Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 4/23/12

Your Weekly Mike Trout Update

Through 18 games: .400/.463/.600 - 3 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 9 BB, 15 K, 6-for-7 in SB attempts. Meanwhile, Vernon Wells is at .232/.246/.446, 3 2B, 3 HR, 1 BB, 9 K, 0 SB. And the Angels offense is looking, well, pathetic. Trout's already been called up before, so his service time has been taken care of. Let him play, already. From this moment forward, he will no longer go in my Top 10, as he has reached rarified air as the prospect who should no longer be considered a prospect because he's doing so awesome in the minors and doesn't deserve to be there anymore.

Minor League Top 10

1. Bryce Harper - OF, Triple-A Syracuse (WSH) - .234/.300/.375 - 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 BB, 14 K, 1-for-1 SBA - For all his struggles, he's still 19, and he won't be 20 at all this season. Unless the Nationals are in the playoffs, which they just might be in if this team keeps it up. Here's what scary about that team: Adam LaRoche is out of his mind right now, and there's still the whole thing about Harper joining the team once he figures out Triple-A and Michael Morse returning from the DL. Would YOU like to face an order with Zimmerman, Morse, Werth, a hot hitting LaRoche and Harper in it come playoff time? With a rotation that can go four deep on you? That's what I thought.

2. Dylan Bundy - RHP, Low-A Delmarva (BAL) - 3 GS, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 15 K - He finally let someone on base. Considering the pitching woes the Orioles are facing right now, Bundy could be a 5th starter and still do as good as the options the Orioles have for that spot. Okay, maybe he's not THAT good right now, but this is the beginning of something special. The Orioles should be quick to get him out of Low-A and give him a challenge.

3. Jurickson Profar - SS, Double-A Frisco (TEX) - .214/.281/.411 - 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 BB, 12 K, 2-for-2 SBA - Right now, the only thing that puts Profar ahead of the next man on our list is that in the end, he's a shortstop for sure, while with Machado, it's not sure if it'll be at short or third. Still plenty of time for the bat to come around.

4. Manny Machado - SS, Double-A Bowie (BAL) - .242/.333/.403 - 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 BB, 15 K, 2-for-4 SBA - Machado's bat cooled off a bit (2-for-17 this past week), but that would make sense in the league he's playing in. Chances are he'll still rake in his opportunities, and I think he's still on track for a September call up.

5. Julio Teheran - RHP, Triple-A Gwinnett (ATL) - 2-0, 2.19 ERA, 12 K, 6 BB, 12 1/3 IP - After that bad first start, he's tossed 10 2/3 scoreless innings, with only five hits and four walks while striking out nine. He's starting to pick up the form that can make him a special player, and a few more starts along those lines might have him in Atlanta regardless of whether an injury forces the hand of the Braves front office.

6. Trevor Bauer - RHP, Double-A Mobile (ARI) - 4-0, 0.40 ERA, 28 K, 14 BB, 22 2/3 IP - Bauer is quickly becoming a Top 3 pitching prospect at this point, as he had his best start as a pro on Saturday (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K). The Diamondbacks will be looking at him and teammate Tyler Skaggs to be ready for the call much sooner than later, but come June, if Bauer isn't in Arizona, I will be one surprised person indeed.

7. Gerrit Cole - RHP, High-A Bradenton (PIT) - 0-0, 5.25 ERA, 18 K, 4 BB, 12 IP - Cole is getting hit somewhat hard over his first three starts and has allowed 17 baserunners so far, including three via the home run. All three of them came from right-handed hitters. Considering this is his first pro action, there's still a learning curve for him to deal with. Expect him to not be as quick to the adjustments that his former UCLA teammate Bauer has made because of it.

8. Taijuan Walker - RHP, Double-A Jackson (SEA) - 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 21 K, 5 BB, 16 IP - Gave up his first homer and walked three in his last start on Sunday, but is still sporting a very sexy 11.8 K/9 IP and is continuing to make a case to make the Bundy/Teheran/Bauer trifecta a foursome with him a part of that upper echelon. He's handled each challenge he's seen with relative ease. If this continues, he might see time with the big team come September at the least.

9. Miguel Sano - 3B, Low-A Beloit (MIN) - .310/.444/.707, 6 HR, 13 BB, 20 K, 2-for-3 SBA - Since writing my article on him Thursday, Sano has gone 9-for-16 with three doubles and a homer. Don't you dare think that was a coincidence. The three doubles came in a ridiculous 4-for-5 game where he walked once on top of that. This guy might need a promotion to give himself a challenge very soon.

10. Shelby Miller - RHP, Triple-A Memphis (STL) - 1-2, 6.23 ERA, 19 K, 6 BB, 13 IP - He still has some issues with baserunners (Allowed 24 so far in only those 13 innings) but looked decent in his most recent start on Wednesday, going five innings with five hits, one earned run (HR) and nine strikeouts, albeit with four walks. He still has some polish to work up, but he's still someone who could slot in the #5 spot if one the frail Cardinal arms goes down or if Kyle Lohse turns back into a pumpkin this season, and should become the team's ace soon after.

Prospect Spotlight - Nolan Arenado - 3B, Double-A Tulsa (COL)

When one thinks of the great third baseman in the history of the Mile High City, Dante Bichette immediately comes to mind. And then the players that have played there since, well...it hasn't been pretty. That's about to change, though, as the recently turned 21-year-old Nolan Arenado is ready to form a left side of the infield with shortstop Troy Tulowitski that will terrorize teams for years to come.

A second round pick out of El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA (the heart of the southern California prep baseball hotbed) Arenado has done nothing but rake, rake and rake some more since becoming a part of the Rockies system with his .298 batting average in the California League last year being his lowest of his career. He led all of Minor League Baseball with 122 RBIs and had 47 walks to only 53 strikeouts over 564 plate appearances with 20 home runs. He followed that up with an MVP performance in the Arizona Fall League, batting .388/.423/636 with six home runs.

He's starting 2012 just where he left off in 2011, as the Texas League launching pad has led to a .350/.435/.517 start with seven doubles and a homer. Even more impressive is that he's keeping his strikeouts down again, with only nine in 66 plate appearances. He makes hard contact and has power to all fields, and at the Major League level, could be a 20-30 home run guy that hits .300 every year. That's as quality as it gets for third basemen. He has the glove to stick at the position, as well.

Arenado will continue to post these types of numbers throughout his minor league career, most likely. After Tulsa would be Triple-A Colorado Springs, as much a prelude to the hitting-friendly environment of Coors Field as anything else. And there's a chance that after seeing him take a full-season at the two previous levels that they could push Arenado to challenge him this year with a September call-up in mind. Considering the haul that Colorado got in the Ubaldo Jiminez trade, there's a good chance that Arenado could be a part of the core that the Rockies believe could contend in the National League West much sooner than later.


This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

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