2014 Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Prospect

By
Updated: January 22, 2014
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After a long delay – something measured in the months, not days -  I have a bit of an announcement to make: I will be publishing the first ever Prospect Digest Annual sometime late January/early February.

The Prospect Digest Annual will feature each organization’s Top 30 Prospects, ranking the farm systems, and several additional articles.

Until the big day happens, I will be posting each organization’s Top 10 Prospects, starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Enjoy!

For more Top Prospects click HERE

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1. Taylor Lindsey, Position: 2B, Age: 22

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

AA

566

119

.274

.339

.441

8.5%

16.1%

.167

22

6

17

4/8

Profile: Because the comp is just way too easy to make:

Name

Age

Level

AVG

OBP

SLG

2B

3B

HR

SB/CS

K%

BB%

Taylor Lindsey

21

AA

0.274

0.339

0.441

22

6

17

4/8

8.5%

16.1%

Chase Utley

22

A+

0.257

0.324

0.422

25

2

16

19/27

7.1%

16.8%

Lyndsey, like Utley, was a former first round pick, swings from the left-side and, you guessed, plays second base. Unlike his positional counterpart, Lindsey has been aggressively pushed through the minor leagues, skipping low Class and heading to Inland Empire as a 20-year-old and then playing the entire 2013 season as one of the youngest players in the Texas League.

Overall, Lindsey owns a career .297/.344/.454 minor league line.

Analysis: Do I think Lyndsay is the second coming of borderline HoFer Chase Utley? No, of course not. But Lyndsay should develop into a perennial All Star offensive contributor at the keystone, offering up a decent eye at the plate, 20+ HR power, and strong contact skills.

His development last season, for the record, could be one of the factors in the Angels exploring deals for current second sacker Howie Kendrick.

Ceiling: 4.0- to 4.5-win

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

2. Zachary Borenstein, Position: LF/RF, Age: 23

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

A+

465

163

.337

.403

.631

9.2%

18.9%

.295

22

7

28

5/10

Profile: One of the top offensive performers in the minor leagues last season, Borenstein, a 23rd round pick out of Eastern Illinois University in 2011, topped the Cal League offensive production average by 63%. All the more impressive is that Inland Empire tends to deflate offensive numbers, and he hit .327/.388/.551 at home.

Analysis: Borenstein hasn’t stopped hitting since, well, I don’t know when. He posted OPSs of at least .973 during his three-year collegiate career, owns a career .303/.380/.554 minor league line, and has posted wRC+ totals of at least 125.

Solid eye, power’s an above-average tool, the contact rates are pretty strong, and he shows no major platoon splits. Depending upon his defense, Borenstein could be a potential 3.5-win player.

Ceiling: 3.0 to 3.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

3. Kaleb Cowart, Position: 3B, Age: 22

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

AA

546

65

.221

.279

.301

7.0%

22.7%

.080

20

1

6

14/19

Profile: Admittedly, I’ve never really understood the hype surrounding Cowart. And that’s before his stock went all nuclear and self-imploded last season. Coming off of a solid, not spectacular year split between low Class A and high Class A in 2012 (.276/.358/.452), Cowart batted just .221/.279/.301 in his debut in the Texas League.

Analysis: Cowart, a switch-hitting third baseman, actually posted the highest line-drive rate of his career last season, 19.2%. That’s definitely a strong, strong sign for a bounce back. His BABIP, .280, didn’t exactly collapse, so maybe he was dealing his an undisclosed injury or mental problem.

He has a chance to develop into a better than average third baseman; it just seems like a lot longer odds now than the previous year.

Ceiling: 3.0- to 3.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

4. C.J. Cron, Position: 1B, Age: 24

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

AA

565

107

.274

.319

.428

4.1%

14.7%

.154

36

1

14

8/12

Profile: The player chosen directly after Cron in the first round three years ago: Sonny Gray. Oops. It’s not that Cron is a poor prospect; he’s not. It’s just that, well, he’s not really a great one either.

After posting back-to-back seasons of .430/.500/.800 production at Utah, the club selected the 6-foot-4 first baseman with the 17th overall pick and he’s been on a slight decline ever since, posting wRC+ totals of 140, 112, and 107.

Analysis: The power is an above-average tool, though it did take a step backward last season. But the patience and overall hit tool aren’t anything to write home about. Cron is heading into a very pivotal year, quite frankly, one more league average performance more than likely dooms his chances as a potential league average regular.

Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

5. R.J. Alvarez, Position: RHP, Age: 23

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A+

47.2

3.02

2.21

14.35

4.72

37.4%

12.3%

0.38

35.0%

Profile: After punching out 38 in 27.1 innings during his debut in low Class A, Alvarez upped the ante last season. His strikeout percentage, 37.4%, was among the best in the minors.

Analysis: Control is clearly going to be an issue. But, damn, the strikeout numbers are enough to help compensate. If he can post average-ish walk rate, Alvarez could be one of the better late-inning options in the big leagues.

Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

6. Nick Maronde, Position: LHP, Age: 24

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

AA

56.1

3.51

4.01

10.07

5.91

25.7%

15.1%

0.64

42.0%

Profile: Signed by the father of Casey Kotchman, Maronde, a third round pick out of Florida in 2011, spent the majority of the year in Class AA where he averaged 10.07 K/9 and a whopping 5.91 BB/9. He also got his second brief call-up to LA.

Analysis: Low 90s heat with an above-average ability to miss bats. Oh, coming from the left side definitely increases his big league stock. Last year’s spike in his walk rate, 5.9 BB/9, should prove to be an anomaly given his track record.

Ceiling: 1.0- to 1.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate to Above-Average

 

7. Hunter Green, Position: LHP, Age: 18

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

RK

16.2

4.32

N/A

5.94

8.64

13.6%

19.8%

0.00

N/A

Profile: The club’s first selection last season, though it didn’t come till the 59th pick, Green appeared in just eight games in the Arizona Summer League, throwing just 16.2 innings of pretty shitty ball.

Analysis: Nothing to go. Big (6-foot-4) and left-handed.

Ceiling: Too Soon to Tell

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: N/A

 

8. Kyle McGowin, Position: RHP, Age: 22

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

RK

12.1

6.57

4.03

8.03

3.65

20.8%

9.4%

1.46

44.4%

Profile: The highest player ever chosen from Savannah State, McGowin took a huge developmental step forward during his junior season – 120.1 IP, 134 K, and 31 BB.

Analysis: Pre-draft evaluation: “McGowin’s likely to be the highest player picked from Savannah State. And while his numbers are certainly impressive, the level of competition has to be taken into account. He does, however, rank in the top 30 K-rates among DI players. He’s a very, very tough read. For now, though, he looks like a #4/5-type guy.”

Ceiling: 1.0- to 1.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

9. Tyler DeLoach, Position: LHP, Age: 23

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A

70.0

3.34

2.88

10.16

2.83

27.9%

7.8%

0.64

35.2%

Profile: Standing an impressive 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, DeLoach had a solid showing in low Class A last season, fanning 10.16 K/9 and walking just 2.83 BB/9.

Analysis: Very, very interesting (as I methodically stroke my non-existent maniacal beard). Big, big frame. Huge K-rate. Solid control. Definitely a breakout candidate for next season.

Ceiling: 1.0- to 1.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low

 

10. Michael Morin, Position: RHP, Age: 23

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A+

39.0

1.85

2.14

9.92

1.15

29.7%

3.4%

0.46

37.5%

AA

31.0

2.03

2.58

9.58

1.45

26.8%

4.1%

0.58

48.2%

Profile: File this one under the where-the-hell-did-that-come-from? Morin, UNC’s closer for his final two seasons, posted a combined 2.39 SIERA while averaging 9.77 K/9 and a miniscule 1.29 BB/9.

Analysis: Probably a half-season away from being big league ready. Morin has always averaged about a punch-per-inning going back to his college days, so it looks like a sustainable skill moving forward. Setup arm.

Ceiling: 1.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

 

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