In this new installment on Halo Hangout, we check out some of the best and worst performances in the Angels minor league system over the past couple weeks.
While the Los Angeles Angels minor league system was at the bottom (or near it) in most preseason farm system rankings, there are still a number of good players to keep an eye on with many of the Angels top prospects have continued to develop in positive directions in 2013. Here are some notable performances so far:
Kole Calhoun – OF – Salt Lake City Bees - With no room on the Angels roster, Calhoun returned to put in another year with the Bees where he has been making a strong case for a bench spot on the big league squad. In 32 games, Calhoun is posting a cool 1.000 OPS while posting a .400 batting average along with 2 home runs and 2 triples in the last 10 games. The PCL inflates offensive but what might be most encouraging about Calhoun’s stats is that in 147 plate appearances he’s struck out only 18 times. He projects as a fourth outfielder but with J.B. Shuck currently holding down that spot, Calhoun might not see the big leagues until September call-ups despite his success early this year in Triple-A.
Randal Grichuk -OF- Arkansas Travelers - Double-A is often seen as a true measuring stick of a prospect’s future. So it’s encouraging that Grichuk, who has fought injury in much of his minor league career so far, has held his own in the offense-suppressing Texas League for the Arkansas Travelers. In 2013, Grichuk has a .797 OPS with 12 home runs and five triples in 281 plate appearances. There is still room for improvement but at just 21 years-old, Grichuk’s success is promising.
Taylor Lindsey- 2B – Arkansas Travelers – Drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft, Lindsey has continued to find success in Double-A with a .803 OPS and 11 home runs. After a dismal April, Lindsey’s bat got hot and has remained that way through June where he is batting .304 in the past 10 games. Lindsey”s main tool is his hitting which he has continued to showcase in the less than generous confines of the Texas League.
Kaleb Cowart – 3B – Arkansas Travelers - In his first season at Double-A, Cowart might be feeling the pressure of being the number one prospect in the Angels system. Remember when everyone was saying Alberto Callaspo was just a stop-gap to Cowart? Well, before Angels fans write him in as their 2015 starting third-baseman, they should check his stat-line: .216/.279/.320. Cowart’s K:BB rate is 64:24 and he’s hit just five home runs this year. Ouch. The Texas League has been known to dry up offensive numbers but Cowart will have to start hitting better than he is to not repeat another year in Arkansas. Fortunately, for Angels fans, he’s only 21 so time is still on his side.
Alex Yarbrough – 2B – Inland Empire 66ers - Drafted in the 4th round last year out of University of Mississippi, Yarbrough has showcased his excellent bat-to-ball skills this June posting a .364/.385/.659 batting line with four home runs and four triples. Scouting reports on Yarbrough are positive. Expect him to move quickly through the system if he continues to rake.
Mike Morin – RP – Inland Empire 66ers - Drafted out of University of North Carolina in the 13th round last year, Morin has had an excellent season so far for the 66ers. In 37 innings, Morin has struck out 42 and walked just five batters while posting a 1.93 ERA. Scouting director Ric Wilson has said Morin has one of the best change-ups in the system, which must work well when your fastball has been clocked in the low 90s. A player to keep an eye on.