Los Angeles Angels Top 20 Prospects for 2010
All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don't get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get beyond the Top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you want to emphasize.
1) Mike Trout, OF, Grade B+: On overall upside potential, has to rank number one but although I'd love additional performance data about his power development. A bit of a risk, but the upside is outstanding.
2) Hank Conger, C, Grade B+: I think a full breakout is possible in 2010. I like the bat, the glove is coming along, just hope he stays healthy.
3) Trevor Reckling, LHP, Grade B: Needs to lower his walk rate, but I liked him a lot last year and he performed well as one of the youngest pitchers in Double-A.
4) Garrett Richards, RHP, Grade B: First-class stuff and command was much better in pro ball than in college ball.
5) Peter Bourjos, OF, Grade B-: Borderline B. Speed goes nicely with improved plate discipline.
6) Fabio Martinez, RHP, Grade B-: Great stuff with high strikeout rate, needs to lower walks and prove himself at higher levels.
7) Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Grade B- due to lack of experience, but supremely projectable.
8) Jordan Walden, RHP, Grade B-: tough to rank and grade due to '09 injury problems. If healthy he's a personal favorite, and dominated at times in the Texas League before getting hurt.
9) Jon Bachanov, RHP, Grade B-: Tommy John survivor drew raves in the Arizona Rookie League, showing sharp command of plus stuff. Just needs more experience.
10) Chris Pettit, OF, Grade B-: I think he can be a solid player but not a star.
11) Randal Grichuk, OF, Grade B-: borderline C+. Very strong power potential, but needs to make a lot of improvements with his plate discipline.
12) Trevor Bell, RHP, Grade C+: Forgotten prospect re-established himself in 2009. Does not have the upside of the other Grade C+s, but he's closer to being able to help. Didn't do great in the majors but deserves more chances.
13) Ryan Chaffee, RHP, Grade C+: High strikeout rate with very high GO/AO ratio. Needs to lower walks, big sleeper for '10.
14) Tyler Chatwood, RHP, Grade C+: Similar to Chaffee, gets strikeouts and grounders although not quite as extreme, also a sleeper if he can throw more strikes.
15) Jean Segura, 2B, Grade C+: Very young, fast, hit well in the Pioneer League, but has problems with injuries.
16) Alexia Amarista, 2B, Grade C+: Scouts don't love him due to small size, but he's young and he hit the hell out of the ball at Cedar Rapids.
17) Michael Kohn, RHP, Grade C+: Reliever with gaudy numbers and good stuff. If he throws strikes in Double-A he will help in the majors sooner than expected.
18) Carlos Ramirez, C, Grade C+: Bad body, but the guy has hit everywhere and is an underrated defender.
19) Tyler Kehrer, LHP, Grade C+: Lefty with good stuff, needs better command to survive at higher levels.
20) Will Smith, LHP, Grade C+: Didn't dominate the Midwest League like he dominated the Pioneer League in '08, but he throws strikes and knows how to pitch. People are probably overcorrecting: he was overrated last year but perhaps underrated now.
21) Pat Corbin, LHP, Grade C+: Very projectable lefty but will need development time.
OTHERS: (all Grade C): Dillon Baird, 1B; Josh Blanco, LHP; Buddy Boshers, LHP; Clay Fuller, OF; Rolando Gomez, SS; Pil Joon Jang, RHP; Young Il Jung, RHP; Baudillo Lopez, RHP; Tommy Mendoza, RHP; Robert Mosebach, RHP; Ryan Mount, 2B; Jake Rife, OF; Fernando Rodriguez, RHP; Andrew Romine, SS; Freddy Sandoval, 3B; Chris Scholl, RHP; Andrew Taylor, LHP; Mark Trumbo, 1B.
The Angels have more interesting prospects than I expected when I first began this. I really like Trout, who has the highest upside of the three B+s, with the most star potential if it all comes together. Conger and Reckling are closer to the majors, of course, and you can make the case to rank them ahead as a result. There is a considerable amount of interesting pitching at the lower levels, including guys who could break through big in 2010 such as Chaffee, Chatwood, Skaggs, Richards, and Martinez. Walden could also be really good if his arm is ok.
They could use additional hitting depth: aside from Conger and Trout, I don't see many people with the potential to be stars. Grichuk could be very good if he gains command of the strike zone. Segura and Amarista have potential as well but we need more data from both. I love Ramirez based on what he did at Arizona State, but we need some numbers from a place other than the Pioneer League.
Reports and statistics for all these players will be in the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, now available for pre-order.