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Angel Castillo Carrying The Quakes: Angels A-Ball Report

High A Rancho Cucamonga: 50 wins, 39 losses

Angel Castillo, RF - (60 AB's) .350/.409/.683 with 3 dbls, 1 trpl, 5 HR's, 2 SB's, 13 K/6 BB

Castillo makes his first 2010 appearance on the hot list. The good numbers come primarily against right handed pitching, so it looks like Castillo figured out how to deal with breaking balls, a skill that's escaped him in the past. His power/speed profile and cannon arm make him the best natural right fielder in the system, and if he can keep his K's down like he has the past couple of week, the 21 year old might just deliver on his potential. He put together a 12 game hit streak that ended on Saturday night.

Alberto Rosario, C - (28 AB's) .516/.516/.742 with 1 dbl, 2 HR's, 1 SB, 0 K/0 BB

The Angels bumped Rosario from the Trav's roster at the end of June, stopping his bleeding at the plate. The 23 year old had flashed a cannon arm in Arkansas, tossing out 43% of would-be base stealers, but also hit an anemic .193/.224/.211 while allowing 10 passed balls (Conger has yet to allow one this year).  Rosario has found the going a little easier with the Quakes, hitting safely in 7 of 8 Cal League games so far, and he's thrown out a full 50% of basestealers.

Pat Corbin, lhsp - (3 starts) 2 W's, 17 IP, 15 hits, 4 ER, 22 K/4 BB

This guy is no stranger to our weekly reports. Corbin has a lively fastball that sits at 90-91, a slurve that's mowing down lefties at a 15 K per 9 clip, and a very good change-up that's holding righties to a .231 BAA.  Best of all, he's a gifted athlete with a lot of projection remaining on his frame, so could still take another big step forward.

Clay Fuller, CF - (62 AB's) .323/.417/.548 with 5 dbls, 3 HR's, 4 SB's, 15 K/10 BB

Fuller is another guy who's making his first appearance of the year on this list after a demotion to the Quakes. He managed only a .168/.243/.240 line through 237 miserable AA plate appearances before the Halos brass pulled the plug and returned him to High A, but Fuller responded to the demotion by putting in his best run since July of 2008. The talent gap between High A and AA seems to be especially extreme this year, so we shouldn't read too much into Fuller's July numbers, but as a 2006 draftee he's the equivalent of a college senior, so we should still allow for the possibility that he's a late bloomer.

Cedar Rapids: 53 wins, 32 losses

Matt Long, CF - (66 AB's) .364/.417/.545 with 3 dbls, 3 trpls, 1 HR, 3 SB's, 8 K/6 BB

With Trout's promotion to High A, Long will likely assume centerfield duties for the Kernels through their second half playoff run.  He's a worthy replacement, committing just one error all season and flashing a cannon arm that's racked up eight assists. His offense has steadily improved as the season wore on, bringing his season line is .292/.373/.438. He's really turned it on of late, averaging over an RBI a game through July.  

Jon Karcich, ss - (45 AB's) .311/.392/.511 with 3 dbls, 2 HR's, 1 SB, 8 K/6 BB

Karcich has been squaring up the ball more frequently over the past few weeks, hitting for good power and average to boost his season line to a respectable .248/.352/.383.  He hasn't struck out in 9 games, dropping his K rate for the season to under 20%, another good sign. However, there remains the small matter of his team leading 17 errors in the field, something he will have to work on. 

Tyler Skaggs, lhsp - (4 starts) 18 IP, 12 hits, 2.00 ERA, 13 K/6 BB

Skaggs continues to impress. The Halos are monitoring his pitch count closely, piggy-backing him with fellow lefty Tyler Kehrer to limit him to around 110 total innings for the year. It will be interesting to see how effective Skaggs can be in the late innings when the kid gloves come off next year.

Steven Locke, lhsp - (3 starts) 22.1 IP, 18 hits, 2.01 ER, 12 K/5 BB

And he threw a rain shortened, 5 inning no hitter Monday night. Locke is an impressive guy, exhibiting laser like control and groundball tendencies. We won't really know how good of a pitcher he is until AA, but for the second consecutive year, Locke is serving as the unheralded ace of a staff comprised of bigger-name prospects.

Manuarys Correa, rhrp - (4 appearances) 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 3 K/0 BB

As a starter, Correa's mediocre numbers never quite matched up with his above average fastball/slider combination. The Halos shifted gears after a string of bad starts with the Quakes, demoting Correa to the Midwest League and sending him to the bullpen. He's responded by putting up promising results in the early going. Correa is still only 21, so the Halos can afford to be patient with him.  

Jean Segura, 2B - (59 AB's) .288/.344/.542 with 5 dbls, 2 trpls, 2 HR's, 4 SB's, 8 K/5 BB

While Long has replaced Trout in center, Segura has replaced the departed uber-prospect at the top of the order. My sense is that the 20 year old is still figuring out what kind of player he is, and his process is all the more complicated because has the tools to do it all: he has a good contact rate and can use the opposite field almost exclusively; he can hit for some power, especially to his pull side; he has good strikezone judgment; and he's very fast. These tools and skills could gel into different stat profiles - will the contact/speed tool continue to be his defining characteristic, or will the power emerge more forcefully, like it did this month? I sure like the July version of him.