The Angels have historically been ultra-conservative when it comes to promoting their promising talent. With each new regime that comes in, comes a different approach. While Eppler’s regime has shown to be more aggressive in its promotions than its predecessors (Reagins regime was comically bad at this, and everything else) they’ve still shown to take longer than most other organizations.
First, let’s start with the players the Angels have recently promoted.
1B Matt Thaiss – Thaiss wasn’t exactly tearing up the Cal League, but he had shown a great deal of growth in the last few weeks, so it was refreshing to see the Angels act on that.
OF Brendon Sanger – Sanger was quietly having a very solid season at Inland Empire. He doesn’t grab too many headlines, but he’s a lefty with pop and athletic ability.
SS Artemis Kadkhodaian – First of all, all-star level name. He should be proud of his parents because that’s a name you won’t soon forget. Anyway, he hasn’t played a ton, but has been promoted ahead of much more hyped prospects and already finds himself in Burlington. Let’s hope he keeps hitting.
Now, onto those who need to be promoted, organized by their current level.
AAA Salt Lake Bees that need to be in Anaheim
3B/2B/1B Kaleb Cowart – Enough already. His time will come, but at the same time, the Angels are really drawing this one out to unnecessary lengths. He’s hitting .306/.379 with 22 doubles 10 home runs and 18 stolen bases, to go along with elite defense at third base and solid enough defense at second base.
C Carlos Perez – He’s a name most Angel fans are familiar with. When the Angels traded for Maldonado, it relegated Perez to bench duty, and rather than having him ride the pine, the Angels have opted to get him everyday at bats in AAA. Well, he’s hitting .392/.463 with as many walks as strikeouts and gold glove level defense. At some point, you’re just wasting everyone’s time, and when a guy is hitting close to .400 over a large sample size, you’re officially wasting time.
OF Cesar Puello – Yeah, I get it, he’s blocked. Still, .310/.363 18 doubles 10 home runs and 14 stole bases.
AA Mobile Bay Bears that need to be in AAA Salt Lake OR Anaheim
OF Michael Hermosillo – His overall line isn’t great because of a slump and some bad luck (.258/.379 16 doubles 3 home runs and 19 stolen bases on the season), but over his last 10 games, Michael is hitting .324 with more 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases, 11 walks and 8 strikeouts. Since the AA all-star game, he’s hitting .319 with 4 more doubles and 5 stolen bases. They may want to consider a September call up or at the very least move him up to AAA so he can refine his skills further.
RHP Grayson Long – 15 starts, 78 IP 72 K’s 2.79 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Tonight he hurled 6 more shutout innings. His has the arsenal to back up these numbers, and if the Angels are truly serious about contending, they may want to promote him to Anaheim.
RHP Jaime Barria – 5 starts 30 innings, 26 K’s 1.78 ERA, 0.82 WHIP. Those numbers are ridiculous for a 20 year old. And he did more of the same earlier this year at Inland Empire. He also just had a very solid outing in the Future’s Game. Again, if the Angels are serious about competing this year, they need look no further than Barria.
Advanced A Ball Inland Empire 66ers that need to be promoted to AA Mobile.
OF Troy Montgomery – Montgomery began the year in A Ball. He started slow, then got into his groove and started crushing the ball before he was promoted to Inland Empire. Again, he started slow, then made the adjustments and now he’s putting up great numbers again. .283/.350 9 doubles, 7 triples, 6 home runs and 7 stolen bases. Over his last 10 games he’s batting .419. There’s a reason I compared him to Kole Calhoun in the offseason. Same build, left handed, same position, similar swing, same round of the draft, similar skill set.
3B Jose Rojas – An Anaheim native, hitting .322 on the season, including .442 over his last 10 games. Had a 20 game hitting streak. Currently in the midst of a 20 game hit streak. After looking at what he did in Orem last year, and what’s doing in San Bernardino, this kid hasn’t hit below .300 in the minors yet, and he’s swinging the bat with pop. I’d say he’s ready to be challenged now, wouldn’t you?
OF Kyle Survance Jr – 80 grade speed and solid defense. He was injured his first two years as a pro, and his overall line on the season isn’t pretty. But over his last 10 games he’s hitting .302 with 7 stolen bases. May want to consider it.
RHP Jesus Castillo – It was pure ridiculousness when Castillo began the year in A Ball again. After mowing those hitters down for the second consecutive year and forcing the Angels hand, he’s now having his way with Cal League hitters, which is a hard thing to do. 59 IP 52 K’s 3.34 ERA, 1.33 WHIP. Time to get this 21 year old up to AA. And by the way, the Angels won that trade with the Cubs when they sent Joe Smith in return for Castillo a year ago. Thank you very much.
LHP Jonah Wesely – 17 IP 20 K’s, 2.65 ERA, 1.41 WHIP. If it weren’t for the TJ surgery, Jonah would be beating down the door to Anaheim right now. What’s not to like, he’s big, left handed, throws hard and strikes hitters out. He’s allowed a .192 BA against LHH this year. I mean at the very least he can be a lefty specialist, though he’s probably much more.
RHP Sean Isaac – Still don’t know anything about this guy, but the numbers are saying enough right now. 45 IP 59 K’s 1.20 ERA, 0.78 WHIP on the season. Not a typo.
Prospects at Class A Burlington that need to be at Advanced A Inland Empire
RHP Mike Kaelin – Hard thrower from New York, he has a 1.89 ERA over his last 10 outings with 20K’s in 19 innings to go along with all sorts of upside.
Prospects that need to be promoted from either Orem or Arizona and to A Ball
OF Brandon Marsh – We saw enough before he injured his hand. 7 games 3 doubles 2 triples 1 home run 4 stolen bases and a .500 BA. Move him up once he’s healthy.
OF Torii Hunter Jr – His first time playing professional ball and he’s hitting over .300 with a doubles, triples, homer and a stolen base. He’s a little old for his league but extremely projectable. Let’s see what he can handle.
3B David McKinnon – He has 14 walks and only 5 K’s, and is batting .468. I’d say he’s seeing the ball pretty well right now.
RHP Chris Rodriguez – His last three outings – 15 IP 16 K’s 1 ER 3 BB. HE has the stuff to back that up and then some.
RHP Elvin Rodriguez – Great name. Great line too. 19 IP 21 K’s 3.32 ERA, 1.05 WHIP in Orem. That’s hard to do. Only 19.
OF Jo Adell – He’s hitting .462 with 2 doubles in his first taste of pro ball. There was some concern how he’d handle elite competition. I’d say those concerns are melting away. Insane bat speed.
SS Nonie Williams – Absolutely monstrous for a shortstop. Great bat speed, great foot speed, and improved plate discipline. Time to promote him.