Here’s are some highs and lows from the past couple of weeks in the Los Angeles Angels farm system:
C.J. Cron – 1B – Arkansas Travelers – Cron’s first year in Double-A has been lackluster. In 120 games Cron has gone deep just 10 times and sports a wOBA of just .325. Those numbers aren’t terrible but they aren’t outstanding either. That being said, it’s important to remember that the Texas League the Travelers play in is notorious for suppressing offense. Despite having a dismal August, Cron had himself an excellent week with a .417/.440/.708 slash over the last six games. With Pujols and Trumbo currently occupying spots on the Angels roster, the Angels can be patient with Cron as he’ll try and find the hit-tool that the Angels drafted him for originally.
Mark Sappington – P – Arkansas Travelers – Earlier this month we wrote about Sappington’s success in the Single-A. Since then Sappington earned an overdue promotion to Double-A and has done well so far posting a 2.55 ERA and striking out 16 in 17 2/3 innings pitched but he is still averaging almost 4 walks per nine innings. Double-A will be a big test for him and in this short sampled size he’s proven the ability to stick around. With a thin Angels farm system, particularly when it comes to pitchers, don’t be surprised to see the Angels push Sappington through the system quickly if he continues to succeed.
Mike Morin – P – Arkansas Travelers – The last time we checked in with Morin he was owning high-A ball with an ERA of 1.85 in 39 innings out of the bullpen while striking out 43. Since getting the call up to Double-A, Morin has continued to do well striking out 25 batters in as many innings pitched with an ERA of 2.16. It’s a small sample size but Morin has struggled a bit in August allowing 12 hits in 9 innings of work but he has maintained his strikeout rate, fanning 10 during that stretch. He’s also giving up more hits than he did in single-A averaging 8.3 per 9 innings opposed to the 6.9 he was allowing at Inland Empire. Much like Sappington, expect the Angels to move Morin quickly through the system if he continues to succeed in the higher levels of the minors.
Kyle McGowin – P – Orem Owlz – The 6’3″ right-hander selected in the fourth round in the 2013 draft out of the little known Savannah State. Baseball America wrote an article about him back in March of this year calling him a “sleeper” in this year’s draft. McGowin has three pitches: a fastball that sits in the 91-93mph range and a sold 11 to 5 slider that runs between 76 and 79mph. He also has a change-up in the works. The Angels sent McGowin to the Orem Owlz in the Rookie Pioneer League and in his brief stint there so far, he’s done well. In 10 innings of work, McGowin has given up just 3 hits and struck out 8 while walking just 2 batters. McGowin is an intriguing prospect who will likely start the 2014 season at high-A and continue to be pushed along rather quickly if he does well.
Keynan Middleton – P – AZL Angels – The 3rd round selection for the Angels in the 2013 draft, the 19-year old Middleton was sent to the Pioneer League after being signed and did not fair well. In 23 innings, Middleton gave up 21 earned runs and walked 15. This prompted the Angels to recently send him back to the Arizona rookie league. Middleton has raw tools and was a two-sport star in community college. He has a fastball that touches 95mph. Clearly, he’s a work in progress.