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Boom or bust of predicting top prospects

Also - where are they now

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Seattle Mariners
Jean Segura steals on the Angels
Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Hindsight is 20/20 right? Predicting the future potential talent of pro baseball players is tricky business. In light of all the farm systems ranking coming out (Angels are now #14!) and our very own prospect ranking here at Halos Heaven, let’s look at some top prospects from years past and where they are now. These rankings come from Baseball America.


  1. Mike Trout. I guess this guy has done pretty good huh? Back then they said Trout had 80 grade running speed and a a future average arm and average power. Note: Average power = 18 home run range.
  2. Tyler Chatwood. Jerry Dipoto hasn’t met many players he wouldn’t trade. He sent Chatwood packing to the Rockies for Chris Iannetta. Chatwood isn’t a top starter and Iannetta isn’t a top catcher but the deal worked out okay for the Angels for a few years.
  3. Jean Segura. Segura has had a pretty good career including a 2013 All Star nod. He also made #2 of the top prospect list before being traded for Zack Greinke (who only stayed with the Angels 1 season)
  4. Hank Conger. Yep. A top 5 prospect. Conger hasn’t really ever lived up to the hype of being ranked that high and he didn’t even play in the majors last year. He’s in the Diamondbacks system currently. Swing and a miss.
  5. Jordan Walden. Was an All Star in 2011 and in 6 seasons had a career 3.00 ERA in 222 innings. Hasn’t pitched since 2015 due to a shoulder injury and is currently without a team. He was pretty solid until he got hurt.

Other notables: Mark Trumbo was #9 in 2011 and also was #2 in RoY voting. He’s made a pretty good career for himself though is mostly a one trick pony. Cam Bedrosian cracked the list at #10 - he was a starter back then.


  1. Mike Trout. Still at the #1 spot. Go figure...
  2. Jean Segura. Here he is again. Angels let him go for one year of Zack Greinke. But Dipoto liked him because he got him back in 2016 on the Mariners.
  3. Garrett Richards. Was also #7 in 2011. Working his way up. Despite some injury issues, he obviously made a name for himself and was well worth a top prospect nod.
  4. Johnny Hellweg. Known for his great fastball and curve, Hellweg threw one year (2013) in the big leagues. He’s been floating around the minors and independent ball since. Swing and a miss.
  5. C.J. Cron. Was ranked the best power hitter from 2012-2014 and climbed to the #2 prospect by 2014. Even back then people were worried about his plate discipline and it’s one of the reasons he hasn’t yet lived up to his top prospect potential.

Other notables: Kaleb Cowart cracked the rankings at #6 and Taylor Lindsey at #7. More on them below.


  1. Kaleb Cowart. Still an above average fielder, he’s had problems sticking at the big league level due to his bat. As far as a #1 prospect goes, he definitely has yet to fit that bill.
  2. Nick Maronde. He pitches small part of three seasons for the Angels from 2012-2014 before spending the rest of his career in the minors. He didn’t play ball last year. Swing and a miss.
  3. C.J. Cron. Steadily climbing the rankings.
  4. Mike Clevinger. As far as trades go, this was a horrible one. Thanks Jerry. We won’t go into details about getting Vinnie Pestano who hasn’t played in the majors since 2015. Clevinger was worth the top ranking and despite a rocky first season in 2016 for the Indians, he had a stellar year in his sophomore effort during the 20917 season.
  5. Austin Wood. Who is Austin Wood? Exactly. The Angels AA team released him in 2016 and he hasn’t played pro ball since. Swing and a miss.

Other notables: Randal Grichuk - the guy drafted one pick before Mike Trout was in at #6. He has a career .297 OBP so certainly not top prospect worthy, but he’s done okay for himself.


  1. Taylor Lindsey. Mike Trout was busy raking for the big league club and gave way the top spot to Lindsey who never made it to the big leagues. He was sent to the Padres in the Huston Street trade. They released him and he played independent ball for a bit in 2017 before becoming a free agent again. Swing and a miss.
  2. C.J. Cron. Cron’s steady rise ended here as he made the big league club.
  3. Kaleb Cowart. Cowart dropped to #3. He still had the best ranked arm in the system.
  4. R.J. Alvarez. Alvarez was an intriguing arm who was really impressive at the A+ and AA levels. He was also part of the Huston Street trade. Since then, he spent some time with the Padres, A’s, and Cubs. He’s not pitching for AAA Round Rock in the Rangers system. Mostly a Swing and a miss.
  5. Mark Sappington. Never made it to the big league and didn’t play baseball in 2017. Swing and a miss.

Other notables: Cam Bedrosian was on the list at #10 - he was a bullpen arm by this point.


  1. Sean Newcomb. Newcomb went to the Braves for Andrelton Simmons. He debuted last year with a 4.32 ERA, 1.1 WAR, and 1.570 WHIP. The verdict is still out on how good he will be but he had a pretty decent start to his MLB career. He’s still only 24.
  2. Ricardo Sanchez. Soon to be 21 years old, Sanchez hasn’t made it past high A ball yet. He was sent to the braves for Kyle Kubitza who had a short stint in the Angels system.
  3. Cam Bedrosian. He made a big jump from 2014-2015 after making his big league debut in 2014 (though it was rocky).
  4. Chris Ellis. Also went to the Braves for Simmons. Not quite as successful as Newcomb and he’s 25 years old. Hasn’t yet crashed the big leagues.
  5. Joe Gatto. Still kicking it as a top prospect. He’s 22 and should land in AA this season.

Other notables: Nick Tropeano made the list at #9. Of course the verdict is still out on him since he’s just getting started, but he’s worked out pretty good so far.