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Friday, September 23, 2005

Followup: Pioneer League Top 20

I had a request to excerpt the scouting reports on the Pioneer League Top 20 prospects, which I mentioned earlier in the week. Here they are for the Angels:
Hainley Statia: The Angels' stockpile of shortstop prospects is astonishing, and Statia is the latest in a long line to make a stop in the PL, following Erick Aybar, Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez. A native of Curacao, Statia raised his profile when he moved to south Florida. He speaks four languages, indicative of his outstanding makeup and thirst for instruction.

Statia has pure shortstop actions with supple hands, an average arm and an innate ability to read balls of the bat. He led all PL shortstops with a .959 fielding percentage.

Statia has a good approach at the plate and makes consistent contact from both sides, spraying line drives to all fields. He doesn't project to hit for much power and must refine his strike-zone judgment. He's a slightly above-average runner.

Mark Trumbo: Trumbo could have been a first-round pick as a pitcher in 2004 had he been considered signable. The Angels took an 18th-round gamble on him and landed him for a $1.425 million bonus, then decided he'd become a full-time corner infielder. His pro debut this year was lackluster.

His arm strength and raw power are plus tools, and when his timing is on, he can mash towering home runs. He deploys a pull approach but was using the middle of the field more as the season wore on. He hits with a dead lower half and his swing lacks fluidity.

The Angels thought about playing Trumbo at third base, but he lacked the agility and range for the position. His hands are adequate at best and his speed rates as a 30 on the 20-80 scouting scale.

Stephen Marek: The Angels selected Marek as a 40th-round draft-and-follow shortly after he was named most outstanding pitcher at the 2004 Junior College World Series. He boosted his stock by pitching in the mid-90s last fall and wound up signing for $800,000 prior to the 2005 draft, the largest bonus given a 2004 draft-and-follow.

Marek has a sturdy build and good mechanics, enabling him to deliver his pitches on a good downward plane. His fastball tapered off to 89-90 mph late in the season, but he topped out at 96 and pitched at 92 much of the summer. His breaking ball is a sharp, two-plane curveball that comes in at 78-82 mph. He was asked to craft a changeup, which he used a handful of times each start and has potential to be an average pitch.

Marek tended to miss with his pitches up in the strike zone and will have to improve his command. At 22 and with two potentially plus pitches, he could move quickly. San Jacinto JC used him exclusively in relief, and he may profile best as a setup man.

Jose Arredondo: Following his two mediocre seasons as a shortstop in the Rookie-level Arizona League, the Angels elected to move Arredondo to the mound. He's undersized at 6 feet and 170 pounds, but he has a quick arm and has been a fast study. He struck out 13 while allowing just two hits and a walk in eight innings in Orem's first-round playoff series clincher against Ogden.

Arredondo runs his fastball up to 97 mph and pitched most of the season near 93. His arm works well and his control improved as the season went on. His secondary stuff has a ways to go, though his slider and changeup have potential to be above-average offerings. He's very athletic and fields his position with aplomb.

Bobby Mosebach: Mosebach turned down the Nationals as a draft-and-follow and the University of Tennessee before signing with the Angels for $152,000. He was kept on tight pitch counts in his pro debut, but he flashed noteworthy stuff. His fastball varied from 88-95 mph with late life, while his low-80s slider had good depth and tilt at times.

Mosebach is just beginning to craft a changeup. He tends to fly open on the front side of his delivery, causing his stuff to flatten out and command to suffer.

"He looks like he is throwing easy, but his ball has good carry through the glove and can shatter some bats," Kotchman said. "He's 6-4 with a young Derek Lowe body. His arm is loose and works as good as anybody's."

For the Dodgers:
Juan Rivera: Though the PL was down in talent this year, it offered a number of shortstops who could develop into everyday big leaguers. In addition to Statia and Idaho Falls' Chris McConnell, Ogden had two in Rivera and Ivan DeJesus Jr. Rivera, who signed for $400,000 out of the Dominican Republic, is a tick ahead of DeJesus, a second-rounder in June.

Rivera has good actions in the field with steady hands and enough arm strength to make plays from deep in the hole. He still lacks pop and never found much of a groove at the plate, but he has good eye-hand coordination and is a plus runner. He missed more than three weeks with a strained muscle in his leg in August.

Ivan DeJesus: While Rivera has a stronger arm and is steadier at shortstop, DeJesus has more potential with the bat. The son of longtime big league shortstop Ivan DeJesus, he started his pro career in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and ranked No. 14 on that prospect list.

He didn't hit much after getting called to Ogden when Rivera got hurt, but DeJesus has good bat control and a level swing that produces line drives. He'll fare better once he improves his pitch recognition and plate discipline. He's too flashy and his arm is average at best, but he has good hands, quickness and range.


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