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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

WATCH LIST UPDATE
It's only been a couple of week since I last did this -- July 11, to be exact -- but some players have been really hot (Brandon Wood) and some have been really cold (Mike Napoli), and there have been some promotions, and I'm feeling the bug. So here we go.

Erick Aybar
SS, AA Arkansas

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 383 106 22 7 4 19 41 277 325 402
Then 325 93 18 6 4 17 34 286 338 415
A minislump across the board, you have to wonder if this is the reason he hasn't been moved up with his Keystone Kompanion Alberto Callaspo. Even though we're talking about a twenty-one-year-old in his first exposure to AA, these numbers are not terribly impressive: a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2:1, drawing a walk for every twenty at-bats (the standard is around ten). Since he's so young, the fact that he's holding his own is sufficiently impressive -- but, quite frankly, Wood is blowing past him on the Angel prospect list, despite Aybar's purporteldy sterling defense, and you have to wonder if Aybar won't be moved soon (either to AAA or another organization) to allow Wood to come to AA. It strikes me that Aybar is Available Prospect #1 in the Angel system right now.

Alberto Callaspo
2B, AAA Salt Lake

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 51 11 2 2 0 4 2 216 268 333
Now 350 104 9 0 10 28 17 297 346 409 AA Final
Then 333 100 9 0 9 27 16 300 350 408
Though that's a solid AA performance, you have to think that the real reason he got promoted was to make room for Howie Kendrick at Arkansas. That Callaspo might slump upon reaching AAA is no surprise; he struggled in his first season at AA last season, before adjusting and playing pretty well this year.

Nick Gorneault
OF, AAA Salt Lake

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 345 99 18 9 18 38 85 287 356 548
Then 304 88 16 8 15 28 74 289 346 543
Ho-hum. I'm actually pretty curious to see how this guy would do in the majors -- the free-swinging might get to him, but he has raised his walk rate this year (and over his last 50 plate appearances in particular), so maybe he would adjust well. He has a middling defensive rep, so I don't know that he could really fill the shoes of Rivera or DaVanon. So don't get me wrong, I'm not campaigning for a call-up; I'm just curious, that's all. If he's not part of a trade, he could end up being an interesting bench option in September.

Howie Kendrick
2B, AA Arkansas

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 41 14 5 0 1 0 4 341 341 537
Now 279 107 23 6 12 14 42 384 421 638 A Final
Then 257 95 21 5 11 14 39 370 409 619
Upon reaching AA, Kendrick has immediately gone into a terrible slump. I mean, .341? Dude, at least try out there, okay? We know you can do better.

But, seriously, draw a walk. Do you think you're Vlad or something? Hell, even if Kendrick develops into the pre-2002 Garret Anderson, that alongside competent second base defense would make for a valuable player. At his current pace, that looks like a worst-case scenario. If he rips up the Texas League from here on out, he might even start 2006 at AAA, next to Aybar (or possibly Callaspo), or -- who knows? -- possibly at third base. As for how quickly he can make the majors, it might depend on how quickly his glove can catch up with his bat.

Baltasar Lopez
1B, A Rancho Cucamonga

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 182 46 10 0 0 17 55 253 312 308
Then 151 38 9 0 0 16 44 252 320 311
Coming off an injury, Baltasar, sadly, has picked up right where he left off. It's going to be tough for him to get playing time with Clifton Remole (313/352/470 in 134 AB at A, and a possible Watch List addition in the near future) now in the mix, and the chances of Lopez still being on this list next year are remote.

Warner Madrigal
OF, A Cedar Rapids

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 292 68 14 1 12 15 67 233 273 411
Then 251 57 12 1 11 15 60 227 274 414
It's a shame that the two Angel position prospects with the best names -- Baltasar Lopez and Warner Madrigal -- have struggled so much this year.

Jeff Mathis
C, AAA Salt Lake

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 307 88 21 2 14 32 65 287 354 505
Then 261 74 19 2 12 27 58 284 351 510
I just discussed him a bit yesterday.

Kendry Morales
1B, AA Arkansas

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 135 32 5 0 4 8 23 237 280 363
Then 82 21 5 0 4 5 15 256 299 463
Kendry had bounced back pretty well from an 0-11 start at Arkansas, but promptly went into another tailspin. Just adding that up for you, that's a 208/250/208 line over the past couple of weeks. Maybe Casey Kotchman can breathe easier for a little bit.

Mike Napoli
C/1B, AA Arkansas

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 315 76 18 1 19 67 99 241 380 486
Then 262 69 17 1 16 59 85 263 404 519
Napoli was suffering an 8-56 slump when I last did this, and has gone 7-53 since: that's a 15-109 (.138 average) going back over the last month or so. More than half of those hits have been home runs, and he can still draw some walks, but where have the hits gone? This kind of slump can be a real sobriety check for prospect-watchers; a half-season is not always enough to legitimize excitement. Hopefully Napoli can bounce back.

Sean Rodriguez
SS, A Cedar Rapids

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 310 81 20 3 6 57 58 261 388 403
Then 268 71 17 3 5 48 48 265 389 407
Meet the new line, same as the old line.

Drew Toussaint
2B/OF, A Cedar Rapids

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 281 79 20 2 16 31 86 281 356 537
Then 233 67 17 2 12 28 71 288 368 532
His strikeouts are his only Achilles' heel, though I guess some might consider the twenty-two-year-old too old for the low A classification. He might have to move quickly to avoid the Nick Gorneault career path, but let's see how he finishes off the year and not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Mark Trumbo
1B, R Orem

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 142 39 15 0 3 7 38 275 307 444
Then 78 23 10 0 2 5 22 295 337 500
Discipline! Discipline! You must learn plate discipline! Of course, he's just nineteen.

Reggie Willits
OF, AA Arkansas

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 343 102 16 4 0 43 52 297 376 367
Then 285 88 16 4 0 39 38 309 390 393
No disprespect meant to Willits, but it's somewhat alarming that he is our most advanced center field prospect; the position at Salt Lake is manned by minor league veteran Chris Prieto (325/432/489 -- but is 33 years old), who had a brief cup of coffee earlier this season. At Rancho, center is manned by Jason Sugden, who is hitting an unimpressive 235/278/339. With Steve Finley hardly proving to be even a short-term solution at this point, this should be an area of concern for the organization.

Brandon Wood
SS, A Rancho Cucamonga

When?  AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
Now 391 126 35 3 34 36 83 322 386 688
Then 338 100 28 3 28 30 74 296 357 645
Um, wow. In the past few weeks, Wood has gone 26-53 (a .491 average), posted a .542 OBP, hit 6 HR, and blasted a slugging percentage of .962.

I'm unconvinced that he has anything left to prove in A.

Nick Adenhart
SP, Arizona League

When?   W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 0 1 0 7 7 16.0 15 0 16 17 5.63
Then 0 0 0 4 4 8.7 5 0 9 9 1.04
He doesn't turn 19 for a month, and is still fresh off of Tommy John surgery. So I'm not worried.

Steve Andrade
RP, AA New Hampshire (Blue Jays org)

When?   W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 1 2 3 22 0 31.7 12 2 43 10 2.27
Then 1 2 1 16 0 22.7 9 1 28 10 2.78
After a rough outing or two coming off the DL, Andrade has pitched nine innings in which he has allowed three hits, one earned run on a solo homer, struck out fifteen, and walked zero. I'm sorry, but Andrade is about as well-suited to pitch relief in AA as Brandon Wood is to hit in A. FREE STEVE ANDRADE!

Daniel Davidson
SP, AA Arkansas

When?   W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 9 5 0 21 19 113.3 124 11 84 34 4.53
Then 7 4 0 18 16 97.0 110 11 63 31 4.64
That's a pretty good stretch for Davidson, who has seen some struggles this season. But he has a 21:3 SO:BB ratio over his last 16 innings, only giving up 14 hits in that span, and notching a 2-1 record.

NEW ADDITION!
Gustavo Espinoza
SP, Arizona League

When?   W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 3 1 0 7 6 38.7 28 0 34 6 1.63
Who the hell is Gustavo Espinoza?

I've been anxiously awaiting this guy's appearance stateside since I first perused the Angel farmhands in the Media Guide this spring, and I'm glad to spring him upon you right now.

Espinoza will turn 19 years old in September. Last year, for the Angels' Dominican Republic team, Espinoza ... well, hell, the stats aren't online. I'll check the Media Guide this evening, but for now, suffice to say he struck out tons of guys, walked very few guys, allowed scarce hits, and denied many runs to his opponents. The Arizona League team manager, Brian Harper, has said that some have compared Espinoza to Johan Santana (it was on the Future Angels blog, so I can't link to it directly). That seems a bit ridiculous to say about a 19-year-old, so let's not get too excited, but this is a name that we're probably going to be hearing in the next couple of years. So get used to it, and pray he stays healthy.

Abel Moreno
Stuck in the Dominican thanks to visa problems, and has not played.

Steve Shell
SP, AA Arkansas

When?   W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 7 7 0 20 20 114.7 122 16 94 45 4.40
Then 5 6 0 17 17 93.7 105 16 72 39 5.00
Shell has gone on a tear in his last three starts, striking out 22 and walking only 6, allowing no home runs, and giving up less than a hit an inning. This is a great turnaround, and hopefully Shell can carry that momentum with him for the rest of the season.

Von Stertzbach
RP, AA Arkansas

When?   W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 3 5 10 40 0 44.7 51 8 40 21 5.24
Then 3 4 10 36 0 41.3 45 6 39 21 4.79
The struggling Stertzbach went on the DL to create a roster spot for Jered Weaver. Let's hope that the injury is simultaneously (1) sufficient to explain his troubles and (2) nonserious.

Jered Weaver
SP, AA Arkansas

When?   W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 0 0 0 1 1 4.0 7 1 2 1 6.75
Now 4 1 0 7 7 33.0 25 3 49 7 3.82 A Final
Then 2 1 0 5 5 20.0 21 3 28 4 5.85
As you know, he went on a supertear to break out of Rancho, but was served with some humility in his AA debut last night. We must remain patient, for his potential seems as promising as ever.

Bob Zimmerman
RP, A Rancho Cucamonga

When?  W   L   SV   G  GS    IP    H   HR   SO   BB   ERA
Now 5 7 10 35 0 40.3 37 2 48 18 3.57
Then 4 7 7 29 0 33.0 34 2 41 17 4.36
Zimmerman has been coming on like gangbusters of late, and after a rough start. A 3.57 ERA is not a disaster in the Cal League.

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