02/11/12 12:30 PM EST
Angels organization preview, Top 20 Prospects
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
The Angels may also make room for Garrett Richards, who went 12-2 with a 3.15 ERA for Arkansas before making his August debut in the Majors. Richards is on the fringe of the big league roster, and Servais singled out infielder Jean Segura as another player who could move quickly. "I think we've got some higher-end guys at the upper levels that could end up making the club or creating depth for us at Triple-A," he said. "But we really need to focus and improve our depth throughout the farm system. It's important, because even if these guys don't make the team at some point, there will be still opportunities for us to make trades and help our ballclub." Top 20 Prospects The Angels have a few high-ceiling infield prospects in Kaleb Cowart and Taylor Lindsey, and they may be able to climb the organizational ladder simultaneously. Both players were lofty draftees in 2010, and they starred together at Orem in the rookie-level Pioneer League last year. The Angels took first baseman C.J. Cron in the first round last year, but he signed late and played just 34 games for Orem. Cron has advanced hitting skills and should move up a couple rungs in 2012, and he punished Pioneer League pitchers for 13 home runs in his brief spin through the circuit. "We're definitely trying to create waves through the system," said Servais. "Cron may be a little ahead of the other guys since he's a college guy, but there's a group there that we're excited about. Time will tell, but again, depth in our Minor League system will really be key." Los Angeles also selected Cameron Bedrosian in the first round last year, but he underwent ligament replacement surgery on his elbow and has yet to pitch professionally. Servais said the Angels aren't sure whether Bedrosian will start or relieve this season, a decision that will be made in March. Nick Maronde is another high-profile arm in the system, and the Angels believe that Daniel Tillman and John Hellweg have big league arms that just need some more nurturing. "We have some hard throwers, guys that can help us at some point," said Servais. "Johnny Hellweg started in the bullpen, but he's grown 3 or 4 inches since he was drafted. He's 6-9 now. Is he a starter or a reliever? We believe that his arm will tell us over time."
angels' top prospects
Hitter of the Year
Let's get one thing out of the way: Trout will likely be in the big leagues for too much time to be the Minor League hitter of the year. With that caveat, Lindsey, who was named the Most Valuable Player in the Pioneer League last season, may well be the hitting prospect to watch.
Richards may make the Angels' staff out of Spring Training, but if he doesn't, he'll be stashed at Salt Lake to round out the final portion of his Minor League resume. The right-hander struck out 103 batters against just 40 walks last season in his first run through Double-A.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.