The Los Angeles Angels do a great job of drafting talent. Some of them become All-Stars in LA (Mike Trout and Jered Weaver) while others become All-Stars in other locations (Jean Segura and Patrick Corbin). After two disappointing seasons, perhaps the Angels will keep more than they trade. Here is a quick look at the players the team will be sending to the Arizona Fall League. All rankings are courtesy of mlb.com.
C.J. Cron-Taken in the first round of the 2011 draft, Cron is the second-ranked prospect in the organization. He is a first baseman by trade and possesses power you would expect from someone at the position. Cron spent 2013 at Double A Arkansas and hit 14 home runs with 83 RBI’s and a .274/.319/.428 slash line. He is not a particularly fast runner or a great defender so it is his bat that will send him to Los Angeles in 2014. With Albert Pujols coming off an injury, there is a chance Cron could be the starter on Opening Day with Pujols becoming the primary DH.
Taylor Lindsey-Sitting one spot below Cron in the Angels’s rankings is Lindsey, a second baseman. He also spent 2013 at Arkansas and his 139 hits were second in the organization. Lindsey will be more of an offensive-minded player at second but his defense is considered better than Cron’s. With Howie Kendrick under contract through 2015, Lindsey may have to wait a year or two before becoming the starter. Still, he should be in Los Angels at some point in 2014.
Mike Morin-At number nine, Morin is a right-handed pitcher whose future is in the bullpen. He spent 2013 at Single A Inland Empire and Arkansas where he put up some outstanding numbers. In 56 games covering 70 innings, Morin was 3-3 with a 1.93 ERA with 23 saves. He allowed 56 hits and 10 walks while striking out 76, holding opposing hitters to a .225 average. His low 90′s fastball is complimented with an excellent changeup. The Angels view him a setup man at the Major League level.
R.J. Alvarez-Here is another hard-throwing righty in the LA system. Alvarez was drafted in the third round in 2011 and already there is talk of him making the Angels’ bullpen in 2014. The organization’s #11 prospect, Alvarez’s fastball can hit 97 on the gun and he can also mix in a slider and a changeup. At Inland Empire this season, he went 4-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 37 games (two starts) covering 48 2/3 innings. Alvarez allowed only 34 hits including just two home runs. However, he did walk 27 hitters which shows command issues. But 79 strikeouts and a .191 batting average against means a move up the ladder will come quickly rather than slowly.
Zach Borenstein-23rd round picks have to perform exceptionally well to get noticed. Bornestein, the team’s #14 prospect did just that at Inland Empire in 2013, capturing the California League MVP Award. In 407 at-bats, he hit 28 home runs and drove in 95 runs with a hearty line of .337/.403/.631. A product of Eastern Illinois, Borenstein has settled down in left field after playing all over the outfield in college and at lower A ball. The AFL will be the perfect opportunity for him to show that his season at Inland Empire was not a fluke.
Cam Bedrosian-Son of former Cy Young Award winner Steve Bedrosian, he was taken in the first round of the 2010 draft. Like his father, the younger Bedrosian appears to have found his niche in the bullpen. After a rough 2012, Bedrosian was shifted to the ‘pen where he spent time at Burlington in the Midwest League before being promoted to Inland Empire. He salvaged a shaky 2013 by not allowing a run in seven games covering 8 2/3 innings for the 66′ers. Bedrosian was drafted out of high school and hopefully for the Angels, he could develop by the age of 25, just like his dad.
Jett Bandy-The catcher was drafted in the 31st round of the 2011 draft and proceeded to spend time at four different levels of A ball. Bandy spent 2013 at Arkansas where he hit 4 home runs and drove in 28 with a line of .241/.303/.376 in 245 at-bats. He has thrown out 32% of runners attempting to steal throughout his career and had a fielding percentage of .991 in 2013. With a good showing in the AFL and a solid Triple A season, Bandy could warrant a September call-up and playing time for a backup catching spot.
Michael Roth-The 23-year old lefty actually pitched in 15 games for the Halos in 2013, all but one in relief. He was a 9th round draft pick out of South Carolina in 2012. Roth has been primarily a starter in the Minors with 24 starts in 28 games. He spent 2013 in Arkansas and pitched a total of 79 1/3 innings going 6-3 with a 4.20 ERA. Walks were a problem as he issued 36 free passes with 51 strikeouts. With such a quick rise through the system, I would expect Roth to head to Triple A to start the season and find himself back in Anaheim before the end of 2014.
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