If your head is starting to hurt, chances are it is the hammer that is the trade deadline smacking you upside the skull. Fear not though, dear reader, the deadline is in four days, and the mountain of Excedrin you have been taking to fight the pain will feel completely worth it. Your liver wont be very appreciative, but your head will thank you.
Before the season began, the Angels Top 20 prospects looked something like this:
Not a bad setup considering how bleak the outlook is for the Angels farm system. Kaleb Cowart was coming off a fine season between Low-A and High-A. C.J. Cron set the Angels Minor League record for RBI’s. Nick Maronde had received a sip of coffee in the Big Leagues and instantly made himself a object of affection for this blogger. No upper echelon/elite/Mike Trout-type prospects, but at least a sliver of hope.
Yesterday, MLB.com unveiled it’s updated Top 20 list, and here’s is what the Angels list looks like:
Hat tip to fellow Halo Hangout’er Dave for turning me on to the snipping tool. This thing is rather fun.
Remember Randal Grichuk? The guy chosen right before Mike Trout in that fabled 2009 draft? Guess he is kind of a good baseball player, huh? I wouldn’t say that his .239/.296/.438 slash line is “tearing up AA,” but he is enjoying his second straight season where he hasn’t had to deal with injuries. Good for you, Randal. Good for you.
The Angels now have a couple of good second base prospects in Taylor Lindsey and Alex Yarbrough in the top 10. Neither of them are plus defenders, and Lindsey offers a little bit more in the way of power, but both offer a bit of safety net for when Howie Kendrick‘s contract runs out. or for when Howie gets dealt. Also in the middle of the diamond is young shortstop Jose Rondon. Sky-high ceiling for this raw prospect, but the key word there is, “raw.” As in, he is very raw. But he could be the ideal incumbent when Erick Aybar‘s contract runs out.
As much as I love Cowart, I have a bit of an issue seeing him still ranked numero uno. He’s younger than Cron, and miles better defensively (which isn’t saying much since Cron is about as defensively efficient as a cement mixer), but he is barely hitting his weight in AA. The idea was, when the Angels extended Alberto Callaspo through the 2014 season, that he would be in Anaheim just long enough for Cowart to be ready and take over at third base. As of right now, he may need to repeat AA after this season.
Enough of the hitting. How about the pitching?
It’s still weak. And shallow. Very shallow. How shallow? The Angels top pick in the 2013 first-year player draft, Hunter Green, has thrown 2.1 innings in the Arizona Summer League. He is now the 13th best prospect in the Angels system. 13th! Cam Bedrosian, who was sixth before the season started, isn’t on the list anymore, and Mark Sappington, who wasn’t on the list before the season, is the top pitching prospect – and fifth overall – in the system. Lots of turnover.
Why is this important with the deadline approaching the slowest moving freight train in the history of both slow moving objects and freight trains? This is the list that other teams have when looking into trading with other teams. Or, in the case of the Angels, it’s probably the list that they are using to line their bird cages. But, when names like Howie Kendrick get thrown around as possible trade candidates, it is players like Taylor Lindsey and Alex Yarbrough that could be taking his place on the big league club. And neither one of them are ready for the Majors. So, unless you really are rooting for the team to finish in the bottom 10 so they can get a top 10 draft pick, you don’t want to see the Kendrick’s of the team get moved.