Despite reputation, Angels farm system still producing talent

Being your go-to site for Angels prospects comes with certain responsibilities, none more infamous than our annual Top 30 Prospect Lists/Scouting Reports.  It isn’t necessarily that we believe our word here at MWAH is the be-all-end-all, we’re perfectly aware that any prospect evaluation is simply a snapshot in time of a certain player and an organization in general.  The snapshot provided for the previous year’s prospects was labeled as “weak, famished, exhausted, and empty” by most so-called experts.  The Angels in 2014/2015 will again have a weakly regarded farm-system, yet what you won’t hear from the national media is why.  You may hear a couple of weak reasons such as a lack of international presence or first round picks, but that isn’t the reason.

It’s quite simple, really.  The Angels continue to produce and graduate major league quality talent.  This talent doesn’t receive its due recognition, for reasons that mostly evolve around a general dislike for the Angels organization by a media focused solely on propagating stories that garner page views.  Fans of teams east of the Mississippi such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and Cubs swarm to these sites which results in higher revenue, but also a noticeable bias against a second-fiddle in its own market team like the Angels.  Scouts from Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America have a blind spot and don’t take the time to come out and actually watch Angels prospects and even when they do, those sites won’t make this a front-page story because it won’t result in readers or money.

Their ignorance is their loss.  But not ours.  We’re an Angels-centric site and you likely wouldn’t be here unless you wanted to read about the Angels and their prospects.  We’re not in the business of ignoring prospects to generate page views.  So let’s take a look at the good prospects you likely WON’T see on next year’s rankings.

The Good
1B/DH C.J. Cron – The Angels promoted a 1st round collegiate slugger and DH of the future whose immediate production has far surpassed any of their other DH options and you don’t hear so much as a whisper from any non-Angels related site.  Regardless of whether or not you buy into his future success or not, Cron’s 80-grade power would send the media into a frenzy were he a Red Sock or Yankee.

RHP R.J. Alvarez – Alvarez is currently dominating AA hitters at a rate that’s only surpassed by one other reliever in minor league baseball.  But you haven’t heard much about this.  No matter, the Angels bullpen is inconsistent at best and Alvarez will be promoted some time this season and exhaust his status as a prospect heading into next year.  You probably still won’t her much about this though, despite Alvarez having one of the best, if not THE best fastball-slider combination in the minor leagues.

RHP Mike Morin – Ho-hum, Morin has only been promoted and started off his major league career with five consecutive scoreless frames due to his pinpoint command and knee-buckling change-up.  You’d think Morin’s promotion would’ve generated more ink due to his success at North Carolina and his video game type of numbers in the minors, but it hasn’t.  Morin will eventually move into the Angels set up role and folks will be left wondering, “where did this kid come from?”

RHP Cam Bedrosian – 15 IP, 4 BB 33 K’s and a 1.14 ERA.  Bedrosian will be promoted soon enough, if only for the fact that he’ll inevitably get bored striking out 2 batters an inning in AA.  Along with Morin and Alvarez, Bedrosian is the future of the Angels bullpen, and yet because it’s relief pitching and the Angels, the most you’ll likely hear about it is, “Angels promote minor leaguer”.

The “Meh”
3B Luis Jimenez – Lucho seems to just get the job done whenever he’s promoted.  He’s a 3B with an electric personality and fantastic minor league numbers.  Sure, he won’t be a superstar in the MLB, but he should be better than replacement level, not that that should generate news anyway.

RHP Cory Rasmus – Another bullpen arm, good fastball, spotty command and great performance in AAA.  It has yet to transfer over to MLB success, but Rasmus deserves time if nothing else.

The Lefties
LHP Nick Maronde – Maronde has been a disaster in the MLB so far, but he’s still another lefty-reliever whose either going to surpass the service-time/innings limit for a rookie, or he’ll just get bombarded in AAA and drop off the list entirely.

LHP Michael Roth – Roth recently cleared waivers and will need to improve in AA if he wants to remain on the list.

LHP Brian Moran – Tommy-John surgery, hopefully he returns and fulfills on the promise of all that previous minor league success.

The Past
2013: Kole Calhoun and Randal Grichuk

2012: Mike Trout, Jean Segura, Garrett Richards, Hank Conger, Tyler Chatwood, Mark Trumbo, Alexi Amarista and John Hellweg.

Scott Allen

About Scott Allen

Scott is a writer for The Outside Corner and writer/prospect expert at Monkey With A Halo can be followed on Twitter @ScottyA_MWAH