A Minor Review of 2008: The Angels

The Graduate: Jose Arredondo | Born: March 1984 | Right-Handed Pitcher

Jose Arredondo has always had a great arm, but he was inconsistent throughout his minor league career, especially as a starting pitcher. Once the Angels moved him to the bullpen full-time, however, Arredondo flourished. In 2008, the right-hander won 10 games out of the bullpen for the Angels and posted a 1.62 ERA. He allowed 42 hits in 61 innings and posted rates of 3.25 BB/9 and 8.11 K/9. Arredondo also allowed just three homers and should be in line for even more important work in 2009, especially if Francisco Rodriguez flies the coup.

The Riser: Mark Trumbo | Born: January 1986 | First Baseman

Mark Trumbo, 21, took full benefit of his hitting environment in 2008 and posted career numbers. The former two-way player slugged 26 homers in 407 at-bats in the hitter’s haven in Rancho Cucamonga (California League) and posted an ISO of .270. He then maintained his power reasonably well upon his promotion to Double-A where he posted an ISO of .220 in 32 games. Trumbo probably won’t hit for a high average at the Major League level but he is well on his way to displaying average to above-average power for a first baseman. After making 22 errors at first base in 2008, Trumbo is likely a future designated hitter.

The Tumbler: Nick Adenhart | Born: August 1986 | Right-Handed Pitcher

Rushed to the Majors in 2008, Nick Adenhart imploded. He lacked the necessary command or confidence to survive at the Major League level and he took his struggles back to Triple-A with him upon his demotion. Overall on the year, Adenhart allowed 173 hits in 145.1 Triple-A innings and posted rates of 4.64 BB/9 and 6.81 K/9. In 12 Major League innings, Adenhart allowed 18 hits and 13 walks. He will spend most of 2009 in Triple-A again, trying to regain his composure while also working on consistency and command.

The ’08 Draft Pick: Tyler Chatwood | Born: December 1989 | Right-Handed Pitcher

The Angels lacked a first round draft pick in 2008 but the organization was thrilled to nab Tyler Chatwood in the second round (74th overall). Committed to UCLA, the Angels gave Chatwood half a million dollars to forgo a college career and he had some success in his first pro season despite his young age. He posted a strikeout rate of 11.37 K/9 in Rookie Ball, but also had a hideous rate of 8.53 BB/9. When he got the ball over the plate, Chatwood was tough to hit, as he allowed just 25 hits in 38 innings. He has a lot of work to do, but the right-hander is extremely promising.

The ’09 Sleeper: P.J. Phillips | Born: September 1986 | Infielder

The brother of Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips, P.J. Phillips has struggled in his minor league career due to a lack of patience coupled with too many strikeouts. The youngster made strides in 2008, although there is still work to be done to take full advantage of his athleticism and raw power potential. He “improved” his walk rate from 3.3% in 2007 to 4.7 BB% in 2008 and lowered his strikeout rate from 35.3% to 25.8%. P.J. also utilized his speed to slug 11 triples and steal 35 bases. Double-A will be a huge test for him in 2009.

Next Up: The Philadelphia Phillies

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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