Last year’s Angels rankings were both very easy and very difficult. Ranking Mike Trout number one in this system was quite possibly the easiest thing I’ve had to do in my career as a prospect writer. Trout is a star; we all know that.
Jean Segura was a natural fit for the second spot, even for those that had reservations about his ability at shortstop. He’s proven he can handle the position – albeit with another organization – and was worth of his spot in the rankings.
CJ Cron made sense at number three and while I was aggressive with John Hellweg’s ranking last year, it made an awful lot of sense given his upside – even with considerable risk – and the general mess behind him in the rankings. Kaleb Cowart could have been higher but that’s quibbling given the reviews of his tools and progress following the 2011 season.
Like most people in this role, I struggled to make sense of the hoard of middling prospects beyond the top five. While there are some players with upside like Nick Maronde, Austin Wood and Taylor Lindsey, they all carried significant warts at this time last year – and aside from Maronde, they all still carry those warts.
I could even go a safe route with the list, as players like Jeremy Moore and Garrett Richards were so lacking that even what appeared aggressive rankings with them were almost necessary given the state of the system overall.
With hindsight as my guide, I do wish I had been more assertive with Mike Clevinger and Austin Wood, and I also wish I would have made room at the back of the list for Ariel Pena.
The Angels system was very weak last year, even with super-stud Mike Trout at the top. The list is going to be even thinner this year, leaving me to hope I can cull through the mountains of scouting data and come up with a reasonable list that I don’t regret at this time next year.