"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Saturday, October 20, 2007

2008 Los Angeles Angels Organizational Depth Report

1. jered weaver, RHSP
2. nick adenhart, RHSP - 2008
3. ervin santana, RHSP
4. sean o'sullivan, RHSP - 2009
5. jordan walden, RHSP - 2010
6. nick green, RHSP - late 2008
7. ken herndon, RHSP - 2009 *sleeper*
8. brok butcher, RHSP - early 2009
9. chris resop, RHRP
10.rich thompson, RHRP - april 2008

the angels deserve a vast amount of credit for bringing into their organization as many legitimate prospects as they have, but i don't much like the career prospects of many of these pitchers if they continue along this path. sean o'sullivan threw 160 innings this year as a 19 year old. ken herndon threw 152 as a 21 year old. nick green threw 180 innings as a 23 year old.

i believe that a pitcher's major league debut should be timed to his peak in development during his age 22, 23, or 24 season. in this system, i see a lot of players peaking at that age, but i see them doing it in A and AA. i like nick green a lot, but for him to throw 180 minor league innings this past season is completely unnecessary.

there are a bunch of other pitchers in this system that deserve to be mentioned as guys to watch in 2008. those names include: aaron cook, felipe arredondo, jeremy haynes, robert fish, young-il jung.

Spotlight: Ervin Santana

santana's fastball sits 91-94, and is a 60 on the 20-80 scale. he has a bad habit of leaving it up in the zone, and he also has a tendency to reach back for some extra velocity when he is having trouble finding the zone. his slider comes in at 83 and is a decent swing and miss pitch. it has a fairly pronounced downward spike, but it's his only offspeed pitch.

my first impression of both pitches were that they were fairly mediocre. his fastball's velocity and movement is negated by it's placement, and the effectiveness of his slider is negated by the lack of any other secondary pitch. on the plus side, he does vary the velocity of his fastball, but it's not such a good pitch that he can get away with throwing the 85% of the time that he did last season.

i'd like to see him throw a changeup, but if he doesn't already at this point, i doubt that he's going to in the future. what santana really needs is a pitch that can come in 15 MPH under his FB that would just end up making his fastball pop that much more.

as it is, i don't much like his future. starting pitchers that throw sliders generally develop arm problems at some point in their career. arm trouble in santana's case could cost him 2-3 MPH off his fastball, and that would pretty much end his major league career. that's a problem for all pitchers, regardless of repertoire, but i don't see anything from santana that would lead me to believe that he could adapt if that situation were to rear it's head.

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