1. Nick Adenharthttp://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...pbp&pid=444440
Scouting Report: Nick did a fantastic job as a 20-year old at Double-A Arkansas, posting an ERA that was 5th in the league (3.65) despite going through a tough stretch that saw his ERA bloat nearly 2 runs after a month of struggles in late May and into June that eventually landed him on the DL with a sore shoulder. A nice comeback in July (posted a 2.92 ERA), Adenhart's inconsistency and command issues reared its ugly head again as he was pounded in August at the tune of a 5.01 ERA, while hitting 8 batters. He finished 5th in the Texas League in most walks given up (65 walks).
MLB Player Comparison: Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Roy Halladay
2. Brandon Woodhttp://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...pbp&pid=457420
Scouting Report: One has to wonder what totals Wood would have if he didn't get recalled 3 times to the parent club in '07, seeing just 21 sporadic at bats before September. Brandon is a legitimate power hitter that can hit the ball out of any ball park and to all fields, though he did have trouble going the other way, pulling off the ball on the outer half. His extra-bases were down in '07 after leading the minors in two straight seasons, failing also to post a .500 slugging pct. in what is an extreme hitter's league & park in Salt Lake. Wood needs to improve his discipline at the plate as opposing pitchers took advantage of his over-aggressiveness which had him fanning once every 3.6 at bats. Though he did match his breakout season in '05 in his walk-strikeout ratio (.38).
MLB Comparison: Troy Glaus, Cal Ripken
3. Hank Conger http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...pbp&pid=474233
Scouting Report: Conger battled injuries that have slowed his development, suffering a broken hamate bone in his right hand in his pro debut, sapping his power in '07, followed by missing 6 weeks mid-season with a lower back problem, followed by a hamstring injury entering fall ball. Be that as it may, the Angels have themselves a legitimate switch-hitting power threat from the catching position, which is a rare find.
MLB Player Comparison: Ted Simmons, Thurman Munson, Jorge Posada
4. Sean O'Sullivanhttp://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...pbp&pid=457711
Scouting Report: The Angels were pleased with O'Sullivan's 2007 in so much that they tabbed him as their minor league pitcher of the ear. O'Sullivan had a microscopic ERA of 2.22 in the Midwest League, winning his second ERA title in consecutive seasons' (2.14 ERA in Rookie Ball in '06). Despite being one of the youngest hurlers in the league, O'Sullivan looks like a veteran on the hill as he pounds the strike zone with a low 90's sinker, a slider with heavy action and a changeup that projects to be an above average pitch. His fastball is usually in the 91-93 MPH range, but he commands it very well on both sides of the plate. Sean's 6-1, 220 pound frame will need to be kept in check as he'll need to work hard at staying in shape so that can continue to go deep into games and avoid injuries, which he has been able to do thus far.
MLB Player Comparison: Fausto Carmona, Derek Lowe
5. Jordan Waldenhttp://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...pbp&pid=477229
Scouting Report: The Angels much like they did with Adenhart and on a lesser extend with 3rd round draft-and-follow O'Sullivan, got a steal in Jordan Walden who slipped to the 12th round as a draft-and-follow pick by the Angels for $1 million. Tabbed by Baseball America in January of 2006 as the best high school prospect in the nation entering the draft, his velocity dropped into the 87-89 MPH range as did questions surrounding his signability, so the Angels signed Jordan a day before being eligible to go back into the 2007 draft.
MLB Player Comparison: Brad Penny, Josh Beckett
1. The Orem Owlz, the Entire Team
Past 10 Games: 9-1 Record
Overall: 19-5 Second Half Record, Division Winners in the 1st Half
In a season that saw Tom Kotchman earn his 1500th managerial win, the Orem Owlz are dominating their league. They find ways to win each and every game. There are many potential stars on this team, and many potential Top-50 prospects here.
Some names to note:
Castillo, Angel, RF, 289/347/539 with 13 HRs, 46 runs and 43 RBIs
Giovanatto, Donato, DH, 312/384/488 with 8 HRs, 39 runs and 31 RBIs
Jimenez, Luis, 3B, 318/352/628 with 14 HRs, 50 runs and 58 RBIs
Lopez, Roberto, 1B, 401/482/650 with 12 HRs, 63 runs and 58 RBIs
Perez, Darwin, SS, 290/402/435 with 51 runs and 12 SBs
Boshers, Jeff, SP (LH), 4-0, 2.66 ERA with 35:19 K:BB in 40.2 IPs
Kohn, Michael, RP (RH), 2-0, 2.29 ERA with 36:9 K:BB in 19.2 IPs
Miller, Jayson, SP (LH), 7-2, 2.01 ERA with 61:7 K:BB in 71.2 IPs
Perez, Jose, SP (RH), 5-2, 4.17 ERA with 77:8 K:BB in 58.1 IPs
Scholl, Chris, RP (RH), 3-1, 1.82 ERA with 39: 13 K: BB in 39.2 IPs
Thorne, Jeremy, RP(RH), 0-0, 0.39 ERA with 6 saves and 17 Ks in 23.1 IPs
2. Brandon Wood, INF, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 12/34 (353), 2 Doubles, 3 HRs, 5 Runs, 12 RBIs, 1 SB
For all those who thought that Wood was a failed prospect, they need to revisit him again. In the second half of 2008, he has been a totally different player. He has worked to shorten his swing and has not lost the power. He is striking out substantially less (18:37 BB:K ratio) and has been putting on a major power display. Most likely he should go to winter ball to continue this offensive progress, but, more importantly to define and refine his defensive position. It seems very likely that he will break with the big league camp next year, so, there is the question as to where he will play. However, what no longer seems to be a question is if he is ready to hit in the majors. This second half has clearly answered that question.
3. Drew Touissant, OF, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: 14/38 (368), 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 2 HRs, 6 Runs, 14 RBIs
Another fine showing for Drew. He appears to have mastered the Cal League in almost all respects. He still needs to work on his plate discipline (he had 0 walks compared to 8 SOs in the past 10 games and a 14:96 BB:K rate for the season). However, next year should see him starting in Arkansas. Hopefully he’ll take better to the higher level competition next year than he did this year.
4. Ryan Mount, 2B, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: 15/45 (333), 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 3 HRs, 9 Runs, 9 RBIs, 1 SB
In our top 50 prospect list at the start of the season, we said this about our 28th ranked left-handed hitting infielder: “Ryan has some pop, but profiles to hit more doubles at higher levels, though he may enjoy a breakout season in terms of slugging pct. in the hitting friendly California League. Mount runs well, has average speed and moves well going into the hole, while showing a slightly above average arm. Profiles to be an adequate 2B with a chance to provide some offense along the way. Keep an eye on him in '08 as some project him to breakout.” That still holds true for him today. Ryan is finally posting more of the power that we projected (he’s had 8 dingers in August and 6 in July), so maybe this is the breakout that was projected for him.
5. Jordan Walden, SP, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 4 Starts: 3-0, 0 Saves, 2.66 ERA, 23.2 IP, 18 H, 9 BB, 22 K, 1.14 WHIP
After struggling when promoted to the high octane Cal League, Jordan is bringing the heat. When I saw him pitch a few weeks ago, you could tell the ball was popping into the catcher’s mitt with a different sound. His breaking pitch was crisp, and he was setting hitters up well (he had 9 Ks that night in 7 innings). Most likely he will stay as a starter (where he could be front-end material with his 98+ mph heat), but he needs a more dominating third pitch to succeed at the higher levels. However, if he cannot master one, I can see him becoming a very successful closer. Either way, he has ML material.
6. Gabriel Jacobo, 1B, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 10 Games: 14/38 (333), 3 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 3 Runs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs
With a current 10-game hitting streak in progress, Gabe’s pushing hard to help the Kernels earn a playoff berth. Since his promotion from Orem earlier this year, Gabe’s hitting has remained constant (he had a 327 BA in Orem and has the same overall at Cedar Rapids). Most likely Gabe could start at Rancho next year where he could have a breakout season.
7. Freddy Sandoval, 3B, Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 Games: 14/42 (333), 5 Doubles, 0 Triple, 1 HR, 7 Runs, 9 RBIs, 0 SBs
A sleeper prospect if ever there was one, Freddy has a shot to earn a roster spot next year as the backup corner infielder. He has been rather consistent throughout the year. He has good plate discipline (46:72 BB:K ratio) and hits well with runners on (361) and in scoring position (391). He’s a switch hitter and has posted a 316/379/456 vs. lefties and 336/388/540 split. If the Angels decide to forego Quinlan next year, watch for Sandoval to battle it out with Matt Brown to earn the final bench spot. Brown has more power, but Sandoval has better discipline and is less prone to streaks.
8. Robert Fish, SP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 4 Games: 2-0, 0 Saves, 1.21 ERA, 25.1 IP, 21 H, 6 BB, 20 K, 1.07 WHIP
Robert has had a Jekyll and Hyde season. He’s been great for month long stretches, such as in April, June and August, and not so great in May and July. In the good months he’s posted a 3.45 ERA. In the bad months, a 7.31 ERA. Robert has been allowing too many walks and too many fly balls (he has a 0.97 GO/AO ratio) to be successful at the higher levels. However, he is young (he’s 20) and a lefty. So, a repeat of the Midwest league may be in order for him with a chance at a promotion to Rancho later next year.
9. Naldy Calderon, RP, Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Past 4 Games: 2-0, 0 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 0.55 WHIP
Drafted in the 10th round of the 2006 draft, this lefty was another Tom Kotchman find out of Lake City Florida Junior College. His command has improved from last year where he posted a 27:19 K:BB ratio. He’s mostly a fly-ball pitcher (he has a 0.97 GO/AO ratio). We should get a better chance to see him next year at Rancho where he will be challenged by many of the ballparks. Hopefully he will be able to succeed there with such a high fly-ball ratio.
10. Peter Bourjos, OF, Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Past 10 Games: 15/45 (333), 5 Doubles, 1 HRs, 7 Runs, 4 RBIs
It’s been a while since Peter has cracked the Top 10 Hot Prospect List. He has been struggling and bounced around in the lineup of late. Of concern is his lack of patience at the plate (when I saw him he was pressing hard and flailing at pitches out of the zone) and his recent lack of speed on the bases. Since the start of July, he’s only had 4 walks and 6 SBs while striking out 45 times and getting caught stealing 7 times. Hopefully Eddie Bane can give us some more insight as to what is going on with him as he still profiles to be a fixture in our outfield in the next few years.