Call in to speak with the host
That's a record. [Laughing].
Oh dear. Well, well, well. As the season starts or is about to start, it is about 49 hours and 59 minutes from the beginning of the 2011 Angels Baseball season, the 51st season of Angels Baseball and my name is Rev Halofan. I'm your host. This is Lunch Time Halo Talk and I am joined by my co-host, my halo fan, Jim Gardner. Jim, are you there?
Hey Rev, what's going on?
You know, I've got everything ready for the show and I'm like I've, and I just want you to sign in and it was like your show go live, which you think your show go live in three minutes, you know, your like okay, your show, that your show will go live in five seconds.
Woah, woah, woah. Take it all the way.
I was, I was getting ready for all this stuff and I got sidetracked with somebody else's show and I was looking at it like "Oh, it's gonna be interesting" and I looked up the clock like "Oh shit!" we have one minute. I got out at one minute. [Laughing] You're here before me man.
I was still finishing my breakfast but --
I was back yesterday.
One __01:59__ I forgot. My breakfast is -- well I just got handed an omelet. So hey and I'm eating a tamale where I live. These guys walked by and screamed "Tamales!" "Tamales!" and you, you ran out of your house with money and they sell you tamales totally fresh, amazing, for a buck, out of their van and so I bought a couple of tamales the other day and I'm still eating them and their totally healthy. It's totally, everything is fresh. It's amazing and you know that's one of the ironies of living in the barrio, I guess you could call it where I live. It's like, there's a lot of really good stuff here that you couldn't get. We went to like a --, I was at a fancy Mexican restaurant like really yuppie hipster, whatever you want to call them, with a tequila tasting bar and all that shit, and you know, they had tamales, small tamales for like you could get a plate of three of them for 8 bucks.
My God! It even sounds like three days of food for me you know.
So, and you know that there is no guarantee that they were as good as the ones from, from the van.
So there's no ice cream truck. You guys get the tamale guys?
How __03:18__. You know what? Instead of an ice cream truck they have a paleta which is the, it's like a box on wheels that they push and then it has a little bell like -- you know it's a very distinctive sounding bell, you know "Paleta!" "Paleta!" and they are slightly different type of popsicle. They are most often made with cream as oppose to frozen water like frozen milk and coconut and strawberry are the most, you know like mango and mamey, which is a Cuban fruit so you know, different stuff like that. Kind of exotic but it is like, it's like, "Oh well, this would be exotic if you never did it but I'm kind of like, "Yeah, paleta, it is like a regular and to the American is apple pie to me now.
You were, you're on like a popsicle kick for awhile. There was -- I remembered --
Oh there's a lot of popsicle store by me. Yeah, it's called Lewis Out Base and Nieveria which is snow near Nieves Snow. It's basically you got popsicle joint. They make their own popsicles there and they have extremely bizarre flavors like uhm, I mean they have all the regular flavors and they are all made right there with fresh ingredients and real sugar. No corn syrup, no crappin but then they will have flavors like Mango Con Chile. It's like the sweet mango and all of a sudden your throat is burning because it is, you know totally the hot chili in it, and then they have Houston flavors, avocado, bean, cheese and actually the cheese was a cheese cake. It is a -- you know. But they have you know eggnog, raisin, prune, walnut, just weird pops cactus. It's like "What the hell but their amazing and just amazing!" You know buck is a buck. I mean that that's another thing. Everything is a little, just a little cheaper in the hood you know. So, how's your week man?
Ah, pretty uneventful. Just another week.
Yeah. What's the weather like there?
Actually, it's really sunny. It's really pretty outside. It's still kind of chilly, it's on the 30s. It's so weird you know. We did the last Tuesday and I was saying that "Yeah, it's kinda cold but it's looking better." We had like four inches of snow on Wednesday.
All the snow was gone until Wednesday. We had a big snowstorm so there still patches of snow in around but...
I got to ask you something, Jim. This is a phenomenon that's new in my life. I really don't' watch a lot of TV. I'm not a TV -- since the internet, the only thing I watched on TV is baseball. I'll flip channels once in a while when I'm just totally, totally bored.
Okay. So last night I'm watching, this is not the first time I noticed this, but I really noticed it last night. I'm watching the Angels Dodger game and then they cut to the news and I'm doing something. I look up and the weather girl was on. Now, you know when I grew up, it was the weather man. It was like Dr Georgian. I witness new was in Johnny Mountain, Dallas Raines, Fritz Coleman. It's always some kind of goofy guys and now the weather chick is like, it's like you know looks like a porn star. You had good news of a hot blonde chick with this tiny white, with this giant boobs and I'm a like a "huh?"
Its like, it's like sunny with a chance of milk. I mean it was like...
[Laughing] And I'm like "When did this happen?" Like you know all the nerdy geek -- I thought that he would probably be qualified for the, you know if you put me -- if I put on a suit, I could be like the classic weatherman, "My ass! It's gonna rain and ho-ho. Get out your umbrellas, kids." You know, I can do that. Okay, fine but they're gone and they're all, when did the weather dude become the weather porn star that it was there like a, it sounds like legislation pass.
You know what, I'm jealous because the one local guy here, I swear to God, I noticed the other night, he is toothless and in the front.
[Laughing] I went, "Are you kidding me?"
So, I'd be happy for some boobs. Boobs would be nice.
Hey, we got a call. We should take a caller before we do our big guest today.
You're on. Oh no, you're not on. Okay, wait.
Wait. __07:38__ with Lunch Time. Hey, what's up? Who's calling? You're on. Hello?
Somebody is messing with their phone.
I think we've got Net dial
Wouldn't it be happy if that, if that happen where -- like somebody was doing something really interesting?
You're chilling right now. You're on at Lunch Time Halo Talk. Who is this?
[Laughing] He's thinking about the weather girl there.
Yeah. I think, I think we got somebody in the air. All right! Hey, today on the show in just a minute Jim is going to be calling Ryan Ghan. Ryan is the best Angels minor league analyst on the planet. If the cards, if it where a just world, he'd be the minor league director. We are going to talk about Ryan's top 20 prospects. So, just as the season is about to start, it's time to look at, where is this club going? You know we have not had a homemade position player make the All-Star team since Troy Glaus. Did you know that?
You know, I didn't' know that. That's interesting.
A homed, I said homemade. [Laughing]
What's the word?
You know we just Mrs. Audrey cooped him up from scratch. [Laughing] Oh, yah, ya, yay. Okay, why don't you call on, why don't you hop on that cranky -- crank up the telephone there and call Ryan and let's get the show on the road with the top 20 Angels prospects and while Jim does that, I going to remind you that the season starts Thursday. Did you need reminding, that the season, the baseball season, the actual major league games that count, baseball seasons starts at 1 p.m. Pacific time, this Thursday. I actually think "Oh shit! Do I have to do this? Man, I hope I don't have to clicks up my switchboard to get these guys back on." Okay. I actually think there is a game or two that starts before the Angels game, but I think we are at the 2nd or 3rd game of the season that starts. That might be -- but ESPN is doing a bunch of games, not ours...
How are you guys?
Hey, welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
How are you?
Ryan, is that -- is that you, Ryan Ghan?
Yes, this is me, Ryan Ghan. How are you?
Ryan, great! Jim, are you back?
I am back too.
Oh wow jeez, you are all here! I was just, I was talking to the wall here. Hey, Ryan! How are you doing?
No complaints. Life is good as it can be when the weather is still 30 degrees out here.
Wow! And where are you?
In Boston, sitting in South Boston as we speak.
Ah, you have my condolences. Wooh!
Go on. So Ryan, what crime did you commit to be sentenced to a life in Boston?
Well, you know what? I followed my wife out here. She started a degree, but we are headed back west. We are headed to Portland, Oregon this summer.
Yeah. It should be a permanent move. We are really excited. I mean, it is obviously not California but to be back on the West Coast would be a wonderful thing and certainly bring me close to the Angels Baseball.
Oh yeah, Portland. I mean you can make the drive and __11:24__ for the Mariners ten times right there, right?
Yeah, that and I'm hoping that the bees get their act together and move to Portland and I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that when their contract is up you know, in a couple of years that happens.
Wow! Well, I'll be. Is there some gossip because that might happen? Are they not happy with ...
Oh no. It's my personal thing. I think they got to get them out of Salt Lake. I mean no offense, there are good people at Salt Lake, but I think that part, it is hurting our prospects. I think it is just way too easy to hit there.
Wow! Is this going to be a permanent move or just an extended visit?
So I got my argument all prepared. If they come to me, like I'm sure they will, and they say...
That's your opinion...
All right. I'm sure they should. That's a problem. Okay, so Ryan, you know we got, -- I wonder if we could fit this all in. Let's start with your, -- you have compiled list of the top 20 Angels and the Sleepers behind 20.
Oh, I've got a lot of Sleepers behind 20. I guess it will come down to how much, how much time we have left, but I could just pick and I got to some come down, how much time we have left, but I could just keep talking about guy, so...we will played that by ear.
Let's start with Number 20 and build the intensity here, if that's possible, to be any more intense in Lunch Time Halo Talk already is -- Ryan Ghan, who is our Number 20 Angels prospect?
Well, I'm not going start very originally here. I am going to put Andrew Romine at Number 20. He is a shortstop. He saw a lot of him in spring training, played in Double-A last year and this is where the register had him. Baseball America didn't have him at 20 but they had him right around there. You know, the ceiling isn't huge with Romine. He is never getting hit a ball a mile, but he plays a very good shortstop, a very, very, very credible shortstop which is going to make him useful on somebody's major league roster. It might not be the Angels but he is going to get around to somebody, and you know, the bat is good. He was above average hitter last year in Double-A, and in that part, that's saying something. He gets on base. He works as coach, hits line drives from both side of the plate. His line drive percentage was above 20% from both sides of the plate, so he can shoot the ball. He is a very, very good ball player.
And he had a cup of coffee at the end of the interview?
Yeah, he did. He did and you know, he didn't look all that great in spring training. His average wasn't where I'm sure he wanted to be. But he did want the ball as a _13:53_, I think. He racked up a couple of doubles from both side of the plate and you know, we all side defense last year so the guy has _14:01_. The guy has __14:02__ a major league club. I'm thinking, you know, he won't have the pop in his bat or the eye magic that Meister has. But Meister is a pretty good cup in terms of defense and versatility. I think we are going to see Romine play a lot of second base, may be even a little bit of third base here in Salt Lake this year just to build, no doubt his versatility.
And real quick is, I don't have any stats in front of me. Is
Andrew Romine a switch hitter light Meister is?
Yes. He is a switch hitter.
He is a little bit better from the right side of the plate last year than he did from the left. But you know the numbers, the bat, the balls in played data, looks pretty similar from both sides. Using line drives on both sides of the plate, strikeouts were approximately the same, whacks were about the same. He is an accomplished switch hitter and that's not an easy thing to do.
Wow! All right! Andrew Romine! I am a little surprised. I gotta be honest, I wasn't thinking in that mold. But great, great! I mean I am maybe much more excited about the cup of, well look, may be a little bit more than a cup of coffee. May be he'll leave and get a cup of espresso out of Mike Scioscia this season. What do you think?
Well, I think it is some combination of Meister Ivar or __15:19__ will be seeing him. It will just take two injuries and he'll be out.
Oh well, jeez. Last year the Angels scored out __15:28__ three innings? [Laughing]
Okay. Let's move on from Jersey number 18, Andrew Romine picked number 20 to number 19. Who is the Angels number 19 prospect?
Okay. Orangel Arenas. I know I'm mispronouncing that and I apologize to him but...
Well _15:53_. Orlando?
May be Arenas. Arenas is...how I believe it's pronounced.
Well, I'm worried about the first name like I don't want to call him Orange County.
Oh, Orangel. Orangel or Oranjel.
All right. You know what I got...I ought to remind you of this all day. I've got something Orange __16:16__...
[Laughing] Get it right eventually. But he is one of those arms that gonna sneak up on them. This guy has a very lively pass bat, gets in the low 90. Are you there?
Yeah, we're here!
Okay so he is sitting in the low 90s with his pass ball. When I talked to Ed Flores earlier last year, he was very excited about the movement of this guy's fastball. It's not upper 90s. He doesn't have that kind of velocity, but it's got a lot of movement. He keeps the ball out. He's got a lot of running action. Hitters tend to pound it right into the ground. He's also got a slider that is probably average to fringe average but it will keep hitters off of his fastball and you know, I know he was __17:04__ and he just had a tough, tough times squaring him up. He got a wired downfall.
Oh, that is always a good sign. That's always a good sign.
Yeah. You know folks were just pounding that ball right into the ground. He must have a change up, but folks don't talk about it. I think he's a really good candidate transition to the Bullpen and I think he's gonna surpass some of the guys who got a little bit more publicity this year in the Bullpen once he makes that move. I think he's got two good pitches, one really good one in his fastball and I think in a couple of years here, we're going to become very familiar with them.
Wow, all right. Then would probably in that amount of time we are going to pronounce his name. We have to list of course Mr Rohan but not Vin Scully who could -- Vin Scully is great as he is. My god! They came with a name "Butchers".
Oh yeah. Yeah, that's a good company to be in. I'm gonna raise my hat on that.
Yeah. Hey, so Ryan, let's move on to number, oh no, no wait, one thing about Arenas, he's not named after the planet out there, but he's a right-handed pitcher?
He's a right-handed pitcher. You know he doesn't rack up the strikeouts.
Oh, well okay.
Especially at the starter. I mean he did 6.4-case per 9 innings last year. So he's not going to be a huge strikeout guy that would probably come up a little bit if he gets moved in to the Bullpen. I mean he wouldn't have to turn over a lineout you know 2 or 3 times in the Bullpen. So I think he'd see the case and the peripherals go up in the Bullpen which I think, I mean that's his ultimate home, that that's where I think he lands eventually.
All right, let's move on.
One more plug about him. He did get the first promotion out at Cedar Rapids last year. Cedar Rapids had a really good rotation. They had
Tyler Skaggs, they had Garrett Richards, they had a lot of very, very, good pitchers and you know, he's still be Angels tag first to move on up to high A and he performed well.
Wow! And he's going to be in Double-A this year, do you think?
Yeah, I think, they will promote him to Double-A. I think he starts in that rotation. It's gonna be a really, really good rotation and in that part, you know his numbers should be solid.
Wow! All right. Well, let us move on to number 18 on your prospect list.
Okay so, Luis Jimenez, otherwise __19:28__
Yeah. Lucio is a mayor, apparently picked up a new nickname this year. He is now the mayor.
Mayor Nick Lucio. [Laughing]
That's right. He's got the two best nicknames in the entire system. I don't know how he landed at that lot, but he is supposed to be very charismatic guy you know, good guy in a dugout keeps everybody laughing, keeps everybody loose and he will be back this year. He missed all of 2009 when he tore his labrum meniscoid throwing shoulder. So he came back this year. He had a lot to prove because people were not sure he was gonna have the arm strength left to play a credible third base and according to the __20:06__ Mets total zone, he not only played third base, that he was a rock over there. He was worth a total zone sets 16 runs more than the average per base. That's not quite Adrian Beltre numbers, but it's up there. So he brings a lot with his club. That's a big part of his game and if he can stay in above average third baseman, that will be a lot less pressure on his bat and the Lord knows, we've been looking for a third baseman for a long time. So he is definitely a candidate. He will probably be in
Double-A this year. He will probably also need a little more time. Speech recognition, even bad words, he won't wait out a pitcher. He has a tough time growing wax, but the guy can put the bat on the baseball. He doesn't strikeout very much. He hits a __20:54__ fly balls of all the guys that I looked out for this and I looked at a lot of batted ball data. He hit just about more fly balls than anybody and I don't think it was all that close. Now that does come with a caveat. Out of all of those fly balls, his homerun rate, his homerun per fly ball was well overall average, which is bizarre because the guy has two homerun titles to his name. He got the homerun title in the Pioneer League and in the Dominican Summer League three years ago. He has hit homeruns in the past and it didn't happen for him last year and that's going to be a big factor in his ability to move up the prospect to hit list and onto his way onto the depth chart. He's gonna have to hit homeruns and it didn't really happen for him last year.
And a lot of that time he was healing from the shoulder, from the shoulder surgery, right?
Yeah. You know I asked if __21:49__ about it when I interviewed him last year and the first thing he said was, "well, the timing is a little bit off." Personally, from having seen him a few times last year, I think there's a little more to that answer. He tends to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone and you know it's possible to at least double the gap if you know you are on your tippy toes and bend all the way over. It's a lot harder to shoot ball like that over the wall andI think he gets himself into situations where he is not putting his best swing on the ball too often, and I think that's gonna hold him back. He's also not that big. He's only 6'1", over 200, but he is not huge. He doesn't have that sort of Vlad Guerrero type of strength going on. So he's gonna have to put better swings on the ball to have hits to go yard and that did not happen. He is pretty fast. He stole over 20 bases last year. I don't think that will continue to higher levels because he is not a, -- he is not a speed demon but he has got some natural athleticism and some good baseballs marks.
Wow! Nice to hear! Nice to hear! Wow! All right, well I'm really looking forward to Mayor Nick Lucio moving up the ladder, so to speak, and where are we now? What? What was that?
There is just one more note on him. I am a little bit worried about the Arkansas park chewing him up, it's hard to hit homeruns there. Fly balls can do die in that big, big outfield, so me might see a drop in his numbers. He hit almost 290 this year. He's flagging was over 500, that's probably gonna take a hit this year in that park.
Wow! Wow! All right, well moving on, let's talk about number 17. Who do you got there?
Okay, 17 we have Mike Kohn, a guy we all know, we've seen a lot of. I don't have a ton of thing to add. I mean you know we've seen Mike Kohn. The things to like, he has a lot of deception. He has that short arm motion. That fast ball jumps on hitters. He's got rising action so, if it's up in the zone, hitter's have a tough time catching up with it. That's where he gets to swing and misses. He is the fast ball high in the zone. The slider seems to be improving and if he can use that to set up his fast ball, that high fast ball more effectively, that's going to be an important pitch for him. It was not great in the minors and we're gonna have to see some more improvement and his control wasn't great last year. He didn't really catch up to his numbers. His CRA was still solid, but the control is definitely an area we're going to need to see continuing improvement and he had a good start on that. I think he only walked a couple in 11 innings since spring training. Also, another thing to keep an eye on, he was hitting 94 consistently throughout his minor league career. This is a guy who could live in the
mid 90s. We didn't see that last year. He was pitching mainly at 91 and that's a big difference. It's going to be easier for big leaguers to catch up with that fast ball if he is looking at 91, which means there's all the more pressure on his command. He's got to improve his command.
What do you attribute the loss of three miles per hour on his pitchers to?
Oh, he might had just been worn down you know he was not a pitcher in college that ended pro ball. The Halos have not been shy about using him. He has had a lot of back-to-back appearances. I think he was a guest and we don't have any radar gun reading for him so far this year. I think I checked that last night. I don't think at spring training, radar gun got on him at least one that is publicly available. So I don't know where he is sitting right now but that is something to look for once we got batted data once the game start here this week.
Wow! So do you think he'll be on the Angles roster for the entire season?
Yes. I am going to say yes.
That roster is I think the Bullpen, there's always going to be some combination of guys that are either ineffective or who get hurt. I think Kohn has a good chance of staying healthy and I think he is going to be too valuable, too soon to take another trip for minor leagues. That said, he still has options remaining so, if there's a roster crunch, he is the candidate to go down but I don't see that.
Wow! All right. We are moving on to sweet 16. Ryan Ghan?
All right. I've got Daniel Tillman. He was drafted in the second round of last year at Florida Southern...
He was a bit of a surprise coming on to this list and even going that high in the draft.
He was college reliever.
This is not the guy who started games or had a high profile in college, but he pitched very well in the Pioneer League last year. His fastball right now, in mid 90s. It's got lots of movement, has a nasty pitch and apparently his slider which wasn't all that great in college and I got to attribute my sources here. This is Baseball America. Apparently, his slider saw a lot of improvement last year. The Angels coaches had him match with his grip. They experiment with different ways of delivering the pitch and it just, it took off. So he's got two plus pitches and its look like they're gonna keep him in the Bullpen and he is a guy who could move very, very quickly. It wouldn't be a surprise at all to see him end in higher area, even Double-A next year. The numbers continue to be good. He has strikeout 50 in about 30 innings.
Definitely, it's bringing this kind of guy.
You said he dropped out in college?
Yeah. They did. They did, I think it, I think he was a junior.
Do you think he has a little bit of... Could he have an opportunity to move a little bit faster through the organization to make it to the majors from another college or? [Busy Tone]
I think, you're going to have to call him again. Jim?
Are we there? Jim? Ryan, are you there? No. He is not there.
No. I'll call him back.
Hay, ya, ya, yay, yay. Well anyway we where going smooth there. I am going to play a commercial.
All right, we're back! Hey, we are, aren't we?
Hear you not. Sorry about that.
Can we blame AT and T or just Boston in general?
It's Boston, horrible city. Everything is wrong here. Everything.
[Laughing] Good answer! All right. We were talking about Daniel Tillman.
Yeah, Daniel Tillman. Okay so, basically the net show, internet show, he was fastball slider guy, nasty, two plus pitches. He could move very, very quickly. So just keep an eye out for him.
Awesome! Awesome! All right, moving to probably a great number in the Angels who wore number 15, who is number 15?
Oh, it makes me sad to say that it makes me so sad he slipped further and further and further the longer the after season went on. I've got
Trevor Reckling there.
Yeah, proud and mighty.
Yeah, and you know it's the spring training performance has commenced. You know, we shot the hell last year. His velocity is supposedly down. I want to say that that's not confirmed. It's not all go saying, he is pitching 85, but the rumoring, he is at 86 to 90 as opposed to 90 to 91 last year and that's a pretty substantial drop. It's going to make it a lot harder for him to stay on the rotation. But yeah, you know, things have just gotten from bad to worse with this guy. Now, I do want to say that, I am fundamentally a big believer. I like him a lot. I think that there is good possibility that he turns it around. I am just not sure it's going to be this year or even next year. I think he might be one of those guys that end up bouncing around a little bit and then finally figure something out. And also the class is critical. I don't think it was an injury. I think it's probably because the coaches are tweaking his mechanics a little bit. They're trying to get his control better and I think it's probably having an impact on velocity.
Oh, that's tragic, because wasn't he at one point like number two?
Yeah. I think that he was put in number three or number four last year. Some other well-respected people put him in number one.
And you haven't heard anything, any injuries or anything, it's just...it's just something, huh?
I don't think so. This happens pretty frequently with young pitchers. A pitcher is the most delicate instrument in the entire world. I mean, one little thing goes wrong. Something in their mechanic changes and guys can wake up one day and not be able to do it. They were able to do the day before. I mean, I think the most outstanding example of this is Dontrelle Willis. He just is not the pitcher he once was.
No. Well, let's hope things can happen because I hear people comparing Trevor Reckling to, you know, calling him the... like you're going to have the career of that Al Downing had at the major leaguer years back. So it was like, you know, "Wow, here we go!" And then...
You know, he's got those funky mechanics. He kind of windmills the ball towards home. He has this sort of shoulder tilt where he tilts back towards the second base and then brings his arm and shoulders in this giant circle. It gives him a high release point, a lot of deception, and he is able to get some momentum on his pitch but it makes command hard and I know the Angels are trying to smooth that out and I just do not know how is that going to shake out. That is why he can do what he does. That is why his curve ball has changed up, have a lot of deceptions, a lot of movement on them, twice fast ball. There is a really good angle on it. You know, to be able to get those groundballs even though he is not that "hell of a guy," but it is a double-bladed sword.
Well, let us hope for the best, right?
All right. Moving on number 14, who do you got?
All right. Cam Bedrosian. You're surprised?
Yeah. Wow! I mean that's like -- that means he is one of guys. Pitched 17 innings or something for us, come on! Wow!
Yeah. Yeah. It's -- I mean great, great, great scouting reports headed into the draft. It didn't look like you'll be a first rounder but the Angels really like him. You know, he is short. He doesn't have much projection on him. I think he is a 6 feet, 200 pounds, something like that. So, he kind is what he is from a physical standpoint. So, the velocity isn't going to jump. What you see is what you get with him. But what you see is pretty good. He's already pitching in the mid-90s. He's got a wipeout slider just like his dad. He does have a change-up and a curveball that he's working on. The plan is to keep him in the rotation until he can't swing it anymore. But to plus pitches, it's a great place to start. Now, a lot of people actually haven't ranked much higher than I do. I've got him hiding all the way down here at 14, but there are a lot of folks out there who put him at nine or ten that see much more upside in him than I do.
You definitely see him as a reliever there, right? Well, he hits the big league.
Yeah. I do. I do. And that's mainly because he's a smaller guy. The Tyler -- the Chatwoods of the world don't just fall out of trees, guys who don't have the size, who can stay in the rotation, who can hold up for a full season, who can go eight to nine innings on occasion. You know, those are hard guys to find and it's just -- it's really hard to bet on the guy this early in his career. I don't see any reason to believe that he will automatically be as good as Chatwood where Hizon was.
If anyone out there can find tapes of the old Bob Roe's post game shows in the late 1980s, you would hear a young Rev Halofan, then known as Matt from Huntington Park would be saying, "The Angels need to trade for Steve Petrossi and this guy is going to be a hall of famer and he's going to move it!"
So you go -- you'll get back with the family, huh?
So when they signed him, I was like -- when they signed JM Petrossi, I was just like, "I wonder if Bob Roe remembers this pestering, idiot drunk caller. Every -- "So we got to get Steve Petrossi in!" Anyway, "Now we got JM Petrossi in, all right number 14, who wins? Ryan Ghan. Angels' prospect lucky number 13!"
I've got Alexi Amarista right there. We've seen a lot of him recently in spring training __35:42__. He's made a couple of phenomenal defense and plays at a second base. He went opposite. He hit a homerun, opposite field. I think it was two games ago. You know, he hit the ball to left field, he's -- I put nothing and was able to do it. You know, half the power guys have a major struggle to do it. He hit a homerun to the opposite field. I think with him, it's probably a long-term question of just how good his defense is, hit line drives, he'll always be able to make contact, he'll hit it harder than you'd expect him to hit it. But I think that to differentiate himself from the Angels' current options in the middle and end of the field, he's going to have to keep playing a very, very, very sweet second base, and I think he's up to it. You know, he's got the attitude. He's smart. He knows how to position himself. He's got the fastest hands I think I've every seen. I've got to see him in Cedar Rapids last year a few times. And the guy makes plays in this blinding flash. His hands move so quickly and you see the thing in his swing. He's able to come around on hard inside stuff very, very quickly. He's got a very quick bat. That sort of athleticism that just might carry him.
Do you think with quick hands like that he'd be able to do some Van Halen guitar solos given the proper instructions?
I think that given this guy's physical toolset, I think I wouldn't bet against him to do anything and he again has a major league or he's going to get major league innings and I'm sure that he's going to see major league's time in the next couple of years, and think about all of the bigger, stronger, faster guys who beat up against him, I would not bet against this guy.
Wow! I can just -- I hope that music is Van Halen's eruptions, the greatest guitar solo ever. All right. Moving on. Ryan Ghan, who is your pick for now? We're in the top dozen. We made it to the top dozen Angels' prospects. Who's going to...?
I've got Chevez Clarke. New member of the system. He's drafted in the supplemental first round last year. He's another Georgette guy. He's an outfielder, a switch-hitter. He's a little better from the right side right now, but it's so early. You know, who knows what has really got down the road. He has average to above average power from both sides of the play. He has made an effort to work count, but he is still working on pitch recognition. You know, he's a raw hitter. It's going to take him a while to learn how to hit. He does not have the polish or the skills that say the Mike Trout or even Randal Grichuk had last year. It's going to take him a lot. It would not surprise me to see him in __38:34__ the beginning of the year or even back in Arizona in the beginning of the year. The guy just learned how to hit. That said, he's got an extremely high ceiling. He could be -- he could hit 20 homeruns, steal 30 bases someday. He's got that sort of physical presence, those sorts of physical tools. It's just going to take a long time for him to develop. But I'm getting steadily more and more confident about the Angels' ability to develop these kinds of guys. I think in the last five years, they developed Peter Bourjos. I'm a big fan of his. I think he's going be a major leaguer for a while and it looks like Jeremy Moore is coming around. I think that the Halos have a good shot of developing Chevez Clarke into a major league player. High risk, high reward, but he's got a shot.
Wow! The ultimate Eddie Bane draftee taken ahead of many, many prospects, much more highly crowded than him. So, we will see what that ends up. Do you see -- is there a comparable major leaguer that you see his, him -- do you Clarke being near anybody's ceiling -- does his ceiling being near any major leaguer that we would recognize?
I'm going to go out on -- I'm going to say Beltran White. He won't steal quite as many bases or quite as many homeruns in his prime, but he is that sort of player who just has an impact on both sides of the field. When he's got to play the field, he enjoyed it.
He's got great tools.
Wow! I'm jumping up and down here. Can you hear me? All right.
Again -- again, I'm emphasizing Beltran White. You know, he won't hit as many homeruns as Beltran did in his peak and he won't steal as many bases, and his defense probably won't be quite as good but he'll be that kind of player assuming everything breaks right.
Right on! All right. Well, I'm still excited. And when you say "light," all I'm thinking is light on the major league salary that they'll be making instead of the eighteen and a half million that Carlos Beltran will be paid __40:42__.
Yeah. He'll play light on the injuries too.
Yeah. Oh yeah, that too. All right. So, let's move on to number 11.
I've got Randal Grichuk down there. He's lost a little bit of ground from last year, but he is a good hitter. I think that's the thing that people forget about when they're talking about him. You know, everybody is talking about the power, but the guy can hit. He is a good natural hitter. The strikeouts are so high. He doesn't walk as much as we'd like to see him, but he's still hitting pretty dense, well near 300 wherever he goes. He knows how to swing the bat. I've seen him making efforts to work counts. Sometimes, he's more successful than others. He is clearly conscious of what he needs to do in order to bring his game to the next level. He's a good bet. He's a very good bet to be an income or an impact player down the road. Again, like Clarke, high risk, high reward.
He's got a great swing but now, you don't see the Angels as letting people cut in line and move through the system with the idea of being a DH. They're sticking him in the field and insisting that he work on being a fielder as well, correct?
That's true. He did make strikes last year. When he was drafted, there were some knocks on his arm, his arm strength, and he worked on his mechanics, he worked on his footwork and added a lot of carries to his throw and they're now putting him in the right field and see him as a legitimate center fielder. He'll never be outstanding out there. He won't. He's not that fast, but he can well be average. He's got a work ethic. He's got coaches working with him. He's willing to put in that work. He could be a perfectly averaged major league left fielder, perhaps slightly below average in the right field because he's arm -- there's cap on how much arm strength he can have but I don't think...
There's not a cap on that bat, is there?
No. The guy can swing it. I mean, there are some issues. I'm not going to pretend there aren't issues. He calls the ball all the time. He made a good effort to try to use the whole field last year. This year, 2010 season, he was a pole hitter. He just pounded the ball to the left side, and when you do that, you're going roll over on a lot of pitches. So, he hits more grounders than a lot of power hitters do. But like Mike Napoli, those grounders were hit hard enough, they found holes. So, those who have the catchy, they hit for batting average, it would be nice to see him start to use the whole field a little bit more, try to spread that power out, become a true tower-to-power kind of guy. Right now, his power is almost exclusively to center field than left field, but he does. He is a light tower-power to that side.
A light tower-power. I'm -- that makes me more excited than Beltran White, no offense. Hey, let's move on to our top ten. Who is the number ten Angels prospect?
This is the guy who has moved up. I didn't start him here. I think maybe Kurt Steve has got inside my head a little bit. I've got Jeremy Moore down -- our top ten or our tenth best prospect. He gets better every single year. He started with outstanding physical tools, no idea how to hit. Every year, he has gotten a little bit better. The one thing that stands out about Moore is that he can go the other way with authority. Over half of his homeruns were hit to left field. He's a left-handed hitter so that's pushing the ball to the left field, that's going the opposite way. That's outstanding. That's amazing. A very few hitters have that kind of profile. He can drive the ball the other way. He's still working on pulling the ball. It's interesting that he doesn't hit more homeruns to the right field, but that's something that could change very, very quickly once he gets his timing down. The strikeouts are still an issue, would seem a little strange to me. I don't know if that's his 2-strike approach or if it's just a hit. You know, he has a tough time picking up, breaking balls, late in the count. I don't know if that issue is going to be resolved. It's a big one. I'm not going to pretend that he's a perfect player. You know, those strikeouts are outflow, but he does very interesting things in the field and that kind of makes his career unpredictable and potentially very, very exciting.
So, let me ask you real quick, because I'm not as familiar with Moore as Grichuk. I know Grichuk is like the same age as Trout. He's like 19. He's legally can't drink for another eight years or something, but we've got Grichuk, he's very young. How old is Jeremy Moore?
Moore is the same age as Bourjos. So, I think that puts him at 24.
Wow! Okay. So -- and he'll -- well, he'll be in triple -- well, he'll be in Salt Lake this year?
Yeah. They'll definitely move him up to Salt Lake this year. So, he'll probably be playing a lot of left field than a lot of center field there. He's not an outstanding center fielder, but he can hold it down. He's got a shot of being average in center field. He'll likely be good in the corners. It's interesting for the last two years, but the TotalZone, Sean Smith's TotalZone hasn't been too excited about his work in the corners. But you think that with his athleticism, his ability to hold down center fields, that he would be an asset out there and that makes him attractive as a bench option. You know, the Angels have three starting outfielders right now who currently bat from the right side. If you include __46:30__ that has got four guys who bat from the right side. A really good left-handed bat with some punch off the bench, that could have a lot of value.
Nice. Very nice. I'm very excited now. Wow! All right. We're moving on to number nine, number nine, number nine. Who is the Angels' number nine top prospect Ryan Ghan?
We've got Fabio Martinez Mesa. Another wild card, high risk, high reward. I feel like I can say that all day with this group of prospects outstanding fastball. Nasty, nasty fastball. Hits mid-90s. Touches 97. I think he can get it up to 98, 99. He did that a couple of times in Cedar Rapids last year. Just a filthy, filthy fastball and a slider, has come a long way. That combination of pitches put his upside very, very high. That said, commands, control. He has trouble with his mechanics. He's battling with his mechanics. I've read this in a couple of different places and I don't put a whole lot of stock in it, but they do mention him paying very close attention to the radar gun. He's always trying to up those readings. He's not nearly as concerned with his command and control. You know, he's a young guy. He's a thrower, an old cliché. He's not yet a pitcher and how quickly he can become a pitcher is really going to determine how fast the Angels move.
Wow! Now, he's been -- now, how hold is he because he's been around for just a bit -- he's making this prospect list. I think this is the third year that I've seen him sort of hitting the ticker here, getting noticed. Where will he be starting in the minor league this year and how old is he?
I'm guessing here. He's either 19 or 20. One of those two. He's still fairly young. He's not really young. He was in the DSL for a couple of years. But he is young. He does have time to continue developing. I assume, will be it Inland Empire, I don't think there's any reason to move him faster than that and I don't think there's any reason to send him back to Cedar Rapids. You know, he's a guy who can strikeout anybody if his command is on. He knows where that ball is going. He has major league quality stuff. Now, that said, his walk totals are unbelievable. This guy has a tough time finding a strike zone. So, you can roll the dice. He could step up under the mounts next year, throw nine perfect innings or Inland Empire and instantly be our second best prospect in the minors, or he could be playing out and never find the strike zone again. He's got that kind of volatility.
Wow! I went wow! And now I went oh wow! Hey, I'm actually going to the opener on the April 7, 2011 to the Inland Empire 66ers so maybe I'll get the chance to see him in person.
Yeah. I Imagine that he'll be there number one. You have a very good chance to see him in person. So, yeah. I'm very jealous. And here, I'll be in Boston, maybe the weather would be 40 degrees, probably not.
Hey! Let's move on to number eight.
I got Kaleb Cowart. Our new third basement. We drafted him last year as the third basement. Most teams like him better as a pitcher. A switch-hitter. He does have a lot of raw power. He does have a lot of bat speed. Defensively, mixed reviews, it seems to me that with his athleticism, he's got a shot of being a very good defender, but a lot of other very smart people are putting a ceiling in the field that high. It's just a question of how quickly he learns to hit. Now, everywhere I've looked has speculated that he's going to be put in the Cedar Rapids' lineups in the beginning of the year. I'm not so sure that's going to happen. I think there's a decent shot the Angels choose to send them back to Orem and I don't think that would be a horrible thing. I mean, it would put him behind the Trout-Grichuk-Wood elite prospect, Elite High School prospect timeline. It would knock him off of that timeline, but he is wise, it's going to take him a long time to learn how to pitch or hit and you got to remember as a switch-hitter too he's got twice the work of a guy who is just __50:52__ one side of the play. He's got to put together two good swings. He needs to improve his pitch recognition. I don't it would be an awful thing if he __51:02__ but that's not what I'm hearing. So, chances are he's going to Cedar Rapids, and if he struggles and he could, we'll just have to be patient.
You think one of the reasons that's he in Cedar Rapids is because he's more of a pitching league, the Midwest League, and that if he just starts to kind of tank, it would be -- I still want to call it an experiment at third base at the play, but they'll put him back as a pitcher.
I think they'll give him a couple of years before they consider it. I mean, I think they, in good faith, told him he would be playing third base. You know, he's a third-based man when he signed for over two million. I think they're going to stick to that for as long as possible, and if it does go to that direction eventually, Casey Kelly, the prospect who was just traded to San Diego. He's an example of a guy who converted after he began his pro career. He has been wearing and tearing his arm. There's no downside to keeping him in the lineup as long as possible.
Wow! That's a good sign. All right. We're moving on and I guess we are now at number seven. Who is our -- the Angels' number seven prospect?
Okay. This is the guy who has a lot of helium. He keeps moving up. Mark Trumbo. He put on a great show this spring. I'm really excited to see what he does this year. Yeah. Yeah. You know, he's one of the few power hitters in the Angels system who truly hits power. You know, he hits homeruns to all fields. It's a great sign. He hits more groundballs than a usual power hitter. A little bit more like Mike Napoli when we talk about Randal Grichuk in that way and knows he hits them hard enough when he finds holes. So, he's got a shot. He hits for average. Big question. Huge question. Always seems a big question, strikeouts. He struck out a lot this spring and he didn't walk that much, and __53:01__ cut him a little bit of flock because he had a lot to prove very, very quickly, but it's going to be an issue. If he maintains that rate, if he strikes out a third of the time in the major leagues, it's going to be very, very hard to put up the kind of numbers he needs to put up.
Now, wait, Jim, I want to ask you do you see the Mike Napoli platoon situation driving all of Halos Heaven insane this season with Mark Trumbo as the Mike Napoli character?
Yeah. I think we've led through last two seasons. I think that this could be -- this is something that is going to be -- put us over the edge -- at least put me over the edge as far as how Mike Scioscia handles this.
Now, how do you guys mean when you say that? Do you mean his playing time versus Peter Bourjos?
No. No. No, no. They're going to be putting Mark Trumbo at first base and then they're going be putting Howie Kendrick at first base and Alberto Callaspo at second. Do you understand that basically is going to be a swapping out of Callaspo for Trumbo. As insane as that sounds, but it doesn't sound too insane when you're discussing Mike Scioscia.
Is Trumbo's defense that bad Ryan?
No. He has made a lot strike. I mean, he's never going to be great, but he didn't look too bad there in the spring. His footwork was decent. You know, he'll make the basic plays and he's got that hand and arm, and that arm is going to be useful to him. At some point, very soon, he's going to make an out that none of us will see coming. You know, he's all right. He's worked really, really hard on that and I see no reason why he can't be average with more reps over there. Now, the outfield is another question. I don't think he's got a good shot as playing a quality corner outfielder.
Wow. All right.
Well, coming up to the system, was he primarily an outfielder or first base?
First base. They had him at first base. Let's see, he's spent two years in Midwest. Yeah. Since the beginning, since the beginning. And he's been in the system for a while. About Trumbo, this is the guy who was primarily a pitcher in high school, was going to go college and play both ways, but was not polished with the bat. The Angels taught him how to hit. For all of the flocks the Angels get about their position prospects, we've got a group right now, whom the Angels essentially taught how to hit. These were not seen as polished guys who had a good intuit of approach coming into the system when they were drafted, but the Angels' coaches had a lot of success to it and it took time. I mean, Trumbo's numbers two years ago are not nearly where they're now. He was pounding the ball into the ground all the time in double leg. He was having trouble lifting the ball and he is a much better hitter now than when he was two years ago.
Right on! Right on! So, we're moving up to number six.
I got Garrett Richards. Pitcher, 2009 drafts, one of Eddie Bane's parting gifts to us. A guy who a lot of people saw the frontline starter a year ago. They said he had a chance of being a dominant number one or a really, really good number two. You know, he might not be bad. I think, he might have a ceiling as a number three. He's got good stuff. He's fastball sits in the mid-90s, really good slider. There has been some speculation that he took his pictures with his curveball and his change-up but his arm slide changes and his mechanics changed. That would be a very good explanation of why he has never quite seen a success that the quality of the raw stuff seems to say he should be experiencing. You know, __56:50__ guy, a guy we've talked about for a couple of years now. A guy who has gotten a lot of publicity and a guy who should put up ridiculously good numbers in Double-A in the beginning of the year. That's a good park.
Yeah. Arkansas plays in a park that has historically been a pitcher's paradise. Do that skew things make us too confident about it when we -- especially relative to how we get confident about hitters in Salt Lake?
I think it might. I mean, that would be a very good explanation for why the Angles pushed Trevor Reckling as quickly as they did. You know, they looked at his numbers in Double-A in the previous years and his walk rate was high. His strikeout rate wasn't great, but he had that beautiful tiny __57:40__ and it was because that's at a park, where fly ball is going to die. It's one of the most extreme pitcher's parks in the minors and the Angels may be haven't accounted for that as much as they should have.
If they weren't accounted for it properly before, I'm sure they've learned their lesson now.
So, what is the name -- what is the name of that park in Arkansas? It's the stupidest name I've ever heard for a park.
Oh. You know, I'm blank enough...
That's it. That's it.
All right. Hey, we are now heading -- __58:31__ man, we've been on for _____. Wow! You are just -- you're blasting through with tons of information here Ryan and we are now at the top five Angels prospect. Now, these are guys we have to get excited about. These minor leagues mean nothing. Who is the number five prospect t for the Angels?
In the number five, we've got Tyler Chatwood. Local product. Grew up not too far from the Inland Empire Ballpark. I think he grew up in Redlands. You know, he's 6 feet. He throws like a 6-foot 5-inch, 300 pound-man. I mean, he can get it up through to 97 to 98, great fastball. And what's most impressive about that fastball, what I've always -- whenever I've seen him, what has always astounded me was how a guy that short can create that much downward angle on a baseball. He creates very good angle at a play and he does have a tough time squaring it up. He gets a lot of groundball. I think we'll see progressively pure groundball for higher up in the system he goes. They certainly had seen that success so far. He's got a very good curveball, very sharp break. If you look at some of the video online, baseball beginnings, maybe YouTube, where they show him from behind, especially when he was first drafted, a curveball is unbelievable. It's unreal how much he can make that ball move. His change-up got a lot better last year. He was little more confident in it. So, he got three useable pitches. Now, I do hope that the Angels, Hickam, and Double-A as long as possible this year. Maybe let them stay there the whole season. We are talking about, just a second ago how that part might work our impression of a pitcher, but the one upshot of that is that it does give pitchers a lot of confidence. Allows them to trust their stuff. Chatwood did not strike out as many guys last year as maybe we would have like to have seen him in Arkansas so he's going to need to work on that curveball but again, with the fastball that good and that hard to square up. I think he's got a lot of potential for major league success.
So, what's the feeling on that Tyler Chatwood if you would?
I would say way as well last year, you know, maybe not early in the career but a really dynamite number two starter. That's where I would take assume. Now, that's not a sure thing. He does have some command issues that he hasn't fully worked out yet. So, you know, we're just speculating here on upside. We're rolling the dice. But his upside could be as good as that.
Wow! Oh my... I just painted that again. We've got [Crosstalk]...
Now, I don't to qualify all this. I mean, you know, there's one thing about new prospects.
I said feeling. I said feeling. Look, I qualified it ahead on this feeling. I don't want you to be known as a guy who's like Mr. Ra-Ra Pom-Pom. I said feeling. You gave me a great feeling. I'm thrilled but the guy could be in the basement in Arkansas the next five years for all we know, so I'm not holding in any of this.
All right. But he is a guy to get excited about. I mean, he is also a nice guy. Good clubhouse president. Works really hard. He is still really young. He is really young to the level that he has been pitching at. So, he has got a good shot and great future.
Any kind of injury concerns? Does he have any problems?
He did have Tommy John surgery actually in high school before even turned to pro. I don't think he has missed the start since then. He's made his first pro-season in Arizona. There were some glitches. They held them back in spring training before he started in Cedar Rapids two years ago. I want to say for some foot thing maybe. But no, the arm I think has been fine since the Tommy John surgery in high school. So, let's see, you know young pitcher throw in the base.
Oh, yeah. So, who's number three? Our number three Angels' prospect.
Oh, hey. Do we get our numbers crossed up? I'm looking for number four.
Oh, wait. No. Number four. We've got to go to number four first. I usually, numerical order with requiring we do odd numbers there just to have an ice breaker, okay. All right. Ryan again, who is the Angels' number four prospect?
This is the guy we don't want to skip and also a guy who has everybody seen now plenty and hopefully is very excited about Jordan Walden. Good spring. Even better last year, you know, hits the triple digits a lot. Looks like his velocity is just as good this year. He has not hit the triple digits yet in spring training, but he was sitting in the high 90s. Oh, he's going to be a very good closer. I just couldn't be more excited about him.
I'm thinking he's closing in June, what do you think? How many blows and saves does Fernando Rodney choke up until Jordan Walden is our closer? [Crosstalk]
Oh, man. I'm very excited about it. I'm a big Jordan Walden booster. I'm very excited about him and I'm great -- glad to hear that he is a number four with you. Are there any other concerns about Jordan Walden?
Well, every other year he seems to have some persistent ailment that kind of hinders what he is able to do in a season and this would be that year, the Pattern Holds. You know, at least there's less of a chance that it will happen but he has got this extremely hot effort delivery. I mean, he throws himself forward. He talks his arm back and this really sort of awkward kind of terrible angle before he unleashes the baseball but his success is tied up in that delivery. So again, you know, you couldn't cure it without -- you couldn't cure without destroying what's really going great there. So, you know his -- we'll see. I'm thinking at least we can hold him together but, you know he's the guy I would be worried about.
Yeah. Okay. Moving on to number three. I was so anxious to get to whoever number three is that I jumped at but okay, we're here now. Ryan Ghan, who is the Angels' number three prospect?
This is the guy who probably improved more than any other player last year, Jean Segura. We saw a lot of him in spring training, he has moved over to shortstop now and he had one terrible game defensively. I think Ryan Casey was pitching earlier in March and he made 2 ERA's in a space of 20 minutes, created something like seven hundred runs' worth of __1:05:27__ but he's looked very, very good and made some incredible plays ranging to his left up the middle. He looks like he might stick, he looks like he is legitimate out there. He has always had the hand and arm. If he is able to stick at shortstop, this guy is going to be dynamite. A really good bat as he swings on the right side but so far in his career, he has just blasted radius. He has just had his way with radius which is a really, really good sign and he has going to remain effective to higher levels. He is able to make really good consistent contact, those the opposite way at time, that's all of the guys -- and I looked about 30 guys this off season. He went to the opposite field more than anybody else. He shoots line drives that way, he hits ground balls that way and most of his power is up to center field, so he's not much of a pull hitter. He could when he learns how to turn on balls more, he could up his power up but right now the Halos must be thinking that that's not his game, that they are going to keep him going the opposite way and that they're going to hold if he turns in the -- sort of a tool sitter, maybe more patient how he can do it.
I'm thinking of it -- wait, you said shortstop, it hit in the opposite field, I'm thinking Derek Jeter.
, yeah, that is the -- you will probably never have the patience in terms of walks like Jeter has and Jeter goes the opposite way. Jeter is the Holy Grail there in terms of that inside out cut. So I would hesitate to reject him so far.
I don't hesitate. Hey, I don't hesitate. I will exaggerate.
(Laughs) yeah, but I'm looking at his data. 44% of his balls and play went to the opposite fields. The next closest person -- and again this is about 30 guys went the opposite way -- 7% less than he did and that's huge.
I mean that percent difference is huge. So yeah, this is a guy who...
That was my whistle. (Laughs) [Crosstalk]
Let's talk about his tools yet. He is super fast. He stole more than 50 bases I think last year. He is very quick on the base part. He has excellent pick or pitch recognition and again that hasn't turned up in walks yet but it doesn't mean that he is hitting for pitches to hit, so he's batting average should remain high.
Wow. So I've got a question, is he French?
No, I believe. Yes, I know he's a Dominican.
Why is he named Jean?
That's a wonderful question. We should call him up and ask. (Laughs)
I feel that like to talk to his mother. She's probably younger than me. So, hey, don't get me into trouble. (Laughs) all right, moving on. We're getting into some rarefied territory here. We have Walden at four. Jean Segura, kind of like Jean-Luc Picard at number 3. Don't tell me William Shatner is number 2. Who is our number 2 prospect?
I'll get Hank Conger right there. Hank "Money in the Bank" Conger. You know, catcher, we've now seen him at the Major League level putting the CERA, he should be our major or he should be our catcher entering this year, right? He just improved a lot, behind the plate over the last couple of years. He stayed healthy which is a huge deal for him, for two years he has missed only a handful of games; switch hitter. Interesting about him, he just developed in his career trajectory. He's been really, really interesting. I'm going to dork out a little bit here.
Dork out, dork out away!
No, he came into professional baseball as this booming power hitter and no plate to just discipline. He hits the ball to all fields and he has become so specialized and you can see it in the data over the last two years. As a left-handed hitter, he's gone from slide balls everywhere, all across the field, from the spraying fly balls everywhere, to shooting line drives to right field. So, he's just very, very good at waiting for the pitch he can drive and then shooting a ball in line to the right field. He's a very good pull hitter. Pulls the ball very often now and again I'm talking about only his swings from the right side, and he's got the play discipline to pull it off. He waits for his pitch and he fouls off anything he doesn't like. He hits fewer homeruns now than he used to which is a bit of a concern. It's not clear whether that's going to come back -- oh my gosh -- still there?
Yeah, we're here.
Oh, I thought I lost you guys.
No, no man. We're tinging on every word, imagining Hank Conger.
Yeah and he also does really well on his grounders. He just has that gap between first base and second base, hitting the ball between those two guys down to its signs. So, he's going to hit for average, that the guy knows how to hit. I'm probably more confident in him rediscovering how to hit from the right side then I -- I mean his homerun power returning. Last year, he hit a lot of ground balls, I mean a lot of weak contact from the right side but that really wasn't the case the year before when he was able to spray line drives from line-to-line. I think that you're going to see his right-handed stroke come back this year. I think he's going to -- from himself as a true switch hitter and again, like we said, this is defense remains where it is. If he doesn't get hurt, he's going to be a major leaguer -- he's going to be a major leaguer soon.
Hey, so real quick, how is he behind the play?
Now, you're going to hear different opinions. I think the fundamentals being able to block pitches in the dirt to be able to keep his head into the game and not allow to pass ball and not many make -- to not make a whole lot of ERA's behind the dish, those are things he excel about. I hear he calls a good game, we don't have a whole lot of information from pitchers or coaches that say that's an area in which he excels, but it's certainly looks pretty good last year. I mean he made, you can call it lucky, you can call it whatever you want but he certainly didn't get the pitcher's way last year. It's all his footwork on his throws. That's the major issue he needs to clear up. He's got a great arm, he's got guns for an arm, he's got more than enough arm for the position. It's just the question of cleaning up that footwork and not playing catcher for centerfielder. That's where almost all of his ERA's come from. I think he has got a shot at being average or maybe even take it above average.
If you were in-charge with the Angels, would you be starting behind the plate this year, or would you even more time it?
Yeah, I think I'd let him stay in Salt Lake a little bit longer. He just worked on the catching. From the hitting standpoint, more time in Salt Lake is probably not productive, but I think more time in a low pressure environment to work on his catching would be a good thing for him.
Right on. Okay, we'll this leads us to -- oh, men I wonder who is this going to be, who is the Angels' prime gamer in your opinion, in your opinion alone? I don't want you to be trendy or have to conform to anybody else's theories here, but who is the Angels number one prospect?
Well I'm going to go out on here and say Mike Trout.
(Laughs) who __1:13:43__ who?
Yeah, a surprise is a surprise. Yeah, Mike trout, there's no question. There's absolutely no question. One of the two maybe the best prospect in baseball, the guy can do it all. A lot of folks this year had been saying he does everything to hit the power and maybe that will come. No, he is already hitting for power and in fact he is hitting for power the opposite way as a 19-year-old in High A which is a really good indicator. This kid can hit and he will hit for power down the road, just give him time. What can I say about Mike Trout that hasn't already been said? The guy does everything. He has a huge percentage. He led Angels Minor Leaguers in infield hits last year. So, he is running out, your routine balls to shortstop. He is able to generate a hit out of that. He goes the other way consistently. He makes solid contact the other way and he still can turn on the ball. The guy is a phenomenal hitter and the patience that something we hadn't seen in the Angels' system for years. He is able to keep that walk percentage, well about 10%. Hopefully, he can maintain that in Double-A. I'm just rambling now, there's so much to say about this guy.
Say it, say it.
Is there any worries since that the Angels tells him to have a track record of developing a patient hitter that they -- kind of hate to say it, but ruin his approach or does he seem like he is special enough to just do the things he does?
Yeah, I don't think they're going to mess with him. I really don't. Now, when the Angels teach people how to hit and they teach a lot of their guys to hit because they go for raw prep products, right? They consider as their job to teach people to hit and walks are not a big part of that. But my Mike Trout, he showed up and the guy could hit, I don't think they're going to mess with that. I think they're going to let him do what he does.
You're accusing him of being smart?
(Laughs) I'm going to say it -- I've got more says in the player development this year than I did last year. I think the progress of Trumbo or just more Segura. They are not getting in these guys' ways. These guys are developing and they're good hitters and they're doing it from nothing. I mean, the guys are some sort in the previous generation. Kendrick, Wood, McPherson, those guys were known as more polished hitters when they entered the system and things went wrong as things tend to do with every team with prospects. I don't think our bust rate is especially high in that regard, but this were supposedly polished hitters that showed up and then just never came to fruition. The current batch of prospects with the exception of Mike Trout and you could say Hank Conger. The Angels have taught how to hit. They have gone from so-so decent Rookie League performances and have just steadily gotten better every year, that's a great sign.
Wow. I'm looking forward to the future and now I don't know much about the 2011 season of -- let's talk for a minute, we only talk to Ryan about the Minor Leagues, but there's a Major League team here to discuss that you know, you might be slightly familiar with. What are your thoughts as we had left them 48 hours to go before the first pitch of the 2011 season, Ryan Ghan? What are your thoughts on the 2011 Major League Angels?
Well, I'm going to take a big risk here and say that I think they're going to win somewhere between 75 and 95 games.
That's not bunch of a limp. [Crosstalk]
Yeah, I mean they have a team that could really go either way. And the quality of the competition, the quality of the ALS, the teams that they're going to be facing, that's still very much up in the air too. I think this season is harder to predict than any season since 2004. It could really go either way. Vernon Wells could be the second coming. I mean the man could put on the show this year and put all that criticism to rest or he could hit 260 with 15 homeruns. The number of potential outcomes for these players is huge and maybe that's really lazy for me, but Howie Kendrick, it still come out in that 340 this year, he still could do it. It's not likely anymore, but he could still do it. __1:18:40__ -- I'm sorry -- I really am.
You really are jumping ahead. (Laughs) I've heard that old man from the old timer's game now.
I mean he could come out and play like it was 2009 again or he could continue his team.
And how do you say Peter Bourjos going this year?
I think he'll hit. I think it won't be much more than 250, but I think he'll hit. The one thing he didn't do last year in the Major League is he is not really well for Minor League career. He shoots like __1:19:18__ strike field. He didn't do that at the Major League level. Most of his other batted ball data looked about the same, the number of times he'd rolled over to the left side, the number of line drives in the centerfield, the left field. The big whole of his game last year was his ability to go the other way and maybe that was because he was seeing better breaking balls that he just couldn't stay back on, maybe that's because pitchers were targeting him with hard inside stuff. I don't have the answer to that question, but that was the part of his game that was missing and I think that's the part of the game that you'll see come back
Who do you think on this team as we head out -- who do you think is the most -- I'm going to give you an example, Rod Myers but the real critical player for the Angels this year is Ervin Santana and I totally agree with them as far as Ervin Santana has a breakout season that just accelerates this team closer to 90 wins and if Ervin Santana is a bust, it creates extreme vacuum, who do you see as the absolute, the lynchpin player on this team really going all the way or not?
I want to go back to Hunter. I think Hunter is getting older. I think he has put up better numbers in an Angels uniform than any of us had good reason to expect. His numbers have gotten better since getting here. I think if he can stay at that plateau and not get hurt, I think he's going to make the other guys around him better. I think that that will be really critical to their success. If he gets hurt or if other time catches up with him, I think we're in a lot of trouble because we're still a club that we're built around pitching but our lineup is really right now and has been for almost a year now. It's built around him, usually the lynchpin there. And Vernon Wells distributes that weight a little more evenly but I think he's the key piece. I think he is really the key piece. If he can maintain his production, it makes the possibility of the other guys around him have their own breakout seasons, all the much more likely.
It's an interesting choice. I had a question, let me go back to Trout for a second. People are saying that we might expect to see him next year but he started at High A this year, is that right?
I'm sorry, can you repeat the question? It kind of...
With Mike Trout?
Yeah, I got you guys, getting throughout.
Okay. He is suppose to start the season at High A, is that what were...
No, they've been saying Double-A and they've been saying that now for a little over a month, so I think...
So, does that then still 2012 look like a...
Yeah, we're here man, everything's cool. Keep talking!
(Laughs) can we really truly expect to see him at 2012 or 2013 more of a reasonable expect? Hello?
Well, I think we lost him. Is he on the switch cord?
There we go.
I guess Jim is going to try to call Ryan back here on Lunch Time Halo Talk while we have this little break. I'm going to play a little music for all of you to just -- I'm looking for a really good song for you. Okay, that was our music of birds. And we're back with Ryan Ghan and Jim Gardner. Ryan!
Hey guys. Sorry about that. Again, I'm going to blame Boston.
Blame AT and T this time, okay?
So, Jim had been asking you about Mike Trout if he's going to be starting with the Arkansas Travelers Double-A this season, do we see him in Anaheim this year at all?
I think the chances of call up are good. Arkansas we've been talking about it the whole hour. Arkansas is a difficult place to hit, so his numbers might be depressed a little bit. I think it's a good choice. I think having a struggle a little bit now might be a really good idea, but I do think that he earns some form of September call-up. I really do think we will see him in Angels' uniform this year. I mean in a very minor role unless a whole lot of contingencies come up. I do think we will see him later this year.
This is it! This is the season!
(Laughs) I mean again, like I think that even it's just walking on the field on September 15th or 20th, I think he'll be there in a big league uniform.
Wow! Well Ryan Ghan, you have filled the air waves -- almost the air waves, but actually not true air waves because the internet is a series of tubes but thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us your time and your extraordinarily educated opinion. When it comes to Minor League analysis focusing on the Angels there is Ryan Ghan. He's a mountain among men. I really appreciate you giving us a time and I'm going to order a transcript of this show and post it on the site for everyone to read your genius -- and also you're going to be in Portland this summer.
Oh man, okay so I'm going to tell you. I've actually been talking you from school so I don't know if you heard that.
Wow. Do we have to go to the principal's office?
Not yet, but that might have been the call right there. (Laughs)
Guys, I really appreciated the time. This has been a lot of fun.
Hey, it was a blast, Ryan. Thank you so much and maybe you'll be on Portland this summer, you can join us on our Angels -- our Halo's Heaven Vegas Trip over the All-Star break.
That would be a blast.
All right, it's good talking to you. Thanks, Ryan.
Oh wow. We're going to attend to the principal's office, Jim.
I heard -- I can hear some of like but I couldn't quite make out what it was, but it does sound kind of ominous there like "Uh-oh."
Ryan Ghan, please bring the people who's on the phone with to the principal's office part, if you can catch up.
I have a feeling it would be your first time to the principal's office.
Yeah. I've got tell you when I was a kid at grade school, I actually -- I got sent to the principal's office like twice and it was the most -- it was a nun, it was Sister Estelle at St. Paul of the Cross and it was the scariest absolute just -- oh my God I feel -- I'm thinking about it now when I'm just -- I'm almost shaking, it was so, so terrifying and -- so I just, let me tell you, I understand how dictators -- how Gaddafi has stayed in power for 47 years men, he just made it so terrifying that you tell the line. It was like "Oh my God" and then everyone said, we're all like the bus -- we had to go to a special meeting -- went into the special meeting and there's one nun who was like yelling at us and then Sister Estelle walked in and I've got to tell you man, it was like "Oh my God, we're going to die."
And I'm not afraid of anything as much as I was afraid of, Sister Estelle. So that principal's office, let me tell you it was the threat of the principal's office that was beyond terrifying so -- and can I tell you now that having lived the life at the time of course you're 10-year-old kid or 11-year-old kid, the nun is kind of this ominous figure. And then you go through life and you're able to think about the nuns as just ordinary human beings that happen to be under a certain set of guidelines. Now you know, you've heard these rumors like, "Oh, the nuns are all having sex with the priest" or all these kinky things, right? See, I look back to the nuns that I realized none of them were getting laid. (Laughs)
Fantastic. That was like fun to me -- that was the core probe -- it was like, "Oh no. Those nuns, it's not true, they don't keep their vows. Like, you know what these ones are keeping their vows". (Laughs) seriously, that was a fucking terrifying scary problem. Not your stupid conspiracy theory that would actually makes sense and makes them more normal. Looked like they were actually more like aliens and less like ordinary human beings. Anyway, hey I got to give a little message here quick that we -- I am almost done with negotiations for the July Halos Heaven Vegas Trip.
Cool. What's the word?
We're going to get a great hotel rate. So it's going to be really affordable to come to Vegas and stay in a really good hotel. We're going to get the rate from Sunday to Sunday. So if you can't join us during the week for the All-Star Game, you can join us for the weekend and we can watch Angels' baseball from Sportsbooks, including the Doubleheader and Oakland; and if you can't come that weekend, if you wanted to come during the week and hangout with the All-Star Game, we're going to be doing the same thing as well. So it's going to be really affordable.
Are you going to be there the whole week?
Well, you know we're in negotiations with...
Negotiations are -- the management, you talk to Scott Boras, this is Halos' agent.
The problem was you should not let her listen to your Vegas story.
She's heard of it, she's getting involved with other Vegas stories that I had at all radio shows, so we're okay there folks. So anyway -- so guys everybody keep July around the All-Star Game from the 10th to the 17th, keep it open. We're going to be having extreme opportunities and the main thing is going to be, that it's affordable, that we're A, we're staying downtown as little cheaper. B, we're getting group rates so it's going to be less expensive than if you book on the internet or through travel agent; and C, that the gambling downtown is so much cheaper than the strip and it's just going to rule -- I'm thinking of your pocket books first and a great time, don't tell Vegas is just as good if not better than the strip, a lot more real people interesting goes a lot easier to get laid. Anyway, a lot cheaper...
Did I say something? Well I was grumbling man, I was clearing my throat. Anyway, I am really excited about -- they're sending me a condo hotel, setting me a contract. So, once I sign that we're heading to the promise land folks and honestly it's the end of March now. It's April to May to June to July. Is that 4-1/2 months? April to May to June to July. It's 3-1/2 months away, so start saving your pennies now but I'm making honestly you don't have to save too many of your pennies, but definitely get your reservation and that's going to be happening very, very soon. So, I'm very excited about that and -- in the words of mayhem in the hood, the strip is lame, free months' rules although you know what, don't stay at the free months' hotel, I will say that. But anyway we're going to rock, we're going to roll and we're going to rock on out of here. It's been an hour and a half, 90 minutes. Lunch Time Halo Talk. This show is winding down. Jim, was that a blast or what?
That was cool. Ryan certainly knows this stuff. I could've gone on listening to another 40.
We're going to do a talk 40 but I'm not Casey Kasem. So, I am your host, Rev Halofan to our special guest Ryan Ghan. We say thank you to my co-host, Jim Gardner. White Halo fan, it was a blast. To all of you listening we do this every Tuesday. Wow! Real baseball starts in less than 48 hours. I'm thrilled. I know you're thrilled. This is Halo Fan, and just got back from walking our dog Albert, he looked like he had a good walk. You missed a great show or you're going to listen it at the download, real part of the show, don't sound too thrilled. Alright, for all of us, we're going to rock, we're going to roll on out of here and we'll talk to you next week on Lunch Time Halo Talk from -- where are we broadcasting from -- I'm broadcasting from...
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It's good to talk.