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Monday, February 16, 2004

Baseball America Rates Angels Farmhands, More On AFL

Baseball America ranks the Halos' top ten prospects:
  1. 1B Casey Kotchman
  2. C Jeff Mathis
  3. 3B Dallas McPherson
  4. RHP Ervin Santana
  5. RHP Bobby Jenks
  6. 2B Alberto Callaspo
  7. SS Brendan Wood
  8. SS Erick Aybar
  9. RHP Rafael Rodriguez
  10. RHP Steven Shell
Aybar and Callaspo are supposed to be one of the flashiest double-play combinations in the minors. And I remember when they interviewed Brandon Wood during an Angels game -- he hit an impossible .500 in his Arizona high school league! Amazing. So a very deep crop, as they said on BA, of quality players. I only hope that the fact we replaced former Yankees scouting director Donny Rowland and national crosscheckers Hank Sargent and Guy Mader, the architects of the 2001 draft that got us these excellent prospects, with Devil Rays special assistant Eddie Bane isn't a bad omen. The Angels' first 2004 draft pick is twelfth, so there should be some good stuff available. Let's hope we don't blow it.

In other news, I had further discussion with Stephen Smith of Future Angels about the status of Arizona Fall League prospects:

[The] dirty secret is that not everyone sent to AFL is actually a prospect. Teams need to have a certain balance at each position, so sometimes teams will send pitchers or catchers or whatever who really aren't prospects just to help the AFL office balance out the rosters. Not all teams buy into the philosophy that the AFL is for "top prospects," and keep those guys at home where they won't get hurt, sending instead marginal players. Sometimes they send players coming off an injury who need work to catch up for the next season.
So we'll see. But I still think it's encouraging for Gorneault to see him both invited to AFL and spring training.

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