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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (18) | 2011 (15) | 2010 (26) | 2009 (25) | 2008 (11)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [89-73] AL West
AAA: [73-71] Pacific Coast League – Salt Lake
AA: [62-78] Texas League — Arkansas
A+: [66-74] California League – Inland Empire
A: [53-86] Midwest League – Cedar Rapids (Burlington beginning 2013)

Arizona Fall League PlayersScottsdale Scorpions
Buddy Boshers (LHP); Bobby Cassevah (RHP); Ryan Chaffee (RHP); Carlos Ramirez (C); Caleb Cowart (3B); Slade Heathcott (OF); Travis Witherspoon (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Mike Trout (OF); Jean Segura (SS); Garret Richards (RHP)

The Run Down
Of the Angels’ top four prospects a year ago, zero remain.  Mike Trout and Garret Richards are now with the big club, and Jean Segura and Johnny Hellweg were traded to Milwaukee.  This system is in poor shape heading into the 2013 season — Kaleb Cowart represents the only high-impact talent, and the farm is not deep with upside guys.  Frankly, there’s very little here to get excited about in terms of fantasy baseball, but I suppose what LA produced last year from its system will quench our fantasy thirsts for another year or two.  Barring ineptitude from the third base slot or injury to a regular, I don’t see much opportunity for prospect turnover in 2013.

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Kaleb Cowart, 3B:  In his first year of full-season baseball, Cowart hit .276/.358/.452 with 16 homers and 103 RBI between Low- and High-A.  The switch-hitting 3B projects above average both defensively and at the plate, and there’s not much blocking his path to the hot corner in LA.  The 20-year-old will take a step up to the Double-A in 2013, where the Angels hope he’ll start to tap into his power potential a bit more.  Cowart could reach the bigs late this year if things go well in the Texas League, but it’s more likely that we won’t see him up for another year.  ETA:  2014

2.  Randal Grichuk, OF:  LA took Grichuk with the 24th overall pick in the 2009 draft.  They had the next selection too, and choose Mike Trout at #25.  It’s been tough for Grichuk to escape the Trout comparisons throughout his career, but while he is most certainly not Mike Trout, the 21-year-old is a fine prospect in his own right.  During his first healthy year as a pro, he hit 18 homers and collected 16 stolen bases while posting a .823 OPS at High-A.  Scouts see Grichuk’s power improving as he matures.  He’ll spend 2013 at Double-A.  ETA:  2015

3.  Nick Maronde, LHP:  In one of the toughest leagues for pitchers, Maronde managed a 1.82 ERA along with a 0.91 WHIP and a 9.1 K/9 through ten starts in the California League.  LA bumped him to Double-A for a stretch, where the 23-year-old lefty regressed somewhat, but still posted a 21/3 K/BB.  Maronde finished the 2012 with the big club, allowing only one run in 12 appearances out of the Angels’ bullpen.  A starter’s repertoire and plus command should eventually lead him to a gig as a mid-rotation guy, but LA might opt to leave him in the ‘pen for the time being.  ETA:  2013

4.  C.J. Cron, 1B:  Cron is sort of a Mini Donkey-type first base prospect, but he’d be well-served to take a few more pitches at Double-A in 2013.  There’s no defensive flexibility here, so he’ll really need to hit if he wants a job in the majors.  Still, that might not be a problem for the 22-year-old who hit 27 homers at High-A in 2012.  ETA:  2015

5.  Kole Calhoun, OF:  After skipping Double-A entirely, Calhoun was assigned to Salt Lake to begin 2012, and spent a few stints in the majors during the season.  The 25-year-old out of Arizona State features an advanced approach and good pop, making him an attractive pinch-hit option for LA in the immediate future, and a potential full-time corner outfielder down the line.  ETA:  2013

6.  Taylor Lindsey, 2B:  Bat-first second basemen are enticing prospects for fantasy purposes, and that’s precisely what Lindsey is.  The Angels were aggressive with his 2012 assignment, skipping the then 20-year-old over Low-A, and sending him to High-A Inland Empire.  There, he hit .289/.328/.408 in 589 PA.  It was an up-and-down year for Lindsey who struggled with consistency as he worked on some mechanical flaws in the batters box.  He’ll look to steady himself at Double-A in 2013, but he’s the leading candidate to take over full-time second base duties after Howie Kendrick’s contract expires following the 2015 season.  ETA:  2015

7.  Luis Jimenez, 3B:  The 24-year-old third baseman hit .309/.334/.495 at Triple-A Salt Lake in 2012.  Jimenez brings 20+ HR potential, as scouts are hopeful some of his doubles will find their way over the wall as he matures.  ETA:  2013

8.  Alex Yarbrough, 2B:  Like Lindsey, Yarbrough is a bat-first second baseman with good hands and limited pop.  He reached Double-A in his first year of full-season ball, but he’ll likely begin 2013 at High-A — a level he’s managed to avoid thus far — and he could post some impressive figures in the California League.  It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on the Angels’ organizational depth chart as Lindsey and Yarbrough jockey for position at 2B over the next couple years.  ETA:  2015

9.  Travis Witherspoon, OF:  The toolsy outfielder opened 2012 at High-A and posted an OPS at .869 through 67 games with Inland Empire.  LA then moved him up to Double-A and the wheels fell off.  Witherspoon managed a line at .202/.286/.351 with Arkansas.  He’ll be back at Double-A for 2013, where he’ll work on some flaws in his approach.  Praised as a hard worker, however, Witherspoon should be able to make the adjustments necessary to push through the next couple levels.  ETA:  2014

10.  Mike Clevinger, RHP:  Clevinger is a big-bodied starter who was impressing at Low-A before Tommy John surgery ended his year.  He’ll be on the shelf for a good chunk of 2013 too, but baseball folks still like him as a future mid-rotation starter.  In any regard, his development is on hold for a while.  ETA:  2016

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