Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Betancourt: Case Closed?

The Angels are in the market for pitching, and according to the LA Times Tribe set-up man Rafael Betancourt is on their list of targets. While they probably will be reserving their biggest trade chips for a top starter, a mid-range pitcher would not be out of the question. The problem is that the Angels have one of the thinnest farm systems in the league (ranked 25th by Baseball America), after a few seasons of trades and signing Type A and B free agents. They lack any consensus top-50 prospects (not that Betancourt would command such a return).

The Chubby Indian's short list:

1) Jordan Walden. Mid 90s throwing righty with a decent slider. He's currently having control problems at the AA level, with 28 BB to 57 Ks in 60 IP, and needs to work on a third pitch to be an effective starter. That might, however, be something that the Tribe could avoid: he can hit 100 throwing from the pen.

2) Sean O'Sullivan. Righty starter. He's shown great promise this season, getting fast-tracked to the MLB level and putting up a 3.80 ERA in 4 appearances. He doesn't have great stuff, but he has good command over his low 90s fastball, as well as an average curve and change. He throws strikes, and uses all of his pitches.

3) Tyler Chatwood. Another Righty starter. The Angels second round pick last season is only 19, hits the mid 90s with his heat, and has a great curve. His 5.9 BB/9 at the A level shows that he still needs plenty of work, but he has all the tools you could want in a kid who is only a year removed from High School.

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