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Friday, September 09, 2005

WATCH LIST FINAL: HITTERS
Here's the summary of my prospect Watch List for hitters. I've included each player's line at each point I did a Watch List, so you can see how the progressed (or regressed) over the course of the season.

I'll do the pitchers early next week, as the summary takes a lot of space. None of this includes any postseason games, by the way.

Erick Aybar
SS, AA Arkansas

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 535 162 29 10 9 29 51 303 350 445 AA Final
8/15 450 132 24 7 7 23 45 293 338 424
7/27 383 106 22 7 4 19 41 277 325 402
7/11 325 93 18 6 4 17 34 286 338 415
6/16 247 70 13 4 4 13 27 283 342 417
5/24 158 39 9 1 1 9 18 247 315 335
5/04 82 24 6 1 0 2 8 293 341 390
4/19 43 10 3 1 0 3 2 233 292 349
Not only did he end up with solid numbers, Erick ended the season on a high note, notching 30 hits in his last 85 at-bats. Add in good defense and okay baserunning (49 steals against 23 caught stealings), and this is a very nice performance for a 21-year-old in AA. He's all set to make his AAA debut in 2006, and an injury to Orlando Cabrera might spell a call-up next season.

Alberto Callaspo
2B, AA Arkansas and AAA Salt Lake

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 212 67 21 2 1 10 13 316 345 409 AAA Final
8/15 130 36 12 2 0 6 8 277 307 400
7/27 51 11 2 2 0 4 2 216 268 333
350 104 9 0 10 28 17 297 346 409 AA Final
7/11 333 100 9 0 9 27 16 300 350 408
6/16 252 83 7 0 7 24 13 329 386 440
5/24 172 51 5 0 5 17 10 297 356 413
5/04 97 30 3 0 1 10 6 309 370 371
4/19 45 16 1 0 0 3 2 356 388 378
Callaspo had a solid performance in his second year at AA, but that promotion was more related to making room for Howie Kendrick than it was on strictly merit. He'll start the season in AAA next season, alongside his usual partner in crime, Erick Aybar. He has a good glove, but with Adam Kennedy, Legs Figgins, and Maicer Izturis all available to play second in 2006, it's hard to envision a scenario where he gets more than a cup of coffee next year, even in the case of an injury.

Nick Gorneault
OF, AAA Salt Lake

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 488 143 26 11 26 58 119 293 366 551 AAA Final
8/15 411 116 21 10 19 44 102 282 350 521
7/27 345 99 18 9 18 38 85 287 356 548
7/11 304 88 16 8 15 28 74 289 346 543
6/16 209 64 14 6 9 22 53 306 368 560
5/24 129 40 9 3 6 10 29 310 355 566
5/04 73 23 6 1 1 7 16 315 370 466
4/19 39 11 4 0 0 4 9 282 349 385
Pretty decent year for Gorneault, who was in his second year at AAA. He walked a bit more this season; dunno if that was just teams pitching around him. He's been old for his leagues the whole way, but there's nothing in his record to indicate he shouldn't at least have a shot at being a right-handed bat off the bench. The problem is that he's not going to out-hit or out-defend Juan Rivera, and he can't play center field like Jeff DaVanon. There's only a place for him in the majors in 2006 if there's a significant injury to a corner outfielder.

Howie Kendrick
2B, A Rancho Cucamonga and AA Arkansas

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 190 65 20 2 7 6 20 342 382 579 AA Final
8/15 109 38 12 1 3 3 11 349 368 560
7/27 41 14 5 0 1 0 4 341 341 537
279 107 23 6 12 14 42 384 421 638 A Final
7/11 257 95 21 5 11 14 39 370 409 619
6/16 177 66 11 4 9 9 30 373 406 633
5/24 177 66 11 4 9 9 30 373 406 633
5/04 111 46 7 2 8 7 19 414 459 730
4/19 58 23 2 1 4 1 10 397 407 672
I guess he can't hit .370 forever. Kendrick will likely resume his life at AA next season, waiting for Callaspo to get traded or something before he sniffs AAA. With Callaspo and Kendrick lined up, and Figgins available on the major league level, one has to wonder if Adam Kennedy's days as an Angel are numbered, especially if he could fetch a real center fielder (Mike Cameron?).

Warner Madrigal
OF, A Cedar Rapids

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 405 100 21 2 15 22 90 247 288 420 A Final
8/15 346 84 15 1 12 17 76 243 281 396
7/27 292 68 14 1 12 15 67 233 273 411
7/11 251 57 12 1 11 15 60 227 274 414
6/16 186 41 8 0 9 9 45 220 261 409
5/24 129 28 4 0 6 1 33 217 227 388
5/04 77 17 2 0 4 1 24 221 231 403
4/19 33 6 1 0 1 0 11 182 182 303
There's a lot more here that's good than you think: Madrigal missed practically all of 2004 with an injury, so this is his first year back. He improved steadily in the second half. He cut his strikeouts dramatically as the season wore on. Those are the good things. The bad things are his walk rate, low average, and -- even though he cut them -- he still strikes out too much. The good thing for Warner is that there isn't really a whole gang of knockout outfield prospects blocking him, and he's only 21 years old. He's on queue to go to Rancho next year, but if he doesn't take advantage of the Cal League and impress, he'll be going the way of Norm Hutchins instead of the way of Devon White or Garret Anderson.

Jeff Mathis
C, AAA Salt Lake

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 427 118 26 3 21 42 85 276 340 499 AAA Final
8/15 355 100 23 2 15 34 74 282 343 485
7/27 307 88 21 2 14 32 65 287 354 505
7/11 261 74 19 2 12 27 58 284 351 510
6/16 178 48 13 2 8 19 36 270 340 500
5/24 106 29 8 1 7 11 23 274 342 566
5/04 51 19 7 1 2 5 11 373 421 667
4/19 27 11 6 1 2 5 6 407 500 926
Just like in 2004, Mathis started off hot and gradually cooled down as the season progressed. At least the 2005 fall wasn't anywhere near as dramatic as the year before. Whether or not Mathis starts 2006 in AAA or the AL is one of the big questions in the Angel offseason. He's only 22 this year, so putting him in AAA for another season isn't the end of the world. But Bengie Molina will likely require a long-term contract to stay, and with his health, that's a bad bet. Stoneman should look for a one-year solution via a trade, and just keep Jose around to back up. If Mathis gets the job, Mike Scioscia might be well-served to give him two days off per week, as his constant fades over the course of the season might well be due to fatigue.

Kendry Morales
1B, A Rancho Cucamonga and AA Arkansas

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 281 86 12 0 17 17 43 306 349 530 AA Final
8/15 200 48 8 0 10 13 32 240 290 430
7/27 135 32 5 0 4 8 23 237 280 363
7/11 82 21 5 0 4 5 15 256 299 463
6/16 11 0 0 0 0 1 3 000 083 000
90 31 3 0 5 6 11 344 400 544 A Final
5/24 13 5 1 0 1 1 2 385 429 692
Kendry finally appeared in the flesh, and after ripping up the Cal League for a few weeks was dispatched to Arkansas. He struggled at first, but caught fire in mid-August, hitting 469/494/778 for the balance of the regular season. Normal Angel hitting prospect caveats apply -- i.e., he doesn't walk all that often -- but with Casey Kotchman finally having forced himself into the big league picture, Kendry should start 2006 in AAA. Who knows if there will be room for him to DH in the majors at any point next year, but if his adjustments this year were for real, he could really make a push for a call-up.

Mike Napoli
C, AA Arkansas

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 439 104 22 2 31 88 140 237 372 508 AA Final
8/15 364 84 18 1 25 77 114 231 370 492
7/27 315 76 18 1 19 67 99 241 380 486
7/11 262 69 17 1 16 59 85 263 404 519
6/16 206 61 16 1 11 44 64 296 427 544
5/24 135 37 11 0 4 30 44 274 414 444
5/04 70 20 8 0 1 20 21 286 452 443
4/19 32 9 5 0 1 9 11 281 442 531
From mid-June through mid-August, Napoli went into the mother of all slumps, getting only 23 hits in 158 at-bats. That's a .146 average, and no matter how many walks you draw (33 in that period) or home runs you hit (14), it's tough to really produce when you get a hit less frequently than Steve Finley. And though the walks are nice, the strikeouts are scary, making it look like Napoli will get carved up at higher levels. But he did straighten himself out near the end of the season, halting his precipitous fall. I would guess that his 2006 assignment depends on where Jeff Mathis ends up.

Sean Rodriguez
SS, A Cedar Rapids

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 448 112 29 3 14 78 85 250 371 422 A Final
8/15 372 93 22 3 10 65 69 250 371 406
7/27 310 81 20 3 6 57 58 261 388 403
7/11 268 71 17 3 5 48 48 265 389 407
6/16 213 57 13 3 3 42 35 268 402 399
5/24 150 38 9 2 2 26 22 253 381 380
5/04 86 19 4 1 1 11 14 221 316 326
4/19 36 9 1 0 1 5 6 250 341 361
S-Rod started the season a hair behind Brandon Wood, but after Wood's explosion, he's way back in line. The good news is that his numbers in Cedar Rapids resemble Wood's at that level, and that Rodriguez has terrific plate discipline. He also amped up the power near the end of the season. He'll go to Rancho in 2006 and work to stay in the crowded middle infield picture.

Drew Toussaint
2B/OF, A Cedar Rapids

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/06 391 102 25 3 21 45 125 261 345 501 A Final
8/15 338 89 23 2 17 40 108 263 346 494
7/27 281 79 20 2 16 31 86 281 356 537
7/11 233 67 17 2 12 28 71 288 368 532
6/16 155 44 13 1 7 21 46 284 376 516
5/24 84 23 7 0 1 16 27 274 404 393
5/04 37 12 4 0 0 5 11 324 409 432
Drew was the bee's knees through July, but slumped to finish off his first full pro season. He turns 23 in October, so as he goes to Rancho next season, we might fear that he gets stuck on the Nick Gorneault College Slugger Career Path. But he played most of this season in left, and there's not a lot of interference in the organzation above him if he can turn it on. He draws a decent amount of walks, and strikes out a bit more than you'd like to see, which may hurt him, but he has demonstrated a capability to put up some good power numbers as well.

Mark Trumbo
1B, R Orem

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/09 299 82 23 1 10 21 67 274 322 458
8/15 209 57 20 0 4 15 51 273 320 426
7/27 142 39 15 0 3 7 38 275 307 444
7/11 78 23 10 0 2 5 22 295 337 500
Trumbo is clearly a raw talent, but the good thing is that his plate discipline and power both improved as his season wore on. All in all, not a bad start to his professional career.

Reggie Willits
OF, AA Arkansas

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/06 487 148 23 6 2 54 78 304 377 388 AA Final
8/15 410 122 19 4 2 49 63 298 372 378
7/27 343 102 16 4 0 43 52 297 376 367
7/11 285 88 16 4 0 39 38 309 390 393
6/16 209 66 11 4 0 28 28 316 391 407
5/24 169 56 10 4 0 23 23 331 408 438
5/04 99 38 9 3 0 12 12 384 451 535
The only real center field prospect in the organization to speak of (pending the development of Warner Madrigal), and he's not really all that thrilling. He can draw the occasional walk and steal some bases (40 for 54 this season), but his statistical profile reminds me of David Eckstein: a little guy with no power who draws walks in the minors, but will not so much in the majors as pitchers have no fear of challenging him when down in the count. He's already 24, so how he plays in AAA next year will go a long way toward determining whether or not he ends up a fourth outfielder or a AAAA lifer.

Brandon Wood
SS, A Rancho Cucamonga and AAA Salt Lake

When   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO   AVG  OBP  SLG
9/06 19 6 2 1 0 0 6 316 316 526 AAA Final
536 172 51 4 43 48 128 321 383 672 A Final
8/15 464 145 41 4 35 42 112 313 377 644
7/27 391 126 35 3 34 36 83 322 386 688
7/11 338 100 28 3 28 30 74 296 357 645
6/16 261 82 23 2 21 20 59 314 365 659
5/24 171 52 11 2 15 11 43 304 342 655
5/04 106 35 5 2 10 7 27 330 368 698
4/19 51 15 0 0 5 6 12 294 368 588
Wood was, by far, the most improved prospect in the Angel system in 2005. He came in fairly well behind Aybar and just ahead of Sean Rodriguez on the organizational depth chart, and has blown by everybody, and is possibly the best prospect the Angels have today. The only concern in his line are the walks and strikeouts, but Wood took advantage of the hitting-happy Cal League to post huge power numbers and break the single-season Angel minor league home run record. The jump to AA next year will be big, but his cup of coffee at Salt Lake gave him a taste of advanced competition. If he lights up AA like he did A, Erick Aybar's gonna feel some fire below his behind.

Comments:
I think your finger must have slipped on Wood's final A-ball SLG% - .372 is a bit low...
 
Um, whoops ... duly fixed. Thanks for the catch.
 
If he lights up AA like he did A, Erick Aybar's gonna feel some fire below his behind.

Now there a prepositional nightmare!
 
BTW, wouldn't it be ironic if Kennedy, who was the net result of the trade for CF Jim Edmonds, got flipped again for another CF?
 
Great work, thanks.

I'm thinking/hoping that Callaspo will be bundled in a trade for a CF (Wells?); Kendrick will start in AAA, as will the new outfielder Wood, and also Napoli, with Mathis given a shot to catch 100 games with the varsity.
 
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