rotation depth chart, but that could change very quickly.

Michael Ryan, OF -  (11 AB's) .455/.462/.636 with 2 dbls and 1 SB

Ryan's hot spring continues in Salt Lake, where he hit his way up the lineup and into the three-spot by the end of the weekend.  He even swiped a bag this week.

Bradley Coon - (8 AB's)  .500/.444/.750 with 1 trpl and 1 SB

It took Salt Lake veteran Brad Coon all of three games to take possession of the leadoff spot from top prospect Pete Bourjos (who himself hasn't hit poorly exactly - two triples and a .563 slg% - but he hasn't looked much like a leadoff man either, with 5 K's to no BB's).  Keep an eye on Coon's stolen base success rate -- he's had problems with that before -- but if he proves himself an asset on the basepaths, he could see some MLB time as a speedy 4th/5th outfielder. 

AA Arkansas: 1 win, 3 losses

Ryan Mount, 2B - (12 AB's) .333/.467/.750 with 1 HR, 1 trpl, and 1 SB...

Ryan Mount, 2B - (12 AB's) .333/.467/.750 with 1 HR, 1 trpl, and 1 SB...

21% of HH'ers tagged Mount as the Halos' prospect most likely to break out in 2010, and so far, they're looking pretty smart. Mount had a good spring training, ripping an HR and showing unexpected patience.  He hit the farm system's first dinger of the regular season, and he's showing off his speed as well. I've been hard on Mount in the past due to his hacking approach, and am eager to eat crow if he's figured it out. 

Jordan Walden, rhrp - 1 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER's, 2 K's/0 BB

Walden lives!  The Halos kept him under wraps during spring training, never putting him on the big league camp stage.  He's apparently healthy, and still has a penchant for the strikeout. How frequently he is used will tell us a lot about how fragile the Halos think his arm is.

Andrew Romine, SS - (15 AB's) .467/.579/.533 with 1 dbl, 4 BB's, and 2 SB's

Judging by how much playing time Romine received in the big league camp this spring, the organization values highly his defense and lead-off type skills. The 2007 fifth round pick out of ASU is a dynamite shortstop, knows how to work a count, and led the organization with 62 SB's in 2008.  He's also a Trabuco Hills HS guy.  Baseball America tagged him as the Angels' 27th best prospect entering 2010.

Mike Anton, lhsp - 1 W, 5 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 8 K/2 BB

The soft-tossing lefty with an intriguing arsenal of offspeed pitches stopped Arkansas' bleeding with a fine start and a win last night.  2009 was a roller coaster for him -- he got burned in what John Sickels calls the "AA finesse pitcher acid test" -- but like Mount, he's got a shot at redemption with a strong return season.

High A Rancho Cucamonga: 1 win, 3 losses

Tyler Chatwood, rhsp - (1 start)  5 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 6 K/4 BB

Twenty year-old Chatwood's 2010 debut was a mirror image of his '09 Kernels debut: all strikeouts, walks and grounders. Only two balls left the infield, both in Chatwood's fifth and final inning.  This also seems like a good time to rave about his two big league spring training appearances: while his fastball command wasn't perfect and he never found his curveball, he stayed around the strike zone and the opposition failed to square up the heater.  He could jump on the Reckling track this year and head to Arkansas by midseason. 

Tyson Auer, CF - (15 AB's) .400/.471/.400 with 2 SB's

We all have guys we pull for, despite the lack of hype or attention they might receive from others. I've been in Auer's camp since his hot start last year, and am hoping he continues to blister the ball in High A. He's also an asset in the outfield, gunning a man down at home the other night with a fine throw in from left. He'll likely shift back into the leadoff spot when Willits returns to the Halos.

Dillon Baird, 3B - (16 AB's) .188/.263/.438 with 1 Dbl, 1 HR, and 5 RBI's

The batting average doesn't look great and he's striking out too much, but Baird deserves credit for making any contributions with the bat while simultaneously adjusting to a new position and skipping a level. As Halos Heavens own b0rd3rline reported, he secured the Quakes lone win last Friday night with a walk-off, tenth inning double, and became (only) the second player in the system to homer with a shot last night. 

A Cedar Rapids: 2 wins, 2 losses

The Kernels' pitching staff leads the league in ERA and WHIP

Fabio Martinez Mesa, rhsp -1 W, 5 IP, 0 ER, 11 K / 3 BB

Garrett Richards, rhsp - 5 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 7 K/0 BB

Pat Corbin, lhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 8 IP, 2 hits, 1 ER, 5 K/1 BB

The Kernels 1-3 starters combined to throw 15 consecutive scoreless innings before Corbin coughed up a single run in the sixth to end his outing on Saturday.  While Richards and Martinez Mesa were flat-out dominant, shutting down the Quad County River Bandits completely, Corbin's outing was a little wilder, with his five goose eggs requiring significant help from the defense: left fielder Matt Long made two stunning assists, first robbing a Bandit of what should have been an easy double by cutting him down at the keystone, and second turning a routine sac fly into an out at the plate. Trout joined the fun, throwing a third baserunner out at home. The Bandits finally manufactured a run against Corbin in the sixth off of a walk, a sac bunt, and a single, but the still 20 year-old lefty avoided the big inning and earned his "W."  

Jean Segura - (13 AB's) .462/.588/.615 with 1 Trpl, 2 SB's, and 4 BB's

Howie Kendrick with more patience and speed? Let's have that conversation in six months, and hope he stays healthy in the meantime (I'm typing one-handed while knocking on wood).

Matt Long - (.308/.400/.538 with 1 dbl, 1 trpl and 2 outfield assists

I was surprised to see Long make the jump to Cedar Rapids while similar players Jake Rife and Richard Cates remained in Arizona, but the man has proven himself so far with the Kernels.  In a lineup that leans heavily to the right, he'll contribute valuable OBP from the left side, and his outfield defense so far has been exceptional.