HT: 5-10 WT: 175 POS: CF
Aberdeen Ironbirds - (66 G, 236 AB, .301/.421/.352)
After batting over .300 in all three seasons at Ohio State University, Matt Angle scrapped his way into the 7th round of the 2007 draft. He continued his success with a blistering debut that included an Aberdeen franchise record 34 steals.
"If you're scared about stealing, then you're going to get thrown out," Angle told ITW earlier this season. "You have to have the confidence that you're going to steal the bag when you go, but if you don't, then you're going to start getting thrown out."
Indeed, Angle's most obvious tool is his speed, which rates as a 65 on the 20-80 scale. Like Brian Roberts, he is a student of the art of baserunning and he gets the most out of his natural ability. Generously listed at 5-10, Angle had zero career homeruns in nearly 600 college at bats and he projjects to hit for little power down the line. He makes up for it with excellent hand-eye coordination and rare patience at the plate. Nevertheless, it's likely that his gaudy walk totals will dry up somewhat as he moves up the organizational ladder and pitchers aren't afraid to throw him strikes.
Angle is a true centerfielder with a plus arm. Much like on the basepaths, he gets the most out of his natural abilities by getting good jumps and taking direct routes.
Angle proved to have an extremely advanced approach and will start 2008 in one of Baltimore's A-ball affiliates. If he is assigned to low-A Delmarva, don't expect him to stay there long. Angle could be clamoring for time in the majors by 2010. Whether that is as a regular in centerfield or as a fourth outfielder depends on how much of his plate discipline carries forward.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com