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The 2015 Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Prospects

Announcement: For my analysis – including Ranking the Top 250 Prospects, Ranking the Farm systems, and in-depth commentary for over 900 minor leaguers – check out my book, The 2015 Prospect Digest Handbook, now available on Amazon!

 

For an explanation on the CAL, the Comparison And Likeness prospect classification system I derived, click here.

 

 

1. Andrew Heaney, LHP

Born: 06/05/91 Age: 24 Height: 6-2   Weight: 185   B/T: L/L                                                          
Top CALs: David Huff, Brad Mills, Brandon Workman, Alex Cobb, Jeffrey Johnson
YEAR Age Level IP ERA FIP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 LOB%
2013 22 A+ 61.7 0.88 2.64 9.6 25.6% 2.5 6.6% 0.29 87.4%
2013 22 AA 33.7 2.94 3.12 6.2 16.7% 2.4 6.5% 0.53 78.0%
2014 23 AA 53.7 2.35 2.46 8.7 23.9% 2.2 6.0% 0.34 76.1%
2014 23 AAA 83.7 3.87 3.89 9.8 26.0% 2.5 6.6% 0.97 63.8%

Background: Even as a member of one of the better – and deeper – drafts in recent memory (2012), Heaney’s progression through the minor league chain has largely been unmatched. After entering pro ball as the ninth overall pick, and first collegiate southpaw taken, the 6-foot-2 hurler made a quick seven-inning stint in the Gulf before Miami pushed him up to the Sally for another 20 innings. Heaney would then open up his first full season by absolutely dominating the Florida State League, posting a lau`ghably low 0.88 ERA across 61.2 innings before Miami deemed his ready for the next challenge: Class AA. He would make another six starts with Jacksonville, posting a 3.12 FIP with solid control.

Heading into last season, though, I questioned how well Heaney, a polished collegiate arm dominating in the lower level, would rebound after seeing a significant drop in strikeouts in his brief foray into the Southern League. Well, he responded loudly – between his time with Jacksonville and New Orleans (PCL) he fanned 143 in 137.1 innings.

Miami also bounced him up to the big leagues during two stints, one near mid-June lasting for four starts, and the second coming during the season’s waning days. The Marlins would eventually ship him off to the Dodgers as part of the Dee Gordon overpay. And the Andrew Friedman-led Dodgers turned around later that day and dealt him to the Angels for Howie Kendrick

Projection: In last year’s book I wrote, “Not quite ace material, Heaney, nonetheless, should be a very good big league pitcher, something along the lines of a [good] #2/3.” After last season’s work I’d bumped that up slightly.  The Oklahoma-born southpaw has shown a tremendous ability to not only miss bats but also limit free passes, something that extends back to his collegiate days at Oklahoma State. It was a tremendous deal for the Angels, swapping a player entering his final year of team control for a very good, cost efficient starting pitcher. CAL’s a bit pessimistic, but the Alex Cobb comparison would represent the pinnacle of his talent.

Ceiling:  3.0- to 3.5-win player

Risk:  Low to Moderate

MLB ETA:  Debuted in 2014

 

 

2. Sean Newcomb, LHP

Born: 06/12/93 Age: 22 Height: 6-5   Weight: 240   B/T: L/L                                                          
Top CALs: N/A
YEAR Age Level IP ERA FIP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 LOB%
2014 21 R 3.0 3.00 7.36 9.0 25.0% 3.0 8.3% 3.00 100.0%
2014 21 A 11.7 6.94 3.31 11.6 28.9% 3.9 9.6% 0.77 54.2%

Background: Not only armed with an opening round pick for the first time since 2011 but also the club’s highest selection since it nabbed Jered Weaver 12th overall in 2004, the Angels once again dipped into the collegiate ranks and selected a potentially dominant hurler. Newcomb, a massive 6-foot-5, 240-pound left-hander out of the University of Hartford, exploded onto the scene last year. He would fan 106 and walk 38 against mostly overmatched competition. The franchise grabbed him with the 15th overall pick and he totaled just an additional 14.2 innings in pro ball.

Projection: My rather lengthy pre-draft analysis:

 “The good news: big bodied lefties with the rare ability to miss an above-average amount of bats are worth their weight in gold – literally. All of that by itself pushed Newcomb well up the draft charts but there are certainly more than a few red flags.

First: The forearm injury in 2012. Was that really just an aberration or something more? And one of the key ‘signs’ – or terms – thrown around right before Tommy John surgery is a forearm injury. Obviously, it’s not nearly that serious for Newcomb – he’s thrown about 150 innings since – but it still has to be on teams’ radars.

Second: Level of competition. The Hartford player chosen highest in the draft prior to Newcomb’s impending first round status: Jeff Bagwell, fourth round. How is he going to handle competing against vastly superior players than he was [the previous three years]?

Third: Control. The control, even in his breakout season [last] year, is still below-average.

Fourth: Decline in strikeout rate. After averaging 11.5 K/9 [in 2013], Newcomb averaged 10.26 in 2014.

A bit of a first round wild card. The ceiling is certainly high, but so is the risk. A solid #2/#3-type arm, but, again, there’s risk. Think of a left-handed version of Allen Webster.

Ceiling:  2.5- to 3.0-win player

Risk:  Moderate

MLB ETA:  2017

 

 

3. Nick Tropeano, RHP

Born: 08/27/90 Age: 24 Height: 6-4   Weight: 200   B/T: R/R                                                          
Top CALs: Garrett Olson, Jeff Locke, Scott Diamond, Simon Castro, Carlos Carrasco
YEAR Age Level IP ERA FIP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 LOB%
2012 21 A 87.3 2.78 2.77 10.0 27.2% 2.7 7.3% 0.31 75.4%
2012 21 A+ 70.7 3.31 4.35 8.8 23.1% 2.7 7.0% 1.02 69.6%
2013 22 AA 133.7 4.11 3.51 8.8 23.1% 2.6 6.9% 1.01 72.7%
2014 23 AAA 124.7 3.03 3.81 8.7 24.7% 2.4 6.8% 0.79 74.4%

Background: It’s no surprise that Houston targeted the underrated Hank Conger during the offseason. A former first round pick and top prospect, Conger got lost behind Chris Iannetta because of his perceived lack of production, but is regarded as one of the game’s top pitch framers. Despite a sample size nearly half of the three players that bettered his total, Conger still posted a 21.3 RAA last season. Anyway, the Angels have more than a few questions in the rotation and Jerry Dipoto did his best by acquiring Tropeano.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander out of Stoney Brook University made 23 appearances (20 starts) in the PCL last, throwing 124.1 innings with a 120-to-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio to go along with his 3.81 FIP. Houston called him up in the second week of September and handed him another 21.2 innings.

Projection: Tropeano’s always missed a good amount of bats and has been stingy with the free pass throughout his career, despite a fastball that sat comfortably around 90 mph during his debut. In last year’s book I pegged Tropeano as a “mid- to late-rotation-type prospect,” so it’s not surprising to see CAL link him to a handful of backend starters.

Ceiling:  2.0-win player

Risk:  Low to Moderate

MLB ETA:  Debuted in 2014

 

 

4. Cam Bedrosian, RHP

Born: 10/02/91 Age: 23 Height: 6-0   Weight: 205   B/T: R/R                                                          
Top CALs: Thomas Palica, Joey Krehbiel, Christian Meza, Adrian Rosario, Gil De La Vara
YEAR Age Level IP ERA FIP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 LOB%
2013 21 A+ 8.7 0.00 4.46 9.4 24.3% 7.3 18.9% 0.00 100.0%
2014 22 A+ 5.7 0.00 -0.49 23.8 75.0% 3.2 10.0% 0.00 100.0%
2014 22 AA 32.3 1.11 0.92 15.9 50.0% 2.8 8.8% 0.28 80.7%
2014 22 AAA 7.0 7.71 4.70 12.9 28.6% 7.7 17.1% 0.00 57.1%

Background: The son of 1987 NL All-Star and Cy Young Award winner Steve Bedrosian, who paced the league in saves with 40 that year. The younger Bedrosian, who is three inches shorter than his father, lasted only a handful of innings after entering pro ball before succumbing to Tommy John surgery, a procedure that would knock him out for the entire 2011 season. Finally healthy as a 20-year-old, the 6-foot, 205-pound right-hander struggled in 21 starts in the Midwest League and hardly resembled the hurler the organization thought they were acquiring when they drafted him 29th overall in 2010.

The Angels, perhaps giving up on his starting potential a bit too soon, pushed him into a full time relief role in 2013 and the rest, as they say, is history. Bedrosian averaged 11.4 strikeouts, more than double his previous total the year before, and 3.6 walks per nine innings in 37 games with Burlington before getting a late-season promotion to the California League. He opened last season back with Inland Empire but got bumped up to the Texas League within two weeks and spent the remainder of the year yo-yoing between Class AA, the big leagues, and the PCL.

Projection: While his quick ascension to the big leagues helps quell any questions about him potentially becoming a bust, I’m still not certain that they didn’t give up on him too quickly as a starting pitcher. Bedrosian flashed a mid-90s fastball, slider, and changeup while working out of the Angels’ pen. Big time strikeout potential with solid-average control, he could very easily one of the top three bullpen arms for the big league club next season.

Ceiling:  1.5- to 2.0-win player

Risk:  Low to Moderate

MLB ETA:  Debuted in 2014

 

 

5. Roberto Baldoquin, 2B/SS

Born: N/A   Age: 21 Height: 5-11   Weight: 176   B/T: R/R                                                          
Top CALs: N/A

Background: It took roughly a decade to the day for the club to dip their respective toes back into the Cuban free agent market, but they inked the then-20-year-old middle infielder to an $8,000,000 deal, though given the constraints placed upon international free agents the organization will be hit fairly hard with post-signing taxes that could push the deal closer to double the value.

Projection: Hat tip to ESPN SweetSpot Network site Halos Daily – and more specifically Nathan Aderhold – because it’s the only mention of Baldoquin’s production in the Cuban Serie Nacional. In 79 trips to the plate he hit .279/.372/.342. That’s it. Nothing else exists on his stats as far as I can tell. He’s basically a high round draft choice who was limited to a handful of games. Definitely a wait-and-see approach.

Ceiling:  Too Soon to Tell

Risk:  N/A

MLB ETA:  N/A

 

 

6. Alex Yarbrough, 2B

Born: 08/03/91 Age: 23 Height: 6-0   Weight: 195   B/T: B/R                                                          
Top CALs: David Nick, Frank Martinez, Scooter Gennett, Danny Santana, Hernan Perez
YEAR Age LVL PA AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO BB% K% wRC+
2012 20 A 257 .287 .320 .410 .730 .123 3.9% 7.8% 104
2012 20 AA 18 .111 .111 .167 .278 .056 0.0% 16.7% -35
2013 21 A+ 615 .313 .341 .459 .800 .146 4.4% 17.2% 108
2014 22 AA 592 .285 .321 .397 .718 .112 5.6% 20.9% 103

Background: With the trades of Jose Rondon and Taylor Lindsey to the Padres, Yarbrough becomes one of the club’s top infield prospects. Yarborough, a three-year starter at Ole Miss, spent the entire year with Arkansas in the Texas League, putting together a solid .285/.321/.397 triple-slash line with 38 doubles, four triples, and five homeruns en route to totaling a 103 wRC+. For his career, the former fourth round pick owns a .295/.327/.422 triple-slash line.

Projection: Underrated in the sense that despite spending three years playing big time college baseball, he’s just entering his age-23 season. He’s topped the league average production (barely) at every stop of his career, and CAL likens him to a bunch of utility-type guys. The Scooter Gennett comparison would be the ultimate ceiling. Yarbrough doesn’t walk a whole lot or run all that well, but he owns a solid hit tool and can flash average power. Defensively, he looks better than average.

Ceiling:  1.5-win player

Risk:  Moderate

MLB ETA:  Late 2015/Early 2016

 

 

7. Trevor Gott, RHP

Born: 08/26/92 Age: 22 Height: 6-0   Weight: 190   B/T: R/R                                                          
Top CALs: Josh Stinson, Jose Ortegano, Alex Torres, Casey Mulligan, Chris Jones
YEAR Age Level IP ERA FIP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 LOB%
2013 20 A- 4.3 2.08 1.70 16.6 40.0% 6.2 15.0% 0.00 71.4%
2013 20 A 31.7 2.56 2.99 9.4 26.0% 3.4 9.5% 0.28 73.0%
2014 21 A+ 31.3 3.16 3.97 8.9 23.3% 2.6 6.8% 0.86 74.0%
2014 21 AA 29.3 2.76 2.78 8.9 23.6% 4.9 13.0% 0.00 71.1%

Background: The 6-foot, 190-pound right-hander was a consistent dominant force working out of the University of Kentucky’s bullpen during his three-year stay, averaging nearly 12 punch outs and 3.07 walks to go along with his nice 2.30 ERA. After entering pro ball in the sixth round two years ago, Gott’s been on a mission to reach the big leagues in short order: he appeared in 27 games in Low Class A in 2013 and then spent time in the California and Texas Leagues last season. Gott, who was acquired along with Huston Street from the Padres, finished the year with 60 strikeouts and 25 free passes in 60.2 innings.

Projection: A fast moving reliever who, quite conceivably, could be among the first waves of prospects called up by the team in 2015. The strikeout rates have held firm during his rapid rise and the control is average. Gott looks like a solid eighth-inning guy, someone who could help bridge the gap to the man he was traded with.

Ceiling:  1.0- to 1.5-win player

Risk:  Low to Moderate

MLB ETA:  2015

 

 

8. Jeremy Rhoades, RHP

Born: 02/12/93 Age: 22 Height: 6-4   Weight: 225   B/T: R/R                                                          
Top CALs: John Sullivan, Eric Skoglund, Nick Maronde, Drew Shetrone, Ivor Hodgson
YEAR Age Level IP ERA FIP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 LOB%
2014 21 R 38.7 4.42 4.29 9.3 23.1% 3.5 8.7% 0.70 62.7%

Background: One of my favorite sleeper pitchers in last year’s draft class, Rhoades finally got moved into Illinois State’s rotation after a year-plus of action working as the team’s closer. He finished his collegiate career on a high note: 76.2. IP, 10.75 K/9, and 2.92 BB/9. And after pegging him as a second round talent, the Angels happily snapped him up in the fourth round, 119th overall. They pushed him all the way down to the Pioneer League, where he totaled another 38.2 innings while average 9.23 K/9 and 3.46 BB/9 en route to posting a 4.29 FIP.

Projection: Prior to the draft I wrote,

“Sneaky upside here. A team will likely be tempted to push Rhoades back into the bullpen and fast track him to the big leagues, but, again, the real value comes from his spot in the rotation. The ability to miss bats jumped to a premium this season, despite having worked the majority of his innings out of the rotation. And similar numbers in the Cape last season: 21.1 IP, 19 Ks, and 8 BB.”

I was a bit overzealous by slapping a mid-rotation ceiling on him, but Rhoades could definitely help round out a club’s rotation. He could be a breakout prospect in 2015.

Ceiling:  1.5-win player

Risk:  Moderate to High

MLB ETA:  2017

 

 

9. Natanael Delgado, OF

Born: 10/23/95 Age: 19 Height: 6-1   Weight: 170   B/T: L/L                                                          
Top CALs: Jose Caraballo, Ramon Santos, Eloy Jimenez, Ramon Marcelino, Yefri Carvajal
YEAR Age LVL PA AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO BB% K% wRC+
2013 17 R 209 .271 .311 .422 .733 .151 5.3% 20.6% 101
2014 18 R 162 .301 .333 .464 .797 .163 3.1% 21.0% 102

Background: Delgado made the bold jump as a young international free agent moving straight into the Pioneer League two years ago. And despite an often overlooked challenge, he hit a respectable .271/.311/.422 with 16 doubles, a pair of triples, three homeruns, and four stolen bases in 51 games. The Angels’ front office bumped him up to the Pioneer League, where he was still more than two years younger than the average competitor, and Delgado once again produced at the league average mark, hitting .301/.333/.464 with eight doubles, four triples, three homeruns, four stolen bases and a 102 wRC+.

Projection: Delgado’s produced at a nice level considering his age. But let’s be honest – he’s done very little to stand out in terms of overall production. With that being said, his power potential – he’s posted back-to-back ISOs of .151 and .163 – is incredibly intriguing. He’s likely heading to Low Class A in 2015. Bold prediction: he slugs 20 homeruns in one season before the end of 2016

Ceiling:  Too Soon to Tell

Risk:  N/A

MLB ETA:  N/A

 

 

10. Hunter Green, LHP

Born: 07/12/95 Age: 19 Height: 6-4   Weight: 175   B/T: L/L                                                          

 

Top CALs: N/A
YEAR Age Level IP ERA FIP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 LOB%
2013 17 R 16.7 4.32 5.75 5.9 13.6% 8.6 19.8% 0.00 57.6%

Background: After tallying just 16.2 innings in his debut, Green, a 6-foot-4 southpaw out of Warren East HS, did not appear in a game last season as he battled back issues.

Projection: He could be anything at this point – the exact same thing that could have been written entering last season. At least it wasn’t an arm issue. But back problems can linger…

Ceiling:  Still Too Soon Tell

Risk:  N/A

MLB ETA:  N/A

 

 

**All Statistics Courtesy of FanGraphs**

 

 

 



About

After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.


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  1. February 24, 2015 @ 9:36 PM Angels Spring Training – Non Roster Pitchers | Baseball Chick

    […] lefty is a top 10 Angels prospect and likely they want a good look at him during spring training.  He’s too […]

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