Welcome to this new bi-monthly feature! This article is replacing the previous "Top 10 prospect watch" because frankly, that was sometimes depressing. The players on that list will be folded into the bi-monthly minor league update. However, we just had a draft in June and the Angels picked up some exciting players. In Orem, the Owlz have perhaps the most potent offense in all of the Pioneer League and they sit firmly in first place. They lead ALL rookies leagues in runs scored and batting average.
These players are all currently playing on the rookie teams in Arizona and Orem, UT. The top 12 rounds will be covered here with round 2 (Brandon Marsh), currently missing from this list. It's been reported that the Angels are still talking with Marsh, so we'll see if he ends up signing or going to college for some silly book learnin. For now, enjoy some updates on these other 11 guys.
2016 Angels draft class performances:
|1.||Matt Thaiss||C/1B||Orem Owlz||Rok||
Thaiss is doing alright. He started strong but is hitting .279 over his last 10 games. He has 2 HRs and a .313 AVG on the year. He's stolen 1 base in 4 attempts. Thaiss has played all 11 of his games at first base and has 2 errors in 94 innings.
|3.||Nonie Williams||SS||AZL Angels||Rok||Williams struggled to get his first hit but he has 5 of them now in his last 6 games. He is only 18, so time is on his side. Batting just .156 so far this year with 11 Ks in 32 AB.|
|4.||Chris Rodriguez||RHP||AZL Angels||Rok||
Rodriguez has only pitched twice for a total of 1.1 innings. He gave up 2 hits and 2 walks his last time on the mound. His ERA is 6.75 and he as 1K, 2 walks, and 2 hits allowed so far this year. Rodriguez is only 17 years old (until July 20).
|5.||Connor Justus||SS||Orem Owlz||Rok||
Justus has a pretty high K rate at 27%. He is batting .295 and also has a high walk rate of 20%. Not much power or speed shown so far with zero SB and only 3 doubles. Justus has made 1 error at shortstop in 111 innings.
|6.||Cole Duensing||RHP||AZL Angels||Rok||
Has also only pitched twice. He's given up 1 hit and 0 walks or runs with 2Ks in 2 innings pithced. Duensing just turned 18 last month.
|7.||Jordan Zimmerman||2B||Orem Owlz||Rok||
Zimmerman has hit safely in all 15 games so far this year. He's batting .446 with 4HR and 4SB. He and Lund are tearing up the Pioneer League. Zimmerman has played 102 errorless innings so far this year.
|8.||Troy Montgomery||OF||Orem Owlz||Rok||
Montgomery is hitting .277 with 2 HR, 7 walks, and 4 SB in 8 attempts. He has 1 assist in 122 innings in the outfield.
|9.||Michael Barash||C/1B||Orem Owlz||Rok||Barash has played all his games at catcher and has 1 error. He's caught 3 out of 13 base stealers this year. He's also batting .316 with only 1 walk in 28 at bats.|
|10.||Andrew Vinson||RHP||Orem Owlz||Rok||
Not too great of a start so far for Vinson. He has given up 3 runs and 10 hits in 7.1 IP. He has only walked one. His BAA is .333 and he has a 1.50 WHIP and 3.68 ERA.
|11.||Brennon Lund||OF||Orem Owlz||Rok||Lund leads ALL rookie leagues in AVG and OBP. He's been on base in every game this year and is batting .500/.571/.667. He also has 7 SB and 2 HRs. He has an assist and an error in 96 outfield innings played.|
|12.||Bo Tucker||LHP||Orem Owlz||Rok||Tucker has pitched in 5 game and in 8.1 innings has only allowed 2 ER, 3 walks, and 6 hits. He has struck out 9 and has a .207 BAA and 1.08 WHIP.|
Though not in the top 12, 15th round pick Mike Kaelin (RHP) was promoted to the Burlington Bees on 7/2. An interesting promotion since he had only pitched in 3 games for 4 innings and had given up 2 runs. He also had zero walks. His first game for the Bees he pitched 2 scoreless innings with two hits and no walks.