Continuing our countdown recorded on LunchTime HaloTalk Live on March 29 of this year with Halos Heaven's Minor League Analyst Ryan Ghan...
REV HALOFAN: Let us move on to number 18 on your Angels top prospect list.
RYAN GHAN: Okay so, Luis Jimenez-
REVHF: Lucho! Lucho!
RGHAN: Yeah. Lucho is the man -- he also apparently picked up a new nickname this year. He is now "The Mayor".
REVHF: Mayor Nacho Lucho. [Laughing]
RGHAN: That's right. He's got the two best nicknames in the entire system. I don't know how he landed the last one, but he is supposed to be a very charismatic guy -- you know, a good guy in a dugout who keeps everybody laughing, keeps everybody loose, and he will be back this year. He missed all of 2009 when he tore his labrum meniscoid in his throwing shoulder. So he came back last year. He had a lot to prove because people were not sure he was going to have the arm strength left to play a credible third base; but according to Total Zone, he not only played third base, he was a rock over there. He was worth a total of 16 runs more than average with the glove. That's not quite Adrian Beltre numbers, but it's up there. So he brings a lot with his glove. If he can stay an above average third baseman, that will be a lot less pressure on his bat. Lord knows, we've been looking for a third baseman for a long time. So he is definitely a candidate. He will probably be in Double-A this year. He will probably also need a little more time to work on his pitch recognition, and his patience; right now he just won't wait out a pitcher.
Luis has a tough time working counts, but the guy can put the bat on the baseball. He doesn't strikeout very much.He hits a ton of fly balls. Of all the guys that I looked at - and I looked at a lot of batted ball data - he hit more fly balls than anybody and I don't think it was all that close. Now that does come with a caveat. Out of all of those fly balls, his homerun rate, his homerun per fly ball, was just average to below average, and that's with half a season in the California League. That's bizarre because the guy has two homerun titles to his name. He got the homerun title in the Pioneer League and in the Dominican Summer League three years ago. He has hit homeruns in the past and it didn't happen for him last year in quite the way we expected, and that's going to be a big factor in his ability to move up the prospect list and onto the depth chart. He's gonna have to hit homeruns and it didn't really happen for him last year.
REVHF: And a lot of that time he was healing from the shoulder, from the shoulder surgery, right?
RGHAN: Yeah. You know I asked Abe Flores about it when I interviewed him last year and the first thing he said was, "well, the timing is a little bit off." Personally, from having seen him a few times last year, I think there's a little more to that answer. He tends to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone -- you know it's possible to line a double to the gap if you are on your tippy toes and leaning all the way over the plate. It's a lot harder to shoot a ball like that over the wall. I think he gets himself into situations where he is not putting his best swing on the ball, and I think that's going to hold him back. He's also not that big. He's only 6'1", over 200, but he is not huge. He doesn't have that sort of Vlad Guerrero type of strength going on. So he's gonna have to put better swings on the ball to go yard consistently, and that did not happen. He is also pretty fast. He stole over 20 bases last year. I don't think that will continue to higher levels because he is not a speed demon but he has got some natural athleticism and some good baseballs smarts.
REVHF: Wow! Nice to hear! Nice to hear! Wow! All right, well I'm really looking forward to Mayor Nacho Lucho moving up the ladder, so to speak...
RGHAN: There is just one more note on him. I am a little bit worried about the Arkansas park chewing him up, it's hard to hit homeruns there. Fly balls can die in that big, big outfield, so he might see a drop in his numbers. He hit almost .290 this year. His slugging was over .500, but those numbers are probably going to take a hit this year in Dickey Stephens Park.
2011 Numbers as of June 13:
55 Games (all at AA Arkansas), 210 ABs, 5 HR
.317 OBP, .443 Slg (.760 OPS), 93 Total Bases.
Luis is 23 years, 6 months old. He is 11 days older than Hank Conger.