Angels Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects in Review
1) Casey Kotchman, 1B
Struggled in the early going in Triple-A, but finished on a good note, hitting .278/.352/.484 for the Angels. A possible comp for the future: Wally Joyner.
2) Dallas McPherson, 3B
Injured for much of the year. Hit .244/.295/.449 in 61 games for the Angels. I think he will improve, but strikeouts will always be an issue.
3) Erick Aybar, SS
Hit .303/.350/.445 with 49 steals for Double-A Arkansas. Still putting the finishing touches on his game, but still a fine prospect.
4) Kendry Morales, 1B
Hit .306/.349/.530 in 74 games for Double-A Arkansas, overcoming a slow start. Outstanding bat speed and raw power.
5) Howie Kendrick, 2B
Hit .384 in the California League, then .342/.382/.579 after promotion to Double-A. An excellent all-around hitter with improving defense. Could win batting titles.
6) Jeff Mathis, C
Hit .276/.340/.499 with 21 homers for Triple-A Salt Lake. Batting average is low for park/league context, but other numbers were solid. Looking more like a good regular than a possible future star, but still has lots of value.
7) Steve Shell, RHP
10-8, 4.57 at Arkansas, with a 126/58 K/BB in 160 innings, 175 hits allowed. Mixed ratio set. K/BB is OK, other numbers less impressive. Will need a year of Triple-A, but he's only 22 and still on track for a good career.
8) Ervin Santana, RHP
12-8, 4.65 in 23 starts for the Angels, 99/47 K/BB in 134 innings. A very good young pitcher. Comparables include Brad Penny and Ben Sheets.
9) Alberto Callaspo, 2B
Hit .297/.346/.409 in 89 games at Arkansas, then .316/.345/.448 in 50 games for Salt Lake. More polished than Aybar at this point, but with a lower ceiling. The Angels have great wealth in middle infield prospects. Which ones will they pick?
10) Brandon Wood, SS
.321/.383/.672 at Class A Rancho Cucamonga, with 51 doubles, 43 homers, and 115 RBI. His BB/K/AB ratio of 48/128/536 is not ideal, but considering everything else he did this year, it's hard to see how it hurt him. Tremendous breakout season at age 20. While you can't expect 101 extra-base hits per season, I think his improvement was mostly genuine.
11) Dustin Moseley, RHP
4-6, 5.03 with weak 38/30 K/BB in 82 innings for Salt Lake. Hampered by injuries, and unable to trick Triple-A hitters frequently enough to overcome lack of plus stuff. Too young to give up on, but Moseley is a guy whose scouting reports have always outstripped his performance. I can no longer consider him a premium prospect.
12) Sean Rodriguez, SS
.250/.371/.422 with 14 homers, 27 steals, 78 walks at Class A Cedar Rapids. A good secondary average player, his contributions are greater than his batting average implies. No need to rush considering infielders ahead of him.
13) Kevin Jepsen, RHP
Missed almost the entire year with injury.
14) Mark Trumbo, 3B
Hit .274/.322/.458 with 10 homers in 71 games for short-season Orem in the Pioneer League. Good power, but a rather raw hitter who will need time to develop.
15) Mike Napoli, C
Hit just .237 for Arkansas, but with 31 homers, 99 RBI, and 88 walks in 131 games. Also struck out 140 times. A Mickey Tettleton-type, lots of power, will take a walk, but don't count on him to hit for much of an average.
16) Abel Moreno, RHP
Didn't pitch in the US this year, reportedly because of "visa problems".
17) Bob Zimmerman, RHP
17 saves, 3.32 ERA for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, with 62/27 K/BB in 60 innings. Faces the Double-A test in '06. Still projects as useful short reliever.
18) Maicer Izturis, SS
Hit .246/.306/.346 in 77 games for the Angels. Should have a long career as a defensive substitute and utility infielder.
19) Warner Madrigal, OF
Toolsy outfielder hit .247/.288/.420 with 15 homers for Cedar Rapids. Not a very impressive season, and his stock has dropped. Strike zone judgment an issue.
20) Baltazar Lopez, 1B
Hit .314/.368/.513 for Cedar Rapids in 2004, but just .258/.313/.320 for Rancho in 2005. Production disappeared across the board.