2. Chad Hinshaw, 23, A & A+. 4.4 WAR. .270/.365/.477 with 16 HR and 41 SB
Of prospects who actually played for a Halos' affiliate last year, Hinshaw was the top performer, edging out pitcher Tyler DeLoach by a smidge. He did it all for the two Angels' A-Ball affiliates, showing great speed in centerfield and on the base paths, hitting for some power, and doing whatever it took to get on base. Really, whatever it took. Hinshaw led the Angels' system in hit-by-pitches by quite a bit, enduring 29 thunks, about double the number of the runner(s) up (Jett Bandy, Wade Hinkle and Cal Towey all took fifteen a piece, for the record). You have to go back nine years in the Angels' system to find anyone who matches that total (Mike Collins, with 33, in 2006).
Hinshaw draws honorable mentions from most of the national prospect analysts, though the only rankings that he actually made were 28th in Baseball America's and 18th in MonkeywithaHalos.com's top 30's. They see a polished player with a broad base of skills who might make it as a fourth outfielder, with Colin Cowgill given as the primary comp. Right-handed, capable of handling all three outfield spots, some tools, and a few too many strikeouts.
Hinshaw slugged one hundred points better against opposite handers, but also fanned more, so we'll wait and see him play some in the upper minors before labeling him a lefty-masher. Against righties, he posted an impressive .383 OBP due to all 29 plunks coming from leaning in against those same-handers. That's a 7% plunk rate against same handed-pitching. C.J. Cron, Grant Green, Albert Pujols, Randal Grichuk, Jose Rondon didn't post walk rates that high last year. Give that guy another elbow pad.
Hinshaw finally saw spring action in the split squad game against the Royals on Saturday, and went 0 for 3 with a pair of k's. He fanned in 23% of all plate appearances last season, which is a worrisome trend for a 23 year old in A-ball, and if the contact problems intensify in the upper minors his career could stall.
I haven't had much opportunity to watch Hinshaw play, so lack the details necessary to deliver a more detailed scouting report. He has an interesting combination of skills, but the low contact rate and dependence on HBP's may spell struggles in the upper minors. He's likely headed to Arkansas, where he'll team with an interesting slate of other under-the-radar types like Sherman Johnson, Dennis Raben, Wade Hinkle, Mark Shannon, Cal Towey, Tyler DeLoach and Austin Wood on what should be a very solid Travelers' ball club.