The trade deadline has come and gone and the Angels found themselves with two new minor league prospects in Grant Green and Cory Rasmus. In addition, Pujols went on the DL and Kole Calhoun was (finally) called up from Salt Lake. Meanwhile, Brad Hawpe was released and Chris Nelson along with Thomas Field were recalled from Triple A.
Here’s are some highs and lows from the past couple of weeks in the Angels farm system.
Grant Green – 2B – Salt Lake Bees – Traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Alberto Callaspo, the infielder has very little else to prove in the minors posting .325/.379/.500 in Sacramento this year. But with Howie Kendrick blocking him at second on the big league squad the Angels sent Green to SLC. In his first game he started where he left off going 2 for 5. Green has a solid bat but questionable defense at second-base. He strikes out a lot and projects to be a league-average ballplayer in the majors. Look for him to get a September call-up.
Matt Long – OF – Salt Lake Bees - The 26-year old outfielder scorched the month of July posting a .955 OPS that included five triples (!), three home runs and 20 RBI. Long has proven to be a solid minor league player but has never been a real prospect. Clearly, the Angels feel the same having acquired Scott Cousins, Collin Cowgill and Brad Hawpe this year to add outfield depth. Long also finds himself off the 40-man roster and despite a solid year in the PCL, remains an unlikely candidate to get a September call-up.
Randal Grichuk – OF – Arkansas Travelers – Grichuk picked it up after a dismal April, hitting six home runs in May and posting an .992 OPS. Since then, Grichuk hasn’t been able to sustain such production batting 220/.271/.400 in July. Yet, he also holds a ridiculously low .254 BaBIP so the unimpressive slash may not tell the whole story. Grichuk is still young (he turns 22 in August) and currently does lead the Travelers with 15 home runs in the offense suppressing Texas League. So far, Grichuk has held his own in Double-A which has been his biggest test yet.
Mark Sappington – P – Inland Empire 66ers - The 6’5″ right-hander has had a solid year in single-A posting a 3.37 ERA and allowing 103 hits in over 130 innings. And he’s only got better since the season began. In July, Sappington posted a 2.03 ERA in six starts allowing just 21 hits in 40 innings. Sappington currently sits 6th on MLB’s Top 20 Angels prospects list. Sappington’s ceiling is a no. 4 starter but his risk still remains high with only the low minors on his resume. His next big test will be Double-A where he will look to continue his success.
Alfonso Alcantara – P – Orem Owlz – After impressing last year in the Dominican summer league, Alcantara has struggled mightily in the Pioneer League. In 33 innings, Alcantara has given up 45 hits and struck out just 22 posting a hefty 7.83 ERA. The 20-year old Dominican currently sits 18th on the Angels top 20 prospect list.