5 Exciting Prospects the Los Angeles Angels Can Call Up in September
With less than two months remaining in the major league season, the Los Angeles Angels are third in the American League West with a 61-56 record, trailing the Rangers (67-48) by six games and the A’s by 1.5 in the Wild Card.
Given the age of many of the Angels regulars—not to mention the recent struggles of their starters—they will undoubtedly need the contribution of younger players down the stretch of the season, primarily on the bump.
Luckily, the organization has a slew of under-the-radar minor league arms that appear ready to contribute at the big-league level in the near future.
Luis Jimenez, 3B
2012 Stats: .321/.347/.520, 35 2B, 14 HR, 71 RBI, 16 SB, 55 K/18 BB (103 G)
Jimenez is that rare breed of hard-swinging hitter who somehow doesn’t post concerning strikeout rates. For a corner infielder, his power is only an average tool. However, his 35 doubles this season suggests that there may be more there.
Relative to most third basemen, the 24-year-old is a surprisingly good runner with legitimate 20/20 potential in the major leagues. His defense leaves something to be desired, but it’s noticeably improved from last season.
Steven Geltz, RHP
2012 Stats (AA, AAA): 3-1, 9 SV, 51.2 IP, 2.09 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 60 K/15 BB (40 G)
The Angels' bullpen has struggled lately, especially since Scott Downs landed on the disabled list. After starting the season at Double-A, Steve Geltz appears to be the next in line for a relief role due to his success in Triple-A.
Overall, the right-hander has posted a combined 2.09 ERA with nine saves, 10.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 51.2 innings between two levels.
A.J. Schugel, RHP
2012 Stats: 5-7, 123.1 IP, 2.85 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 95 K/50 BB (23 G)
Given the recent struggles of the Angels’ starting rotation, Schugel could be a guy they promote straight from Double-A, just as they did with Garrett Richards last season.
A lanky right-hander, Schugel has moved quickly through the Angels system despite not pitching exclusively until the professional level. With an advanced feel for the strike zone, he works his three-pitch mix to both sides of the plate and attacks hitters.
Kole Calhoun, OF
2012 Stats: .299/.364/.515, 47 XBH (13 HR), 12 SB, 74 K/35 BB (92 G)
Employing an advanced approach at the plate, Calhoun is comfortable drawing walks and is notoriously tough to strike out. Given his 5’10”, 190-pound frame, the corner outfielder has above-average power and will also collect plenty of doubles.
The left-handed hitter may have a career as an organizational player, but if given sufficient playing time, Calhoun’s bat could keep him in the majors for a considerable amount of time. He’s been called up on two different occasions this season, as he bides his time in Triple-A waiting for another opportunity.
Efren Navarro, 1B
2012 Stats: .296/.338/.416, 39 XBH (31 2B), 57 K/30 BB (121 G)
Navarro, a 50th-round draft pick in 2007, has the minor-league track record of a polished hitter—he’s just never hit for enough power to be considered a viable option at first base. He did post career-best power numbers last season at Triple-A. However, he’s been unable to build upon it in 2012.
With an offensive package comparable to the Padres’ Yonder Alonso, Navarro received a call-up last season with the Angels, and could very well receive another chance in September.