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Fabio Martinez-Mesa Angels Top Prospect #9

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Our Top 20 is comprised from a transcript from the March 29, 2011 LunchTime HaloTalk internet radio show held every Tuesday Live and linked here at Halos Heaven. THIS Top 20 was tabulated exclusively for us by our minor league expert analyst Ryan Ghan.

Rev Halofan: We're moving on to number nine, number nine, number nine. Who is the Angels' number nine top prospect Ryan Ghan?

Ryan Ghan: We've got Fabio Martinez Mesa. Another wild card: high risk, high reward. I feel like I can say that all day with this group of prospects. He has an outstanding fastball. Nasty, nasty fastball. Hits the mid-90s. Touches 97. Just a filthy fastball and the slider has come a long way. That combination of pitches gives him big-time upside.

That said, his command and control... I've read in a couple of different places -- and I don't put a whole lot of stock in it -- that he pays very close attention to the radar gun. He's always trying to run up those readings. He's not nearly as concerned with his command and control, his mechanics. He battles his mechanics, fails to keep his release point consistent, and doesn't always stay on top of his pitches. He flies open a lot, causing the ball to sail up and in to righties. You know, he's a young guy. He's a thrower, the old cliché. He's not yet a pitcher and how quickly he can become one is going to determine how fast the Angels move him.

REVHF: Wow! Now, he's been -- now, how how old is he because he's been around for just a bit -- he's making this prospect list. I think this is the third year that I've seen him sort of hitting the ticker here, getting noticed. Where will he be starting in the minor league this year and how old is he?

RGHAN: He's 21. He's still fairly young. He was in the DSL for a couple of years. But he is young. He does have time to continue developing. I assume it will be at High-A Inland Empire. I don't think there's any reason to move him faster than that and I don't think there's any reason to send him back to Cedar Rapids. You know, he's a guy who can strike out anybody if his command is on. If he knows where that ball is going. He has major league quality stuff.

Bottom line is, this guy has a tough time finding a strike zone. So, the Angels are rolling the dice. He could step up onto the mound next year, throw nine perfect innings for Inland Empire, and instantly be our second best prospect in the minors. Or he could flame out and never find the strike zone again. He's got that kind of volatility.

Fabio Martinez-Mesa has a sore shoulder and has not pitched in 2011. He was born October 29, 1989, the day the Oakland A's won the "Earthquake Series" almost 22 years ago.