Archive for the 'Angels' Category

Top Caribbean Prospects

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Not a lot of can’t misses on this list. Last year we did a top ten for Panama alone, but the prospects were not that great to try to come up with another top ten. There is one major leaguer on this list, but that is because he is a Rule V pick.

1) Ariel Jurando (Rangers/Panama) RHP - Ariel relies more on command than heat. His fastball hits the mid-90s with downward spin that entices numerous ground balls. For his career his ground ball to air ball rate is 2.12. At 6′1″ he is not the ideal height for a righthander and the lack of quality secondary pitches could spell trouble against major league hitters. This year teams are hitting him at a .278 clip with seven homeruns in just 58 innings. Ariel has not given up seven homeruns in a season in his career. His strikeout numbers have also fallen off. Ariel is expected to find himself in the back end of the rotation or as a middle reliever. He could see a September callup if his year improves.

2) Edmundo Sosa (Cardinals/Panama) SS - Edmundo got a bonus of $425,000 in 2012, which was the largest for any Panamanian that year. The best tool for Edmundo is his glove with the ability to make the spectacular plays as he glides to the ball. The bat appears to be a little light despite the .300 average in the rookie leagues. The 2016 season was shortened by a wrist injury that ended his season in July after just 97 games. The power also seems a little light. He is playing in the Florida State League where he is hitting a soft .269. If stolen bases were in his tool box he could be a possible starter but he also falls short in that department. The Cardinals seem to be set at short with Aledemys Diaz so the best hope for Sosa could be as a utility player or be included in a trade package if the Cardinals want to load up for a playoff run.

3) Mauricio Dubon (Brewers/Honduras) SS - They don’t play a lot of baseball in Honduras where Mauricio was born. Fortunately for Dubon he moved to the United States to play high school ball. The Red Sox drafted him in the 26th round of the 2013 draft then traded him to the Brewers last year in the Tyler Thornburg trade. He makes solid contact with good gap power. His over the fence power could improve with added strength. He will never be an elite fielder at short, but his bat could make him a good utility player. He is currently hitting .294 at AA while showing some impressive speed with 23 stolen bases in 30 attempts. Last year he stole a career high 30 stolen bases. Myworld expects him to be more a utility player than starter.

4) Touki Toussaint (Braves/Haiti) RHP - Touki was born in Florida but moved to Haiti when he was three months old. He returned to the United States at six years of age and began his baseball career. At 6′3″ he has good height for a pitcher. The Diamondbacks drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft but grew frustrated with his lack of command and traded him to the Braves to rid themselves of the Bronson Arroyo salary. His command is still suspect where he walks more than 4.5 hitters per nine innings. His fastball hits the mid-90s and the curveball is a stellar pitch, but his lack of command and a missing third offering could prevent him from pitching in the rotation. A bullpen role could be in his future. This year he seems more hittable with the opposition hitting him at a .251 clip when his last two years hitters stayed below .230. This has elevated his ERA to 6.80 in nine starts.

5) Roniel Raudes (Red Sox/Nicaragua) - What Roniel lacks in velocity he makes up for in his arsenal of pitches. While his fastball can barely touch 90 he mixes it well with his curveball and change. With his above average command he sends hitters back to the bench frustrated. Last year the opposition hit him at a .260 clip but he did create a lot of swings and misses with 8.8 whiffs per nine innings pitched, winning 11 games and being voted the Red Sox minor league pitcher of the year. This year the success has been lacking in High A with the opposition hitting him at .293. A couple days ago the Red Sox placed Roniel on the minor league disabled list.

6) Jaime Barria (Angels/Panama) - Another pitcher from Panama who lacks the heat, but controls the plate with his command. The Angels signed him in 2013 and last year he debuted in the full season Low A pitching well enough to make the All Star team. His best pitch may be the change, with a curve ball also in his arsenal. With the promotion to the California League, known for hitters abusing pitchers Jaime is dominating with a 2.48 ERA and limiting the opposition to a .202 average. The Angels will do good if he can make the back end of the rotation.

7) Jonathan Arauz (Astros/Panama) - The Phillies signed Arauz for $600,000 in 2014 then traded him to the Astros along with closer Ken Giles for a package of prospects. There is very little flashy about his game. The bat is light, lacking power. His range is also light with little to no stolen base speed. His 2017 season has not started yet, which could be the result of his 50 game suspension for testing positive for drugs.

8) Estevan Florial (Yankees/Haiti) - Estevan was actually born in Haiti. Originally signed to a six figure contract it was reduced to $200,000 after an identity problem. Speed is his best tool but it has not resulted in stolen bases. It does help him cover ground in centerfield. His bat shows some power but his inability to make contact hampers the power from showing. Last year at Pulaski he hit .225 with 78 whiffs in just 60 games. This year his average is improved (.270) with better extra base power. His 11 doubles has already surpassed his total from last year. If Estevan can improve his ability to make contact he could have a future as a lead off hitter. If his power develops he could find himself in a power spot.

9) Javier Guerra (Padres/Panama) SS - Javier had a rough year last year (.202 average) after hitting 15 homeruns and batting .279 in 2015. The Red Sox signed him in 2012 for $250,000 then traded him to the Padres for Craig Kimbrel after the 2015 season. The Padres may be wondering who they got in the trade especially after those struggles continue this year (.212). His ability to make contact has suffered after 2015 striking out 141 times in 105 games last year and 65 times in just 48 games this year. His OBA sits at .264 this year, the same as it was last year. His defense is exceptional but if his bat does not improve his major league opportunities will be limited.

10) Allen Cordoba (Padres/Panama) - The Padres stole him from the Cardinals in the Rule V draft. In rookie ball he showed an ability to hit with a .309 career average. Since he had not played past rookie ball many did not expect him to make the major league roster. The Padres are not going anywhere so they kept him where he has surprised with the bat (.304 average). Not expected to hit for any power he has hit three homeruns for the Padres for a .435 slugging average. In the minors he had a career slugging average of .395 with just four homeruns in four years. The Cardinals drafted him as a shortstop but Allen has seen most of his time in the outfield.

Hot Prospects Heading Towards the End of May

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Scott Kingery 2B (Phillies) - Perhaps the hottest hitter in the minors, Scott has blasted four homeruns in his last three games to give him 13 for the season. He was drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the 2015 draft and his total number of homeruns in his first one and a half years covering 197 games is 8. In 2017 he has hit 13 in 37 games. Reading is a hitters park but five of his 13 blasts have been on the road. He is also hitting .300 on the road versus .280 at Reading. His road OPS (1.026) is better than his home OPS (1.010) so it doesn’t seem to matter where Scott plays.

Luis Urias 2B (Padres) - He does not hit a lot of homeruns but is known for his ability to make contact (25/20 walk to whiff). An eight game hitting streak (14 for 37) has kept his average at .344. Luis has scored 29 runs in 41 games with enough gap power to collect 11 doubles for a .485 slugging. Don’t expect Luis to dazzle you with speed or power. He just makes contact and hopes the ball finds the gaps.

Sam Travis 1B (Red Sox) - Sam had back to back games in which he went deep, then followed that up with a five hit game. The four game multiple hitting streak rose his average to .299. Sam is considered the Red Sox first baseman of the future. Last year injuries limited him to 47 games so this appears to be the bounce back season he was looking for.

Danny Jansen C (Blue Jays) - After hitting .369 with five homeruns and a .963 OPS Danny got his promotion to AA. That has not proved much of a challenge as he rounded up seven hits in his first 16 at bats for a .438 average. His four extra base hits have all been doubles. Danny was a 16th round pick in 2013. His best average going into the 2017 season was .282. The five homeruns he hit early this season has tied his career high (2014 and 2015). Danny has found that magical mystery zone.

Alfredo Rodriguez SS (Reds) - The Cuban with the slick glove is trying to make people notice his bat. A 5 for 5 day in which he drove in four runs raised his average to .278. At 22 years of age he is due a promotion from Low A. Only six of his 45 hits have gone for extra bases, all of them doubles dragging his slugging percentage to .309. In his last 10 games he has hit .439.

Estevan Florial CF (Yankees) - One of the few players born in Haiti, Estevan has gone 6 for 9 in his last two games, crossing the plate five times and driving in three. He tends to strike out too much (50 in 39 games), which has kept his average at .282.

Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) - The balls are jumping off his bat. In his last seven games Willie has gone deep five times. Of his last 10 hits five of them have carried over the fence. His average has creeped above .300 (.310). If he can improve his defense Willie could be ready for a major league opportunity. There was some talk of moving him to left field but all 30 of his games have been at second base.

Parker Bridwell RHP (Angels) - The Orioles traded Parker to the Angels for cash after he gave up 8 runs in four innings in his first two appearances with Norfolk. The Angels started him in AA and have now promoted him to AAA after he gave up only two runs in nine innings. In AAA the opposition is hitting him at only a .143 clip and he has a 1.02 ERA after three starts. Only 25 the Angels could have him in the rotation by mid-season if the injuries keep piling up.

Jose De Leon RHP (Rays) - After throwing five innings of no hit ball in the Florida State League the Rays have promoted De Leon to AAA. A couple good starts there could have him on their major league roster. The Rays traded Logan Forsyth to acquire De Leon from the Dodgers but arm issues have delayed the start of his season.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - Each time Jon goes out on the mound another shutout is thrown. His last three times out covering 17 innings he has not given up an earned run. In his eight appearances, seven of them starts he has not given up an earned run. The opposition is hitting just .149 against him and his ERA sits at a gaudy 0.64.

Rogelio Armenteros RHP (Astros) - The Cuban did not give up a hit in five innings of work in his last outing. He has gone 13 innings since he has last given up a run dropping his ERA to 1.25. Rogelio was signed in 2015, pitched for Spain in the 2016 WBC qualifier and is limiting AA hitters to a .181 average.

Austin Sodders LHP (Tigers) - The seventh round 2016 pick has been dominating at Low A with a 5-0, 0.73 ERA. He has only given up runs in two of his seven starts. In a three start span he struck out 28 in 17 innings. Expect a promotion to High A if he continues this domination.

Mike O’Reilly RHP (Cardinals) - Mike was two outs from pitching a nine inning no hitter. A one out single ended those hopes and ended his outing after 8.1 innings. During that time he struck out 10 with only one walk. In six appearances, three of them starts Mike has only walked three hitters in his 26 innings. The opposition is hitting just .156 against him.

Scott Moss LHP (Reds) - Scott threw the first six innings of the first no hitter thrown by the Dayton Dragons. Moss walked three in the outing but it was his second consecutive shutout appearance covering 11 innings, dropping his ERA to 1.91. The win improved his record to 6-1. The Reds drafted Moss in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

Corbin Burnes RHP (Brewers) - The fourth round pick of the 2016 draft has dominated the Carolina League. In his last four starts he has only given up one run. His last start he struck out a career high 10 in seven innings. After nine starts Corbin sits at 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA and a .189 opposition average. He is ready for a promotion to AA.

Hot Prospects for April 24

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

A couple players identified as hot prospects, Christian Arroyo and Cody Bellinger were recently promoted to their major league team. They will not be the last.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Tapia hits .300 no matter where he plays. The one concern is his lack of power. While he has speed his defensive tools are not ideal for center and his absence of power makes a corner position suspect. A rocket of an arm makes right field his best fit. Tapia slapped three hits yesterday to increase his average to .356. The Rockies outfield could get crowded with the improved health of David Dahl and Ian Desmond so expect Raimel to get most of his time in AAA. He did play two major league games early this season finishing 0 for 7.

Andrew Pullin LF (Phillies) - Reading is a hitter’s ballpark. Last year Pullin hit 10 homeruns in 46 games there. Yesterday he slugged two to put him at five for the year. That is halfway towards his production of last year. One of those homeruns was a grand slam to give him a big 5 RBI night. Pullin has gone 11 for 19 in his last four games to raise his average to .381. Last year in his 46 games at Reading Andrew hit .346.

Joe Rizzo 3B (Mariners) - Rizzo made a late debut to the season going 4 for 5 in his second game to raise his average to .625. A 2 for 4 day the next day dropped his average to .583. Rizzo was a second round pick of the Mariners in 2016. The one big criticism with Rizzo is how much power can he pack in his 5′9″ frame.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - More shutout innings for Duplantier. In four appearances, three starts he has gone 20.1 innings without allowing an earned run. Yesterday he threw five innings, allowing just three hits, striking out 8 without walking anyone. Opponents are hitting .121 against him. Jon was a third round pick last year appearing in only one inning. He did not allow a run in that inning.

Gregory Soto LHP (Tigers) - In his third start Soto tossed six shutout innings. That increases his 2017 shutout streak to 17. Gregory struck out eight and walked two. His fastball can touch the mid-90s but sits more comfortably in the low 90s. Expect him to get promoted soon to High A.

Grayson Long RHP (Angels) - Grayson got a quick promotion to AA where he threw six shutout innings in his first start. He only allowed one hit, a leadoff single to start the game but did not allow a hit after that.

Hot Prospects in Mid-April

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - Sometimes a season can be defined by one game. For Kyle Tucker that season could have been Saturday night. Coming into the game he was hitting a modest .267. After a 4 for 5 day with two doubles, a homerun and seven RBIs that average had spiked to .343. His RBI total for the year now sits at 11 for nine games. To date 8 of Kyle’s 12 hits have gone for extra bases to put his slugging percentage at .714.

Jose Medina OF (Padres) - Coming into this game Jose was hitting .167 with no homeruns. After a 4 for 5 day with three homeruns Jose was hitting .304 and was no longer embarrassed about seeing his batting average displayed on the scoreboard. The five RBIs he produced in the Lake County 17-5 rout over Lansing were his first five RBIs of the year.

Marcus Wilson OF (Diamondbacks) - Marcus was already having a pretty solid season prior to his 3 for 5 day with two homeruns and six RBIs. The special day upped his average to .405 and doubled his homerun output for the year to 4. Pitchers have been hesitant about pitching to Marcus with 8 walks in 10 games for an OBA of .511. He has an 8/5 walk to whiff ratio.

Anthony Alford OF (Blue Jays) - The fourth outfielder on this list. Anthony has slashed hits in seven of his first eight games. All of those hits have been singles, until last night when he doubled and homered to record his first extra base hits of the year. Alford should have a combination of speed and power. His four stolen bases early in the year have shown off his speed. Now he hopes his most recent production will show off his extra base hit potential.

Chance Sisco C (Orioles) - Chance has struggled in the early part of April but he hopes a 3 for 3 day sparks his season to life. It raised his average to .276. Part of his struggles could be attributed to his inability to make contact. Chance had struck out 11 times in his first seven games, a trait not associated with his skill set.

Luis Ortiz RHP (Brewers) - Luis was slapped around in his first start for five runs in just four innings of work against Montgomery. He was much better in his second start, not allowing a hit in five innings of work. His command was a little off with four walks in the outing. Ironic he did not walk a batter in his first start. Maybe a little wildness is good. It creates an atmosphere of unpredictability.

Jake Jewell RHP (Angels) - So far Jake is having a jewel of a season. He shutout Visalia in the California League for seven innings, allowing just two hits and walking nary a soul. He did strike out eight. After two starts Jake has only allowed one runner to cross the plate for a 0.82 ERA. The Angels could use pitchers like that to fit in their rotation.

Merandy Gonzalez RHP (Mets) - The Mets seem to find a way to discover good pitching. Merandy is another one of these obscure finds. He pitched his second straight game of shutout ball, working 7.2 innings without allowing a run. In his first start he did not allow a run in his six innings of work. That gives him 13.2 innings of shutout ball to start the season with a .149 opposition average and a 1/11 walk to whiff ratio.

Walker Buehler RHP (Dodgers) - The start did not seem so special when he gave up hits to two of the first three hitters he faced. Then he struck out the last eight hitters to raise his season shutout streak to six innings. The Dodgers are being careful with Walker after his Tommy John surgery has limited Walker to five innings of work since he was drafted in the first round in 2015. The two three inning outings have exceeded the five innings he pitched in his first two years with the team.

MyWorld’s Top 100 Prospects - 100 -91

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

They are not really our top 100 prospects. They are a collection of top 100 lists that we have put together and then assigned values, i.e. 10 points for a number 1 and 9.9 for a number 2 all the way down to a .1 for a number 100. The numbers are compiled and averaged. Below are the 100-91 prospects.

100. Bobby Bradley 1B (Indians) 0.85 - When Bradley is ready for the major leagues Carlos Santana will move to DH. There is pop in is bat, but also a lot of swing and miss. He will hit 30 plus homeruns in the majors but may also fall below .250 with his average. Don’t expect an upgrade over Santana at first base and his lack of speed makes the outfield not an option.

99. Casey Gillespie 1B/3B (Rays) 0.88 - Casey will have to hope for a better career than his brother Conner. The Rays drafted him in the first round but he appears to be more a gap hitter. The homeruns will not be frequent but he could hit for a decent average with lots of doubles. It doesn’t hurt that he is a switch hitter and can play two positions, though he appears to be more suited defensively for first base.

98. Franklin Perez RHP (Astros) 1.03 - The Venezuelan has increased his fastball to where it is now hitting in the mid-90s. At 6′3″ and 220 pounds he has a good frame for pitching. He also throws two breaking pitches (slider and curve) and a change so he has the repertoire to start. Another good season at High A will raise his profile.

97. Grant Holmes RHP (Athletics) 1.03 - Originally drafted by the Dodgers in the first round in 2014. They soured on his numbers and less than overpowering fastball (92-95) trading him to the Athletics in the Rich Hill and Josh Reddick trade. Lefthanded hitters had his way against him (.303) and in five starts California League hitters smacked him around for a .355 average. He will begin his Athletic career in High A.

96. Luiz Gohara LHP (Braves) 1.05 - The Brazilian pitcher can throw hard, his fastball zipping across the plate in the mid to high 90s, sometimes even hitting triple digits. His big issue is getting control of his pitches. Lefties with hard fastballs tend to take a bit longer to develop. His secondary pitches also need improvement (slider/change) otherwise he will end up in the bullpen.

95. Cody Reed LHP (Reds) 1.2 - Cody also has a slider/fastball combination, but his fastball sits more in the 93-95 range. He got beat and battered a bit in 10 starts with Cincy (7.39 ERA, .328 opposition ave) so it will be back to AAA where he needs to enhance the change to give him a third pitch. He also gave up 12 homeruns in the majors in just 48 innings of work.

94. Jahmai Jones OF (Angels) 1.23 - The Angels do not have the strongest farm system but the second round pick in 2015 has been a pleasant surprise. Speed is his best asset with developing power. He does not have any one outstanding tool, but he has five above average tools that will play.

93. Tyler Beede RHP (Giants) 1.25 - Beede was drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft. He’s been a bit slow to develop for a pitcher drafted out of college, but his fastball had dropped in velocity as he tried to acclimate to professional baseball and pitching twice a week instead of once. The fastball is back in the low 90s and there is more swing and miss in the hitter’s swing. He could make his major league debut this year after starting the season in AAA.

92. Ronald Acuna OF (Braves) 1.32 - Acuna had it rough over the winter having to play baseball in Australia. The Venezuelan has the potential to bring to the major leagues five impressive tools, with the speed to steal bases and play centerfield, the arm to play right and the hit tool to fit in the .300 neighborhood and as he matures the power to fit in a corner outfield.

91. Albert Almora OF (Cubs) 1.32 - With Dexter Fowler gone via free agency Cub fans will see a lot more of Almora patrolling centerfield. He has excellent defensive tools. The big concern is whether his bat can survive against major league pitching. In a brief major league 100 plus at bat debut Almora hit .270 with a .763 OPS. They will take that kind of production with his defensive tools.

30 Teams in 30 Days - Angels

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

General Overview - When you have the greatest player on the planet you should at least make the playoffs. The Angels are now a couple years away from the playoffs, even after having Mike Trout win two MVP awards. Maybe they should go back to calling themselves the Anaheim Angels. At some point Mike Scioscia has to get this team into the playoffs to keep his job, but you look at the farm system and the current roster and they define below average. Better health to the starting pitchers could help the Angels achieve average.

Strengths - If Cameron Maybin can repeat his .300 hitting season he had with the Tigers this will be a very formidable outfield. Maybin does not have the power of Mike Trout or Kole Calhoun but he is a centerfielder playing left field. Trout is just the best player in baseball and Calhoun has shown he can hit 20 plus homeruns per year (though he fell two homeruns shy last year). Ben Revere provides excellent depth as a fourth outfielder having the capability to play all three outfield positions, though his arm makes right field a challenge. He has speed and can hit for average, though last year was a failure. The defense up the middle with Andrelton Simmons and Danny Espinosa should cut off a number of runs. The offense will suffer, though Espinosa did hit 24 homeruns last year, most of them in a early season outburst. Albert Pujols will settle into the DH spot and hit 30 plus homers and drive in 100 plus runs. You can’t ask for more than that from your DH. His mobility for playing defense at first base now is in question with all his foot problems.

Weaknesses - They don’t have any proven starter behind the plate. This is an area the Angels may still try to still fill on the short term. Taylor Ward was a first round pick but he is still at least a couple years away, struggling behind the plate with 19 passed balls last year. He still has a ways to go to be ready for the major leagues. Martin Maldonado and Carlos Perez are the two players on the 40-man roster listed as catchers but they are better used in backup roles. Starting pitching was plagued by injuries last year and the Angels do not have any knowledge of how those pitchers stuff will play out when they return. Garrett Richards will get back to being the ace but following him will be a bunch of back end pitchers having to pitch the front end. They have veterans in Ricky Nolasco and Matt Shoemaker and unproven youth in Tyler Skaggs and Alex Meyer. Alex could be better suited for the bullpen. Finally, the Angels lack a talented left handed option for the bullpen. Jose Alvarez is the best left handed option but he struggled last year.

Impact Prospects - The Angels have done a good job of picking up other teams rejects to enhance their slim pitching depth. Alex Meyer was acquired from the Twins. He could fit in the starting rotation, but his fragility may make it best he pitch out of the bullpen. His mid to high 90s stuff makes him a potential closer. Other pitchers who could find themselves in the bullpen before the year is out is hard throwing righty Brooks Pounders, who got smacked around a bit last year in his major league debut. His fastball can hit triple digits. Vicente Campos has found himself bouncing around a number of different teams in his minor league career. He started 25 games last year in the minors but the Angels could use him in the bullpen. Abel de los Santos has pitched mainly in the bullpen. Last year he bounced around the waiver wire appearing on three different teams. His fastball can hit mid-90s and the opposition in the Southern League only hit .134 against him in 17 appearances. Manny Banuelos was once one of the Yankees top prospects until Tommy John surgery impacted the velocity on his fastball. It could be just a matter of time before he recovers that velocity or perfects his other pitches to be effective. Lastly, Nolan Fontana could make the team as a utility player. He doesn’t walk as frequently as he did in college but he plays a number of positions. His bat will not be a factor.

Prospects to Watch - The Angels have a propensity to draft power hitters who have no position to play but first base. Matt Thaiss fits that mold. The 2016 first round pick was a catcher in college but the Angels already have Taylor Ward developing there so they moved his lefthanded bat to first base. He had an .824 OPS in his minor league debut. Taylor Ward could become the catcher of the future. He was the Angels first round pick in 2015 but the Angels have kept him behind the plate. His 19 passed balls last season in High A shows there is still a lot of development needed in his game and his .337 slugging and .659 OPS were a disappointment when compared to his debut season in 2015. If Ward doesn’t make it behind the plate it will be tough to find a second position for him. Roberto Baldoquin was signed out of Cuba for $8 million. Last year he hit .198 with a .233 slugging. If the Angels had not made such a big investment in him Roberto would have been released. He needs to show better numbers in 2017.

2017 Finish - They will finish ahead of the Athletics but will not be a force in the AL West playoff run. They have made a couple nice signings to add depth to their roster but they fall far short of being a playoff team, despite having the best player in the game on their roster.

Breakout Prospects or Prospects to Watch - AL West

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

It’s a bit slow in the baseball world. The Cuban and Caribbean Leagues have taken some days off and the Australian League only plays on weekends so myworld thought we would look at some of the top prospects of each division. Myworld will select a prospect to have a major league impact in 2017 and another prospect to watch to see if he will find himself on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States. Today myworld takes a look at the AL West.

Los Angeles Angels

Breakout Prospect (Alex Meyer RHP) - The cupboard is bare but the Angels need starting pitching. A pitcher who has had trouble staying healthy, Alex Meyer was recently acquired from the Twins. He stands 6′9″ and heaves an upper 90s fastball. The problem has been injuries limiting the number of innings he has thrown. A lack of command has also destroyed his major league opportunities. Last year he pitched only 54 innings, with 25 of them being in the major leagues. He will be 27 in 2017 so his time is now. Because of a fragile arm expect him to start the season in the bullpen, but as shallow as the Angels are in the rotation with some success he could be moved to the starting rotation by the end of the year. The Angels will probably limit his inning count to less than 120.

Prospect to Watch (Manny Banuelos LHP) - At one point he was a top prospect with the New York Yankees and was on tap for making the major league roster out of spring training when his elbow failed him and he had to undergo Tommy John surgery. Since that surgery he has not been the same. Prior to the surgery he had a fastball that could hit the mid-90s. After the surgery it has wallowed in the low 90s. This will require him to rely more on some of his other pitches, especially his change to give the fastball the appearance of greater velocity. Elbow soreness stalled his 2016 season so expect the Angels to be cautious with him next year and move him along slowly. If he has success in the minor leagues he could be a September callup or a bullpen option if a lefty is needed.

Houston Astros

Breakout Prospect (David Paulino RHP) - Myworld is a sucker for tall pitchers and at 6′7″ David meets the height requirement. Many feel his best role will be in the bullpen but the Astros have too many holes in their starting rotation not to give Paulino a shot. Last year he got two relief appearances and one start but lacked the strikeout pitch he showed in the minor leagues to have success with the big boys. His fastball can blaze across the plate in the mid-90s and his curveball is a legitimate second pitch. Injuries have limited his innings so the Astros would not want to have him pitch more than 120 innings. Expect him to start in the bullpen if he makes the Astros at the beginning of the year, or work under a more controlled environment as a starter in AAA. If his arm is healthy he has the potential to be a number one or two starter. If his arm continues to be fragile and his change maintains inconsistency he could work as the Astros closer.

Prospect to Watch (Cionel Perez LHP) - Not a lot is known about the Cuban lefty. He initially signed for a bonus of greater than $5 million but after a physical it was reduced significantly. At 5′11″ he does not have imposing height, but that is not as important when you throw from the left side. He throws in the low 90s and has the typical array of pitches, curveball, slider and change that probably come from many different arm slots. He made his Cuban debut as a 17 year old and led the league in ERA at 2.06. Myworld had identified him as one of the top pitchers in Cuba in December 2014 when he pitched for Matanzas. At 20 years old he will probably begin the season in Low A, but if he shows the success he did as a 17 year old against Cuban veterans he will be promoted to the higher levels quickly.

Oakland Athletics

Breakout Prospect (Renato Nunez 3B) - The Venezuelan native is powering his way through the winter league, hitting 11 homeruns in Venezuela. The Athletics have a number of corner infielders stacked at AAA but none with the power of Nunez. He did struggle in a brief call up last year with a .133 average and some feel his fielding for third base is a bit spotty, making a move to first base a possibility. He lacks the foot speed to fit in a corner outfield. Expect him to club 30 plus homeruns for the Athletics once he finds a position.

Prospect to Watch (Norge Ruiz RHP) - Another Cuban pitcher recently signed. He is a smallish righthander at 5′11″ in the vein of Yunesky Maya. The Athletics hope he has more success than Yunesky. He is not really a hard thrower, sitting in the low 90s with the ability to mix in a slider, splitter and change. The hope is that he avoids the barrels of bats and when he puts men on base his ability to force the hitters to pound the ball on the ground will result in inning ending double plays. He could end up in the bullpen, but the Athletics will start him off in the starting rotation at High A. At 22 years of age he could move up quickly. A younger Cuban who the Athletics signed for a higher bonus is Lazaro Armenteros. At 17 years of age he is packed with a bundle of tools that could make him a Yasiel Puig sensation, hopefully without the attitude and lack of discipline. As he develops he could be an offensive oriented centerfielder or a complete basket case with more confidence than ability.

Seattle Mariners

Breakout Prospect (D.J. Peterson 1B/3B) - In 2014, a year after being drafted in the first round by Seattle D.J. slugged 31 homeruns in High A and AA. Things have not been so easy since as pitchers have adjusted to his pull only approach and he was slow to recognize it. 2015 was a disaster with a disappearance of his power, but last year he saw a resurgence. It still did not equal his 2014 season but his slugging average went over .400. His defense may force a shift from third base to first, and with Kyle Seager at third base that job was not open. So all he has to do is beat out Dan Voglebach for the first base job. Dan is more suited at DH. First D.J. has to improve on his power swing.

Prospect to Watch (Kyle Lewis OF) - This is a player with lots of tools but an early season injury to his knee prevented many from seeing his tool box. He was drafted in the first round by the Mariners out of a small college. Many were curious to see how he would handle the major league setting. He did quite well with a .915 OPS. Speed may have been one of his lesser tools so it will be interesting to see how the knee injury will impact that in 2017. He could be one of those hitters who bats over .300 with 30 plus homeruns if he develops. His best bet would be to play right field since his average speed may limit his range in center.

Texas Rangers

Breakout Prospect (Connor Sadzeck RHP) - The Rangers have traded away many of their top prospects to continue their playoff runs. As to be expected Connor is tall at 6′7″ and throws hard with a fastball in the high 90s. At AA last year myworld was not overwhelmed with his whiff to innings pitched ratio (140.2 to 133) and the opposition hit him at a .244 clip, but that heat will give him some attention. He still needs to develop his change as an effective third pitch, otherwise he will utilize his craft in the bullpen. His command also needs to improve as he walks three per nine innings. Major league development guys are attracted to the heat and few pitchers have a fastball that can match Connor.

Prospect to Watch (Yeyson Yrizarri SS) - The Rangers pay out huge bonuses to young prospects and nobody pays attention to them when they are 16 in the rookie league. It is when they begin raking at the higher leagues that the attention becomes focused. The Rangers paid $1.35 million for the Dominican back in 2013 and he has percolated up through their system. Last year he played in Low A where he showed he could be an offensive shortstop with power who also carries good defensive skills. He needs to improve on his 9/91 walk to whiff ratio as more advanced pitchers will exploit his tendency to swing at anything. Expect the Rangers to promote the 19 year old to High A with a move to AA possible if he achieves success.

Angels and Dodgers Roster by the Draft

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Myworld has been going back to the 2005 draft to the present to see what kind of rosters major league teams would have if they were reliant on only domestic players for their roster. Today we look at the Dodgers and Angels, who both have a better roster when you consider players they drafted late but did not sign. Both teams have drafted the same players on two occasions. The Dodgers have had some horrendous drafts when the only players who made a major league roster were players they did not sign.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

2005 - Sean O’Sullivan (3) RHP, Brian Matusz (4 - DNS) LHP, Peter Bourjos (12) OF, Deunte Heath (23 - DNS) RHP, Chris Davis (35 - DNS) 1B, Buster Posey (50 - DNS) C

2006 - Hank Conger (1) C, Jordan Walden (12) RHP

2007 - Matt Harvey (3 - DNS) RHP, Andrew Romine (5) UTL, Efren Navarro (50) 1B

2008 - Tyler Chatwood (2) RHP, Will Smith (7) LHP, Taylor Jungman (24 - DNS) RHP, John Hicks (31 - DNS) C, Kyle Hendricks (39 - DNS) RHP

2009 - Randall Grichuck (1) OF, Mike Trout (1) OF, Tyler Skaggs (1) LHP, Garrett Richards (1) RHP, Pat Corbin (2) LHP, David Carpenter (9) RHP

2010 - Kaleb Cowart (1) 3B, Cam Bedrosian (1) RHP, Josh Osich (7 - DNS) LHP, Kole Calhoun (8) OF, A.J. Schugel (25) UTL

2011 - C.J. Cron (1) 1B, Jett Bandy (31) C

2012 - R.J. Alvarez (3) RHP, Michael Roth (9) LHP

2013 - NONE

2014 - Sean Newcomb (1) LHP

Roster

C - Buster Posey, Hank Conger, John Hicks, Jett Bandy

1B - Chris Davis, C.J. Cron, Efren Navarro

2B - A.J. Schugel

3B - Kaleb Cowart

SS - Andrew Romine

OF - Mike Trout, Randal Grichuck, Kole Calhoun, Peter Bourgos

SP - Kyle Hendricks, Matt Harvey, Garrett Richards, Pat Corbin, Tyler Skaggs, Sean Newcomb

RP - Cam Bedrosian, Sean O’Sullivan, Brian Matusz, Deunte Heath, Jordan Walden, Tyler Chatwood, Will Smith, Taylor Jungmann, David Carpenter, Josh Osich, R.J. Alvarez, Michael Roth

Los Angeles Dodgers

2005 - Luke Hochevar (1 - DNS) RHP, Jody Mercer (26 - DNS), Justin Wilson (37 - DNS), Tony Cruz (42 - DNS) C, Chase d’Arnaud (44 - DNS) SS

2006 - Clayton Kershaw (1) LHP, Bryan Morris (1) RHP, Roberto Perez (29 - DNS) C, Aaron Barrett (44 - DNS) RHP, Paul Goldschmidt (49 - DNS) 1B

2007 - Rob Rasmussen (27 - DNS), Matt Szczur (38 - DNS) OF

2008 - Dee Gordon (4) 2B, Nathan Eovoldi (11) RHP, Danny Coulombe (17 - DNS) LHP, Allen Webster (18) RHP, Jett Bandy (41 - DNS) C

2009 - Richie Shaffer (25 - DNS) 3B, Stephen Piscotty (45 - DNS) OF/1B, Christian Walker (49 - DNS) OF/1B

2010 - Zach Lee (1) RHP, Kevin Gausman (6 - DNS) RHP, Joc Pederson (11) OF, Scott Schebler (26) OF, Shawn Tolleson (30) RHP

2011 - Chris Reed (1) LHP

2012 - Corey Seager (1) SS, Paco Rodriguez (2) LHP, Ross Stripling (5) RHP, Jharel Cotton (20) RHP, Danny Coulombe (25) LHP

2013 - Jose Deleon (24) RHP

2014 - Brock Stewart (6) RHP

Roster

C - Tony Cruz, Roberto Perez, Jett Bandy

1B - Paul Goldschmidt, Christian Walker

2B - Dee Gordon

3B - Richie Shaffer, Chase d’Arnaud

SS - Corey Seager, Jody Mercer

OF - Joc Pederson, Stephen Piscotty, Scott Schebler, Matt Szczur

SP - Clayton Kershaw, Luke Hochevar, Nathan Eovaldi, Kevin Gausman, Jharel Cotton, Jose Deleon

RP - Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, Aaron Barrett, Rob Rasmussen, Danny Coulombe, Allen Webster, Zach Lee, Shawn Tolleson, Chris Reed, Paco Rodriguez, Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart

Al West Predictions and Looking Forward

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Myworld has so far picked this division in order.

Texas Rangers - Ian Desmond has been a good one year free agent signing. After a slow start and beginning with a position switch in left field the Rangers made him their centerfielder one month into the season. That became necessary after the Rangers called up Nomar Mazara and Delino Deshields struggled with the bat. Cole Hamels has replaced the injured Yu Darvish as the ace. When Yu Darvish gets fully healthy this duo will be tough to stop in a playoff scenario. Roughned Odor has elevated his game to All Star status with the potential to hit 30 plus homeruns. Jurickson Profar has gotten healthy and the Rangers need to find a position for his .300 average. The Rangers still need to find a closer but other than that the team is playoff ready.

Lewis Brinson would have made the top of the prospect list but he was traded to the Brewers as one of the players in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. That makes the top prospect 1) Joey Gallo. No minor league player has more power but there is a lot of swing and miss to his swing and no position in Texas for him to play. 2) Andy Ibanaz is a Cuban professional who will not need a lot of time to make the professional ranks. His defense is solid and his bat will neighbor .300 with gap power. 3) Ronald Guzman generates a lot of power with his line drive swing. His lack of speed limits him to first base. 4) Ryan Cordell could be the centerfielder of the future after the trade of Lewis Brinson. His bat has shown some power this year with 19 homeruns and he has the speed to steal 20 or more bases. 5) Jairo Beras is a big guy at 6′6″. His strike zone is large which creates a lot of strikeouts but his arm is a gun and his bat generates power.

Houston Astros (2) - Jose Altuve is having an MVP type of season. George Springer is having a breakout year. It is surprising how well Houston has done considering how poorly their starting pitching has performed and being forced to use Marwin Gonzalez at first base because their other three candidates failed to win the position. Will Harris will eventually cede the closer position to Ken Giles. Harris ERA is going north while Giles is heading south.

Alex Bregman has been promoted and may get too many at bats to qualify for this list. He has to improve on an average that has dropped to below .050. 1) A.J. Reed fits the top spot. The Astros were hoping he would take over the first base job after hitting 34 homeruns in his first full season last season. A .156 average in a brief promotion shows he still needs some time. 2) Kyle Tucker is the younger brother of Preston. He stands about four inches taller than Preston and shows more power in his bat. Of the two he should make the most impact. 3) J.D. Davis has a nice power bat for third base. He strikes out too much which will restrict his average. 4) Francis Martes is a hard thrower that needs to find a third pitch. 5) Yulieski Gurriel may find too many at bats to qualify for this list, but he is still waiting for his work visa and will need a couple weeks in the minor leagues to refresh his swing. His last season in Cuba he hit an unbelievable .500 in over .200 at bats before defecting. It will be interesting to see if he continues his high contact rate with major league pitching.

Seattle Mariners (3) - They started strong but their pitching did not pan out. Felix Hernandez was good but he had to go on the disabled list. Hisahsi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton have disappointed. Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano have put some fear in pitchers when hitting back to back in the middle of the order. Dae-Ho Lee has been the best of the Korean signings, his experience in the Japanese League giving him an edge.

1) Kyle Lewis was the Mariners first pick in 2016. An injury has cut his first season short but a .530 slugging has shown his power potential early. 2) Tyler O’Neil bashed 32 homeruns last year. That mashing has continued this year with 19 homeruns to date. His defense could limit him to left field. 3)Luiz Gohara is a Brazilian with a 95 mile per hour fastball thrown from the left side. He has risen two levels with a 1.94 ERA. 4) D.J. Peterson had an off year last. It would be better if his power played third, but his big frame leaves him ticketed for first base. 5) Brayan Hernandez is a Cuban defector with the defensive tools to play center. Some question whether his bat will have success against major league pitching.

Los Angeles Angels (4) - Another disappointing season for the Angels despite having the best player in baseball in Mike Trout. Injuries have hurt the rotation and Albert Pujols is just a shell of himself that the Angels are paying $20 million plus. They are also paying Josh Hamilton a lot of money to not play for them.

With such a poor major league roster you would hope the farm system would be strong. It isn’t. Myworld is so unimpressed with their minor league system that we are only naming three prospects. With the system so weak you have to go with 1) Matt Thaiss, their first round pick as the top prospect. He plays first base, a position with plenty of depth on the Angels. His power is a question mark but his lack of speed leaves first base as his only viable position. 2) Taylor Ward was their first round pick last year. A solid defensive catcher who may carry a soft bat. 3) Victor Alcantara can hit the mid-90s with his fastball. Without a third pitch he may be destined for the pen. Poor control is also a problem.

Oakland Athletics (5) - Not much was expected from them this year. Sonny Gray was their only talent and he has struggled this year. Khris Davis was a late trade acquisition and he has shown excellent power, challenging for the American League homerun crown. His defense in left field is weak. Marcus Semien has lessoned his errors but increased his homerun totals. Rich Hill has shown last year was not a fluke, but he’s been traded to give the Athletics a future.

1) Franklin Barreto is one of the best prospects in the game, acquired from Toronto. His bat is strong but his defense may force him to move from short. 2) A.J. Puk at 6′7″ is a lefthander with a fastball in the high 90s. He was the Athletics first round pick this year. 3) Richie Martin is a better fielding shortstop than Barreto but may not have the bat to support the position. 4) Lazaro Armentaros is a Cuban signing with lots of tools that remind many of Yasiel Puig. The Athletics hope his character is better. 5) Grant Holmes was a recent acquisition from the Dodgers. Despite hitting the mid-90s with his fastball he gives up lots of hits and has trouble finding the strike zone. A small frame (6′1″) could destine him for the bullpen.

Homer Happy O’s Down Angels

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

The Orioles used a tried and true recipe for winning the last game before the All Star break. They glopped in seven innings from their only effective starter this year Chris Tillman, sprinkled in a couple homeruns, a two run shot from Chris Davis in the fourth and a solo shot from J.J. Hardy in the eighth, and then topped it all off with a save from Zach Britton who is now 27 for 27 in save opportunities to beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2. Their 136 homeruns before the All Star break is the highest number in the history of baseball. It allows the Orioles to enter the break with a two game lead over the Boston Red Sox, despite the horrendous starts from their rotation.

The day did not start well for Chris Tillman. He walked Kole Calhoun in the first inning, the first of his five walks he would issue in his first four innings of work. Mike Trout crushed a ball to right field. Mark Trumbo chose to play the ball off the scoreboard, but it landed on the warning track just in front of the scoreboard. Calhoun raced home. The throw from cutoff man Jonathan Schoop was true and the umpire ruled Calhoun out. The Angels asked for a review and the call was reversed. It was a ball Trumbo should have caught if he had raced to the fence. Behind 1-0 the Orioles had the infield playing in against Albert Pujols. He lined a shot to the right of shortstop J.J Hardy who reached out to snare it. It may have been the turning point in the game. The Orioles got out of the inning giving up only one run.

Chris Tillman bent but did not break. He left at least one man on in the first six innings but other than the first inning no Angel scored. In his last inning he retired the side in order but needed a nice catch from Chris Davis to retire the side in order. The win would improve his record to 12-2, but he was snubbed from pitching in the All Star game, a few stinky outings raising his ERA to 3.41.

Tim Lincecum also put runners on in the first three innings but kept the Orioles off the scoreboard. In the fourth Mark Trumbo lined a lead off single to left field. Chris Davis got ahead in the count 2-1 and then stroked a bomb deep into the left centerfield bleachers to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead to match the count.

In the sixth inning a communication breakdown between Ji-Man Choi and Andrelton Simmons cost Tim a run. He had struck out the first two hitters. Pedro Alvarez lifted a pop up to short left field. Choi was not close to the ball but apparently called out to Simmons to take the ball, triggering Simmons to back away from the ball thinking he had called it. The ball dropped to the grass for a double. Simmons picked the ball up, threw to second but the ball skipped past both the second baseman and the first baseman to allow Alvarez to advance to third. J.J. Hardy lined the first pitch he saw into centerfield to score Alvarez.

A Mark Trumbo fielding error in the eighth allowed the Angels to pull within one run. Kole Calhoun hit a sinking liner to Trumbo in right. He tried to make a sliding catch but the ball skipped past him. By the time Trumbo retrieved the ball Calhoun trotted into to third where he scored on a Albert Pujols sacrifice fly to center.

J.J. Hardy returned the lead to two runs with a lined shot into the left field bleachers. Zach Britton came on in the ninth, gave up a lead off single to Andrelton Simmons but retired the next three hitters for the save. Geovany Soto gave O’s fans reason to gasp when he lifted one to deep center, but it was caught just shy of the warning track by Jones.

Game Notes: The game saw two Koreans in left field. Hyun-Soo Kim is the more heralded player. Ji-Man Choi was signed by the Mariners only after he was asked to catch a Korean pitcher the Mariners scouts wanted to see. The scouts were impressed with the way Choi caught this pitcher and signed both of them to contracts. Choi reached the majors first, getting his second hit of the 2016 season, slicing a double to left field to double his average to .083…Hyun-Soo Kim pulled his hamstring on a ground ball to second base in the first inning. Joey Rickard came out in the second inning to replace him on defense. The Orioles have a couple days with the All Star break to decide whether they want to place Kim on the disabled list…Albert Pujols grounded into a double play, plodding to first base. He was never a fast runner, but he runs now like a base clogger…Yunel continues not to impress with his defense at third. He backed off a ball in the second that went into left field for a single. In the first inning he had a ball bounce off him, then ricochet to Simmons who made the 5-6-3 play at first. If Simmons had not made the play a runner would have scored from third…Escobar was tossed from the game in the seventh just after a check swing was ruled in favor of the Orioles. Don’t know what magical words he said.