Well, we were going to debut our dramatic Top 20 Prospects Countdown once all of the guys had been assigned to their respective teams next week but because of a few crazy flukes, Tyler Chatwood got the call to the big club after pitching but one inning in Salt Lake for the AAA Bees.
Our Top 20 is comprised from a transcript from the March 29, 2011 LuchTIme HaloTalk radio show held every Tuesday Live and linked here at Halos Heaven. Our Top 20 is tabulated exclusively by our minor league expert analyst Ryan Ghan.
Ryan Ghan: In the number five slot, we've got Tyler Chatwood. Local product. Grew up in Redlands, not too far from the Inland Empire Ballpark. He's 6 feet, but throws like a 6-foot 5-inch, 300 pound beast. . I mean, he can get it up through to 97 to 98, great fastball. And what's most impressive about that fastball, whenever I've seen him, what has always astounded me, is how a guy that short can create that much downward angle on a baseball. Batters have a tough time squaring it up. He gets a lot of groundballs with that fastball. Certainly, he's seen success with it so far. He's also got a very good curveball, very sharp break. If you look at some of the video online where they show him from behind, especially when he was first drafted, the curveball is unbelievable. It's unreal how much he can make that ball move. His change-up got a lot better last year. He was little more confident in it. So, he has three useable, major league pitches.
Now, I do hope that the Angels keep him in Double-A as long as possible this year. Maybe let him stay there the whole season. We spoke earlier about how that park might warp our impression of a pitcher, but the upshot is that it can give a pitcher a lot of confidence. Allows them to trust their stuff. Chatwood did not strike out as many guys last year as maybe we would have liked to have seen, so giving him some time in Arkansas to hone his craft could only be a good thing. But again, with a fastball that good and that hard to square up, I think he's got a lot of potential for major league success.
Rev Halofan: So, what's the feeling on Tyler Chatwood his ceiling if you would?
Ryan Ghan: Roy Oswalt. Maybe not [Oswalt] earlier in the career, but Oswalt from a last year, a really dynamite number two starter. Now, that's not a sure thing. He does have some command issues that he hasn't fully worked out yet. So, you know, we're just speculating here on upside. We're rolling the dice. But his upside could be as good as that. Now, to qualify all this, I mean, you know, there's no guarantees with prospects.
Rev Halofan: I said feeling. I said feeling. Look, I qualified it ahead on this as YOUR feeling. I don't want you to be known as a guy who's like Mr. Ra-Ra Pom-Pom. I said feeling. You gave me a great feeling. I'm thrilled but the guy could be in the basement in Arkansas the next five years for all we know, so I'm not holding you to any of this.
Ryan Ghan: All right. But he is a guy to get excited about. I mean, he is also a nice guy. Good clubhouse presence. Works really hard. He is still really young. He's been young for every level. So, he has got a good shot and great future.
Jim Gardner: Any kind of injury concerns? Does he have any problems?
Ryan Ghan: He did have Tommy John surgery actually in high school before even turning pro. I don't think he has missed a start since then. They held them back in spring training before he started in Cedar Rapids two years ago. I want to say for some foot thing maybe. But no, the arm has been fine since the Tommy John surgery in high school.