ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 01: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slides safely past catcher Mike Napoli #25 of the Texas Rangers and scores a run in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 1, 2012 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Rangers 4-2. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Angels Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
Moving forward with our mid-season reviews of our pre-season Top 20 prospect lists, we switch back to the American League with a look at the Los Angeles Angels. Remember, this is the pre-season list. It is not a new list.
This list was originally published December 22nd, 2011.
1) Mike Trout, OF, Grade A: Hitting .355/.408/.582 with 13 homers, 30 steals in 282 major league at-bats. I would say this one worked out pretty well. Remember a couple of years ago when the main question was power development? An amazing player.
2) Garrett Richards, RHP, Grade B. 3.53 ERA in 43 major league innings, 30/23 K/BB, 44 hits. Components aren't great, but he's certainly holding his own.
3) Jean Segura, SS-2B, Grade B: Hitting .292/.344/.398 with 33 steals, 22 walks, 57 strikeouts in 359 at-bats for Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League. Playing decently but not spectacularly.
4) Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Grade B-: Hitting .276/.316/.365 with 19 walks, 47 strikeouts in 362 at-bats for High-A Inland Empire in the California League. Lacks patience and distance power to this point, but was also jumping from the Pioneer League, skipping Low-A at age 20. Still has time.
5) Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Grade B-: Hit .293/.348/.479 in 263 at-bats for Low-A Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League, then .303/.434/.528 in 89 at-bats in High-A. Bat is definitely coming around, walk rate up, strikeout rate down. Also greatly improved defensive play. Breakthrough season.
6) C.J. Cron, 1B, Grade B-: Hitting .288/.324/.468 with 18 doubles, 15 homers, 12 walks, 47 strikeouts in 372 at-bats in High-A. Doesn't draw walks, but very impressive power and he keeps the strikeouts down, a good combination for the future.
7) John Hellweg, RHP, Grade B-: 3.31 ERA in 111 innings for Arkansas, 84/56 K/BB, 99 hits. Command is erratic and his K/IP ratio is low for a guy who throws as hard as Hellweg, but he's eating innings and collecting grounders at a good clip.
8) Luis Jimenez, 3B, Grade B-: Hitting .298/.322/.456 with 12 walks, 44 strikeouts in 309 at-bats for Triple-A Salt Lake City. These aren't great numbers for the park/league context, but I still think he can surprise us at some point. Skilled defender at third base.
9) Nick Maronde, LHP, Grade B-: 1.96 ERA with 55/14 K/BB in 55 innings, 47 of them in High-A, the other eight in a brief rehab assignment in the Arizona Rookie League following a bout with a strained lateral muscle. I like him a lot, and he deserves more attention than he receives.
10) Dan Tillman, RHP, Grade C+: Borderline B-. Serious command problems in Double-A (12.10 ERA, 21/19 K/BB in 19 innings) resulted in trip back to Cal League (1.54 ERA, 14/5 K/BB in 12 innings). Nothing left to prove in A-ball at this point.
11) Kole Calhoun, OF-1B, Grade C+: Borderline B-. .300/.361/.518 with 10 homers, 10 steals, 25 walks, 58 strikeouts in 280 at-bats in Triple-A. Now in the majors, 3-for-12 so far with two walks in nine games. Should be a solid role player.
12) Randal Grichuk, OF, Grade C+: .271/.308/.422 with 10 homers, 16 walks, 65 strikeouts in 365 at-bats in High-A. Has cut back on the whiffs, but without boosting OBP or improving his power production. Still just 20 years old though.
13) Fabio Martinez Mesa, RHP, Grade C+: Has completely lost all semblance of the strike zone: 9.00 ERA, 15/21 K/BB in 15 innings in High-A, 16 hits, 17 runs.
14) Jeremy Moore, OF, Grade C+: Out all year with a hip injury.
15) Ariel Pena, RHP, Grade C+: He's better than he looked in the Futures Game. 2.92 ERA with a 98/37 K/BB in 102 innings in Double-A, 88 hits. Throwing strikes more efficiently this year.
16) Matt Long, OF, Grade C+: .278/.371/.464 in 97 at-bats in Double-A, .247/.311/.386 in 223 at-bats in Triple-A, has stolen 16 bases in 20 attempts. Already 25 years old, I still think he has some potential as a reserve outfielder.
17) Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Grade C+: Unimpressive results recovering from Tommy John surgery: 5.36 ERA, 24/31 K/BB in 44 innings for Cedar Rapids, 40 hits. Lack of strikeouts is a big concern sabermetrically, but he's still just 20 and lost a year of development time.
18) Carlos Ramirez, C, Grade C: .225/.329/.303 with 21 walks, 40 strikeouts in 178 at-bats in Double-A. Solid defensive catcher, I thought he might hit better than this but he's not showing it. Projects as a reserve.
19) Trevor Reckling, LHP, Grade C: Released in early May after complete disappearance of both velocity and command.
20) David Carpenter, RHP, Grade C: 3.71 ERA with 25/17 K/BB in 34 major league innings, 32 hits, 1.50 GO/AO. I'd like to see fewer walks, but overall he can be a competent middle reliever.
Mike Trout developing into a superstar takes the emotional sting out of any other disappointments.
Keep an eye on Double-A right-hander A.J. Schugel (3.05 ERA, 81/43 K/BB in 106 innings, just 87 hits). Super-toolsy outfielder Travis Witherspoon is figuring things out with the bat. Ground ball expert Donn Roach was having a great year in the Cal League, then was flipped to the San Diego Padres for Ernesto Frieri. Roach just went on the DL in Double-A. Right-hander Austin Wood has shown outstanding stuff for Cedar Rapids at times, although his command remains wobbly.