Prospect watch: Monitoring low-profile Angels

Prospect watch: Monitoring low-profile Angels

Prospect watch: Monitoring low-profile Angels
TEMPE, Ariz. -- This is the point in spring where you see a lot of young talent, high jersey numbers and players you've probably never heard of before. Camp's full, pitchers haven't been stretched out and veteran players are still easing their way toward normal playing time.

So, with the Angels opening up their Cactus League schedule on Monday, below are 10 under-the-radar names to take note of if you make your way to Arizona. You already know all about Mike Trout (No. 27), probably have a good foundation on Garrett Richards (43) and Hank Conger (16), and may have already seen Alexi Amarista (19), Andrew Romine (18), Jeremy Moore (28) and Efren Navarro (31) in the Majors.

These are the others -- the young, promising prospects who haven't reached the big leagues and probably won't this season, but could turn some heads this spring (those with asterisks are on the 40-man roster).

No. 20, SS Jean Segura*: Rated as the second-best prospect in the Angels' system by MLB.com, the 21-year-old was limited to just 52 Minor League games in 2011 because of hamstring issues he thinks have been resolved. Segura is believed to have matured as a hitter, boasts a quick, compact swing, has great arm strength and is an above-average runner. This year, the converted second baseman needs to keep getting used to shortstop and, most of all, stay healthy.

No. 35, 3B Luis Jimenez*: The 24-year-old played a full season of Double-A last year, batting .290 with 18 homers, 94 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Jimenez has good plate coverage, but he's a free swinger and his range is suspect.

No. 49, RHP John Hellweg*: Listed at 6-foot-9 and 210 pounds, the wiry righty took big steps forward after being converted to a starting pitcher last year, posting a 2.12 ERA and an 80-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 starts for Class A Inland Empire. Hellweg, ranked ninth in the Angels' system, features a lively, upper-90s fastball and a low-80s slider with good break. He should pitch his first season of Double-A this year.

No. 52, RHP Fabio Martinez Mesa*: The 2011 season was a lost one for the 22-year-old, who spent most of it on the disabled list trying to regain strength in his shoulder and missing time with an ankle injury due to a comebacker. When healthy, Martinez -- ranked 13th -- throws a hard fastball that tops out at 98 mph, couples it with a nasty slider and strikes out a ton of hitters.

No. 56, RHP Ariel Pena*: The 22-year-old has spent three years in rookie ball and has pitched just four innings above Class A in his five pro seasons. In 2011, Pena -- who throws a hard four-seamer, slider and sinker -- posted a 4.45 ERA, 180 strikeouts and 81 walks for Inland Empire. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, scouts believe he'll have to cut down his walks to remain a starter.

No. 65, RHP Loek Van Mil: At 7-foot-1, Van Mil is the tallest pitcher in professional baseball. But the 27-year-old hasn't been able to use that height to get him to the Majors in six pro seasons. Van Mil posted a 2.04 ERA in 66 innings in Double-A last year, but was outrighted to the Minors in November before going unselected in the Rule 5 Draft.

No. 77, OF Kole Calhoun: Calhoun -- a lefty hitter who has spent time at all three outfield spots and first base in his two pro seasons -- hit .324 with 22 homers and 99 RBIs for Inland Empire in 2011. Calhoun, according to "Baseball America," is regarded more "for his blue-collar approach, plate discipline and professionalism" than his raw tools. MLB.com ranks him 15th in the Angels' system.

No. 78, 2B Taylor Lindsey: The 20-year-old lefty hitter was taken 37th overall out of high school in 2010 and won Rookie-level Pioneer League MVP honors in 2011, batting .362 with nine homers, 46 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Lindsey, ranked sixth in the Angels' system, is a very mature hitter who projects to hit for a high average, but is limited with his arm strength and speed.

No. 81, RHP Daniel Tillman: The Angels tinkered with stretching Tillman out as a starter last year -- he posted a 3.09 ERA in five turns -- but returned him to the bullpen because they felt his stuff profiled better as a closer. Tillman throws a 92-95 mph fastball with good sink and a 78-80 mph slider. After being returned to the 'pen in May, the 22-year-old posted a 2.52 ERA in the Midwest, California and Arizona Fall leagues.

No. 87, LHP Matt Meyer: The 27-year-old may not be much of a prospect -- he's been with three different organizations and hasn't reached the Majors after six pro seasons -- but he has a deceptive sidearm delivery that could make him tough on lefty hitters. Meyer, who pitched in Saturday's intrasquad game, was limited to just 14 appearances for Triple-A Salt Lake last year, posting a 2.30 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.