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Keith Law's Top 10 Angels Prospects


jsnpritchett

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http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10370734/american-league-west-top-10-prospects-team-2014-mlb

 

 

Player, POS (Top 100 rank) 1. Kaleb Cowart, 3B 2. Ricardo Sanchez, LHP 3. Taylor Lindsey, 2B 4. Mark Sappington, RHP 5. Jose Rondon, SS 6. Hunter Green, LHP 7. C.J. Cron, 1B 8. Mike Morin, RHP 9. R.J. Alvarez, RHP 10. Alex Yarbrough

 

The article ranks all systems' top 10s, but it's an Insider article--so I'll only post the Angels' write-up:

 

"Farm system overview

It's a bad system, one of only two that didn't place a single player on the top 100, although there are a few glimmers of hope in some of the big three teenage prospects: Ricardo Sanchez, Jose Rondon, and Hunter Green.

 

Kaleb Cowart was on the top 100 last year, but he had a miserable 2013 at the plate, working through mechanical problems with his left-handed swing that he never got through. On the bright side, he still plays plus-plus defense at third with great arm strength. Taylor Lindsey is a natural hitter with a good swing, but he's a fringy defender at second, and he's barely using his lower half right now at the plate. C.J. Cron has now drawn 43 unintentional walks in 1,274 pro plate appearances and while he has 30-homer power, he's not going to get to it with his lack of plate discipline.

 

On the positive side, Rondon looks like he'll stay at shortstop, and has great hand-eye coordination at the plate, posting great numbers in rookie-level Orem last summer after breaking his hamate bone in spring training. Mark Sappington is probably a reliever, as his delivery isn't ideal for starting (wraps in back, upright at release), but he does have the size and stamina to do so if he can loosen up his delivery and throw more strikes. Mike Morin is a fastball/changeup guy with command, and the changeup, which he can cut to make it tail in either direction, is a swing-and-miss pitch for him. There's a slight upward trend here now that they've bottomed out.

 

2014 impact

Alvarez and Morin both should see major league time in the Angels' pen this year. Nick Maronde is still a rookie and may join them, but he has to throw more strikes, which he didn't do in the majors or in Double-A last year. Cam Bedrosian is a reliever now and should start in high-A or Double-A, which would give him an outside chance to see the majors later this summer.

 

The fallen

Cowart's 2013 was a huge disappointment, even considering his age and experience level. He, Cron and Maronde all took big hits to their status last year.

 

Sleeper

Sanchez was only in the upper 80s last spring as an amateur, but the Angels may have found a bargain with the Venezuelan left-hander, who's now 87-92 with feel for a curveball and changeup, as well as good aptitude on the mound. Both he and Green, the team's first overall pick (second round) in 2012, are high-upside teenage arms who have years of development ahead of them and have to stay healthy, but could be the first major starters the Angels have developed since Jered Weaver."

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It's nice to see that Law doesn't consider Garrett Richards to be a starter, or give the Angels any credit for drafting Tyler Skaggs (not to mention Corbin, Chatwood, etc. who were traded).   :)

 

That's not what he said.  He said, "could be the first major starters the Angels have developed since Jered Weaver."   I took that to mean important, significant, etc.--not just someone who makes the major leagues.   Will Richards be a "major" starter in that sense?  Maybe, but still debatable.  Corbin was only in the Angels' system for a year and a half.  Chatwood seems to have turned it around and is still young, but who knows?  Same with Skaggs.

Edited by jsnpritchett
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Interesting that he's so high on Ricardo Sanchez. 

 

He's more in my 8-12 range but he does write that Sanchez is a sleeper. He's a long way away but he'll be a very interesting guy to follow. 

 

Sanchez wowed a lot of people after signing and upping his velocity after some adjustments were made to his delivery.   He's gone from topping out at 91 to working at 92-93.  It's not really surprising to see Law high on him, it's always the potential high ceiling types that get all the attention.  The high floor/low ceiling types the Angels have been focusing on to reestablish depth in the system don't really turn heads.

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Sanchez wowed a lot of people after signing and upping his velocity after some adjustments were made to his delivery. He's gone from topping out at 91 to working at 92-93. It's not really surprising to see Law high on him, it's always the potential high ceiling types that get all the attention. The high floor/low ceiling types the Angels have been focusing on to reestablish depth in the system don't really turn heads.

True. I haven't seen a lot of video on him and I didn't realize he threw that hard.

I thought he was more of an upper 80's type of guy.

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Nice writeup by Law.  He brings up some good things, and doesn't have the AW.com homerism attached to his evaluation.  I'm wondering if he used actual scouting reports.  Because some of the things in the article sure did sound like something a professional scout would say.  

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Nice writeup by Law.  He brings up some good things, and doesn't have the AW.com homerism attached to his evaluation.  I'm wondering if he used actual scouting reports.  Because some of the things in the article sure did sound like something a professional scout would say.  

 

I think Law and Sickels both talk to pro scouts.

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Let me see if I have this right.  Ricardo Sanchez ( 16 years old) and Hunter Green (18 years old) are the Angels main hopes to have a starting pitcher provided to the major league club in the near future.  They are so young that it appears they should be ready in say 4 to 6 years or so.  In the mean time, what are the Angels to do when there is an opening on the front 5?  It is also surprising to hear that every pitcher in the Angels minors who may be ready in the next few years will be a relief pitcher.  It makes me wonder if there is a C.J. Wilson among them.  A relief pitcher who became a starter after he made it to the majors.

Edited by avejoe1
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Let me see if I have this right.  Ricardo Sanchez ( 16 years old) and Hunter Green (18 years old) are the Angels main hopes to have a starting pitcher provided to the major league club in the near future.  They are so young that it appears they should be ready in say 4 to 6 years or so.  In the mean time, what are the Angels to do when there is an opening on the front 5?  It is also surprising to hear that every pitcher in the Angels minors who may be ready in the next few years will be a relief pitcher.  It makes me wonder if there is a C.J. Wilson among them.  A relief pitcher who became a starter after he made it to the majors.

 

Well you've hit upon the biggest weakness in the organization: starting pitching. Look for the Angels to go after the top starter available in the 2014 draft at #15.

 

That said, the Angels rotation - while it obviously could be improved - actually has some solid parts for the next few years. Weaver and Wilson have three more years, then Richards, Santiago and Skaggs have years of service. Who knows, maybe the Angels can swap Howie Kendrick for a decent young pitcher.

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Baseball America and Keith Law both had the cards 29th in 2010

 

From Law:

29. St. Louis Cardinals
The Matt Holliday trade cost them both depth and one impact prospect, and the Mark DeRosa trade cost more depth, while uber-prospect Colby Rasmus spent the year in the majors and no longer qualifies as part of the farm system. I may be underrating their 2009 draft, particularly USC catcher Robert Stock, who had a strong pro debut after a disappointing college career, and they do have power arms in the system, many of whom project right now as relievers.

 

 

From BA:

29 St. Louis Cardinals Last Year's Rank: 8. Impact Talent: RHP Shelby Miller stands out as one of the few high-ceiling players in the system, ranking as St. Louis' top prospect despite being 19 and owning just three innings of pro experience. Depth: We overrated the Cardinals system at No. 8 a year ago, but they didn't help matters by promoting Colby Rasmus and trading many of their best prospects, most notably Brett Wallace. 2010 Rookies: LHP Jaime Garcia could crack the rotation after a successful comeback from Tommy John surgery. 3B David Freese was a frontrunner for a starting job until St. Louis signed Felipe Lopez in late February. OF/1B/3B Allen Craig could be a productive bat off the bench.

 

 

In 2011, Law had them #1.

 

point being that these snapshot views and rankings of each team are fairly bullshit.  If they are wrong about two are three players, the team's rank can either plummet or skyrocket. 

 

They conglomerate a bunch of gross best guesses in regards to hundreds of players for each system and try to come up with a ranking.  If 3 or 4 guys in the halos system have good years then suddenly their ranking jumps. 

 

But it changes nothing.  No one has the first clue about the level of major league impact the current minor league system will have over the next 3 years for any team. 

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John Sickels >>> Keith Law

 

Check out what Law had to say about Paul Goldschmidt. Comedic gold.

 

http://www.azsnakepit.com/2013/5/9/4316252/the-wit-and-wisdom-of-prospect-evaluation-regarding-paul-goldschmidt

 

http://www.azsnakepit.com/2013/5/18/4342540/paul-goldschmidt-diamondbacks

 

He doesn't give any credit to hitters in the California League, particularly if they were drafted out of college. Borenstein, who was snubbed here, falls into that category.

 

A lot of these lists seem to parrot each other. No one wants to go against the grain and risk standing out for being wrong. If they're wrong, they're all wrong together. There's solidarity there. It's a nice security blanket.

 

At least Sickels had Borenstein 10th and Goldschmidt 9th when he was a prospect. He gave Borenstein a C+ grade and Goldschmidt a B- grade. I'm not saying Borenstein is the next Goldschmidt, by any means, but he and Goldschmidt both dominated the Cal League around the same age. They were both unheralded college draft picks (8th round and 23rd round). And they were both overlooked by a lot of scouts. It's hard not to notice those similarities. Calhoun is a better comp for Borenstein, and he also falls into that category.

 

And then we have Chris Sale.

 

http://www.southsidesox.com/2011/12/1/2603257/keith-law-still-cannot-admit-he-was-wrong-about-chris-sale

 

I would look at Keith Law's top prospect lists with grains upon grains of salt.

Edited by Llewyn Davis
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I like what you said there doc and I think you hit on an important theme of prospect lists season, which is that these are a snapshot.

Example: Last season if Cowart puts up good numbers again in AA, Clevinger wasn't on rehab and Rondon never busts his hamate bone and spends a successful year in Burlington. It may seem meaningless, but suddenly we have one of the top 1B prospects in Cron, 2B prospects in Lindsey and Yarbrough, SS prospects in Rondon and 3B prospects with Cowart. Add into the mix Sappington and Clevinger in AA and suddenly the Angels have a Top 20 system.

The Angels approach the last 3 years has been to draft and develop players with higher floors and lower ceilings. These Calhoun types never make any noise in the prospect rankings but actually benefit the organization more in some instances. That's why I actually prefer sites like AW, angels.scout and our own over at MWAH. The idea is we generally don't skip over the higher floor players because we've seen them enough to know their value.

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All

 

John Sickels >>> Keith Law

 

Check out what Law had to say about Paul Goldschmidt. Comedic gold.

 

I love Sickels but everyone has doozies. How about this quote:

 

"Joe Mauer is universally regarded as the best catching prospect in baseball. But Angels farmhand Jeff Mathis isn't far behind."

 

He wrote that here.

 

Hey, it happens. Remember Mike Colangelo? Didn't think so. Well, he was an Angels prospect in the late 90s that I--in my prospect ignorance--thought would be a poor man's Tony Gwynn. I was also way off on Brian Specht and Casey Kotchman, who I thought was going to be Sean Casey at worse or Todd Helton at best; he wasn't even close to as good as Casey.

 

On the other hand, I rightly called that Mike Napoli would be very good, Trevor Reckling would be a dud, and Kole Calhoun would be much better than expected.

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Baseball America and Keith Law both had the cards 29th in 2010

 

From Law:

29. St. Louis Cardinals

The Matt Holliday trade cost them both depth and one impact prospect, and the Mark DeRosa trade cost more depth, while uber-prospect Colby Rasmus spent the year in the majors and no longer qualifies as part of the farm system. I may be underrating their 2009 draft, particularly USC catcher Robert Stock, who had a strong pro debut after a disappointing college career, and they do have power arms in the system, many of whom project right now as relievers.

 

 

From BA:

29 St. Louis Cardinals Last Year's Rank: 8. Impact Talent: RHP Shelby Miller stands out as one of the few high-ceiling players in the system, ranking as St. Louis' top prospect despite being 19 and owning just three innings of pro experience. Depth: We overrated the Cardinals system at No. 8 a year ago, but they didn't help matters by promoting Colby Rasmus and trading many of their best prospects, most notably Brett Wallace. 2010 Rookies: LHP Jaime Garcia could crack the rotation after a successful comeback from Tommy John surgery. 3B David Freese was a frontrunner for a starting job until St. Louis signed Felipe Lopez in late February. OF/1B/3B Allen Craig could be a productive bat off the bench.

 

 

In 2011, Law had them #1.

 

point being that these snapshot views and rankings of each team are fairly bullshit.  If they are wrong about two are three players, the team's rank can either plummet or skyrocket. 

 

They conglomerate a bunch of gross best guesses in regards to hundreds of players for each system and try to come up with a ranking.  If 3 or 4 guys in the halos system have good years then suddenly their ranking jumps. 

 

But it changes nothing.  No one has the first clue about the level of major league impact the current minor league system will have over the next 3 years for any team. 

 

 

Doc, need to stop pointing out the facts -- they get in the way of the doom and glooming.

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John Sickels >>> Keith Law

 

Check out what Law had to say about Paul Goldschmidt. Comedic gold.

 

http://www.azsnakepit.com/2013/5/9/4316252/the-wit-and-wisdom-of-prospect-evaluation-regarding-paul-goldschmidt

 

http://www.azsnakepit.com/2013/5/18/4342540/paul-goldschmidt-diamondbacks

 

He doesn't give any credit to hitters in the California League, particularly if they were drafted out of college. Borenstein, who was snubbed here, falls into that category.

 

A lot of these lists seem to parrot each other. No one wants to go against the grain and risk standing out for being wrong. If they're wrong, they're all wrong together. There's solidarity there. It's a nice security blanket.

 

At least Sickels had Borenstein 10th and Goldschmidt 9th when he was a prospect. He gave Borenstein a C+ grade and Goldschmidt a B- grade. I'm not saying Borenstein is the next Goldschmidt, by any means, but he and Goldschmidt both dominated the Cal League around the same age. They were both unheralded college draft picks (8th round and 23rd round). And they were both overlooked by a lot of scouts. It's hard not to notice those similarities. Calhoun is a better comp for Borenstein, and he also falls into that category.

 

And then we have Chris Sale.

 

http://www.southsidesox.com/2011/12/1/2603257/keith-law-still-cannot-admit-he-was-wrong-about-chris-sale

 

I would look at Keith Law's top prospect lists with grains upon grains of salt.

 

 

Law and BBA were nowhere to be found when it came to talking up either Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig, two of the guys that everyone seems to be slobberknocking over when talking up the Cards and how they have managed to add talent internally.   Again, older college guys with refined "veteran" skills..   Easily dismissed because of their age and under appreciated because they don't have any "projectability" in their full grown bodies.

 

 

Would be funny to see how they would spin it if a guy like Borenstein carried over his success to AA -- of if a guy like Cal Towey keeps getting on base at a near 50% clip.  

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I'd like to agree with you, Doc, but the problem is that the Angels farm has been in decline for a few years or so, and one of the worst in the game since Trout graduated to the majors (and Trout alone was keeping it out of the dregs). In other words, it hasn't as much fluctuating as it has steadily declined.

 

That said, at some point it will turn around and jump back into the realm of possibility - no reason why that can't be this year. The key, I think, are high upside young players like Jose Rondon, Natanael Delgado, Richardo Sanchez and Hunter Green.

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I'd like to agree with you, Doc, but the problem is that the Angels farm has been in decline for a few years or so, and one of the worst in the game since Trout graduated to the majors (and Trout alone was keeping it out of the dregs). In other words, it hasn't as much fluctuating as it has steadily declined.

 

That said, at some point it will turn around and jump back into the realm of possibility - no reason why that can't be this year. The key, I think, are high upside young players like Jose Rondon, Natanael Delgado, Richardo Sanchez and Hunter Green.

 

The Halos farm system was hit with a perfect storm of events...   The Clay Daniels fiasco...  The trading away talent to try to win..   The recent run of losing picks due to FA signings.  You could likely add the swing and miss draft of 2010 to the list but those sorts of things happen, the other things were all avoidable.

 

The flip side is that they basically have a window in which to rebuild the farm before the team finds itself needing to replace it's roster.

Edited by Inside Pitch
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