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Tillman Rolling In Orem: Angels Rookie Ball Report

Advanced Rookie Ball Orem: 18 wins, 18 losses

Dan Tillman, rhrp - (8 appearances) 1 W, 8.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 14 K/1 BB

Our 2010, second round pick is dominating the Pioneer League with a K-rate better than even the 13 K/9 he posted at Florida Southern. He has a solid fastball/curve combo, and is a candidate to move very quickly next year as a set-up man/closer.

Donn Roach, rhsp - (6 appearances) 1 W, 15.1 IP, 12 hits, 1.76 ERA, 16 K/3 BB

The Halos turned Josh Spence (3rd round, 2009) into Roach (3rd round compensation pick, 2010), and given Spence's injuries over the 2010 season, this might have been a lucky break. Roach sits in the low 90's with a fastball that he keeps down enough in the zone to induce a lot of grounders - his groundball rate is an insane 63%, though the sample size is small. He also throws a splitter that was his best pitch before the curve took off this year (anyone out there know how to throw a splitter properly? When I throw them they have no spin, which I think makes them a forkball... Anyway, Haren inspired me to go back to the pitch, and I threw one yesterday only to watch a friend jack it about 350 feet...  It was an exact replay of Ortiz' Monday night smash). I suspect he'll eventually convert to relief, but has the three pitch combo to stick in the rotation for a while yet. Check out the curve in the video below (hat tip,



Kole Calhoun, RF - (78 AB's) .282/.418/.538 with 4 dbl, 2 trpl, 4 HR, and 18 K/17 BB

The Angels scooped Calhoun up in the ninth round of this year's draft, but we didn't see him until this month because he was an integral part of ASU's playoff run. At 5'11", 190 lbs, he's short and stocky, and at nearly 23 old for the league. Still, he can hit. This is what John Kilma at Baseball Beginnings had to say about him:

Calhoun faced Gerrit Cole three times the night I saw him and was the only guy in the ASU lineup I thought that had the bat speed to adapt and speed up to Cole. The ASU Kole doubled off the UCLA Cole, and it wasn't cheap. It was clean and squared up, would have been a double with wood. For me, Calhoun has the bat speed to kill big league mistakes, which is what it's all about. Do that and they won't care how you run or throw.    

Brandon Decker, 1B, OF - (48 AB's) .271/.352/.542 with 4 dbl, 3 HR, and 10 K/5 BB

Decker's another guy whose bat is going to have to carry him. At 6'3", 235 lbs, he's big but lacks foot speed, limiting him defensively to first base and maybe left field as a pro. He hit 22 HR's in 63 games with Valdosta State University as a junior in 2009, then followed that up with a .426/.560/.858 senior season with 21 HR's and a 29 K/43 BB ratio.  Hopefully we'll see more of that power show up soon.

AZL Angels: 12 wins, 18 losses

Randal Grichuk, RF - (26 AB's) .346/.393/.808 with 2 dbl, 2 trpl, 2 HR, and 5 K/ 2 BB

Grichuk turns 19 in August. He's nearly a year and a half - a lifetime in the development of a teenage athlete - younger than the average age of the Arizona competition, yet he's slugging .808 in the circuit.  That's higher than the .711 OPS he produced in the Midwest League over a month and half, but there he's a full two and a half years younger than the competition, so we can cut him some slack. Glad to see him healthy and producing.

Taylor Lindsey - (87 AB's) .299/.333/.425 with 5 dbl, 3 trpl, 5 SB and 14 K/ 4 BB

Until we sign Cowart - and the recent trades make it imperative we sign Cowart - Lindsey is the most polished prep bat we acquired in 2010.  As you can see, he's not terribly polished. That said, he's heating up as July wears on, showing decent gap power, and playing solid defense.  He could be a good one, a Ryan Mount type with less HR power but a better all around bat.

Joe Melioris, rhsp - (6 appearances) 1 W, 15.1 IP, 18 hits, 3.52 ERA, 17 K/2 BB

Here's an interesting guy.  At 6'10", 240 lbs, the 20 year old makes for an intimidating presence on the mound. He went undrafted this year, but the Halos approached him following the draft with an offer, and now he's in Arizona.  I don't know anything about his stuff, but the K to BB ratio is encouraging and you have to love his size.

Chevez Clarke, CF - (69 AB's) .246/.325/.391 with 3 dbl, 2 trpl, 1 HR, 4 SB and 20 K/ 6 BB

Yeah, I know; he's not exactly lighting the world on fire. His debut doesn't rank up there with Trout's or Grichuk's, at least so far, but there are some positive signs: in his last 10 games, he's hitting .289/.372/.421 with a 9 K/4 BB ratio, and he's handling righties just fine with a .260/.363/.460 line.  Like Lindsey, he may need some time, but he's got the tools to be a great ballplayer. If everything breaks right, think Pete Bourjos but better production against righties. 

Dominican Summer League Angels: 26 wins, 17 losses

Glen Beltran, RF - (52 AB's) .327/.407/.385 with 1 dbl, 1 trpl, 2 SB and 8 K/ 6 BB

He's big, he's strong, he handles the strikezone well, and he's still just 18. He's not showing a whole lot of power yet, but with his 6'2", 220 lbs frame, it should come.

Eswarlin Jimenez, lhsp - (3 starts) 2 W, 20.2 IP, 12 hits, 1.74 ERA, 22 K/9 BB

We tracked this guy a little bit last year. He's still 18 for a couple more months and should be heading stateside in the coming season. If you need more encouragement, check out the 2.00 GO/AO.

Steve Mateo, 3B - (32 AB's) .313/.378/.344 with 1 dbl, 5 K/ 4 BB

Here's another kid with a big, promising frame. He's still just 17 and the Halos have him batting 3rd in a much older line-up.  At 6'2", 188 lbs, he has a highly projectable frame, and is already showing signs of an intuitive understanding of the strikezone. He could be a great find. 

Daniel Hurtado, rhsp - (4 starts) 1 W, 20 IP, 18 hits, 2.70 ERA, 17 K/4 BB

Hurtado just turned 18 last Saturday and the numbers look very good even in the pitcher-friendly context. You won't find him, Mateo, Jimenez, or Beltran making any Baseball America headlines (yet), but their stats, age, and projectable frames sure look encouraging.