30. Carlos Ramirez: Stock goes down slightly because he’s repeating AA to prove he can hit and the Angels went out of their way to acquire defensive catchers Chris Snyder and Luke Carlin, only to stash them in AAA. If the Angels weren’t concerned with offense at all and only wanted defense, they would have promoted Carlos…if they were confident in his abilities.
29. Reid Scoggins: Up. He’s ticketed for A Ball in Burlington. If he really had some rough edges to smooth out, the Angels would’ve kept him in Rookie Ball for an additional year worth of work. The fact is Scoggins’ rocket for an arm should propel him up through the system and catch the eye of scouts very soon.
28. Michal Roth: WAY UP. After spending last season in short season Orem, Roth has been promoted to AA and will be a starter. He may not have the blazing fastball to impress scouts, but his control and assortment of off-speed pitches could make him a crafty back end starter. What’s more, if he impresses in AA he could be Big League ready as soon as next year. Should we really be surprised after his legendary college career?
27. Cam Bedrosian: Down. Bedrock Jr. is ticketed for A Ball in Burlington, two years after being drafted in the 1st round. I’m not sure how much lower his stock can really go at this point.
26. Andrew Taylor: Down. If the Angels were confident in his ability to be a middle reliever or even a lefty specialist, they wouldn’t have acquired Sean Burnett or Brandon Sisk. To top it off, Taylor is currently on the shelf with shoulder issues. While doctors believe season ending surgery can be avoided, they haven’t given a time table on his return.
25. Brandon Sisk: Down. We traded for him, he entered camp and before long he was shut down with season ending surgery.
24. Michael Clevinger: Same. We knew he’d miss the season with surgery and wish him a speedy recovery. Had he been healthy, he’d probably be in AA this season and a Top 10 prospect.
23. Mark Sappington: WAY UP. Scouts I talked to are in love with his fastball, describing it as electric. Those in the organization are also pleased to be working with such a stand up guy as well. They call those intangibles. Whatever they are, Sappington has them. He’ll skip low A Ball entirely and head to the California League as a starter.
22. Wade Hinkle: Same. I had expected him to jump up to Advanced A Ball after his collegiate career and performance in Orem, however, the Angels sent him to low A Ball. The raw power remains.
21. Zachary Wright: Same. He’s headed for Advanced A Ball after being drafted and skipping Rookie Ball altogether. He should find the away games in the Cal League to his liking, being a power hitting catcher in a power hitting environment (his home park is the only pitcher friendly park in the league).
20. Steven Geltz: Down. The Angels demoted him rather quickly and traded him to Tampa Bay for Dane De La Rosa, who I hear great things about, but is also 30 years old in AAA.
19. Arjenis Fernandez: Up. Was told earlier this Spring that he has begun filling out and is throwing harder than he did last year (was clocked at 91-93). All good news for 19 year old who will begin the year in A Ball after virtually no time in Rookie Ball. This kid has to be a Top 10 prospect soon if he stays healthy.
18. Austin Adams: Same. We know he isn’t headed for AA or A Ball, so we can assume Adams is headed for Inland Empire to begin 2013. That’s where a college reliever belongs. He has the stuff to climb the ladder fast.
16. Austin Wood: WAY UP. Wood not only impressed scouts this Spring, he impressed national prospect analysts and Mike Scioscia and staff as well. I was told he’s definitely going to be a reliever, though it appears he’ll be in Advanced A Ball as a starter for now. In relief, his fastball was routinely clocked in at 97 mph or harder, which was something we already knew, but now the major league staff is taking notice. Folks also like his slider as well.
15. Ryan Chaffee: Up slightly. He’s ticketed back for AA. He impressed organizational scouts this Spring with his fastball staying consistently around 94-95 mph. With a good season and more command he can enter the Angels bullpen equation late in the year or next year.
14. Travis Witherspoon: Up. The Angels liked what they saw from him in the OF this Spring and against lower competition he consistently flashed plus raw power, game changing speed and an ever growing sense of the strike zone. He’s headed for AA again, but with another strong performance, he could leapfrog into the Angels OF situation. He’s an exciting player with exciting tools. Credit the Angels for remaining patient with Spoon. Though he had first round tools, he was considered too raw and wasn’t taken until the 12th round. This patience could pay off in a big way soon.
13. Jose Rondon: Same. We haven’t heard anything about him this Spring, but he will not begin the season in A Ball and given his age, I wouldn’t expect him to be in Advanced A Ball (they haven’t released their official roster yet). So it appears he’ll head to Orem this next season, which is normal for a 19 year old prospect.
12. A.J. Schugel: Up. He’s headed for AAA and wasn’t half bad this Spring for the Angels. Just as our scouting report indicated, Schugel put the ball underneath RHB hands and got away with it, inducing misses or weak contact.
11. Eric Stamets: Up. The Angels scouts really liked his speed and the abilities he showed at shortstop in practice this Spring. He also showed real glimmers of hope that he won’t be the type of shortstop that has the bat knocked out of his hands either, which was a legitimate concern.
10. Daniel Tillman: Down. Tillman’s fastball was around what was expected (92-94) but he still struggled with his control this Spring. He’s headed back to AA this season, where he struggled in 2012.
9. Alex Yarbrough: WAY UP. Yarbrough was a stud for the Angels this Spring Training. For a minute there, the Angels thought about leapfrogging him up to AA but decided against it given the Travs should already have Taylor Lindsey on their roster.
8. R.J. Alvarez: Same. The Angels love his stuff and thought enough of him to bring him into multiple situations against major leaguers in Spring. The results weren’t pretty though. Despite fantastic “stuff” Alvarez couldn’t find the zone and is headed for Advanced A Ball to begin 2013.
7. Luis Jimenez: Up. He performed well in the Caribbean World Series and was awarded the Top Rookie Award in the Major League Camp by Mike Scioscia. Lucho very much put himself into the equation at third base for the Angels. He’ll play everyday in AAA this season, but make no mistake, if Alberto Callaspo gets hurt, the Angels won’t turn to Romine or Brendan Harris. They’ll turn to Jimenez.
6. Randal Grichuk: Up. He impressed scouts with his show of athleticism, short stroke and ability to make contact this Spring. He’s ticketed for AA and while his power numbers may not be great in this environment, there’s little doubt he’ll be able to hit the ball and play defense as good as anyone else on the field.
5. Kole Calhoun: Down. Calhoun had a great Spring in 2012, but struggled in 2013. With Vernon Wells out of the way, one would think he’d be the obvious choice to take over as the 4th OF. Instead he was outplayed by J.B. Shuck and will now find himself in AAA. I expect this to be rather temporary though, Calhoun belongs in the majors.
4. Taylor Lindsey: Same. The Angels know he has gap power, can make contact with the ball and isn’t intimidated by older or more advanced competition. He showed much of the same in camp. Reports indicate that he has a way to go defensively still.
3. C.J. Cron: Up. He hit the ball with considerable power in minor league camp and didn’t embarrass himself in the least with his appearance at the Big League Camp. He’s also recovered quickly from offseason shoulder surgery. A fully healthy C.J. Cron may prove to be an unstoppable force at any minor league level, even one as difficult on hitters as Dickey Stephens Park in Arkansas.
2. Nick Maronde: WAY DOWN. I expected he’d come into Big League Camp and compete with Richards and Williams as a swing starter. Maronde really struggled in Spring though, and was not only sent back to AA, but has been transitioned back to relief, this time for good. It’s difficult to justify ranking a reliever this high on any top prospect list. Maronde may not be back with the Angels for another year or so unless Burnett and Downs are injured or ineffective.
1. Kaleb Cowart: WAY UP. Cowart thoroughly impressed the Angels in every facet of the game this Spring. He was even better than he was last season. He shortened his left handed swing, made consistent contact, hit for power and showed a knack for coming up big in pressure situations. In the field he was nothing short of elite, making eye-popping diving grabs and hard throws to first. The 20-year-old third baseman completely justified his aggressive promotion to AA Arkansas. If he’s hitting in AA and Callaspo goes down, it’s entirely possible the Angels consider him for promotion sometime in 2013.