All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.
1) Jordan Walden, RHP, Grade B+: I love the strikeout/ground ball combination.
2) Trevor Reckling, LHP, Grade B: A very promising and underrated lefty who deserves much more attention than he’s received.
3) Hank Conger, C, Grade B: I love the bat, though I would like to see more walks. Injuries and positional questions prevent a higher grade.
4) Nick Adenhart, RHP, Grade B-: I know it was the PCL, but at some point the numbers have to start matching the scouting reports.
5) Will Smith, LHP, Grade B-: Very interesting and projectable lefty with excellent command of solid stuff. Need to see at higher levels, but promising.
6) Peter Bourjos, OF, Grade C+: Tons of speed, toolsy, some pop, but lack of patience will be a big issue when he faces Double-A pitching.
7) Kevin Jepsen, RHP, Grade C+: Looks like a solid bullpen asset to me, but will need sharper command to close.
8) Mark Trumbo, 1B, Grade C+: Impressive power potential, but plate discipline and defense preclude higher grade.
9) Anthony Ortega, RHP, Grade C+: Looks like a solid arm as a possible 4/5 starter, though overall upside is limited.
10) Clay Fuller, OF, Grade C+: His season at
11) Sean O’Sullivan, RHP, Grade C+: Stuff has leveled off, and Double-A transition may not be easy.
12) Tyler Chatwood, RHP, Grade C+: Good arm, strong K/IP ratio in rookie ball, but too many walks. Good potential but will need time.
13) Manuarys Correa, RHP, Grade C+: Better command than Chatwood, but perhaps more hittable. Very projectable and could take step forward in ’09.
14) Alexander Torres, LHP, Grade C+: Overlooked lefty, solid strikeout/grounder combination in the California League.
15) Ryan Chaffee, RHP, Grade C+: Ankle injury prevented pro debut, but junior college product is supposed to have three strong pitches.
16) Luis Jimenez, 3B, Grade C+: Excellent power potential and big numbers in Pioneer League, but with doubtful strike zone judgment.
17) Michael Kohn, RHP, Grade C+: Strong arm, strong K/IP ratios, need to see at higher levels.
18) Ryan Mount, 2B, Grade C+: Good pop for a middle infielder, has problems staying healthy.
19) Jose Perez, RHP, Grade C+: Another projectable arm with good performance at lower levels.
20) Gabe Jacobo, 1B, Grade C+: Huge numbers in pro debut, but two walks in 125 at-bats at
Others: Terrel Alliman, OF-3B; Michael Anton, LHP; Jeff Boshers, LHP; Matt Brown, 3B: Angel Castillo, OF; Nick Farnsworth, 1B; Rolando Gomez, SS; Nick Green, RHP; Roberto Lopez, 1B; P.J. Phillips, SS; Andrew Romine, SS; Freddy Sandoval, INF; Chris Scholl, RHP; Matt Sweeney, 3B-1B; Mason Tobin, RHP.
As usual, don’t sweat so much about where the Grade C+/C types rank exactly on this list. After I get past the top 10 I don’t worry so much about exact placement, since I’m trying to concentrate on the book right now. Some of the Grade C guys could be C+ in the book, and vice versa.
SYSTEM IN BRIEF
The Angels have some depth, but there is a wide range of opinion about a lot of their prospects. Mason Tobin, for example, gets just a Grade C from me, but ranked 10th on the BA list. I respect his arm strength, but a shoulder problem and a horrible K/BB ratio scare me away from a higher grade. Adenhart also has issues, scouts still seem to like him, but the numbers are poor. I’ve seen him twice in the minors the last two years, and both times he was throwing just 87-90 with shaky command. At some point he has to perform. Walden (who I love), Reckling, and Conger all seem like better prospects to me right now, even if further away from the majors.
Among hitters, the Angels have a lot of guys with offensive potential but bad strike zone judgment. They have an organizational philosophy revolving around contact, and while I’m not as fundamentalist about walks as I used to be, the BB/K marks put up by guys like Bourjos, Jacobo, and Jimenez are not to my liking. I’m not saying everyone has to be a walk machine, but these guys are all way too dependent on their batting averages to provide OBP in my opinion.
I like the lefty arms Reckling and Smith a lot. There are some projectable guys beyond that. Smith in particular looks like a big sleeper for 2009.
Angel fans tend to be quite well-informed about prospects, and I expect some controversy about some of these grades, but I have to call it like I see it.
2009 Baseball Prospect Book. Pre-order for January 31st shipping now!