Here's a look at the 2013 Los Angeles Angels Top 20 Pre-season prospects list, catching up on how these guys are performing. Remember please, this is the pre-season list. It is not a new list. These are pre-season grades and rankings.
1) Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Grade B+: Very disappointing season in the Double-A Texas League, just .217/.282/.305 with 33 walks, 95 strikeouts, just five homers in 383 at-bats.
2) Nick Maronde, LHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. 3.91 ERA with 56/35 K/BB in 48 innings for Arkansas, 34 hits. Good stuff, but he's got command issues; the walk rate is simply too high.
3) Randal Grichuk, OF, Grade B-: Hitting .238/.295/.444 with 15 homers, 23 walks, 66 strikeouts in 369 at-bats for Arkansas. Can produce power, but on-base skills look poor at this stage.
4) C.J. Cron, 1B, Grade B-: Hitting .280/.326/.422 with eight homers, 30 doubles, 17 walks, 54 strikeouts in 396 at-bats for Arkansas. Not enough SLG or OBP for a first baseman to force his way into a job.
5) Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Grade B-: Hitting .282/.336/.443 with 13 homers, 32 walks, 66 strikeouts in 393 at-bats for Arkansas; out-hitting his teammates, age 21. Stock up I'd say.
6) R.J. Alvarez, RHP, Grade C+: 3.38 ERA with a 59/19 K/BB in 37 innings for Inland Empire,28 hits. Like the strikeouts a lot, but needs sharper control. However, I think he's getting there: 27/5 K/BB in his last 17 innings.
7) Kole Calhoun, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .354/.431/.617 with 12 homers, 32 walks, only 32 strikeouts in 240 at-bats for Triple-A Salt Lake. Yeah, it's Salt Lake, but he's hit everywhere he's ever played, performing above his tools.
8) Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Grade C+: Nice year for Inland Empire: .318/.342/.472, 10 homers, 25 doubles, 13 steals, very steady defense at second base. The bad news: an 18/89 BB/K ratio in 447 at-bats. Double-A next year will be very interesting.
9) Luis Jimenez, 3B, Grade C+: .297/.343/.422 in 32 games in Triple-A, .232/.264/.275 in 24 games in the majors; has been sidelined since mid June with a badly-timed shoulder injury. I've liked him for awhile as a sleeper but he didn't seize the job and got hurt before another chance came.
10) A.J. Schugel, RHP, Grade C+: 7.05 ERA in 19 starts for Salt Lake, 76/33 K/BB ratio in 89 innings, 121 hits. Went on the DL in early July. Can't spin that into a positive season.
11) Eswarlin Jimenez, LHP, Grade C+: 5.65 ERA with 38/21 K/BB in 72 innings for Inland Empire, 88 hits. Velocity sagged as season progressed and he landed on the DL with shoulder problems earlier this month.
12) Austin Wood, RHP, Grade C: Limited to 26 innings by injury; currently rehabbing in Arizona Rookie League. Has a 22/16 K/BB in those 26 innings. No change in scouting reports: has good stuff but command wobbles.
13) Mark Sappington, RHP, Grade C: Hey, someone who has had a good year: 3.42 ERA, 10-4 in 21 starts for Inland Empire, 102/62 K/BB in 124 innings, 99 hits. Throws hard, but command is a problem; secondaries need more polish. Probably a reliever in the long run.
14) Mike Clevinger, RHP, Grade C: Tommy John rehab; out all year.
15) Travis Witherspoon, OF, Grade C: Great tools, but can't hit Double-A pitching, .217/.306/.356 with 10 homers, 24 steals, 46 walks, 93 strikeouts in 351 at-bats. He tries to work the count, which is good, but his swing just doesn't work at this point and he's already 24.
16) Dan Tillman, RHP, Grade C: Limited to 14 innings by strained flexor tendon in his arm; has a 7.53 ERA with a 14/14 K/BB in those 14 innings.
17) Eric Stamets, SS, Grade C: Hitting .292/.355/.390 with 30 walks, 47 strikeouts, 12 steals in 377 at-bats for Inland Empire. Contact hitter with utility profile, but at least he's healthy and having a decent season.
18) Jonathan Walsh, OF, Grade C: Brutal at Low-A Burlington; .123/.177/.140 in 57 at-bats with 20 strikeouts. Started the season injured, activated in May, didn't hit in 16 games, then sidelined again.
19) Sherman Johnson, 3B-2B, Grade C: Hitting .262/.380/.378 with 54 walks, 65 strikeouts in 294 at-bats for Burlington. Florida State product controls zone and shows some polish on defense, but lack of power and small size preclude big projection at higher levels.
20) Wade Hinkle, 1B, Grade C: Hitting .259/.345/.431 with 11 homers, 40 walks, 65 strikeouts in 348 at-bats for Burlington. Not a terrible season really, but he's already 23, old for the Midwest League.
OTHERS: Yency Almonte, RHP; Cam Bedrosian, RHP; Ryan Brasier, RHP; Ryan Chaffee, RHP; Chevez Clarke, OF; Steve Geltz, RHP; Ty Kelley, RHP; Matt Long, 2B-OF; Carlos Ramirez, C; Andrew Romine, SS; Jose Rondon, SS; Michael Roth, LHP; Reid Scoggins, RHP; Brandon Sisk, LHP; Michael Snyder, 1B; Wendell Soto, SS; Andrew Taylor, LHP; Zach Wright, C.
You will recall that this is the same organization that drafted/signed and developed Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Peter Bourjos, and Jered Weaver. Garrett Richards and Michael Kohn have proven useful as well. However, the system has fallen on hard times, and what looked like a weak list entering 2013 looks even worse now thanks to injuries, control problems for pitchers, inability to control the strike zone for hitters, and several general performance collapses.
On the positive side, Kole Calhoun is just a solid ballplayer even if his tools don't stand out. Relief pitcher Mike Morin has been excellent in High-A and Double-A, with a 58/7 K/BB in 55 innings and 15 saves. Cron, Grichuk, and Cowart are all still prospects, and perhaps Cron can turn out something like Trumbo. Outfielder Zach Borenstein has been strong in High-A (.333/.384/.636) but doesn't excite scouts and needs to hit outside the Cal League.
How often does trying to buy a pennant with free agents work, anyway? The big league club is 48-56, 14 games back, and there is little help on the way.
More from Minor League Ball:
- Minor League Ball Gameday, July 30
- Cardinals trade pitcher Marc Rzepczynski to Indians for prospect Juan Herrera
- Philadelphia Phillies Top 20 2013 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
- Washington Nationals 2013 Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
- Danny Duffy says he could compete in big leagues
- Minor League Ball Gameday, July 29
- White Sox trade Jesse Crain to Rays for somebody. What's a fair return?
- Angels trade Scott Downs to Braves for prospect Cory Rasmus
- Astros trade Jose Veras to Tigers for prospect Danry Vasquez
- Tampa Bay Rays Top 20 2013 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review