Prospect Countdown Review : #75-100

A recap of the Los Angeles Angels Top 100 Prospect Countdown, Prospects #75-100.


#75. Daniel Hurtado, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'3
WT : 180 lb.
DOB : July 25, 1992, Los Teques, Miranda, Venezuela
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2009
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : High socks / Likes the movie, "Taken"


Another international signing that has not let the Los Angeles Angels down, Daniel Hurtado has spent the last five years of his life pitching in the Angels system, and improving every step of the way. He's eligible for the Rule-5 Draft this year, but it is likely he'll stay with the Angels and progress towards a key role in the big club's bullpen.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Hurtado's best asset is his frame, coming in at six-foot-three, and has been adding muscle in the right way every year. He is adding weight this off-season which means he could add some velocity and strengthen himself to add stamina.

Speaking of velocity, Hurtado isn't known to fire it in the way some prospects do, topping out at around 91-92 MPH. However, it has good sink coming from an awkward 4/5 arm slot, making it come in at a deceptive speed and allowing a high amount of swing and misses.

Hurtado comes with a pair of off-speed offers, with a curveball with late break, with good drop. He also has a changeup that needs development, but he has used it in small doses, allowing batters to struggle with balance.

Hurtado throws in a very deceptive motion, dropping his head, then raising it as the ball comes around from a strong hip turn. He hides the ball well, keeping it behind him through his motion, and hurling it in at a 4/5 slot with a small herky-jerky movement. Hurtado uses his legs well in his delivery.

One hidden part of Hurtado's game is his pick-off move. He's quick on the turn and accurate on his toss, making him deceptive and hard to run against. He has a quicker movement from the stretch, which allows him to keep runners at bay, and holds them well.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Hurtado jumped onto the scene in 2009 after being signed at 17-years-old, and posted a 4.50 ERA ERA, and 1.542 WHIP in his first professional season. Hurtado had 11 of his 14 outings go without allowing a run, but the three in which he did, he allowed at least three runs at minimum.

Hurtado was limited in 2010, only pitching in nine games due to spaced injuries and joining the rotation, making roughly half his starts. However, he shined with a 2.23 ERA, .207 against average, and 0.925 WHIP. Hurtado allowed just 6.3 hits per nine, and walked just two per nine. Hurtado's best performance came on June 11th, 2010, when he went seven scoreless innings, walking three, and striking out nine.

Hurtado was far and away the best pitcher at the Dominican affiliate for the Angels in 2011. He posted a 1.45 ERA in 14 starts, with a 0.982 WHIP. Hurtado had two complete game shutouts, and had eight starts where he went scoreless in five innings or more. Hurtado's best game came on July 14th, where he threw a no-hitter, allowing two base runners on a pair of walks.

Hurtado came stateside in 2012, and got a taste of stronger competition. By the end, Hurtado finished the season with a 4.71 ERA and 1.679 WHIP, allowing more than ten hits per nine. In his final four appearances, all starts, he had 14 earned runs, and a .318 against average, lifting his ERA from 2.14 to 4.71.

Hurtado split time between Rookie Ball and Class-A in 2013, posting a combined 3.45 ERA, and 1.331 WHIP, while walking his highest amount, 4.1 per nine. Hurtado ended the season on a strong note, going scoreless for his final six outings, a combined 14.1 innings pitched. Over that span, he allowed nine hits, holding runners to a .230 against average.

Hurtado put together a 2.95 ERA last season, striking out one batter per inning. He was thrown back into the rotation, and full time in late July. Hurtado did not allow a run in relief, and held a 3.36 ERA as a starter. Hurtado did allow a large amount of hits though (8.6 per nine), and it lifted his WHIP to 1.256 for the season.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Hurtado has pitched well at every level he's competed at. He saw time in Class-A through the majority of the 2014 season, and should excel to the next level with ease, pitching in High-A in 2015.

Hurtado could help the big club soon, but he's still young and still developing. Hurtado is better suited for the bullpen, and could see Major League time as soon as 2016, but it is most likely he'll be with the big club in the bullpen in 2017.




#76. Manuel Rondon, Left-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'1
WT : 165 lb.
DOB : March 7, 1995, Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, Venezuela
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2012
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Owns a 66ers old logo ballcap / 80-Grade Instagrammer


By nature, Manuel Rondon is an elite prospect due to him being a lefty, and being a pitcher, and being able to adjust to different situations. However, you still have to be good at what you do, and Manuel Rondon is very good at what he does on the mound, putting his stock higher and higher by season, and helping many take notice of his talents.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Rondon has one of the best changeups in the system. It comes with natural run in the high 70's, and has a sudden late drop to it. This allows Rondon to keep batters off-balance in any count, and he uses it to put batters away as well.

Rondon's fastball isn't something to awe at, sitting anywhere from 87-91 MPH, but it does have solid movement, breaking back into left-handed batters and away from right-handed batters with it's natural sink.

Rondon also uses his slider to stay tough against left handed bats, but has a tendency to overthrow it, and lose command, making it ineffective. This is something he'll need to improve on to face tougher competition at higher levels.

Rondon has average command of his pitches for a young player, and has shown strong strides forward in progress. However, he will need to learn to command his fastball to stay efficient stateside, and develop his slider more with better command as well.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Rondon began his professional career as a long reliever, and shined, posting a 2.83 ERA, 1.258 WHIP, and limited batters to a .203 average. Over his final 12 appearances in 2013 (29.0 IP), he allowed just five runs (1.55 ERA), and a .192 against average.

When pitching in the final three frames of 2013, Rondon held a 1.96 ERA, and 0.872 WHIP. Rondon also held right-handed batters to a .199/.295/.301 slash over the season.

Rondon became a full time starter in 2014, and in 14 starts, held a 2.30 ERA, 1.260 WHIP, and struck out 8.9 per nine. Six of his 14 starts went with just one run earned over five or more innings of work.

Rondon put together a streak of five starts in July where he held a 1.80 ERA, .190 against average and 1.120 WHIP. Rondon excelled in the middle innings, posting a 1.91 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, and .227 against average from the second to sixth innings. In the first innings, and seventh or later, Rondon put up a 3.60 ERA and 1.466 WHIP.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Rondon has pitched well in the Dominican league, and it seems he's earned a trip stateside in 2015. However, development of his off-speed pitches this Spring will set whether he lands in Rookie Ball, or back to the Dominican for another year of work.

Rondon has the luck of depth on his side, being a left-handed starter who can be converted to a reliever. With this, Rondon has a more likely Major League future just by nature. Rondon could be a Major Leaguer by the 2018 or 2019 season.




#77. Alexander Valdez, Right-Handed Pitcher



HT : 6'0
WT : 175 lb.
DOB : January 28, 1994, Barahona, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2011
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : N/A


One of those diamond in the rough kind of guys we like here at InsideTheHalos.com, Alexander Valdez has worked his way into our hidden gem kind of guys. Somehow, he's hidden in the depths of the system for some time, but now is his time to emerge to the top as one of the Angels elite international prospects.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Valdez comes with a three pitch arsenal of a four-seam fastball, slider, and curveball mixture. His slider being his best pitch with late break.

Valdez throws all his pitches from a high arm slot, allowing a tough read on all three. His fastball has good natural run to it, and sits anywhere from 89-92 MPH.

Valdez's curveball falls well in the low 70's, but still needs development to put him into an elite category of holding a strong three pitch arsenal.

Valdez commands his pitches well, maintaining solid movement and control throughout his entire game plan, and also allowing him to be aggressive on the mound.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Valdez struggled in his first taste of professional ball, holding a 6.12 ERA, 1.440 WHIP and .254 against average. Valdez had a pair of outings where he allowed four or more runs in one innings performances. Where Valdez held his own but keeping runners off the bases while leading off, limiting them to a .150 against average. Valdez also struck out 10.1 per nine.

Valdez improved double fold upon his 2012 season with a strong 2013, breaking out in a 3.41 ERA. However, batters had ease against Valdez with a .316 against average, and allowing 11.5 hits per nine.

Valdez shined this last year in the Dominican, posting a 2.38 ERA, 1.128 WHIP, while striking out 8.9 per nine. Valdez did not allow a run in his first six appearances (17.2 innings pitched). In outings where Valdez went over two innings in a performance, he held a 0.92 ERA, struck out 9.2 per nine, 0.784 base runners per innings. He also held batters to a .174 against average and .223 on base percentage.

Valdez finished with a 7-2 record with five saves in nine opportunities. Right-handed bats were held to a .219/.299/.250 slash against Valdez in 2014.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Valdez has done his time in the Dominican, and should be headed stateside in 2015, to pitch at the Rookie Ball level, and face better competition.

Valdez needs to improve upon a few things before he'd be registered a future Major Leaguer. It would take some time before he gets near that level as well, but he could be used as a mid relief asset in time.




#78. Angel Molina, Catcher


HT : 6'0
WT : 175 lb.
DOB : August 20, 1997, Puerto Cabello, Venezuela
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2014
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : He's barely 17-years-old


The Los Angeles Angels have had catchers with the last name "Molina" before, and they found a hidden gem in the international market with this one, Angel Molina. Though he has no relation to the Molina brothers, Bengie, Jose, or Yadier, he has promise to become a well known Molina the way the others have.


SCOUTING REPORT:

He's young, and that's his biggest tool at the moment. He's still growing at six-foot, and 175 pounds, and is adding muscle this off-season as a starter. He was tested with blocking the plate this past season and excelled.

Molina needs to improve his play calling, but has the trust of his young pitchers already, who posted a combined 3.81 ERA with Molina behind the plate.

Molina has a strong arm for a young catcher, with good accuracy, and this will improve with growth and development, while getting older.

Molina has a swift swing, with no hitches. This allows him to place the ball well, keeping his contact high and swings and misses low. He has very limited power, which is also due to his small stature.

Molina has good speed for a catcher, and is a plus base runner. This comes with a good baseball IQ, which helps him in every aspect of his game, and puts him ahead of the curve at his age.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Molina spent his first year as a 16-year-old professional in the Dominican Republic, and was a stud young man, putting up a .241/.281/.278 slash. Molina had five of his 18 games go for multiple hits, and he reached base three times in a game twice.

With runners on with two outs, Molina went 4-for-9 with a double and four RBI. Seven of those at bats came with runners in scoring position, where he collected three hits.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Molina will stay in the Dominican Republic for a few years, adjusting to older competition and competing well to gain a trip stateside, hopefully by 2016.

Molina is too young, and has too little known about him to know if he'll be a Major Leaguer. However, everything sets itself up to see him as at least a Major League backup at one point or another in his career.




#79. Ramon Rodriguez, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'0
WT : 180 lb.
DOB : September 20, 1993, Costanza, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2012 (Signed for $30,000)
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : N/A


It's not often you see a guy go from international ball straight into pitching stateside in the same season. In the case of Ramon Rodriguez, heads were turned, both in an organizational way, but at the plate, as he fools batters left and right, helping push him further and further in the Los Angeles Angels farm system.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Rodriguez comes with a low to mid 90's fastball with good cutting action to it. He uses this with a deception motion, to allow him to beat batters.

Rodriguez also comes with a strong changeup, which keeps batters off balance. His changeup has some run to it, coming from a circle change grip.

Rodriguez's command is shakey, as he walks nearly four per nine on average. This should improve with time on the mound, but will hold him from excelling at the higher levels and more competitive bats.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Rodriguez was excellent upon being signed, posting a 1.86 ERA, 1.137 WHIP and .193 against average in his first year of professional baseball in the Dominican. Rodriguez did not allow a hit with runners on in scoring position (16 at bats)

Rodriguez had a busy schedule in 2013, spending his first 11 games in the Dominican, posting a 3.52 ERA with four saves in five opportunities. Out of nowhere, Rodriguez boarded a plane to the states in mid July and landed in Tempe, pitching for the Angels AZL affiliate. He went on to put up a 3-0 record, and 4.03 ERA. Rodriguez has his struggles once coming to the states, but shined in situational manners, allowing batters to go just 2-for-14 with runners on with two outs.

Rodriguez shined in his relief role in 2014 with the Orem Owlz, standing out with his 2.80 ERA, and .252 against average. Rodriguez allowed just one run in his final month of work (15.2 IP), allowing just seven hits. Rodriguez held left-handed bats to a .169/.250/.288 slash, with just four extra base hits in 59 at bats, striking out 22.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Rodriguez has some things to work on and is young enough to spend another year in Rookie Ball. However, with a strong Spring, he may have the ability to make the leap into Class-A and be tested with tougher competition in 2015.

Rodriguez is a solid reliever with good stamina. He has no set ETA for the Major Leagues at this time. With improved command and more development, growing into his body, he could become a long reliever at the higher levels, making his worth more valuable.




#80. Steven Mateo, First Baseman


HT : 6'2
WT : 188 lb.
DOB : August 19, 1992, Santiago, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2010
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Scouts compare him to Efren Navarro / Buddies with Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar


Steven Mateo was a standout once he came stateside this past season. This first baseman is about as unorthodox as can be for his position, but this doesn't hold us from believing he has a strong future moving forward in the Angels system. Scouts have compared him to the beloved Angels player, Efren Navarro.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Mateo is very patient, with a solid eye, which helps him to see a large amount of pitches per at bat. This helps draw walks... and also causes high strikeout rates.

Mateo does make good contact on the ball with a swift swing, squaring up balls, but he has a small amount of power in his swing. He has some slap in his swing, finishing slightly forward in his finish, which may be something he'll need to improve upon to move forward.

Mateo moves well for a first baseman, having adequate range. He receives the ball with ease, and never gets lazy on the ball when it comes to him. What Mateo was noted in the "needs department" was his progression towards the ball when moving forward, and reading the ball off the bat.

Speed is something Mateo has flashed, and he is above average for a first baseman. However, he won't win any sprint contest. This doesn't stop him from grinding however, and giving 100% from the time the ball leaves his bat to the time he's at the bag.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Mateo broke into the Angels farm system on the international level in 2010, and in 33 games, posted a .229/.297/.276 slash as an 18-year-old. Mateo hit safely in seven of his final eight games of the season, reaching base in all. Mateo came up as a clutch bat, batting .312 with a .777 OPS in the seventh inning or later of games.

Mateo shined in his second year of professional baseball, reaching base in 25 of the 30 games he appeared in. He finished with a .271/.396/.376 slash for the season, with four multi-hit games. Mateo drew 16 walks in 101 plate appearances.

Mateo struggled in 2012, batting just .169 over the season. However, he did draw 19 walks in 93 plate appearances, which meant one walk per 4.89 plate appearances.

Mateo returned to his masterful work in his final Dominican season in 2013. He finished with a .279/.429/.406 slash, picking up hits in 46 of the 66 games he appeared in (a career high in games). Mateo had 13 multi-hit games, also reaching base three times in 13 separate games. Mateo drew a walk in 80% of the games he played in, and brought home 39 runs with his bat. Mateo bat .377 with a 1.027 OPS in the final two innings of games, with 13 runs batted in and nine runs scored.

Mateo began his first stateside season strong, going 8-for-his first 11 at bats. He then went hitless for six games, and then began his best season to date. Mateo hit safely in 22 of his final 33 games, reaching base in 26 of those. He finished the season with a .306/.394/.420 slash, collecting 12 multi-hit games.

From the fourth to seventh innings of games, Mateo hit .405 with a .467 on base percentage, and 1.032 OPS, with 16 runs batted in. While leading off innings, Mateo had a .419/486/516 slash. Situationally, Mateo had slashes of .353/.476/.647 with runners on with two outs, and .346/.443/.538 with runners in scoring position.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Mateo has shown he can play ball at the Rookie Ball level. This makes us believe a return in 2015 might not be his calling card, but instead, make the leap into Class-A where he can face tougher competition.

Mateo's ability to get on base, and place the ball in the field when necessary is where he will excel in the minor league levels, and potentially get him a bench job in the Majors someday. He has not ETA, but if we had to take a guess, we'd say 2019.




#81. Quinten Davis, Outfielder


HT : 6'1
WT : 185 lb.
DOB : August 1, 1992, Missouri City, Texas
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : McLennan Community College (Waco, Texas)
Acquired : Drafted 20th Round (627th overall) in 2012 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Owns a shirt that says "#SPEEDSWAG" / Houston Rockets fan / Rocks the high socks


The second prospect to come from McLennan C.C. in our countdown, this one boast loads of promise and adds some serious depth to the outfield position. Quinten Davis is one of our sleeper prospects, and is ready to burst into the scene of becoming one of the Angels stud prospects.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Davis has a swift swing with good torque creating positive power and gap to gap power. He can extend his hands and has quick wrist allowing him to put the ball all over the field. Davis has some holes in his swing that can be fixed with coaching.

Davis has electric and underrated speed, which not only allows him to nab bases and can make up space in the field. Davis has a solid glove, and is one of the better defensive outfielders in the Angels system.

Davis has an aggressive approach at the plate and in the field. He has good pitch recognition, but could use some more discipline to draw more pitches in his at bats.

Davis' is incredibly athletic, and it shows in every aspect of his game.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

At McLennan Community College, Davis was a standout, putting up a slash of .339/.429/.446 with eight doubles, three home runs, 36 runs scored, 29 runs batted in and 19 stolen bases.

Davis struggled coming out of the draft and jumping into Rookie Ball, putting up a .242/.320/.303 slash in the Arizona League and .120/.214/.200 slash in the Pioneer League in a combined 51 games. However, Davis put together a seven game hit streak in late July of 2012, going 10-for-22 over the stretch and reaching in 14 of 26 plate appearances.

Davis spent 2013 back in Tempe, and shined with a .288/.365/.423 slash with 28 runs scored, 23 runs batted in, and 14 extra base hits in 48 games. Davis had 11 multi-hit games, which consisted of three, three-hit games, and one four-hit game. In 75 at bats with runners on, Davis hit .347 with a .934 OPS.

Davis spent a third year in Rookie Ball, spending 2014 with the Orem Owlz, and putting up a .274/.313/.484 slash. In an 12-game stretch in July, Davis reached base in each game, collecting hits in 11. In the first nine, Davis went 14-for-37 (.378), with a pair of doubles, pair of triples, and quadrine of home runs, putting his slugging percentage over the stretch at .864. Davis boasted a 1.108 OPS while leading off innings, and had a slash of .428/.441/.690 from the third to fifth innings of games, with a 9.5 K%.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Davis has shown he's ready to compete in the higher levels, and should begin 2015 with one of the Class-A affiliates. He spent the final parts of 2014 with Inland Empire, and could return but it is more likely he'll begin the year in Burlington.

Davis screams fourth outfielder. His value is high in the Angels farm system, and he should be able to be not just a valuable system player, but soon be a fine bench player for the Angels in the near future.




#82. Caleb Adams, Outfielder


HT : 6'0
WT : 185 lb.
DOB : January 26, 1993, Texarkana, Arkansas
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Lafayette, Louisiana)
Acquired : Drafted 10th Round (299th overall) of 2014 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Cousin, Chandler Riggs, who stars in "Walking Bad" congratulated on Twitter upon being drafted / 80-Grade Instagrammer / Dog Lover / Planned to be a lawyer after baseball


This dude has got some nasty pop! Caleb Adams has a lot of talents. He's smart, can fish, but what he's really good at? Baseball. Coming right out of the College World Series, Adams jumped into the Angels farm system and turned some heads. The Angels nabbed him up in the 10th round of this past draft, and he could have gotten a nice steal when they got him.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Adams was drafted for his power potential. This comes from natural torque through his swing which creates loads of power. He uses this to hit the ball hard to all parts of the field. With this also comes swing and miss concerns, that the Angels hope will go away with coaching.

Adams has an aggressive approach at the plate, but has an improving eye. In college, he was able to recognize pitches slightly better, but has shown early in his professional career that he has the capability to put the ball in play well, and draw long at bats with good discipline.

Adams is also a very aggressive player on the field. He grinds through all plays, and is not afraid to go after the ball slightly beyond his reach and bring it in. This is a plus, with a solid glove and plus speed.


Adams dominated the college level at Lafayette, putting up a .339/.435/.651 slash his first year, scoring 49 runs and bringing in 55 with his bat. This was mostly boasted by his 16 home runs, good enough for ninth in the nation. This helped put Adams in the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby.

Adams' game changed slightly in his final year of college, knocking the power numbers down by a small amount with 11 home runs and 42 runs batted in, but his contact improved by loads, posting a .381/.502/.673 slash. Adams has the second best OPS (on base percentage + slugging percentage) in the nation, at 1.175.

Adams first taste of professional baseball exposed some of the flaws in his game, but he was still able to excel in Rookie Ball, posting a .252/.325/.414 slash with 37 runs scored and 28 runs batted in.

Adams was streaky in his first year of pro ball, scoring in eight straight games from the end of June to the beginning of July. In that stretch, in the final six games, Adams went 9-for-23, with three walks, seven runs scored, nine runs batted in, and home runs in three straight games.

Adams also had a strong middle August, having a four game stretch where he reached base in 11 of 16 plate appearances.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Adams is still young and had some things he needs to fix before jumping into the Class-A affiliates. However, this doesn't hold us back from believing a strong Spring Training outing could change the mind of scouts and organizational members, and he could just as easily land in Burlington in 2015.

Adams' has Major League boom, and that could help him make the Majors. There is no estimated time of arrival to the Majors yet for Adams though, as most have not seen enough of him to have an estimation.




#83. Alex Abbott, Outfielder


HT : 5'11
WT : 187 lb.
DOB : November 2, 1994, Tifton, Georgia
Throws : Right
Bats : Left
School : Tift County High School (Tifton, Georgia)
Acquired : Drafted 6th Round (179th overall) of 2014 June Draft
Stock : Falling
Cool Notes : Avoids Social Media


In 1990, the Los Angeles Angels, then Anaheim, had the 179th overall pick and took a catcher... Troy Percival. Heard of him? In 2014, the Angels took Alex Abbott, an outfielder with good defensive and offensive qualities. Abbott opted out of his committment to the University of Florida to play pro ball, and the Angels couldn't be happier that he did.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Abbott stays back in his swing, allowing him to put better contact on the ball and helping create added power from the left-side of the plate.

Abbott has plus speed, which helps him on the base paths and in the outfield. He was known as a promising right fielder, with good range and break to the ball. As a base runner, he needs to adjust his timing and break while trying to nab bases.

Abbott has good arm strength and has great athleticism, which will help him move forward in the minors.

Abbott is a very discpilined batter, which also helps in his approach at the plate. He can not only draw walks with this but find pitches to his liking and put them in play.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Abbott got a taste of professional baseball in 2014, and met competition he had yet to see, which showed in his final season slash of .202/.326/.275. Abbott began the season hot, reaching base in nine of his first 10 professional games and putting up a slash of .303/.425/.454 in games two to ten, with three doubles, a triple, and six runs scored.

Abbott shined while batting cleanup, which he did in 13 at bats, posting a .308/.438/.385 slash with five runs scored.

Abbott's 2014 season was cut short by an unlisted injury.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Abbott struggled in his first glimpse of pro ball, making us believe he'll return to Rookie Ball in 2015, and more than likely in the Arizona League.

Abbott was drafted with the image of becoming a future Major Leaguer. This is still the plan for the Angels, who believe Abbott could be in the bigs by the 2019 or 2020.




#84. Johan Sala, Center Fielder


HT : 6'1
WT : 170 lb.
DOB : December 17, 1997, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2014 (Signed for $300,000 on July 2, 2014)
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : N/A


One of the youngest prospects in our entire countdown, 16-year-old, Johan Sala, has turned the heads of Los Angeles Angels scouts. However, very little is known about the young man, other than the organization likes him a lot, and so do coaches who have worked with him already.


Sala has a compact swing and good bat speed which allows adequate contact and power from a line-drive swing. Sala is very aggressive at the plate, and may need to become a little more disciplined to make his way forward.

Sala is a standout defensive outfielder, which is huge at his age. Sala makes quick breaks to the ball right off the bat, and is an outstanding route taker. He has plus speed, which allows him to track down balls most could not.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

*No Statistics*


EXPECTED FUTURE:

Sala will spend the 2015 season with the Dominican affiliate for the Angels. He should stay there for a couple seasons, learning how to play professionally, and make the necessary adjustments to come stateside to face harsher competition. This could take anywhere from two to four years, depending on his growth.

Not enough is known about Sala to note if he will be a future Major Leaguer or not.




#85. Austin Young, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'4
WT : 220 lb.
DOB : April 20, 1992, Mechanicsville, Virgina
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Virgina (Charlottesville, Virgina)
Acquired : Free Agent 2014
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Honor Roll student / Three-year varsity basketball player in High School


How this kid went undrafted is beyond us. Austin Young is the real deal, and that is why he's jumped into our countdown and rised to a higher level on most of our ballots. We welcome you to meet one of our favorite prospects, and one that could soon be yours too.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Young has good deception, flashing the ball briefly then hurling it in at what he described as a "high three-quarters on the side, with a little crossfire across my body."

Young has strong mechanics, and what would you expect from a guy who was born in "Mechanicville" (stupid joke). He comes down on his front foot, with a quick hip turn and strong follow through towards the plate. He uses his strong frame to his advantage as well.

Young's throws a lot of strikes with his pairing arsenal of a fastball with good run and an off-speed pitch with good late break. Young has progressed well with these pitches, picking up more velocity and movement on both pitches in the last few years. He uses both of these pitches to create weak contact and a large amount of ground ball outs.

Young pitches with confidence and an attacking approach from the mound.

During the 2013 off-season, Young had surgery to heal thoracic outlet syndrom.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Young was primarily a first basemen in High School, putting up a .471/.606/.837 slash his senior season. Young played all four years of High School on Varsity. Young was named a First-Team All-Capital Region member, and was a second-team honoree his Junior season. In 2010, Young was an Honorable Mention for the All-State Team.

Young's freshman year at Virgina was spent on the bench, making just three appearances, pitching three and two/third innings, allowing just one hit. Young's sophomore year was quite different, pitching 33.1 innings in 21 appearances, recording four straight scorless outings from April 20-29, 2012.

In 2013, Young limited batters to a .195 batting average, recording a perfect 5-0 record in 28 relief appearances. He also held a 2.25 ERA and 1.062 WHIP over his Junior season.

Young kept his light's out statistics in his Senior season, posting a 1.75 ERA and 0.857 WHIP over 19 appearances, striking out 27 batters in 25.2 innings pitched. Young kept batters at bay with a .200 against average.

Young somehow went undrafted in the 2014 Draft, and made up for it with a strong professional debut season, putting up a 2.14 ERA, 0.714 WHIP and struck out 17 batters, while walking just one in 21 innings pitched.

Young had nine of his 12 outings in 2014 go scoreless, and had three go perfect over two innings in each. Young struck out at least one batter in each of his 12 appearances.

Young got in trouble in one outing on August 13th, where he allowed two runs on two hits, one walk, and four wild pitches. Taking this appearance out of the picture, Young would have posted a 1.32 ERA, 0.590 WHIP, .162 against average and would not have walked a batter the entire 2014 season.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Young was rock solid in Rookie Ball, but was slightly older than the competition. We expect Young to skip another year in Rookie Ball and go straight to Class-A in 2015, where he will face more advanced competition.

Young went undrafted, but has shown potential towards a Major League career in the middle innings. If this is the case, Young could progress quickly, and become a Major Leaguer by the 2017 season.




#86. Fran Whitten, First Baseman/Designated Hitter


HT : 6'4
WT : 230 lb.
DOB : December 1, 1990, Westborough, Massachusetts
Throws : Right
Bats : Left
School : Saint Leo College (Saint Leo, Florida)
Acquired : Drafted 37th Round (1,109th overall) of 2014 June Draft
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Played soccer and basketball in high school / Loves fishing and animals in general


After nearly becoming a Fish and Game Conservation member, the Los Angeles Angels nabbed a hard hitting, Fran Whitten, from the grasps of life away from baseball. Whitten is now proving to himself and others that he is the real deal and that baseball is the right path for his career choice.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Whitten's bat is his biggest tool. His swing is long and mechanical, creating a high rate of swings and misses. However, his strength is nearly unmatched at the lower levels.

He creates a lot of power with his large frame and swing, staying back in his approach. This not only helps him put the ball over the fence, but maintain gap to gap power as well.

Whitten has been working on making better contact since he began college, and took strides forward each year. This will be the biggest hurdle for Whitten to make to be a standout at the next level.

Whitten is fast for a guy his size, and is a plus base runner.

Whitten does fine defensively, coming naturally from the catching position and settling in well at first base. For a first baseman, he has an outstanding arm, being recorded at 93 MPH in his pitching days with good control. Whitten will more than likely stay at first base, but it hasn't been ruled out that he could catch once again in the future.

Where Whitten does an acceptionable job is his leadership on and off the field. Being older than most of his teammates at both Rookie Ball affiliates, Whitten took a lead in helping others, particularly, the international players, who have a true passion and brotherhood towards Whitten.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

At Westborough High School, Whitten put up record numbers. After a pair of seasons batting .400 or higher, Whitten put together a school record, 10 home runs. He was named the League MVP in 2009.

Whitten bat .290 in his final season at Maine, with 32 runs batted in and 33 runs scored. Over his time at the University of Maine, he hit eight home runs, 11 doubles.

Whitten transferred to Saint Leo University in 2013. After red shirting his freshman year, Whitten started at 49 games in 2014, batting .368/.467/.675 with 44 runs batted in, 30 runs scored, 15 doubles, and 11 home runs.

Whitten jumped around between both Rookie Ball affiliates right out of the draft. Beginning in Arizona with the AZL affiliate, Whitten put up a monster slash of .343/.425/.519 with 19 RBI, 27 runs scored, and 12 extra base hits.

Whitten dropped pace slowly upon heading to Orem, but his power numbers took a boost, hitting nine home runs in 33 games, and boasted a .522 slugging percentage, and picked up one RBI per game.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Whitten is older than most in Rookie Ball, making us believe the Angels will challenge him in Class-A next season. Whitten has all the tools to excel, but he'll need to make better contact to be a standout in the upper levels.

Whitten has Major League power, but the biggest question is whether or not he'll make the Majors with just his ability to hit the long ball. There is a lot of upside to his game, which shows so much promise that a Major League future could be Whitten's calling.




#87. Danny Reynolds, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'0
WT : 170 lb.
DOB : May 2, 1991, Las Vegas, Nevada
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Durango High School (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Acquired : Drafted 6th round (201st overall) in 2009 Draft
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Drafted one pick behind other Angels farm hand, Brooks Raley / Italian / Loves pop-tarts


Of the 50 players selected in the Los Angeles Angels 2009 draft, only three remain in the farm system without hitting the Major Leagues. Danny Reynolds is at the top of the list when it comes to talent and promise heading forward. Reynolds, who was put on the Angels 40-man roster earlier this week to be protected from the Rule-5 Draft, has worked through some stumbling blocks in his career to get where he is and could be a threat for an Angels bullpen role in the coming seasons.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Reynolds was taken from his starting role and put in the bullpen permanently this last season, allowing him to attack batters with an aggressive approach, helping lift his game to a new level.

Don't let Reynolds' small frame deceive you. He has one of the fastest arms in the system, helping with the ball leaving his hand with ease. Reynolds made small adjustments to his delivery this past season, rotating his hips with more ease and finishing closer to the plate, helping him create better command of his pitches.

Reynolds is fastball dominant, and for good reason. His fastball sits primarily in the 93-96 range, but has been recorded at 99 in the mid part of last season. Reynolds can paint the corners and create better movement in a lower velocity.

Reynolds also has a high 80's off-speed offer, that comes in as a sliding cut fastball mix. We say cutter due to it's lack of break, but with the speed and variety, Reynold could use it as a "changeup" style pitch to keep batter's off balance.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Reynolds shined in five appearances right out of the draft, allowing no runner to get past second base, and not allowing any right-handed batter to reach base in 10 plate appearances.

Reynolds finished his first full season with a 4.60 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 9 saves, and 4.8 strikeouts to walks. When Reynolds pitched two innings or more in an appearance, he had a 1.55 ERA, 0.461 WHIP, .127 against average, limiting batters to a .140 on base percentage. Reynolds still couldn't find his rut in High-A in 2013, posting an 11-10 record, with a 5.39 ERA, and 1.431 WHIP. Reynolds allowed at least one run in all but one of his starts. The one being an eight-inning, two-hit, two-walk, seven strikeout evening in mid June.

2014 was Reynolds make it or break it year, becoming a potential Rule-5 Draft eligible player at the end of the season. Reynolds thrived with this pressure, putting together the strongest season of his career. Between three affiliates and levels of competition, Reynolds finished the year with a 2.90 ERA, 1.242 WHIP, and struck out 9.1 per nine.

Reynolds began the treck in High-A once again, and shined with a 1.80 ERA, keeping batters to a sub one per inning opportunity of reaching base.

Reynolds jumped into Double-A after a month, and thrived there as well. Two poor outings out of 30 jumped his ERA to 3.60. However, Reynolds had 22 of his outings go scoreless.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

The future had a large question mark next to it when it came to Reynolds a few weeks ago. However, the Angels selected Reynolds contract to add to the 40-man contract to protect him from the Rule-5 Draft, showing how they feel about the hard throwing righty.

Reynolds could be a Major Leaguer in 2015 with a strong Spring, or a solid season in Triple-A. It is expected that Reynolds will jump into Triple-A out of Spring Training, and eventually work his way towards the show to make his Major League debut in 2015.




#88. Ayendy Perez, Outfielder


HT : 5'9
WT : 160 lb.
DOB : September 10, 1993, Azua, Azua, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Left
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2011 (Signing Bonus Unknown)
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Owns a pair of Mike Trout Nike Vapors / Talented soccer player


He may not match Billy Hamilton speed, but Ayendy Perez gives the Los Angeles Angels needed depth in the speed department. With a disciplined approach and strong base running skills, Ayendy Perez is climbing the ladder in the Angels farm system.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Fast! Like Ricky Bobby fast! Okay, you get it. Ayendy Perez is one of the fastest players in the Angels system, and is a very talented base runner.

Perez has very limited power, and it's doubtful he'll be able to hit the long ball at any point in his career. However, he has good bat speed which allows him to hit the gaps well. Perez is very disciplined at the plate as well.

Perez's contact is weak, but he makes up for it with plus bunting skills. Contact will be what will be his make or break point. He does find ways to make up for his weak contact, such as 24 infield singles out of 51 hits in 2014.

Perez has a good break to the ball in the outfield, and makes good routes. His glove is pretty average, which makes most believe he'll be more suited as a corner outfield rather than center.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Perez ended 2012 on a poor note after taking the Dominican Summer League by storm in his first professional season. Perez had a .342/.458/.418 slash in his first month of pro ball, but ended the season with a .261/.390/.325 slash. From June 14th to July 10th, 2012, Perez put up a .386/.494/.453 slash, with 13 RBI, 17 runs scored, 15 walks, 13 strikeouts, and eight stolen bases (22 games).

There was no better international prospect for the Angels in 2013 than Perez, who posted a .317/.430/.389 slash. Perez hit safely in 44 of the 58 games he appeared in, and reached base in 54 of the 58. He did all this, while stealing 41 bases, while being caught just 10 times over the season (.7 steals per game). In a 19 game stretch from June 26th to July 26th, 2013, Perez put up a slash of .385/.469/.400, with 22 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.

Perez came stateside in 2014, and didn't drop off statistically. Perez finished last season with a .279/.327/.361 slash with 16 stolen bases and 35 tuns scored in 48 games. Perez reached base in 40 of his 48 games, picking up a hit in 35. Once again, from June to July, Perez shined putting up a .347/.360/.417 slash in his first 18 games, while stealing eight bags.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Some have brought up names like Endy Chavez while describing Ayendy Perez. Those are big shoes to fill, but we believe with strong coaching and maybe a little more added muscle, Perez could match that standard with a potential Major League career.

Perez is young, but has proven himself over time in Rookie Ball, which could lead to him being in Class-A come 2015.




#89. Tyler Watson, Left-Handed Pitcher


HT : 5'11
WT : 160 lb.
DOB : June 9, 1993, Georgetown, Texas
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : McLennan Community College (Waco, Texas)
Acquired : Drafted 38th round (1,139th overall) in 2014 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Attended all 2014 Royals playoff games / Set high school record in wins and batting average / Father, Gene, is Coordinator of Professional Scouting for the Kansas City Royals / Drives a monster truck... That is freaking awesome!


In 1998, with the 1,139th overall pick, the Chicago White Sox selected left-handed pitcher, Mark Buehrle. 16 years later, the Los Angeles Angels took a left-handed pitcher with the same selection. Tyler Watson is a solid fit in the Angels organization, filling a much needed left-handed relief pitching role. This is why Watson is becoming one of our favorite up and coming prospects.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Mechanically, Watson is very sound. He has a quick hip turn and strong movement towards the plate. He keeps a steady and smooth motion, helping his command, and keeping walk rates low. He changes arm slots over the game, keeping him very deceptive

Watson comes with a three-pitch arsenal, consisting of a fastball, changeup and curveball. He uses all three pitches in any given count, staying deceptive from the separate arm slots.

His fastball has strong movement, but isn't very overmatching at it sits in the mid 80's, anywhere from 84-87. According to a teammate, he uses his off-speed pitches to make it look "95" due to it's deception.

When it comes to Watson's off-speed options, his changeup was referred to as "filthy, and looks like a curve to right handed bats." Watson and teammates refer to his curveball as his best pitch and one referred to it as "really damn good." It has a late break and comes in very heavy, as one of the very few true 12-6 curves left in the game.

"He was actually my catch play partner all of AZL and really helped me in my development as a pitcher since I just started pitching in June. He also taught me how to throw a change up. Great teammate."


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

At Georgetown High School, Watson set school records in both wins (eight in 2012), and batting average (.418 in 2011). Watson was a two-time 16-5A All-District selection, and won a league-wide award in 2010 in Australia.

Watson posted a 3.97 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP, while holding batters to a .227 batting average and .295 on base percentage. Watson ended the season with three straight scoreless outings, allowing just two base runners and striking out six in four and two/third innings. This included 12 strikeouts per nine innings, equating to a strikeout rate of 30.56% of the batters he faced.

Watson shut down left-handed bats in 2014, limiting them to a .120/.185/.320 slash, and struck out 52% of the left-handed batters he faced.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Watson has proven himself at the Rookie Ball level, and should make the jump to Class-A in 2015. Oh, just a little note from earlier, Mark Buehrle pitched for the Burlington Bees in 1999, when it was the White Sox affiliate. Watson could pitch for the Burlington Bees in 2015, which is now the Class-A affiliate for the Angels.

With a left-handed relief spot hole in the Majors currently, Watson may be fast tracked to the Majors. Of course, he's still fresh out of the draft and the free agent market is calling, but who couldn't use extra loogies in the pen? Watson could be a Major Leaguer within the next two to three years. Scouts have referred to him as a later round, Michael Roth, kind of pitcher.




#90. Ricky Martinez, Outfielder


HT : 6'2
WT : 180 lb.
DOB : November 30, 1995, La Romana, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent October 2012 (Signed for $185,000)
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes :


The Los Angeles Angels made a large committment, signing Ricky Martinez for six digits at 16-years-old. They haven't gone wrong, as Martinez was thrown right into the competition of the Arizona Rookie League, and showed promise, and has progressed to an even higher level with time.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Martinez's biggest upside is his physical projection, backing his strength at the plate and in the field.

Martinez's is a raw hitter with many holes, but that comes with being young and powerful. He has trouble making solid contact with a long swing and heavy hacks at the ball creating line drive power but a lot of swing and misses. This will be improved with coaching and progressive signs have been shown already.

Martinez's strength and bat speed create added power, which projects that he could someday be hitting double digit home runs.

Martinez is a poor defender at the moment, taking poor routes, but he makes up for it with plus speed and plus arm strength. His speed has not been capitalized on the base paths, but with some base running and route taking adjustments, he could become a very strong defender and base runner.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Martinez signed and was immediately sent to Rookie Ball in stateside. There, he put up a .220/.264/.307 slash as a 17-year-old. The numbers were nothing to awe at, but they also said a lot about a young talented outfielder. Martinez mustered up eight extra base hits over 2013, and hit safely in 25 of 40 games.

Martinez's 2013 included a 17 game stretch where he struck out 27 times, and at least once in each of the 17 games. Martinez did thrive though, while leading off innings in 2013, with a .406/.472/.594 slash.

Martinez had nearly the same amount of plate appearances in 2014 as he did in 2013, and the progress showed in the numbers. Martinez finished the season with a .257/.347/.342 slash, with 22 runs batted in and 28 runs scored.

Martinez doubled his walk rate and cut his strikeout rate 25%. Martinez boosted all of his numbers, but none as noticable as what he did against left-handed pitchers, putting up a .289 batting average and .767 OPS, while collecting four of his ten extra base hits in 33% of the at bats.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Martinez still has some work to do to be able to compete with Class-A pitching, but he's close. The off-season can work magic, but for this young prospect, time is on his side and the Angels will plan to utlitize that. One more year in Rookie Ball won't hurt Martinez one bit, and will most likely give the Angels a firm idea of what they'll be able to do with Martinez.

Martinez doesn't have the quick burst and range to stay in center field beyond the minors, so a corner outfield position will be ideal for him. He's still young, but projects well, and when we asked about an ETA for Martinez, scouts said that 2019/2020 when he's around 23 to 24-years-old.




#91. Angel Genao, Catcher


HT : 6'2
WT : 175 lb.
DOB : March 22, 1993, San Juan de la Maguana, San Juan, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2013
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Mizuno gloves / Wore #4 in honor of his hero, Yadier Molina


Staying in the international market, Angel Genao gives the Angels much provided catching depth. Don't be surprised to hear his name called in the states very soon, where he'll be able to show scouts what he's really all about.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Genao was signed for his defensive skills, but has shown promise with his bat as well. Genao has a line drive swing with small hitches that can be fixed. Genao's offensive game is primarily strengthened with his plate discipline and ability to see pitches out of the hand. Genao's ability to read and hit off-speed pitches will be his calling card.

Genao has good speed for a catcher, and is an above average baserunner already. He uses his long legs as a strength while rounding the bases.

Defensively, Genao is a standout. He has strong receiving and framing skills. His arm is another strong point in his game, tossing out near 40% of runners. This comes from his ability to get the ball out of his glove with ease.

Genao will need to add some muscle to stay behind the plate, as he sets up as a small catcher at the moment. This will both help with his presence behind the plate and strengthen his arm as he continues his career.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Genao struggled in his first professional season, putting up a .171/.289/.220 slash in 2013. He had strides forward, but went hitless 17 of his first 27 games. From July 29 - August 15, 2013, Genao reached base in 14 of his 34 plate appearances.

Genao picked up his game in 2014, putting up a season slash of .296/.365/.380, leading the Dominican affiliate in most categories. In his final 16 games, Genao bat .327 with a .380 on base percentage, while stealing six bases. On the last two days of June and first day of July, Genao went 8-for-11, with five extra base hits (four doubles, one home run), scoring five runs, and collecting six RBI.

Genao never lead off a game in 2014, but when leading of innings, he held a .324/.375/.378 slash and thrived against right-handed pitchers with a .319/.380/.422 slash in 116 at bats.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Genao will need to add some muscle to stay behind the plate, but his defensive skills won't pull him away from the position any time soon. Genao should be in the states come 2015, and be steady at the Rookie Ball level through the year.

Genao needs to make a large amount of adjustments to become a Major League talent, and when it comes to international prospects, there is not ETA on MLB time.




#92. Cristopher Molina, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'3
WT : 170 lb
DOB : June 10, 1997, Moca, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Signing 2013 (Signing Bonus N/A)
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Has mastered the "peace sign," "rocker," and "shaka" in all his selfies / Haircut is a mix of Yasiel Puig and Ronaldo / Easton gloves, yes!


Jumping into the international prospects, this young Dominican product has a strong upside from a rotation role. When he signed in 2013, little was known about him, and still not a whole bunch is. However, we've seen clips and reels to put Cristopher Molina high on our prospect rankings, and deservedly so.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Molina has a quality fastball that is still developing with age. It has good running movement and sits anywhere from 88-92 and is steadily picking up more velocity as he grows into his body and makes small adjustments to pick up arm speed.

Molina's best potential pitch once he learns to command it is his curveball which falls from a 12-6 angle, and sits in the high 60's. Molina uses this as his go-to two-strike pitch on nearly all occasions.

Molina has a changeup that is developing, as does with most young pitchers. This will be the key to him staying a starting pitcher or reliever.

Molina is still growing, and will pick up both velocity and learn to command his pitches more. Speaking of, his command is slightly shaky. He has worked hard on this, but needs to build some confidence.

While adjusting his command, he stopped throwing from a herky-jerky motion, and started to take velocity down to throw strikes. This allowed batters to adjust as well, and capitalize on finding these strikes. Molina will need to find a way to create good command and maintain a confidence, which may come with small mechanical adjustments.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Molina got his first look at professional baseball in 2014, posting a 3.49 ERA, 1.306 WHIP, and recorded a 1-3 record. Molina hit a rut in the middle of the season where he allowed 12 runs in 10.1 innings, which enlarged his ERA drastically.

Molina rebounded well though and went on to get back to his dominance, not only pounding the strike zone, but keeping batters to a weak spot. Over his final six appearances in 2014, Molina kept batters to a .182 against average, and walked just 5 of the 87 batters he faced, helping his .258 against on base percentage.

Molina's strongest outing was on June 16th, where he allowed just one hit and walked a pair over five innings, while striking out eight.

Situationally, Molina shined with slashes of .133/.220/.156 against batters leading off innings, and .231/.310/.231 with runners in scoring position with two outs.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Molina still has some learning to do, and he will be in the Dominican Summer League once again in 2015. He could possibly take over the ace role while there however.

There is no ETA for Molina when it comes to the Major Leagues, since there is so little known about him. He should make it to the Americas soon to pitch in the next two seasons, where coaches will get more information on him and he can progress at an even quicker rate.




#93. Michael Smith, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'0
WT : 195 lb
DOB : January 31, 1990, Mansfield, Texas
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, Texas)
Acquired : Drafted 29th round (877th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Twitter bio speaks for itself, "If you aint smilin, you aint livin." / Pudge Rodriguez fan! (YES!)


When people refer to grinders in baseball, it tends to be about offensive guys. However, Michael Smith is a solid grinder right from the mound with a high confidence level. We welcome you to meet a man with a strong future ahead, and one of our favorite guys for his grinding ability.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Michael Smith is about as sure a thing you could get. He's found his place as a reliever and attacks perfectly. He's got a standard arsenal with quality pitches. He has one nitch though that puts him above the rest.

His favorite player growing up was Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, and if you know anything about Pudge, you know about how the kind of competitor he was. Michael Smith compares. Smith's competitive style makes him an even better reliever due to his confidence on the mound and strength knowing he can compete against any batter.

Smith is strongest one on one, and tends to get in a small amount of trouble with runners on. This is where he'll need to make small adjustments to take on that next level game.

Smith throws a four-seam fastball that has good running movement and sits anywhere from the high 80's to mid 90's. His strong pitch though is his changeup, which comes from a circle change grip and has strong run with it, which allows him to keep batters off balance. He relies on this pitch to pitch away with confidence against left-handed bats.

Smith doesn't have trouble with command, and uses both of his stronger pitches to collect weak contact and a large amount of ground ball outs.

Smith is very coachable and has grown well as a pitcher since coming from college, and progresses even more with each year, month, week. Due to his hard work, he could become a quietly strong prospect coming up in the higher levels of the minor leagues.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

In three seasons at Dallas Baptist University, Smith put together an 11-3 record in 75 games (one game started). He held a 4.41 ERA and 1.517 WHIP, while walking just 3.33 per nine and striking out 7.69 per nine.

Smith was by far the strongest relief pitcher for the Orem Owlz in 2013, coming right out of the draft and shining with a 1.95 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and .269 against average. Smith quieted right-handed bats with a .205/.237/.315 against slash, and did not allow more than one run in any of his 21 outings. Another shining statistic that may have been his largest standout was his 2.94 groundout to air out rate.

2014 was a new year for Smith against tougher bats at both Class-A levels, but he still managed to quiet offenses with 19 scoreless outings in 44 appearances. In a stretch from mid July to the end of August, Smith put together a streak of 13 outings where he went to the mound 12 times without allowing a run (19.2 innings pitched). Smith finished 2014 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.230 WHIP, and .310 on base percentage against.



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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Michael Smith proved he can pitch with the big boys, but might need some extra work in 2015 finding ways to hold runners, which makes us believe he'll be back in the Cal League learning a few quirks in his game.

Michael Smith doesn't come with a Major League arsenal, but with his high level to compete and will to work hard and listen to coaches, we feel Michael Smith could have a Major League future. With all that said, it may take some time to do so. There is no set ETA for Smith, but don't be shocked if you hear his name called in the next two-four seasons.




#94. Zach Varela, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'2
WT : 220 lb
DOB : August 19, 1992, Wildomar, California
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of California, Riverside (Riverside, California)
Acquired : Drafted 23rd round (689th overall) of 2014 June Draft
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Openly listens to Three Doors Down / Derek Jeter fan / Graduated top 10% in his class at Elsinore High School, same school former Angels reliever, Dane De La Rosa, went to


Zach Varela grew up and went to college just two small trips down the 91-East from Angel Stadium. So what a dream for him? How about what a dream for the Angels, picking up a strong right-handed reliever with an even stronger ability to induce ground balls.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Varela is a smart pitcher, who naturally understands how to pitch and attack batters. This makes him an ideal reliever, as he can read a batter and mix his attack based on who's at the plate.

Varela comes with a natural arsenal, but no pitch as strong as his two-seam/sink fastball. This pitch sits in the low 90's and touches 92 on occasions with a strong running movement to it. Based on his size, Varela could pick up some velocity on this pitch behind his big frame with proper coaching.

Varela has quality command of his pitches, keeping them low in the zone and weakening contact, helping him maintain a low walk rate and incredibly high ground ball rate. This could be the biggest key to Varela's game moving forward.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Varela put together a 10-6 record over three seasons and 39 games at UC-Riverside, while keeping a 3.02 ERA, 1.324 WHIP, and .276 against average.

Varela jumped right into Rookie Ball out of the draft, and shined in a hitter friendly league, posting a 3.29 ERA and 1.024 WHIP. Where Varela shined was his ground out to air out rate of 3.13. Varela began 2014 with a seven game opening to his professional career where he held a 0.68 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and .215 against average. Varela walked just one batter in 111 total faced.

Varela had a pair of scoreless outings in the Pioneer League playoffs, allowing four hits in 2.1 innings pitched, helping lead the Orem Owlz to a Pioneer League Finals.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Varela has the advanced pitching knowledge and experience to shoot straight into a higher level in 2015, which makes us believe he'll land in the Cal League with Inland Empire. This of course, is pending a strong Spring.

Varela's abilities to force ground balls is immaculate, and could be his ticket to the show. However, he'll have to prove himself against tougher hitters at higher levels, and that will be the real test on whether he can match up well with MLB bats in the future.




#95. Eduard Santos, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'2
WT : 220 lb
DOB : October 22, 1989, Puerto Plata, Puerto Plate, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : Signed as non-drafted free agent, November 7, 2007 for $300,000
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Sports a perfectly shaped Gagne goatee / Solid Instagram follow / Farmer in the off-season


Santos started a rush of international prospects coming to America for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. Since then, he's made strong strides forward towards the Major Leagues, but hit a rut in 2014. This doesn't deter us from seeing him as a strong prospect in the Angels system who could be impactful at the higher levels very soon.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Santos comes with a unique package, throwing a cut fastball, split fastball, and slider, all that he's mastered. However, they all need some work after a tough season.

Santos' 92-95 MPH fastball comes from a natural four-seam grip, but has strong cut movement to it. This has been one of go to pitches in every count that he's found good command of, but when it's off, it's very off, and when it's on, it's very on. If he can control the good and rid the bad, this could turn him into a Major Leaguer reliever.

Santos comes with a splitter that many batters still find trouble with. It doesn't have the deadening part of it just yet and still rolls heavily towards the plate. He lost a touch in this in 2014, but had control of it in previous years making us believe a small adjustment can get him back to using this as a solid strikeout pitch.

Santos uses his slider as a setup pitch. It's nothing to awe at, but gets the job done.

Santos made strides in commanding his pitches in 2014 but left them a little higher than he'd usually like. Santos lost a little bit of velocity making us think he made some mixture to his delivery. We didn't see anything wrong in his mechanics, but there had to have been something, such as his release point, that he'll need to adjust to avoid a third straight season at Inland Empire.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Santos was signed at 18-years-old and was put on the international team immediately. However, it took him a season and a half to fully show the reason he was picked up. In his first two seasons with the Dominican Summer League Angels, Santos posted a 4.60 ERA, 1.604 WHIP, while walking 5.02 per nine. However, in his second season, he had a stretch of 17 innings pitched where he allowed 5 earned runs (2.64 ERA), and had a 1.352 WHIP, while holding batters to a .218 batting average.

In 2010, Santos had a breakout year in the DSL, pitching his way to a 2.08 ERA and dropping all his numbers drastically. He followed that up in 2011 with an even better year, allowing just two runs in 22 innings pitched, posting a 0.82 ERA, 1.045 WHIP, striking out nine per nine.

Santos earned himself a trip to the states after a solid 2011, and kept his success, picking up six saves in as many opportunities, dropping a 2.64 ERA (1.24 ERA in first 18 appearances), and holding batters to a .211 against average.

He kept at it in 2013, between both Class-A affiliates. Santos dropped a 3.10 ERA, 1.335 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, and put double digit strikeout rates for the first time at 10.5 K/9.

Santos had a rough patch in 2014, putting up career lows in every statistic. However, from late May to mid July, Santos ran a long shutout streak and finished the stretch with a 2.70 ERA, and 12.96 K/9 (striking out the side five times in that stretch).



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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Santos has spent two years in the Cal League, and had a rough past year. It'd be hard to believe he'll be back, but there is a chance without a strong Spring. Santos' arsenal and pitching style makes us believe he'll be able to advance to Double-A and shine again in a pitcher friendly league.

Santos has Major League talent, and with a strong showing, could make the show in 2015. However, it would make more sense he'd make the show in 2016 with a road block currently in the bullpen. If/when he makes the bigs, Santos should stick around for quite awhile. The Angels are nowhere near giving up on the hard throwing righty, and feel he could be used in key roles in coming years. Late innings is where Santos will shine, but not necessarily in a setup or closing role. You will more than likely find Santos pitching in the 6th and 7th innings of games in the future.




#96. Dan Tobik, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'4
WT : 195 lb
DOB : January 8, 1991, Ballwin, Missouri
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Tennesee at Martin (Martin, Tennessee)
Acquired : Drafted 39th round (1,177th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Father, David, pitched in 146 MLB games / Girlfriend, Paige, created social media hashtag for him (#TeamTobik)/ Four-sport athlete in high school


In 1991, when Dan Tobik was just five months old, the Los Angeles Angels drafted Jacob Cruz with the 1,177th overall pick. 22 years later, the Angels did the same thing with Dan. Cruz played in 409 Major League games. Tobik is looking to be the second guy to do that for the Angels.


SCOUTING REPORT:

A natural born athlete, playing baseball, football, basketball, and swimming in high school, Tobik uses that to his advantage on the mound every time he goes out to pitch. Tobik comes with a strong delivery that he learned at a young age, and his athleticism lets him use his whole body in the proper way from head, to shoulder, to frame, to legs.

Tobik uses a five-pitch arsenal to his advantage, consisting of a two-seam/sink fastball, cut-fastball, slider, changeup, and curve. The most effective use of this is not just the high amount of pitches in his arsenal, but that they all come from an identical arm slot, making him hard to read at the plate.

Tobik's sinker and cutter allow him to pitch away and inside to both right-handed and left-handed batters. His sinker is his most effective pitch, getting him a strong amount of groundballs.

When it comes to off-speed, Tobik uses his changeup as a setup pitch, and slider/curve combo as a put away pitch. He has good command on all five of his pitches, but his off-speed could use a small dose of extra work.

Tobik doesn't throw hard, as he sits in the high 80's most nights. However, he has put on some extra strength and is finishing growing into his body, which could mean Tobik could be throwing in the low 90's in the very near future.

What Tobik has, that is well ahead of the grade, is his confidence on the mound. He trusts his pitches and their break to be consistent and keep him competitive in every scenario. Tobik's changeup development will be the deciding factor on if he stays a starter, or lands in the bullpen.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Tobik holds the all-time record for saves at UTM, and had quite a college career. In his freshman year, Tobik lead the Ohio Valley Conference in innings pitched and games started (15 GS, 91.0 IP). Tobik continued this success his junior year with a OVC leading .212 against average, and 10.80 strikeouts per nine (12th in the nation). Tobik did not allow a home run in his college career.

Tobik jumped into Rookie Ball right out of the draft, posting a season 2.89 ERA and 1.136 WHIP in the Arizona League. Tobik was strong in every scenario, holding batters to a .136/.191/.159 slash while leading off, and .186/.286/.209 slash with runners in scoring position. Right-handed batters had trouble with Tobik, hitting just .180/.255/.270 in 100 at bats against Tobik.

Tobik stayed strong in 2014, putting up what may look like a high ERA at 4.69, but where he struggled in the California League was mostly the high elevation, hitter-friendly ballparks. Tobik shined as a reliever, putting up a 1.98 ERA, 0.870 WHIP, and .191 against average in relief situations.



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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Tobik is still young, and coaches and organizational members seem to be uncertain on whether he'll be a reliever or starter in the future. With that said, 2015 may be spent in High-A at the beginning again to make this decision.

Tobik has been working hard this off-season, and has a lot of work to do still. Come Spring Training, scouts and coaches will see the hard work, and with a solid season, Tobik could become one of the higher members on the prospect list for the organization. Tobik does not have an ETA to the Majors yet, but could soon.

We at InsideTheHalos have seen Tobik pitch multiple times, and with his mix of arsenal and impact, we expect Tobik to reach the Majors as a reliever in 2017.




#97. Michael Snyder, First Baseman


HT : 6'4
WT : 230 lb
DOB : June 17, 1990, Tacoma, Washington
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Florida Southern College (Lakeland, Florida)
Acquired : Drafted 23rd round (717th overall) in 2012 June Draft
Stock : Falling
Cool Notes : Father, Brian, pitched in 17 MLB games from 1985-89 / Brother, Brandon, has played in 83 MLB games from 2010-13 / Brother, Matthew, plays in the Yankees farm system


Baseball is a family affair! Or so it seems in the case of Michael Snyder. His father, Brian, and brother, Brandon have played in the Majors, and his other brother, Matthew, was drafted the same year he was and is working his way through the minor leagues too.

Remember Mark Trumbo? Of course you do! Well, despite Snyder's stock falling this past year due to injuries, he's still one of the most comparable guys to Trumbo in the system due to his unnatural pop, the kind that stands out in the Angels farm system.


SCOUTING REPORT:

BANG! That's the sound that tends to come off Michael Snyder's bat. Snyder's natural power may be the best in the entire system and comes from extraordinary strength. His power could be what carries him into the Majors.

However, his power isn't his only strong quality, as he can drive the ball well. Snyder has a long swing. Some days, Snyder finds ways to muscle through his swing, and he'll need to make small adjustments to his lower body and use his legs in a better way.

Snyder's discipline was also a question mark, but progress has been made over the past few seasons to take more pitches and find one to his liking. One thing that comes natural for Snyder is decifering off-speed pitches and fastballs as he can hit both. Another thing that's been consistent in Snyder's game for years though is how good he is while aggressive in counts, so being more disciplined might not be the adjustment he needs to take.

Snyder is a smart player, particularly in the field. He doesn't have a flashy glove and doesn't have an outstanding range, but makes up for it in wit. Coming from third base, where he spent his entire time in college, he has grown well at first base with a strong arm, good picks, and good receiving skills.

Snyder's base running is above average for a big guy, but he still needs to work on using his legs to his advantage instead of his strong upper body.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Snyder put up numbers at Florida Southern that will drop your jaw. In two seasons, Snyder put up a slash of .352/.428/.637, with 22 home runs and 91 runs batted in over 91 games.

Snyder didn't miss a single game as FSC, and had 34 of his 91 games go for multi-hit games. Snyder also had 25 multi-RBI games, two where he plated five runs. Snyder also had six three-hit games and hit safely in his first nine games in 2011.

Snyder jumped right into Rookie Ball out of the draft, and put up a near identical slash he had in college, posting a trio of numbers consisting of .332/.393/.531. In 25 games from 6/22/12 - 7/19/12, Snyder hit in 24, beginning with a 19 game-hit streak, six of which he had a double in each game, and finished the streak with four straight two-run games. Over that span, Snyder had a .425/.468/.772 slash with 29 runs batted in, 21 runs scored, and 20 extra base hits.

Snyder continued his excellence in 2013 in High-A, posting a .280/.339/.619 slash, finishing second in the system with 25 home runs and 92 runs batted in. Snyder hit a snag in the road, but fixed it drastically with a 20 game stretch from 7/2/13 - 7/22/13, where he began with four straight two-hit games (seven multi-hit games over stretch), and hits in 19 of the 20 games.

From 2011, in college, to 2013, Snyder missed a combined 10 games. That's right, TEN GAMES! Health was never a problem for Snyder, that was, until this past season. An unlisted injury took two months from his season, and it impacted his season drastically. Snyder had his worst professional season, posting a .211/.265/.319 slash, with career lows in game-to-game averages.

Despite a poor 2014, Snyder did show strong signs, putting up a .345/.487/.552 slash while ahead in counts.



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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Despite quality defense, Snyder's future is more than likely as a designated hitter. His power and aggressive approach are what will take him to the Majors, which we strongly believe he'll make in the near future. ETA for Snyder was previously late 2015, but with the injury and weak season, 2016 is what would make a little more sense.

In 2015 though, Snyder should return to Double-A and become the star prospect he was again. He had strong signs at the beginning of the season prior to the injury and with a second season of seeing near MLB pitching, he could truly shine. If Snyder heads to Triple-A in 2015, his numbers would go off the charts due to the elevation and his raw strength. Although he used to compare to Mark Trumbo, he could be compared to someone like Brennan Boesch on the opposite side of the plate.




#98. Ray Hanson, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'8
WT : 235 lb
DOB : February 27, 1990, Long Beach, California
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida)
Acquired : Free Agent, June 2014 (Originally drafted in the 47th round of the 2010 June Draft, San Francisco Giants)
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : California product / Could compete in a beard contest with Matt Shoemaker / Undrafted Free Agent / Nearly the same exact size as LeBron James


A simple phone call in June changed Ray Hanson's life for good. For the first time in his career, he was a professional baseball player, pitching for a professional baseball team. Hanson, a product of Independent Ball has shown large strides forward in his short professional career, and could become the next stud to come from Indy Ball to the big club in a short time.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Hanson has a nice advantage that most guys don't have, his size. Hanson throws from a high slot in his already tall frame (6-foot-8), making balls harder to read as they're heading downwards towards the plate.

If pitching from a high point meant everything, you'd see a lot of seven-foot pitchers in baseball. There has to be some excess to it, and Hanson has just that with a nice arsenal.

Hanson's fastball has lively movement in the high 80's and low 90's. It has a natural sink to it, which is a positive coming from such a high angle.

Hanson has a trio of off-speed pitches, consisting of a changeup, curveball, and slider. Of the three, Hanson's changeup has been seen as the most effective. Hanson will throw this pitch on any given count, but has found that it works well as a set-up and put away pitch to keep batters off balance. This also goes well for his curve, as he's used it multiple times as a two-strike pitch to get hitters.

Hanson has clean mechanics, keeping a smooth and steady transition towards the mound. Hanson does have to make some room to clean up his command, which may come with a stronger follow through at the end of his movement.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Hanson was a standout in high school going 18-2 with a 0-73 ERA his senior year, helping him become a top 200 nationally ranked high school pitcher and 30th in the state of California. He continued this after high school, collecting the third-most wins in Cypress College history and was soon after elected to the Cypress College Hall of Fame. Hanson pitched at Arizona State for two years after high school.

Hanson began his UCF career going 4-2, with a 3.47 ERA in 11 games. He had one complete game his junior year, where he allowed six hits, struck out four, had no walks, and did not allow a runner to reach scoring position in the final eight frames. He finished his freshman year at UCF and 35 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched.

Hanson's last year of college finished with a 4-1 record, 3.84 ERA, and 33 strikeouts in 58.2 innings pitched. Hanson pitched in 15 games, starting 12.

Hanson was passed up in the 2012 draft, and went on to Independent Ball in 2013, pitching for the River City Rascals and Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, posting a near league leading 3.61 ERA, helping lift him to a 9-4 record in 17 games (89.2 IP). Hanson finished 2013 with a 1.104 WHIP, helped by his 6.9 hits per nine. Hanson's K numbers raised drastically, sitting down 9.2 per nine.

Hanson continued his Independent Ball success in early 2014, until he got the call in June, letting him know he was becoming a Los Angeles Angels prospect.

Hanson began his professional career with a two-hit, two-walk, no-run, five-inning performance on June 26th. He continued that success with a season ending 4.00 ERA and .245 against average.

Batters leading off innings struggled against Hanson with a .182/.270/.303 slash. Hanson's strongest performance of 2014 came on August 5th against the Lake Elsinore Storm, where he picked up his first career complete game shutout, with a five-hit, two-walk performance.



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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Hanson performed well at the High-A level in the latter part of 2014, which tends to say that with a strong Spring Training, he could land in Arkansas and Double-A in 2015.

Hanson has only been in the system for a short time but it seems that he's on a near path as Drew Rucinski. Rucinski saw MLB time in his second year with the system, but also came with a larger arsenal package. We're not saying Hanson won't be in the MLB in 2015, but it is more likely that when he arrives, it will be in 2016.

Hanson's changeup has so much promise, that it recommends he will stay a starter through his minor league career. This is a big note, since the Angels have a low stock on starting pitching prospects at the upper levels. It would seem that Hanson will remain a starting pitcher his whole way through the system and into the Majors.




#99. Spencer Trygg, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'2
WT : 215 lb
DOB : June 2, 1990, Mountain View, California
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : California Lutheran University (Thousand Oaks, California)
Acquired : Free Agent 2013
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Twitter bio says, "prefers baseball to the radio - trusting in the process since 2012" / wears Akadema baseball glove (very cool!) / Fan of free-skiing


Spencer Trygg has had a long journey to the Angels farm system, and has quite the road ahead, but that challenge has been well accepted. Coming from Independent Ball in 2012, the Angels found a guy who the odds have always been against, who has began to shows strong signs in the upper levels of the farm system.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Trygg is a natural athlete, playing water polo in high school, and taking in golf and skiing during his freetime (someone is going to have to teach him how to get out of the backseat on the slopes, sorry Spencer). With the athleticism, Trygg has been able to put on extra muscle and remain strong through the off-seasons.

Trygg comes with a three pitch arsenal, consisting of a slider, changeup, and two-seam fastball/sinker from a three-quarter arm slot. Trygg's two-seam/sinker sits in the low 90's with a late break. The big concern about this pitch is that it has tendancy to rise as opposed to sink when left high in the zone. Some scouts have said Trygg has tapped the mid 90's and has touched 95 on rare occasions.

Trygg has a standard slider and developing changeup. This will keep Trygg in the bullpen, but he has the stamina to last multiple innings and take over a middle relief role.

Trygg hides the ball well, and uses his front side and legs effectively. However, with a jerky motion to the plate that allows him to fire it in at what seems like a higher rate of speed, it has caused his command to be a problem putting up a big question mark. With quality pitches, his walk and hit numbers have been high throughout his career, and is something he'll need to adjust to take that next big step in his career.

Prior to being signed, Trygg enrolled himself in a pitching camp hosted by Tom House, a.k.a, "The Pitching Guru," at the University of Southern California campus. Trygg would wake up early and travel to the facility three days a week during the 2012 off-season, where he learned a new arm slot, pitching mechanics, and worked on weight and mental training.

Trygg's strongest quality in his scouting repitoir is his ability to shut down outside influences and focus on pitching with a high competitive mental level. This only shows in what scouts and coaches say, but each one we've talked to begins with that and gives high praises on his ability to compete, even despite poor situations.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Trygg hasn't had impressive numbers since high school (1.31 ERA), and his sophomore year at California Baptist University.

At an MLB Workout in Detroit on the weekend of June 16-17, 2011, Trygg was passed up by MLB teams and resorted to Independent Ball in McAllen, Texas with the McAllen Thunder of the United League. Trygg posted a 9.68 ERA and 2.321 WHIP, which later lead to his release from the team that folded at the end of that season.

Trygg went to Tom House's camp during the 2011-12 off-season, and was signed by the Los Angeles Angels early in the season. In 2013, Trygg spent his time with the Orem Owlz and became one of the elite relievers for the team. In an offense friendly league, Trygg posted a 5.67 ERA, strongly effected by his 11.3 H/9 and 5.0 BB/9. In appearances where Trygg only pitched in one inning or less, he allowed three earned runs in 13.2 innings pitched. In appearances where he went over one inning, he allowed 13 earned runs and 24 hits in 13.1 innings pitched.

Taking away his first appearance in High-A, Trygg would have posted a 3.28 ERA, and went on a tear beyond that first appearance, allowing four runs in his next 21 innings pitched. However, you can't take that away and he finished with a 5.92 ERA and above two WHIP.

Trygg has a career 5.90 ERA and 2.006 WHIP in the Angels farm system.



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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Trygg still has to show he can compete at the High-A level, which makes us believe he'll begin 2015 with the Inland Empire 66ers. Trygg has the abilities to progress through the Angels system, but it is unknown if he'll be a Major Leaguer at this point in his career. With some adjustments and stronger, more consistent outings, we'd imagine Trygg could work his way to Double-A in the middle of 2015.




#100. Jordan Piché, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'1
WT : 180 lb
DOB : September 3, 1991, Denver, Colorado
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas)
Acquired : Drafted 28th round (839th overall) in 2014 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Was drafted two picks after Johnny Manziel (Padres, 837th overall) / Was drafted while attending his brother's wedding / Smiling 24/7


Find a time that Jordan Piché isn't smiling, we dare you! Maybe the biggest smile he had was the day he got drafted. Oh, by the way, he was getting dressed for his brother's wedding at that moment.

A man used to adjustments (such as hearing his name called while getting dressed for a wedding), has had to make major adjustments to get where he is today. Being passed up in high school, going from Junior College to the Big 12, going from a closer to a starter. Piché has made some serious career adjustments and for that reason, Piché is leading off our countdown as the #100 prospect in the Angels farm system.


SCOUTING REPORT:

It wasn't until Junior College where Piché, "came alive," according to his old high school coach. Possibly his strongest asset is adapting to a new environment, going from level to level in his baseball career.

Piché had to make a large adjustment halfway through his senior season at the University of Kansas, going from a closing role to an ace role drastically. Wes Benjamin, the Jayhawks original ace, went down with a UCL injury, and Piché had to learn how to pitch from what can be considered a new position.

Once he became a starter, Piché learned to pitch to contact as opposed to his initial aggressive approach on the mound. Piché now has the ability to do both and has a mental side of the game years ahead of the curve.

Speaking of curve, he doesn't have one. Piché's arsenal consist of a standard four-seam, slider, and developing changeup.

Piché's fastball sits anywhere in the 88-91 MPH range on any given day. It moves well, and both speed and movement could pick up as he grows steadily into his body and gets a little more experience moving forward.

When it comes to off-speed stuff, Piché has a mid 70's slider and changeup. His slider is his primary "out pitch," and according to his old coaches, it is "outstanding." Piché has used his slider as a solid two-strike pitch, getting batters off balance and on their front foot even if they do make contact. It has a late break with heavy tilt and could be one of the highlight pitches of the 2014 draft for the Angels.

His changeup, as goes for many young pitchers, is still in the works and is something he'll need to improve on to take that next step forward. He used it often during his senior season once becoming a starter, but has shyed away from it since becoming a professional.

Piché comes with smooth mechanics, with a hip turn, toe pointed down, and fluid follow through from shoulders to legs, all while keeping a consistent arm slot, making him hard to read at the plate. What hasn't come to our attention is how well Piché hides the ball.

Piché has average command of all three of his pitches, keeping his walk rates low and doing a good job of keeping the ball low. If any are questionable, it's his changeup, which should be expected as mentioned above.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

With being a first year player right out of the draft, there aren't many statistics to breakdown. At Indians Hills Community College (Ottumwa, Iowa) in 2011 and 2012, Piché worked his way to a 9-4 record, with a 2.66 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 8.69 strikeouts.

In 2013, his first year with KU, Piché busted his way into the scene with a stellar season, posting a 1.68 ERA and a 6-4 record with 12 saves. Piché was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2013.

Piché had some struggles early in 2014 with the Jayhawks, allowing seven home runs over the season, but found a way to finish strong. However, the numbers had escalated, and he finished the season with a 6-5 record, 4.59 ERA, 1.439 WHIP and .288 against average.

Piché found his groove again once drafted, jumping right into rookie ball where he didn't allow an earned run in his first seven appearances. His season was cut short due to an ACL injury, which he is still rehabbing. Piché finished 2014 as a professional with a 0.79 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 1.63 BB/9, .244 BAA, and 1.147 WHIP.

Piché had a standout game on July 10th, where he pitched three innings of no-hit, no base-runners baseball, with four strikeouts.



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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Piché's 2014 ended with an ACL injury, which he is rehabbing, and it sounds like he'll be able to return by the time Spring Training begins. With all that, coaches may not have seen enough of him to know what will happen with him. If he'll be a starter, or reliever, or closer, or whatever he may be.

With all that said, Piché is focusing on his final three classes this fall before he graduates from the University of Kansas. After that, baseball will become the main focus for him and coaches, and they can decide where he lands after Spring Training. Most likely, 2015 will be spent in Rookie Ball once again, whether it's in Tempe, or in Orem.

From what it seems like, Piché sounds like a mid-reliever in the immediate future. His Major League ETA is currently unlisted due to how little is known about him at the time.




For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.

Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.




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