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2013 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Recap: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Kaleb Cowart
Kaleb Cowart

Feb. 21, 2113; Tempe, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Angels infielder Kaleb Cowart poses for a portrait during photo day at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re in a Dynasty or Keeper Fantasy Baseball league, there may only be 4-6 weeks left to your season. If you have a sizable lead in points, categories, or are making a run for your league’s playoffs, you’re still in “2013 mode” as you try to look at the many ways you can improve your ball club as you make that final run to the top of the standings.

For the rest of us, we’re either looking forward to our fantasy football drafts or finding ways to improve our chances for 2014 by scouring for the last few highly touted prospects that are still stuck in the minors. It’d be nice if they get called up later this season, but the real goal is to have these prospects get more seasoning in the minors and prepare for 2014. Either way, if you’re in a long-term relationship with your fantasy baseball league, just like in “real” baseball, you’re better off looking for young, promising, high upside players that can prove to be integral components for your team for next season and beyond.

As we go team by team and recapitulate their prospects’ 2013 season, it’s worth mentioning that the players listed are based on the research I undertook entering the 2013 season. Players that were worth monitoring all season long are based on the paradigm that I used to rank my 2012 prospects’ list with an emphasis on being called up sooner rather than later and the impact each player might make in terms of fantasy baseball. However, unlike in years past, I actually selected a few, dark horse, low-level prospects with high potential that were still years away from coming close to making an impact to their big league clubs.

Players that are currently with their Major League Baseball team will not be reviewed in this series.

First team up is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Kaleb Cowart–3B– 2014 (ETA)

2013 Outlook: Improved plate discipline; has decent pop; decent speed

Player

League

PA

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Kaleb Cowart

AA

477

5

35

12

35

106

.213

.275

.296

It has been a disappointing season for Cowart as much hype was bestowed on him entering this season due to his potential and his breakout 2012 campaign. He has shown little in power, plate discipline, on-base skills, but the speed seems to be more than adequate, even hitting an inside-the-park home run as of this writing. He is still young, but as much hype as he brought into this season, a lot more was expected. I wouldn’t go out of my way to add Cowart on my team.

C.J. Cron–1B–2014

2013 Outlook: Power developing well; “doesn’t strike out much”

Player

League

PA

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

C.J. Cron

AA

489

9

62

8

21

71

.270

.317

.403

To his credit, Cron did make the 2013 Futures Game, but his overall production has been disappointing. The plate discipline that was marveled by many at the beginning of the season has simply not been there for Cron, although he technically hasn’t struck out that much. Nevertheless, his lack of on-base skills has been a huge letdown. Nine home runs will not impress anybody, but to his credit he has already hit 31 doubles this season. So in essence, the reports on Cron have been pretty dead on. In terms of your fantasy team, however, at this point, he’s not that next first baseman that will carry your offense.

Taylor Lindsey–2B–2014

2013 Outlook: “Sprays ball from gap-to-gap”; “offensive-minded second baseman”

Player

League

PA

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Taylor Lindsey

AA

490

16

53

4

41

74

.283

.345

.465

Lindsey won’t win you over with his talent and limited upside, but he definitely makes up for it by getting the most of his ability. He may not have the potential as Cowart or Cron, but he definitely has made up for their short-comings by having a fantastic season. He has even taken over the top spot in the Angels’ organization. If you’re looking for a second baseman to fill in for your team for next season, Lindsey will most likely be the best option available in the minors.

Alex Yarbrough–2B–2015

2013 Outlook: “Gap power” and “offensive-minded” second baseman with good plate discipline.

Player

League

PA

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Alex Yarbrough

A+

534

11

75

14

20

96

.321

.345

.470

Yarbrough would probably get a lot more hype if he were in a different organization and not stuck behind fellow second baseman, Taylor Lindsey. To add insult to injury, Yarbrough is a year older than Lindsey, but was drafted two years after Lindsey. He has already hit 11 home runs and has 27 doubles to show that he can hit with legit power. The plate discipline is not where many thought it would be, but it hasn’t stopped him from crushing A-ball pitching. He also was voted as the best defensive second baseman in the California League. Obviously, Yarbrough is a long-term player even for keeper and dynasty leagues, but Yarbrough might prove to be a great choice at middle infielder if he continues to hit the ball in the higher classes.

Mark Sappington–SP–2015

2013 Outlook: Future “frontline starter”; needs to work on command; needs a lot of polish in minors

Player

League

IP

W

L

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

Mark Sappington

A+

130.7

11

4

3.38

1.26

7.6

4.3

7.1

0.7

Sappington, though still having walk issues, did enough to get promoted to Double-A earlier this month. In some ways, he showed his dominance in High-A ball, but he still has a high WHIP that is more suitable for a serviceable pitcher than a “future frontline starter.” But it is hard to ignore a starting pitcher that accumulates seven consecutive quality starts en route to a class promotion. He has good size and stature to go along with his hard stuff that should induce plenty of ground balls as he moves up in class. In terms of fantasy baseball, he still has a long way to go, but ceiling may be too hard to ignore. Patience is the key with Sappington: whether he’s on waivers or on you team, plenty of patience will be needed with him. You don’t want to add or drop him too soon.

Only five prospects for the Angels which is fitting seeing that I have lost my confidence in that team to develop young talent over the last few years or so and have one of the weaker farm systems in baseball. But as long as baseball scouts continue to praise these players, we need to continue to monitor their progress.

All stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and are current as of August 14, 2013.

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