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  1. #31
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    ANAHEIM -- On a Major League club with a high payroll and World Series expectations, it's only natural for a farm system's ranking to descend over time.

    But you don't expect a flat-out free fall.

    That, essentially, is what has happened to the Angels over the last eight years. In 2005, Baseball America awarded the Halos' Minor League talent with the No. 1 ranking in all of baseball. Now, thanks partly to that, the club's Major League roster is once again a championship contender -- but the organization's farm system is expected to finish dead last when the publication releases its 2013 list this March.

    Second-year general manager Jerry Dipoto, who mostly inherited the downtrodden farm system he now strives to turn around, quickly points to the subjectivity of those rankings. But he admits the Angels' organization has "a lot of room to improve," even though he doesn't really have to -- the lack of trade chips at his disposal and the relative absence of top-tier Minor League talent says it for him.

    "Even if you're always going to be a team that's going to use your farm system more for trading chips than not, you still need to have those chips, so you do have to replenish the stock, even for those purposes," said MLB.com Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo, whose top 100 prospects will be unveiled on MLB Network on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. PT.

    "Some of it is cyclical, in general," said Mayo. "A lot of teams, outside of the ones who just really are good at continually replenishing their system, there's going to be ups and downs."

    Attrition through graduation

    As one executive said, "Six to eight years is basically the lifespan of a prospect, from getting drafted to coming up through the system, hitting the Major Leagues and playing in his pre-arbitration years."

    And for the Angels, the upward movement of those prospects is the most glaring reason why their organization is currently thin.

    Baseball America's 2005 list had Major Leaguers Casey Kotchman, Erick Aybar, Jeff Mathis, Kendrys Morales, Ervin Santana, Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo all in the top 10. Mark Trumbo ranked 11th; Joe Saunders was 13th; Sean Rodriguez, Dustin Moseley and Maicer Izturis were 14th through 16th, respectively; the late Nick Adenhart was 20th; and Mike Napoli came in at 29th.

    They also graduated 21-year-old Mike Trout, the reigning American League Rookie of the Year Award winner and a once-in-a-generation talent. The Angels ranked 19th in 2011 and, as Baseball America editor-in-chief John Manuel said, "Trout was responsible for last year's ranking mostly by himself."

    This April, the Angels could have up to 12 homegrown players on their Opening Day roster: Callaspo, Aybar, Trumbo, Trout, Kendrick, Peter Bourjos, Jered Weaver, Kevin Jepsen, Garrett Richards, Hank Conger, Andrew Romine and Kole Calhoun. Five of them (Trout, Bourjos, Richards, Conger and Calhoun) are 25 or younger, even though only one of those (Calhoun) meets the service-time requirement to still be tabbed a "prospect."

    That can only be looked at as a scouting-and-development success by the Angels, regardless of where their organization may currently rank.

    "If you look at a system as just the 26-and-under players and think about that as your core," the executive said, "I think [the Angels] are in much better shape."

    The price for contention

    It's not just money you spend on big-name players; sometimes it's prospects and picks in the First-Year Player Draft, too.

    For the Angels, who will have a payroll of about $160 million in 2013, that has especially been the case these last few years.

    They dealt Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith to the Royals to get Callaspo on July 22, 2010. Three days later, top prospects Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs were sent to the D-backs to help nab Dan Haren, with Dipoto serving as Arizona's interim GM at the time.

    Then Dipoto orchestrated some trades of his own. He sent Tyler Chatwood to the Rockies for Chris Iannetta in November 2011, Alexi Amarista and Donn Roach for Ernesto Frieri in May 2012, and three solid prospects -- Jean Segura, John Hellweg and Ariel Pena -- for two months of Zack Greinke this past July.

    Add that, and the loss of early Draft picks due to compensation tied to several high-profile free agents, and that's reason enough for a farm system to erode.

    The Angels didn't have a pick in the second round in 2006 (due to the signing of Jeff Weaver), either of the first two rounds in '07 (Gary Matthews Jr. and Justin Speier), the first round of '08 (Torii Hunter), the second round in '11 (Scott Downs) and the first two rounds of '12 (Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson). Then there was the December signing of Josh Hamilton, which eliminated their first-round choice in this June's Draft.

    Those were the trade-offs.

    But there were also slipups.

    The 2010 Draft

    The loss of franchise favorites John Lackey and Chone Figgins presented the Angels with a rare opportunity heading into the 2010 Draft.

    They had three picks in the first round and two compensation choices right after that, totaling five selections among the top 40. This was their chance -- yet another one, after a nice haul in '09 -- to restock a thinning farm system and make up for an absence in Latin America.

    Problem: "They picked a wrong time to have all those picks," one executive said. "It was just a weird Draft class."

    The pool wasn't rich on high school talent with great upside, a preferred target under scouting director Eddie Bane, and even the usually safer college arms -- guys like Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, Matt Harvey and Barret Loux -- perceivably had their individual warts.

    The Angels, thusly, flopped.

    They took Kaleb Cowart, Cam Bedrosian, Chevy Clarke, Taylor Lindsey and Ryan Bolden, respectively, with their first five selections. Of the 55 players they chose in that Draft, only Cowart (ranked first in the Angels' system by MLB.com), Lindsey (third) and Calhoun (fifth) are what you'd call "on schedule."

    Bedrosian struggled mightily in his return from Tommy John surgery in Class A last year, Clarke was still playing rookie ball midway through and Bolden has hit below .200 in three seasons with the Arizona League team.

    "The 2010 Draft," one writer said, "could wind up as a disaster."

    Latin American non-existence

    For a while, under former international supervisor of scouting Clay Daniel, the Angels were a force in Latin America, an avenue which brought in the likes of Aybar, Santana and Morales.

    But in June 2009, Daniel was dismissed by former GM Tony Reagins over reported concerns that his scouts were skimming bonuses. And with that, the Angels essentially went dark in Latin America for a couple of years, until Marc Russo was able to start rebuilding in November 2010.

    "You don't have to hand out seven-figure bonuses to find quality prospects in Latin America, but you need to have a strong scouting presence there and a budget that at least allows you to be competitive, and the Angels had neither for a couple of years," Baseball America national writer Ben Badler wrote in an email. "That's why you see a lack of quality international players on their teams in the lower levels of the system, like the Pioneer League and the Midwest League."

    When Dipoto arrived in November 2011, the Angels had just two full-time scouts in Latin America -- one each in the two most critical nations, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic -- with a few part-time area scouts scattered throughout. Some teams have up to five full-time evaluators in each of the two nations.

    As a result, they ranked 28th in estimated international amateur spending in 2010 ($617,000) and 24th in 2011 ($1.35 million), then allocated about the same in 2012.

    "Getting the scouts in place, giving those guys the proper direction and the resources to go sign players -- that's what it's going to take," said Angels assistant GM Scott Servais, who was brought in by Dipoto to oversee scouting and player development. "We've made a few changes. We're not at the level that we need to be, but I think we're headed in the right direction."
    http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/new...s_ana&c_id=ana

    Thought this was a good article analyzing the downfall of the Angels system. Gonzalez is releasing another article on Friday. This was written before MLB.com gave the Angels only one prospect (Kaleb Cowart) on the Top 100 Prospects list. He was ranked at #67.

  2. #32
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    great article, though depressing.

  3. #33
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    yeah this was a pretty good article, and that 2010 draft was pretty awful, while there were good prospects in it, it pretty much was a crap shoot.

  4. #34
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    wow great article, some huge points that got me thinking, are you ***&Ing kidding me?

    "Daniel was dismissed by former GM Tony Reagins over reported concerns that his scouts were skimming bonuses. And with that, the Angels essentially went dark in Latin America for a couple of years, until Marc Russo was able to start rebuilding in November 2010."

    "When Dipoto arrived in November 2011, the Angels had just two full-time scouts in Latin America -- one each in the two most critical nations, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic -- with a few part-time area scouts scattered throughout. Some teams have up to five full-time evaluators in each of the two nations.

    As a result, they ranked 28th in estimated international amateur spending in 2010 ($617,000) and 24th in 2011 ($1.35 million), then allocated about the same in 2012."

    Reagins has got to be absolutely one of the top 5 worst GM's in history of MLB. I can understand getting rid of a scout that might have been doing shady things, but how do you not replace that position or develop it further???

    L.A. Angels/ Atlanta Falcons/ Anaheim Ducks/ L.A. Clippers

  5. #35
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    well since there will be less supplemental picks from now on, our 2nd rounder could yield some good value.

  6. #36
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    @Alden_Gonzalez: C.J. Cron, recovering from shoulder surgery, doing everything except throw in Minor League camp. Targeting playing 1B by Opening Day, in AA.

    __________________________________._________

  7. #37
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    Great News!

  8. #38
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    when we start signing international free agents.....

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GA16Angels View Post
    Why does it seem like we always draft players with terrible plate discipline? Name me one player (besides Mike Trout) on an MLB team who we developed that has the ability to get on base consistently.
    you know peter bourjos isn't bad at it, and seems like he actually improved.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigGuy951 View Post
    Great News!
    yeah i am glad he will be ready for opening day in AA

  10. #40
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    Can't tell if being sarcastic or.....

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban View Post
    you know peter bourjos isn't bad at it, and seems like he actually improved.
    ......

    .327 OBP in 2011

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by GA16Angels View Post
    ......

    .327 OBP in 2011
    Stop living in the past

    What really matters is the now and he has a 1.000 OBP in 2013 Spring Training
    __________________________________._________

  13. #43
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    I thought I was going to have more time to do a write up for each player but I have been way to busy with school. This was my list

    1. 3B Kaleb Cowart
    2. SP Nick Maronde
    3. 1B C.J. Cron
    4. OF Randal Grichuk
    5. OF Travis Witherspoon
    6. OF Kole Calhoun
    7. 3B Luis Jimenez
    8. 2B Taylor Lindsey
    9. RP R.J. Alvarez
    10. RP Steven Geltz
    11. SP. A.J. Schugel
    12. SP Eswarlin Jimenez
    13. 2B Alex Yarbrough
    14. RP Daniel Tillman
    15. C Zach Wright
    16. SS Eric Stamets
    17. SP Austin Wood
    18. OF Jonathan Walsh
    19. SP Michael Clevinger
    20. 1B Wade Hinkle

    Almost Made It

    RP Ryan Chaffee
    3B Michael Snyder
    RP Ty Kelley
    RP Buddy Boshers
    RP Caleb Graham

    Break Out Candidate

    1. SS Jose Rondon
    2. OF Chevy Clarke
    3. 2B Sherman Johnson
    4. RP Reid Scoggins
    5. SS Pedro Toribio
    6. RP Nick Mutz

    There probably would have been some minor adjustments along the way but it would have been very close to that
    __________________________________._________

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GA16Angels View Post
    ......

    .327 OBP in 2011
    it was that low bcause of his avg compare that .327 obp to his avg and you will see its about 90 points above. I think if he can hit for a decent avg he can have an OBP of like .350 or better

  15. #45
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    Btw vladdy Chevy Clarke isn't going to break out lol

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