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Bourjos Still Burning: Angels Upper Minors Report

AAA Salt Lake Bees: 51 wins, 51 losses

Peter Bourjos, Cf - (49 AB's) .469/.490/.755 with 5 dbls, 3 HR's, 3 SB's, 8 K/2 BB

Jeez, is this getting ridiculous, or what? Bourjos' hot July (.444/.479/.689) has pushed his 2010 BABIP up to .356, only slightly off his career BABIP of .346, but 24 points higher than last year.  So the question is, is this a case of PCL-driven luck? My answer is no. Bourjos locks in like this every year, and you can actually see the underlying causes for the streak in his batted ball data: he pops out less and hits more line drives while racking up fewer K's. He's a streaky guy who's been a little slow to make adjustments in the past, but when he does... Watch out.

Eric Junge, rhsp - (2 starts) 1 W, 14.1 IP, 11 hits, 1.26 ERA, 13 K/2 BB

The 33 year old former 11th round draft pick (in 1999) has become the definitive journey man over the past three years, applying his craft in Japan and for two different independent teams in the US. I haven't seen any scouting reports on him, but love what he's doing for the Bees, who are desperately, desperately short on pitching at the moment (as is our entire system, to be honest).

Mark Trumbo, 1B - (38 AB's) .375/.419/.625 with 1 dbl, 3 HR's, and 9 K/3 BB

Trumbo leads the PCL in RBI's, and is tied for second in HR's with the A's Chris Carter. He trails only Blue Jays prospect JP Arencibia in total bases.  In short, he's had a season that ranks right up there with the very best prospects in the PCL, but isn't getting much credit for it... Including from me.  My apologies Mark.  Keep on truck'n.

Mike Kohn, rhrp - (4 appearances) 1 W, 1 Sv, 4.1 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER, 4 K/2 BB

Until last night it was a typical couple of weeks for Kohn.  He racked up a win and a save in high leverage situations while fanning nearly a batter an inning.  He struggled in his MLB debut: he tried to be too fine with two strikes on Mike Cameron, got ahead of Scutaro and Drew but couldn't finish them off, and then grooved that last pitch. He just wasn't getting swing and misses at his high fastball, a must for him until the slider improves. I think the outcome had more to do with location - the pitches weren't quite high enough - rather than the heater falling flat. It could take awhile, but he'll be ok.

Terry Evans, of  - (31 AB's) .355/.355/.581 with 4 dbls, 1 trpl, 1 HR, 1 SB, 9 K/0 BB

Evans is back to doing what he does in Salt Lake, driving the ball from gap to gap, running the bases well, and ripping one over the wall every couple of weeks. His plate discipline is terrible and hasn't improved much, but what the hell - he is who he is.


AA Arkansas: 38 wins, 62 losses

Tyler Chatwood, rhsp - (3 starts) 2 W, 24 IP, 17 hits, 1.13 ERA, 12 K/4 BB

Chatwood's season is freakishly similar to what Reckling did last year: he dominated A-Ball before throwing some impressive outings in AA even as the peripherals slip. I think the Halos will think long and hard before bumping him to AAA, and if I had to guess, I'd say that his next promotion won't come until midseason next year. 

Tyson Auer, OF - (43 AB's) .364/.432/.576 with 1 dbl, 2 HR, 5 SB, 6 K/4 BB

Auer handled the difficult jump to AA much, much better than I expected, and is only heating up as July wears on.  The 24 year old's season line across A-Ball and AA is .330/.387/.443 with 5 HR's and 49 SB's. He's striking out at a lower rate than last year (even after the promotion to AA), his line drive percentage is creeping up, and his speed is playing spectacularly on the bases. I suspect that when RalleyMonkey5 runs the TotalZone numbers this fall, Auer will prove to be one of the top 3 most productive players in the Angels' system.

Andrew Romine, SS - (16 AB's) .375/.444/.625 with 1 dbl,1 HR, 2 SB, 1 K/ 2 BB

Romine missed a month to injury, but came back strong last week.  The Halos are short on up the middle players (except centerfielders) at the upper levels, so a healthy Romine is tremendously valuable asset to the Halos. Come 2011, Romine may be just an injury or two short of joining the big league club.

Will Smith, lhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 K/3 BB

Smith has yet to take the mound since his assignment to the Royals' High A affiliate.  He last pitched for the Travs on the 18th, throwing well enough to secure the victory but lacking his trademark control.  Last week's trading frenzy left the Halos painfully thin on pitching up and down the organization, so his absence will be felt. More than that, I'll miss seeing a player whom both Eddie Bane and Abe Flores guaranteed would be a major leaguer debut in an Angels' uniform. Good luck to you, Will.