Results tagged ‘ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ’
Prospect Flashback: Angels’ Mike Trout Way Back When He Was Swinging for Cedar Rapids, Arkansas and Salt Lake
I had the opportunity to interview Mike Trout (MiLB career stats) before his 2012 call-up, and the best quote I was able to pull out of the five-tool, old-school ballplayer was most indicative of his playing style:
“We’re having a blast,” Trout told me. “I just go out there, do my thing.”
Now everyone gets to see him do his thing.
Here is a gallery of then-prospect Trout in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 wearing variety of uniforms, including those of Class A Cedar Rapids, Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Flashback, head here.
Earlier this week, I detailed the lofty expectations of a tall lefty in the Red Sox system. Expect high praise of this right-hander, too: John Hellweg — the Brewers’ No. 4 prospect — stands 6-foot-9 and is seen as a potential impact starter. Potential being the operative word. Hellweg, now 24 and on his second organization following last July’s Greinke-to-the-Halos trade, has stuff to be a No. 2 starter but has yet to command much of it on a consistent basis. He finished 2012 in the Double-A Huntsville bullpen (bio, stats here) and, while that was simply to keep his innings in check down the stretch, don’t be surprised to see him end up in the ‘pen sometime in the future.
Here is a gallery of Hellweg in every uni he’s donned to date. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Uniformed, head here.
Squeezed Out … of The Outfield: Are Angels, Red Sox, Reds and Giants Bridging to/Blocking Prospects?
When word broke of the Angels swooping in and signing former Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton this hour, his soon-to-be-official teammates in Los Angeles were Tweeting to their heart’s content. A small sampling:
- @Trouty20 (CF Mike Trout): “Wow”
- @NickMaronde (LHP Nick Maronde): “Glad I don’t have to face the
@Angels lineup! #Halonation“
- @GRichards26 (RHP Garrett Richards): “I am so excited for this year!!! Welcome
- @CCron24 (1B C.J. Cron): “Welcome the newest member of the Halo family
All pretty standard stuff, though it’s easy to appreciate Trout’s genuine surprise.
Personally, I was struck by a Tweet from Randal Grichuk, however. Remember him? He’s the guy the Halos drafted a slot ahead of Trout in 2009 (even though they rated Trout ahead of him). Here is what Grichuk sent out from his social media account (@RGrich15): “Wow phone will not stop going off about the Angels signing
@thejoshhamilton !!! No team better than the @Angels #ALWest“.
Either Grichuk is just the ultimate team-first guy or he is so much a cliche-clenching ballplayer that he is taking it one day at a time and not worrying about whether Hamilton just limited his Major League chances in the coming couple years.
Whatever the case, if you’ve been reading this blog since day one or are just stumbling upon it this afternoon, you probably know PROSPECTive has a different mindset about such things. There’s plenty of room for hypotheticals here. And, here and now, I wonder aloud how teams’ offseason splashes could affect their pools of prospects. We’ll start this with the outfielders. (Look for infielders and pitchers sometime next week.)
Briding to/Blocking: This is clearly a blocking of Brentz, who depending upon who you ask is either Major League-ready of very close to it. This is a bridging to of Bradley, who is developing into a on-base machine/strong defender in center. Victorino can shift to a corner and Jacoby Ellsbury will likely be gone by the time of Bradley’s first callup. Jacobs, while talented, is far enough away that he doesn’t have to worry quite yet.
Briding to/Blocking: This is a clear bridging to, and a smart one. Cincinnati will count on Choo to man center field next spring, then watch him leave and have either Hamilton or LaMarre, both potential leadoff men who can steal bases and cover a lot of grass in the outfield, replace him ably in the lineup. Hamilton is likely to get the gig in ’14, meaning LaMarre would be a nice fourth outfield option behind Ludwick and Jay Bruce.
MiLB prospects: Gary Brown (has played AA ball)
Briding to/Blocking: Another bridging to, even if this case isn’t as obvious. Yes, the Giants gave Pagan too many years (four) and dollars (40 million), but he can move to left when Brown is ready for big league ball in 2014. Brown has similar skills (leadoff ability, gap power, a lot of range in the outfield) and is still looked at as an impact player in the Giants organization despite his less-than-spectacular season at Double-A this year.
MLB veterans: Josh Hamilton (signed through 2017)
Analysis: With Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, Vernon Wells, Hamilton and Mark Trumbo (who can also play the infield) all in the mix, I wouldn’t want to be a fringe Angels outfield prospect in the next five years. Calhoun is probably a bench player and Witherspoon is a question mark at this point, while many believe Grichuk can develop into a starter so long as he stays healthy. But it’s hard to imagine him breaking into this outfield anytime in the next couple years. Score this one a blocking.
Editor’s note: Lost and Found is an offseason series in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post.
Lost: Randal Grichuk will always carry with him this dubious distinction: He was not only drafted before Mike Trout in the 2009 MLB Draft, he was drafted by the same team. To make matters more awkward for him, Grichuk (like Trout) was also a high school outfielder with strong physical tools. So if Grichuk, who was underwhelming in 2011 when Trout was really emerging as the game’s top prospect, was never lost, we can at least agree that he was overshadowed and, perhaps, in the dark.
2011: .256 AVG, 3 HR, 25 RBI in 199 ABs spanning 59 G split between three lower levels
Found: Grichuk finally finished a season healthy. In fact, this was his first season of more than 251 at-bats in his four years as a pro. So it’s no surprise that he established career-highs in all the important categories while returning to the Halos’ list of top prospects.
2012: .298 AVG, 18 HR, 71 RBI in 537 ABs spanning 137 G at Class A Advanced Inland Empire
So Grichuk was lost, now he is found. Now, about the Angels’ returns: Grichuk, now 21, will not be Mike Trout, because there is only one Mike Trout. But as long as expectations are lowered — and his health is maintained — this righty-hitting, toolsy center fielder should find his way to Anaheim by 2015. He’ll just have to move to left field or right, because someone else is already in center and will be for a long, long time.
2013: ??? at Double-A Arkansas (Grichuk will also been polishing his skills in the Arizona Fall League, which kicks off next Tuesday; Trout, you may remember, played in the AFL in ’11)