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Carlos Perez Joins the Halos: Top Angels Prospect Performances of 2014

Taking a look back at the top performances of present and former Angels prospects in 2014.

Welcome to the Halos, Carlos
Welcome to the Halos, Carlos
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Keep in mind that this is not a traditional top prospect list because it focuses entirely on 2014 contributions. I rank guys according to advanced metrics which, for position players, include batting runs above average (now from Fangraphs), positional adjustment, and a replacement level calculation that scales the total to "Wins Above Replacement" (though the concept of replacement level doesn't really apply to minor leaguers, obviously). Defense is a best guess, though I'd like to think it's an informed one. I use a standard "runs allowed based" WAR formula for pitchers for the ranking, but include FIP-based WAR for comparison.

You'll note that today's guys did not make the usual 2.0 WAR cutoff that I've used for past rankings. One is no longer an Angels prospect and one is a new Angels prospect. In light of Dipoto's restless turnover of the Angels' farm system, I wanted to track the performance of former Angels' prospects relative to their retained and acquired peers. A sort of score keeping if you will, an ongoing accounting of Dipoto's ongoing creative destruction that has made and remade the farm in his image over the past three years.

Carlos Perez, 23, AAA. 1.7 WAR .259/.323/.385 with 6 HRs and 3 SB's.

Perez joins the Halos following a decent if unremarkable campaign in Oklahoma City, the Astros' PCL affiliate. Even there he spent most of the year as backup, playing caddy to their Max Stassi, so his total WAR contributions reflect the limited playing time. Strengths with the bat include a knack for contact and decent walk rate. If anything, he may have been a bit unlucky last year with the .295 BABIP, and that number could jump big time in the friendly Salt Lake environment. Perez pulls a lot of pitches in the air, but scouts presently don't think there's MLB-caliber juice there. At just 23, he may grow into a little more, and even a marginal bump could make him starter. Once regarded as a bat-first prospect, his perceived value is now entirely tied to his glove. Caught stealing rates and scouting reports support those projections.

Mike Clevinger, 23, A+. 1.0 RA-9 WAR, 1.3 FIP WAR. 99.2 IP / 4.42 ERA / 23% K-rate / 10% BB-rate Now with the Indians

He threw the ball extremely well with the Burlington Bees, then less well with two High A affiliates. He possesses three major league pitches in his 90-93 mph fastball, change-up and slider, and each offering can look fantastic at times. He has a fringy curveball too, which he uses primarily as a show-me pitch early in the count. The deuce improved significantly since before 2012 Tommy John surgery, so hell, he may wind up with even four big league weapons. His numbers nonetheless say that he was overmatched in High A, especially against lefties: they walked often, hit too many linedrives, too few pop ups, and consistently squared the ball hard up the middle of the field. Clevinger induced a 50% GB rate against those opposite-handed hitters, which may prove a strength yet, but too many of those grounders wound up in centerfield for it to have mattered in 2014. He remains a sleeper, but the breakout has yet to happen.