Arizona Rookie League Angels June Report

Get to know Ivan Contreras – if you don't already. Anthony Norman is off to a smoking start in the desert. Seth Loman is hoping his second year is better than the first. Nick Manganaro has had a forgettable first two. Angel Rosario is on the mound for the first time in years. Chris Armstrong is living up to his last name.

Ivan Contreras may be a new name for Angels fans but he has been in the system for two years, playing in the Dominican Summer League. The switch-hitter has played first and second base in the past and accumulated a .236 average over 113 games with the DSL Angels, hitting .255 last season. A combination of speed and surprising patience, Contreras tallied 10 triples last season with 36 career stolen bases and had scored 80 runs coming into the year.

Playing exclusively at second this year, Contreras has notched a hit in each of his first five games with two multi-hit affairs and one game that saw him pop off three doubles. He is hitting .348 in the early going out of the leadoff spot with two stolen bases.

Former UCLA Bruin Anthony Norman has gotten off to a hot start with the AZL squad. At 22, the outfielder collected four straight multi-hit games to open the year and has a hit in every game with 10 hits in 23 at bats. He has also scored a run in four straight contests.

Norman was a part-time player for the Bruins after playing for Cerritos Junior College. In 2006, the Bellflower, California native hit .270 with a .356 on base percentage. He was signed as an undrafted free agent.

Seth Loman is in his second year in the AZL after debuting in 2006. The switch-hitting first baseman attended Lamar Community College where he hit a team-leading 12 home runs and 62 RBIs. Overall, he hit.372 in 61 games and was taken by the Angels in the 47th-round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He hit .206 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 42 gaems for the AZL Angels in 2006.

Loman, 21, is off to a solid start in Arizona, 7-for-19 with two doubles and a homer. He has three multi-hit games and has been hit by three pitches – each in successive games. Loman has collected an RBI in three straight games, five total over that span.

Signed as a free agent in September, Nick Manganaro – formerly of the University of South Florida – has had a rough start to the year. After allowing three runs on two hits and a walk over two-thirds of an inning in his debut, the left-hander was tagged for three more runs on two hits and a walk without recording an out – equaling an ERA of 81.00 on the year.

Manganaro went 3-4 with a 5.94 ERA over 27 appearances, including five starts, for South Florida in 2006. He allowed 63 hits and 24 walks over 50 innings, striking out 46.

Angel Rosario hasn't been seen for quite some time but actually signed with the Angels in 2004 as a non-drafted free agent. That same year, Rosario was converted from outfielder to pitcher. He worked just 11.1 innings that season, giving up 16 hits and four walks while whiffing 12 as an 18-year-old in the DSL.

One of three Rosario's in the system, Angel got through a scare in his first outing when he allowed three hits over an inning and a third, allowing one inherited runner to score and whiffing two. Since then, he has put down the side in order in his last two appearances, earning the save in each.

Left-hander Chris Armstrong is beginning his second year in the AZL like the first. He worked in just seven games last year as a reliever, allowing one earned run over 10 innings on six hits and two walks while striking out eight, earning a 1-1 record.

This season, Armstrong has not allowed a run over two outings – both starts, spanning nine innings. Foregoing a scholarship to Oklahoma State to sign with the Angels, the left-hander worked five innings in his last outing and surrendered just two hits while striking out six in a no-decision.

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