I certainly don’t need to tell you the reader that Angel fans could use any bit of good news these days. It seems every article is about another injury, another rehab stalled, another loss, and no prospects. Well as it turns out, there are a few prospects, and those few are doing everything they can to climb the ladder and live out their dream. Some are finding more success than others. Here are our success stories from May.
AAA Salt Lake Bees
Nick Buss – Surprise or not, Buss continued to punish the ball in AAA until he landed himself on an ill-timed DL stint beginning on the 22nd of May. If it weren’t for the injury, you have to think the Angels would’ve slotted Buss and his scorching hot bat in at LF already.
Ji-Man Choi – Choi wasn’t able to find his foothold in the major leagues, but if he continues to hit the way he has in AAA, it should only be a matter of time before the Angels bring him back up. He’s hitting a ridiculous .330/.430 with 5 DB 3 HR’s and has logged the majority of his time in LF. It may be time for another extended look at what exactly the Angels have here in this 25 year old.
Jett Bandy and Jefry Marte have both been promoted and are both impressing early on, likely taking their roster spots for good if it keeps up. Deals Guerra and Javy Guerra have also been promoted and both have been lights out since returning to the major league pound. Kaleb Cowart had a cup of coffee in the majors and is back to bouncing around the diamond in AAA.
AA Arkansas Travelers
Cal Towey – Once a Top 30 prospect, Towey has long since been forgotten but has resurrected his prospect significance with an impressive showing in AA Arkansas so far. .304/.404 11 DB 5 triples 4 HR 5 SB. Tower has been known to log time at the corner infield and outfield spots, and if he keeps it up, could carve himself out a role much like Efren Navarro once did.
Bo Way – Just when you think Way has finally reached his peak, he hits another gear and shows you he has what it takes to be a big leaguer. In not the most hitter friendly of settings, Way is batting .289/.346 with 9 SB and some spectacular defense in the outfield. Surely not just a good name, Way may have jumped Henshaw in the pecking order and could receive at bats in Anaheim as early as next year.
Victor Alcantara – We all know about the arm and his likely destination in the Angels bullpen. Yet against all odds, the Angels have stuck with Victor in the rotation, and he’s reeled off 8 consecutive starts where he’s done something impressive on the mound. Be it striking out 7 hitters, allowing no runs, working into the 7th inning, etc..
Eduardo Paredes – Ater a rocky start, the 21 year old Paredes has logged three consecutive shut down innings, flashing his mid-90’s arsenal with a collection of sinkers and sliders that give hitters fits. Fun fact, he’s currently teammates with Edward Paredes, and that is no doubt confusing to some.
Advanced A Ball Inland Empire 66ers
Tim Arakawa – He wasn’t as heralded as some of the others players drafted ahead of him last year, but Arakawa just continues to rake where others aren’t He’s currently batting .290/.360 with 9 DB 3 triples 2 HR and 6 SB. It may not seem like much, but compared to the rest of the roster, he’s a monster. Plus Arakawa has added LF and SS to his 2B tool belt. A future Giavotella or Izturis type of role could be what we’re seeing in Arakawa.
Caleb Adams – Another player that just continues to hit even though others with more hype don’t. Adams is hitting .289/.351 with 7 DB 6 triples and a homer to go along with 5 SB. Just an absolute gamer.
Class A Ball Burlington Bees
Hutton Moyer – Making his second appearance on this list, Moyer continues to live up to the offensive billing he was tabbed with coming out of Pepperdine. .313/.371 with 8 DB and 3 HR.
Jared Foster – Once the QB of the future for LSU, Foster ended up choosing baseball for his senior year and the Angels ended up banking on his upside with a draft pick. Foster is currently batting .257/.318 but it should be noted that his 12 DB and 4 HR both lead the team in this this pitching friendly environment while he continues to play top notch defense in the OF. A lot to like here if he can continue to grow.
Brendon Sanger – After a slow start to the year, Sanger’s production is now normalizing after some bad luck. Sanger has been squaring up pitches all season long, but many of them have been line drives right at the first baseman or second baseman or high line drives that stay up long enough to be caught in the outfield. The result is a meager .229 batting average with a .326 OBP. Sanger has continued to reach base despite the bad luck. But in his last 10 games, Sanger is hitting .359, logging four multi-hit games and even a two HR performance. What’s more, Sanger has learned a new position and is now the Bees primary second baseman. His upside is similar to that of Kole Calhoun, but his Sanger can grow and hack it at a middle infield spot, then the Angels may have found a borderline all-star second baseman in the fourth round last year. Sanger still has a very long way to go before meeting that destination, but the potential is there.
Grayson Long – Grayson continues to give hitters in A ball all sorts of fits. The 22 year old Texan has logged 40 innings with 45 K’s and a 1.58 ERA to start the season. What’s more, he’s flashed very good control throughout. Long has mid-rotation upside and is expected to climb the minor league ladder quickly, which makes his placement in A Ball all the more curious, given that he’s clearly the best overall pitching prospect in the system, and there aren’t any better pitchers finding success in the Cal League. Long should be in Southern California before long.