Struggling Cowart among Angels prospects in AFL

Struggling Cowart among Angels prospects in AFL

ANAHEIM -- Eight Angels prospects will participate in this year's Arizona Fall League as members of the Mesa Solar Sox.

Right-handed pitchers Trevor Gott, Dan Reynolds and Mark Sappington, left-handed pitcher Nate Smith, infielders Kaleb Cowart and Eric Stamets, and outfielders Chad Hinshaw and Cal Towey will participate in the AFL. Class A Inland Empire pitching coach Matt Wise will be part of the coaching staff.

Stamets will be a "taxi-squad" member who will only be activated on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Cowart is the highest regarded Angels prospect among those on the roster, ranked No. 4 in the organization by He has struggled this season in Double-A Arkansas, hitting just .224/.293/.325.

Sappington (No. 9), Gott (No. 14) and Towey (No. 17) are also ranked among the Top 20 Angels prospects.

The AFL, which begins in early October and runs through mid-November, has produced 212 All-Stars, 12 Most Valuable Players and four Cy Young Award winners. Nearly 60 percent of participants have reached the Majors.

"It's a higher-caliber player that plays there, so you're going to be playing against better talent on a better team," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Anytime you do that, it helps you to grow as a player, and I think the next progression is winter ball."

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.