Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Can you believe it's been nearly a month since I did this? That's June 9th, by the way. Anyway, with the holiday weekend over I'm getting back into the swing of things, so here we go:

(One quick note: the LA Times reports that Bill Stoneman offered Jeff Weaver to the Mets for Lastings Milledge. Honestly, if I were Omar Minaya, I'd never take another phone call from anyone involved with the Angels ever again. What an insulting offer.)

Position Players

Erick Aybar, SS, AAA Salt Lake and MLB Angels, BB/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 16 5 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 313 313 500
Now 182 54 10 3 5 14 20 17 9 297 350 467
Then 12 4 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 333 333 583 MLB
Then 144 42 6 2 4 10 17 13 7 292 342 444 AAA
Well, it's hard to say anything here, as he hasn't really had the opportunity to do anything.

Michael Collins, C, A Rancho Cucamonga, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 280 83 18 1 5 13 49 5 4 296 367 421
Then 216 66 10 1 3 10 38 4 2 306 367 403
Well, at least the power's coming back, in the form of doubles.

Nick Gorneault, OF, AAA Salt Lake, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 267 77 17 4 12 30 59 3 3 288 355 517
Then 222 66 15 3 8 28 44 2 3 297 373 500
Just when you thought the Angels' offensive woes were getting so bad they might just give Nick Gorneault a shot, he had to up break his patella. Dunno when he'll be back, or how he'll play when he is, but with Juan Rivera starting his second-half surge already, it doesn't look there'll be any room for him in Los Angeles of Anaheim.

Howie Kendrick, 2B, AAA Salt Lake and MLB Angels, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 275 104 25 5 13 11 46 11 3 378 418 647
Then 164 66 19 2 7 6 26 6 3 402 440 671
As you can see, he's declined quite a bit in the last three weeks, hitting a mere .342 in that period.

The time may have come to wonder if he's better than Adam Kennedy right now. Adam has finally shown signs of life in the last week, but he's in the midst of what is easily his worst offensive campaign since 2001, a fall that seems particularly dramatic as he was hitting pretty respectably for the first month-and-a-half of the season.

I think Howie can likely hit in the .290-.300 range right now, at the least, if you gave him an everyday job in the majors. Maybe 300/330/450 to start with? I don't know that Adam's defense and baserunning would be quite enough to make that up. But the problem is that Adam's struggles have likely damaged his trade value, so can we even get anything for him? What happens over the next week, both with the team and with Kennedy's performance, may have a huge impact on who finishes this season at our keystone.

Jeff Mathis, C, AAA Salt Lake, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 217 62 19 1 3 15 45 1 1 286 326 424
Then 129 36 13 0 2 6 23 1 1 279 307 426
So how's this guy's trade value? I still think he has a solid future, but with Mike Napoli bashing the ball in the Big A, and playing a more-than-adequate defense as a bonus, he appears to be gripping onto the backstop for years to come, at least as much as anyone can after 150 or so at-bats. It may be too early to decide, but if Napoli, who is roughly a year older than Mathis, puts the job in his death-grip, the Angels will have to decide whether or not Mathis is going to get a timeshare (with Naps getting time at first and/or DH from time to time), has a future as a backup, or if he's trade bait to a team with weak catching prospects. The good sign, long-term, is that Mathis continues to be young for his leagues and is holding his own. But given our dearth of outfield prospects, I can see us keeping our eyes open for good offers.

Sean Rodriguez, SS, A Rancho Cucamonga, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 308 92 17 2 16 24 84 10 3 299 360 523
Then 221 63 10 2 9 17 56 7 3 285 353 471
Nice upswing in power here. A .523 slugging percentage isn't amazing in the Cal League, but power hasn't really been one of Sean's biggest weapons heretofore, so I'm fine with that. I'm glad to see his walks slowly returning, but I would like to see him get his average up around 20 poitns or so, just so he can force the organization to keep finding spots for him [cough]center field[/cough].

Drew Toussaint, OF, A Rancho Cucamonga, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 248 59 13 0 10 21 75 1 1 238 323 411
Then 187 43 12 0 8 19 59 1 1 230 321 422
The roller coaster seems to be plateauing; over the few weeks preceeding May 11, Toussaint went 3-for-41 (073/174/073); from that point through June 9 he was 23-for-84 (273/330/524); since then he's been at 262/286/377, which is not very good.

I've never seen him, but looking at that line, I wonder if he isn't (1) swinging earlier in counts and (2) cutting down on his power in order to cut down on his prodigious strikeouts. His strikeout rate has gone down ever so slightly, so if so, it's not working. But the power/walk package was a big part of Drew's allure as a sleeper, and he's not going to get very far unless he gets back on track.

Mark Trumbo, 1B/3B, A Cedar Rapids, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 249 51 12 0 10 22 61 1 3 205 271 373
Then 180 39 7 0 8 16 45 1 3 217 284 389
Speaking of getting back on track, I don't think Trumbo has even seen the track this year.

Reggie Willits, CF/LF, AAA Salt Lake, BB/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 275 84 14 4 3 56 44 22 12 305 424 418
Then 178 55 10 2 1 33 30 14 9 309 416 404
Willits continues to do nothing to hurt himself; he just does what he does, and he's been pretty consistent this year.

Brandon Wood, SS, AA Arkansas, BR/TR
When    AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG OBP SLG
Now 307 92 30 2 18 40 100 11 1 300 385 586
Then 229 67 23 1 13 26 77 7 1 293 373 572
Brandon Wood appears to be adjusting well to the Texas League over time, the strikeouts notwithstanding. But he is decreasing his strikeout rate as the season goes on and he's drawing a good number of walks. I also like the stolen base ratio, a nice bit of icing on the cake.

Watch Out: Hank Conger, Clay Fuller, Ryan Mount, Aaron Peel, P.J. Phillips, Freddy Sandoval, Hainley Statia, Bobby Wilson


Nick Adenhart, RHSP, A Cedar Rapids and A Rancho Cucamonga
When  W  L  SV  G  GS  IP    H  HR  SO  BB   ERA
Now 1 0 0 1 1 6.0 8 0 4 3 6.00 Rancho
Now 10 2 0 16 16 106.0 84 2 99 26 1.95 Cedar Rapids Final
Then 7 2 0 12 12 74.7 62 2 74 17 2.17 Cedar Rapids
I had meant to get out to see Nick's first Rancho start, but then the weekend intervened and I couldn't make it. It doesn't look like I missed much, as the hot desert sun made the hitting seem fun. But he'll obviously be fine; it's just one start and his performance at Cedar Rapids was nothing short of Earth-shatteringly dominant.

Jose Arredondo, RHSP, A Rancho Cucamonga
When  W  L  SV  G  GS  IP    H  HR  SO  BB   ERA
Now 5 6 0 15 15 90.0 62 4 115 35 2.30
Then 3 4 0 11 11 61.0 42 2 85 25 2.21
He's actually already been promoted to AA, so those are his final Cal League numbers, which are stunning.

Gustavo Espinoza, LHSP
Still waiting.

Stephen Marek, RHSP, A Cedar Rapids
When  W  L  SV  G  GS  IP    H  HR  SO  BB   ERA
Now 9 1 0 17 17 107.3 84 7 86 22 2.01
Then 6 1 0 12 12 74.3 62 6 61 15 2.54
Marek's strikeouts, while solid, aren't as eye-popping as some of our other lower-level pitching prospects, but there's nothing to complain about yet, as the kid is definitely getting results.

Tommy Mendoza, RHSP, A Cedar Rapids
When  W  L  SV  G  GS  IP    H  HR  SO  BB   ERA
Now 5 5 0 17 17 108.3 104 8 90 23 4.32
Then 3 5 0 13 13 77.3 82 6 64 18 5.35
There we go; Mendoza is starting to keep batters off the basepaths, which is always nice, and his fastball is taking care of business. Nice turnaround after some rocky outings.

REMOVAL: Rafael Rodriguez, as I just jumped the gun putting him here. He's slowly getting better at AA, but there's a lot of time left.

Joe Saunders, LHSP, AAA Salt Lake
When  W  L  SV  G  GS  IP    H  HR  SO  BB   ERA
Now 10 3 0 17 17 114.0 95 9 83 29 2.37
Then 7 2 0 12 12 80.3 65 7 56 20 2.46
The one thing that bothered me about the DFA of Jeff Weaver was the health of Bartolo Colon. I'm not convinced Bartolo is healthy enough to pitch: his velocity is down and his release looks awkward and inconsistent, as if he's slightly altered his arm action to relieve stress on the shoulder (and put it all on the elbow).

But the insurance policy is Joe Saunders, who continues to excel in the PCL. It's getting to the point where the Angels will have to decide if he has a future with the team, and if (when?) Bartolo returns to the DL, I'd rather see Saunders get an extended opportunity than watch Jeff Weaver shrug all over the mound.

Steve Shell, RHSP, AAA Salt Lake
When  W  L  SV  G  GS  IP    H  HR  SO  BB   ERA
Now 3 4 0 12 11 69.0 76 6 44 14 3.91
Then 2 2 0 8 7 48.0 48 5 30 13 3.94
Steve Shell, who is only 23, is performing solidly in the PCL. The strikeouts are low and the hits are high, but it is a hitters' league and he's young for it.

Watch Out: David Austen, Trevor Bell, Jason Bulger, Rafael Rodriguez, Von Stertzbach, Bob Zimmerman

Arredondo tossed a 5-hit, complete game shutout in his Arkansas debut. I posted about him over at halosheaven.

Saw his penultimate start for Rancho, and he looked very, very good. An incredibly live fastball usually around 94, but kicking up as high as 96 in the 7th inning.
I spoke with Gorneault's aunt just after the knee injury occurred. She says that the injury is a hairline fracture and should actually keep him off the field for a couple of weeks, but this is coming from Dr. Gorneault, who has limited experience in such matters.

Mathis is going NOWHERE. No. Where. The Angels are going to want to see a year's worth of Napoli before they declare him to be the winner of any shootout behind the plate. His inability to hit for average has pursued him like a bad smell throughout his minor league career, and I just wonder if it won't become a problem if we give it enough time. Mathis is a good insurance policy in the event Napoli does turn into a pumpkin and eight mice.

It's way too early to declare Trumbo a bust, but he's going nowhere fast as a batter and aging, too. I wonder that they don't make him back into a pitcher.

Wood's strikeout rate isn't decreasing, it's oscillating. That is not good.
Let's say I was Pat Gillick and you were Stoneman, and I called and offered you Pat Burrell or Bobby Abreu. Which one would you want and what would you give me for him?
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