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Angels Elite player summaries (Part 1)

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November 25, 2009

Today begins our two-part series on player summaries from the 2009 Angels Elite Fall Season. These are not player rankings and we have not listed the players in any preference or order. This follows the professional scouting model, where at this time of the year, the scout is in follow mode and letting the players dictate which players are on the rise entering the spring.

These summaries have been compiled from personal scouting done this fall. In each case, the players have been seen multiple times. 

Be sure to come back Thanksgiving Thursday for the completion of the list.

Chad Lewis (6-3, 195, R/R, 3B-1B, Marina HS)
A power-hitting third baseman prospect, Lewis is well regarded among area scouts for his combination of size and power. He will be drafted out of high school for his bat. Lewis has the durable frame of a corner infielder (6-3, 195) and he will get stronger. In his final wood BP at Angel Stadium, the right-handed hitting Lewis got a ball out to about 390 feet to right field, a pretty good display of potential power to all fields. Defensively, he is adequate and will need polish upon signing. He has average arm strength and accuracy and is a below-average runner with a slow first step. He may end up at first base as a professional, and as he proceeds he will need to prove his hands are adequate enough to defend against velocity on the inner half while continuing to develop the right-handed power that will determine his future.

Mike Lorenzen (6-3, 180, R/R, OF, Fullerton)
Lorenzen is no secret nationally. We’ve covered him here before and will do so in the future. Lorenzen projects as an offensively-oriented corner outfielder. He has a long, athletic frame that has physical projection and should develop more power. He should develop into an above-average contact hitter. He won’t be a clogger, but he won’t be a burner, and as a zillion clueless sportscasters will note in the future, “He runs well for a big guy.” His arm is his secondary tool, which should grade out above-average down the road. Has a chance to be a multi-dimensional talent at the top level.
Watch Mike Lorenzen Video

Vincent Velasquez (6-3, 180, S/R, INF-RHP, Garey)
Gifted with a tall, athletic frame and long legs that indicate physical projection, Velasquez is an interesting case. He has the strongest arm among position players, evident in pre-game and in long-toss in the outfield. He throws with a nice and easy arm action, which makes one wonder if his future may be on the mound. As a hitter, Velasquez likes to get extended, which offers potential for power. But he didn’t really answer the question this fall if he will be prepared enough to sign as a hitter following the draft. As a switch-hitter with a big arm, the right body, and the chance to hit for power at a corner, he’s going to get the chance to find out how good he can be and what position he should play.

Cody Doyle (6-2, 202, L/R, C, South Hills)
Doyle should be a very good Division I college catcher out of the gate and could play his way onto more of a national level if he is offensively productive in college. He’s not from the Kyle Skipworth model of big-body catchers, but Doyle did show an understanding of doing what professional catchers need to do in order to hang around the game for a long time. He kept his wood stroke simple and straightaway. He did this with more frequency later in the season than he did earlier in the season, which is a positive sign for him. There’s not a lot of power right now, but he’ll get stronger in college. He’s very quiet behind the plate with soft hands and is very good at blocking balls in the dirt. He improved offensively from September to November.

Derek Campbell (6-1, 170, R/R, INF, Mater Dei)
Campbell is a wiry and lean middle infielder with lots of physical projection who has yet to develop the old-man strength that will help determine what kind of an offensive player he will become. At this stage, Campbell looks like a very good Division I candidate who could play every day from the start and put himself on the road to the Cape and find his pro path in college. But Campbell improved over the fall, showing the ability to shorten his stroke with a wood bat, and if that progress continues, his draft interest is sure to rise. Defensively, he has very smooth and graceful actions, which bodes well for staying at shortstop. His arm strength is average with projection to move up a grade, and he has a quick release paired with good range and athletic actions. Like Jiovanni Mier in 2009, Campbell is a shortstop with restless feet, which is a great sign. Overall, Campbell is a worthwhile player to keep tabs on this spring.

Phillip Evans (5-11, 185, R/R, INF, La Costa Canyon)
Evans is reminiscent of 2010 draft prospect Tony Wolters for his size and skills. Evans, a 2011 draft prospect, has a stocky body and strong features in his hands and shoulders. He will have to prove that he is not an early peaking player. He makes hard contact with wood and is an average runner on the pro scale, but it’s hard to envision much more speed available to him. Evans is a sure-handed infielder with soft hands and a nose for the ball. He transfers the ball and gets rid of it quickly and should develop an average arm on the pro scale. He has played his way onto the radar for the 2011 draft and will be followed.

Eric Snyder (6-0, 185, OF, Edison)
Another 2011 draft prospect who is no secret among area scouts, Snyder is a lanky left-handed hitter who is long way from physical maturity. That projection paired with a gap-to-gap swing that should produce some power from a wide stance is enough to keep him on the watch lists. He projects as an average to slightly above-average runner on the pro scale, which gives him a second weapon, and his arm qualifies as a third tool that could be above average on the pro scale. He’ll be a follow for the 2011 draft and will probably find his way onto the national lists. Snyder didn’t do anything to hurt himself this fall, and he looked a little gassed in November. That’s not a knock on him – he wasn’t the only one – they are prospects but they are still kids.

Austin Reed (6-4, 205, RHP, Rancho Cucamonga)
A right-hander with a good frame, Reed pitched at 88-90 with his fastball, 72 with his slider and 77 with his change-up. He battled through bouts of inconsistencies this fall. Reed doesn’t have the pure power to be considered a top player at his position right now, but his fastball does have some sink and movement on it, which will be a weapon for him. He’s a good candidate to be a Division I pitcher and will help his case as he increases his strength and learns how to maximize his fastball movement. He’s lined up to follow his brother, Addison, to San Diego State where three years of training and development could expand his ceiling.

Scott Frazier (6-6, 205, RHP, Upland)
Frazier is an interesting case. At 6-6, he should have more pitching power in his frame, but his fastball remained at 90-91 and his curveball at 71 during the fall. It’s hard to imagine that Frazier has additional height to come, but there is room on his frame for more muscle. Additional flexibility would also help him tap his potential. There’s a case to be made that Frazier could be a corner outfielder. In batting practice at Angel Stadium, the right-handed hitter with the wide stance muscled two balls out, including one to straight away center field, at the foot of the rocks. That’s about a 410-415 shoot with wood. It will be interesting to see what road Frazier takes, but you have to wonder if you took that frame, that power, and put it at first or right and gave him some at-bats, what you might have.

Austin Hedges (6-0, 175, C-INF, JSerra)
Hedges might be the best pure hitter from the 2011 draft class on this Angels Elite team. Hedges has a very solid hitting foundation with quiet hands that are strong and that he keeps back. His contact is consistently hard in batting practice and in games. He isn’t ready to grow into power yet, and his approach is basic and professional. His arm projects to be above-average on the pro scale. Third base is probably an unlikely destination for him based on limited range and a limited first step, but his soft hands could carry over behind the plate. His offense will punch his ticket and Hedges helped himself in Fall 2009 putting him on the right track to be a guy for 2011.

William Swanner (6-3, 185, R/R, C, La Costa Canyon)
Swanner has a durable frame for a catcher and should have a tad bit more physical projection and strength. Offensively, he hits off a sound and balanced foundation, with a firm front side and two-handed finish. He has a good offensive approach and has the potential for right-handed power from a premium position. On the pro scale, Swanner looks like a guy who would grade out as an above average defender and thrower with above-average power for his position. It’ll be interesting to see which route he chooses after high school, and he helped himself in the fall ball season.

(NOTE: I know that he has a pitching brother named Michael that I didn’t see. Not a slight – I just missed him. I’ll track him down in the future.)

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