Angels add Chris Curley in Rule 5 Draft


After dealing away All-Star second baseman, Howie Kendrick, late Wednesday night to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Angels are stockpiling young infielders. The latest addition to the suddenly crowded infield is, Chris Curley, who was selected in the Rule 5 draft Thursday morning. Curley spent the last three seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization prior to joining the Halos. Curley took to twitter to voice his excitement over joining the Halos.

The Halos spent $12,000 to acquire Curley in the Rule 5 draft. Being that Curley was selected in the Triple-A phase, the Angels do not have to keep him on the 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2015 season in order to retain him.

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Chris Curley started his career in the Atlanta Braves organization, but after two relatively unproductive seasons, Curley was forced to explore other opportunities. After being let go by the Braves, Curley latched on with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier Baseball League. Switching to Independent League ball may have been the best decision Curley ever made, as he found his stroke with Florence. In 138 games with the Freedom, Curley hit .313, with 24 home runs and 110 RBI’s. During the 2012 season, the White Sox were impressed enough with Curley that they signed him and placed him with their Single-A affiliate in Kannapolis.

Curley spent all of 2014 with the White Sox Double-A affiliate in Birmingham. Last season was a bit of a mixed bag offensively for the 27-year-old, as he managed to hit .286 and post an on base percentage of .328, but his home runs total plummeted from 24 the previous year to just 5. Curley’s 2013 season is likely what caught the eye of the Halos, as he dominated the Carolina League with Winston-Salem. Curley hit .280, clubbing 24 dingers, driving in 92 runs, 14 stolen bases, and posted a .350 OBP. Curley had the look of a rising star for the Pale Hose, and was named a Carolina League All-Star.

Curley’s versatility is what stands out most defensively, as he started at least 30 games at second base, third base, and shortstop last season in Birmingham. The majority of his appearances have come at third base, which makes sense given his ability to hit for power. However, he has looked most comfortable playing second base, where he has registered a 4.42 range factor over 71 career games. For Curley, improved consistency with the leather could go a long way towards earning a role with the Angels in 2015.

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Angels’ general manager, Jerry Dipoto, believes strongly in the importance of on-base-percentage, and that is an area Curley excels in. Over the course of six seasons in the junior circuit, Curley has combined to post a respectable .336 OBP. Curley figures to compete with, Grant Green, Josh Rutledge, Taylor Featherston, and Pedro Ruiz for the opening at second base.

While Green and Rutledge are the obvious favorites at this juncture, Curley does possess a very intriguing mix of power and speed. At the very least, Curley will provide valuable organizational infield depth. The Halos will likely be keeping at least one utility infielder on the 25-man roster, and Curley may be a guy to watch next spring in Tempe.

You can bet the vendors at Angel Stadium are hoping Curley becomes a star in the Big A. I mean the ‘Curley Fries’ would sell themselves!