John Hellweg Impresses


The Angels apparently held a split squad prospect game on Monday. Nobody bothered to let me know about it. But I haven’t paid my cell phone bill in months and can’t remember my AOL email password. Luckily, ESPN scouting director and food nerd, Keith Law, attended and hit the highlights. The article is Insider only so I’m only going to highlight a few highlights. That man has an expensive cookware collection and has gots to get paid.

John Hellweg
Hellweg was the star of Law’s notes. The 6’9 right-hander was converted from a reliever to a starter and his prospect stock took off like he invented the iPad. The flamethrower can hit 100 and lives at 95-97 mph with his fastball. Baseball Prospectus guru Kevin Goldstein ranked Hellweg 3rd in the Angels system and Baseball America had him 4th. Law made him 81st in his Top 100 and was impressed with what he saw Monday…

"Starter John Hellweg was 95-98 with a lot of life down in the zone, more tail at 95 but just straight sink at 97-98, with the action generated by a low three-quarters arm slot. His changeup at 87-90 is more like a two-seamer with its tailing life, without which it would be just a BP fastball. The breaking ball at 83-84 was huge with tremendous tilt, although it’s so big and sharp I worry about big league hitters laying off it because it’s going to finish out of the zone so often."

Whatever that means. Hellweg’s future could be a front end starter. Or a dominant reliever. Or Lewis Yocum will have to eventually sew his arm back on to his body. Fingers crossed it’s the first one.

Kaleb Cowart
Cowart is still years away from competing for the Angels third base job but he is a clear top 10 prospect in the Angels system. While some saw Cowart as a pitcher out of high school in the 2010 draft, the Halos drafted him in hopes he’d man the hot corner for them in the future…

"The Angels ran just about all of their position player prospects out there for at least two at-bats apiece in this game, including Kaleb Cowart, who made a really nice play to his right at third base."

Cowart should stick at third thanks to his plus arm and athleticism. He might even hit for some power. There’s also a good chance Arte Moreno and Magic Johnson box on PPV before Cowart reaches his potential.

Chevy Clarke
Chevy Clarke was the Angels number 13 prospect in 2011 according to Baseball America. He didn’t make their top 31 in 2012. Is he still playing, Keith?

"Chevy Clarke, who drilled a double that was misplayed into an inside-the-parker while hitting left-handed"

Okay, thanks. Clarke is one of the poster children for incredible tools that will never reach the Majors. After two miserable years in rookie ball (failed to crack a .295 OBP either year), Clarke is a long shot to put it all together.

For the rest of Law’s notes sign up for Insider and go here. I’m pretty sure I get 30 cents for every new Insider subscription I get him.