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Cam Bedrosian: Top Angels Prospect Performances of 2014

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

Troy Taormina-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. The second guy tore through the system, posting insane strikeout rates, but stumbled in his MLB debut.

Cam Bedrosian, 22, AAA.   RA-9 WAR: 1.8, FIP WAR: 2.4. 45 IP / 2.00 ERA / 49% k-rate / 11 % BB-rate

Bedrosian averaged nearly 4.5 pitches a plate appearance last year in both the minor and major leagues, while league medians range from 3.8 to 3.9. In the minors, Bedrosian's inefficiency appeared to be the inevitable outcome of toying with hitters (who can argue when you're striking out half of the guys you face?), but in the majors, where he fanned 21.5%, it just gave elite hitters too many looks at his stuff. They punished him with a .321/.403/.491 batting line against.

Much of Bedrosian's minor league success – and he experienced quite bit, flashing a degree of dominance in High A and Double A that the Halos' farm has not seen in quite some time – resulted from spotting the fastball down in the zone to both sides of the plate, and then firing bullets up around the letters. On those rare occasions when he ran into trouble in the Texas League, it was usually because he wasn't getting calls on the early low strikes, or was missing by inches. In the majors, he had a different problem: he collected exactly zero whiffs in the bottom third of the zone, while called strikes and foul balls, keys to getting ahead in the count, dropped too. Up in the zone, major leaguers still couldn't touch him, but it didn't matter because he was constantly working from behind. His secondaries, including a good slider and a sometimes promising change-up, didn't work much either. Bedrosian has made a series of impressive adjustments since coming back from 2012 TJ surgery, so I'm optimistic that he'll overcome the rookie foibles.

Randal Grichuk, 22, AAA. 1.8 WAR. .259/.311/.493 with 25 HR and 8 SB

He hit for power and continued to impress with his defense, earning himself a major league trial and a spot on the postseason roster. He could have a role in the big leagues for a long time as a lefty masher, against whom he slugged .627 last year. One of those southpaws was Clayton Kershaw... Just for the record.