This offseason, when you’re hanging out by the proverbial water cooler (or a real one for that matter) and a coworker (or a random lady in a pants suit with 80's style hair) brings up the Angels, you’ll want to be prepared to discuss their future. And there’s no better way to fool people into really thinking you know what you’re talking about than discussing prospects. Luckily for you, we here at MWAH have your back.
Catcher: For this one, you just have to know Hank Conger’s name and apply everything they used to say about Napoli to Conger. Yes, we realize they aren’t the same player but just go with it. You can say things like “Why won’t they give Conger a shot?” and “Scioscia just doesn’t like his defense” and everyone will think you know what you’re talking about. If you want to go above and beyond, bring up how beautiful his left-handed swing is.
First Base: You’re going to want to know C.J. Cron’s name. He’s a former first round pick, has “plus” power and gap power and hits for average. He’s your prototypical high-end 1B prospect. To impress friends, talk about how shoulder surgery might keep him out of Spring or that you can’t wait to see how he performs in AA or if he’s Kendrys Morales’ future replacement. For extra credit, talk about how good Wade Hinkle’s numbers looked in Orem or how awesome his twitter handle is (figure it out, I'm not posting that link).
Second Base: Ok here’s a tough one folks. You have two names to memorize. The first is Taylor Lindsey. Talk about how every time you google his name, a bunch of pictures of girls comes up. Or you can brag about how he skipped low-A ball and has impressive gap power for a second baseman. The second one you’ll want to know is Alex Yarbrough. The Angels just drafted him, he has impressive college numbers, may hit for power and could be in AA midway through next season.
Shortstop: The big name to know here is Eric Stamets. The Angels just drafted him, he skipped Rookie Ball and looked to be completely in control of low A ball. Specifically, he’s a wizard defensively and is really fast. For extra credit, you can mention that he looks like he’s 12 years old.
Third Base: There are a couple of names to know here. The key one is Kaleb Cowart of course. He’s the Angels top prospect and is a consensus top 100 prospect. He’s a former top pick, he’s young, a switch hitter, can hit for power and average and is disciplined in the batter’s box. He also has a cannon for an arm. The other name to know is Luis Jimenez or Lucho for short. He’s a 24 year old 3B in AAA that hit .309 with 38 doubles and 16 HR’s. You should mention that he has no discipline whatsoever but that you think he deserves a shot.
Outfield: Alright guys, here’s where it gets tricky, there’s a few names to learn here, but if you know these guys, you’ll be heralded as “the prospect guy”. Randal Grichuk was the guy drafted right before Mike Trout. He can hit for average and power and will head to AA next season. Travis Witherspoon is a super-athletic outfielder that lacks plate discipline and is a bit old for a prospect, but has superstar potential. He’ll be in AA to start next year as well. Kole Calhoun made a couple brief appearances with the Angels. He’s left handed, has above average speed, power, contact ability, plate discipline, arm, glove and range. He’s just good all around and can be a 4th OF starting next year depending on how the Angels resolve their OF depth.
Starting Pitchers: Nick Maronde may end up in the pen, but he looks like a future #3 starter and is a southpaw to boot. He was lights out for the Angels in their pen in 2012, but may head back to AA or AAA to be a starter in 2013. AJ Schugel’s numbers have looked good for a couple seasons now, despite not having stuff that wows scouts. Eswarlin Jimenez and Arjenis Fernandez are a couple of Latin American arms that have impressed in the low minors.
Relief Pitchers: RJ Alvarez was just drafted this year and looks like he’ll climb the ladder fast as a future closer. He also happens to look like the guy you met at the bar last weekend. In fact, that might be him…..Yep, that's him. Dan Tillman has looked really good in the low minors and has a future as a setup man. Reid Scoggins has a cool name throws in the upper 90’s and had an insane 18 K/9. Ryan Chaffee and Steven Geltz have also put up really good numbers in the high minors thus far.