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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Casey Kotchman

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 2-22-83, Age: 18, Height: 6’2’’, Weight: 190, Bats: L, Throws: L. Acquired: Drafted By Angels in 1st Round of 2001 Draft (Seminole HS, Seminole FL).

200 Stats: (Seminole HS) .465 AVG, 5 HR, 2 SB, 88 AB.
2001 Stats: (AZ Angels - Rookie) .600 AVG, 15 AB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 2K, .632 OBP, .867 SLG.
Provo - Rookie .500 AVG, 22 AB, 3 2B, 2BB, .542 OBP, .636 SLG.

Casey Kotchman was the top power hitting prospect in the prep hitter class of the 2001 draft. Drafted with the 13th pick in June, Kotchman is expected to become a lefty-slugging first baseman that the Angels can build an offense around for years to come. He has no obvious weaknesses to his game, especially on defense, where an admittedly biased Angels scout (his father) believes Casey to be a future Gold Glover. His power is his best tool, but not at the expense of contact hitting. Combining his high school stats with his first 37 professional at-bats, the Gatorade High School Player of the Year has struck out four times this year. He is batting nearly .500 over that span, including 18 doubles and 6 home runs. He is easily the Angels top batting prospect already.

Since it is so easy to see Mo Vaughn at DH instead of 1B in the future, and there are no other impact players at that spot in the organization, Kotchman should have a relatively unimpeded rise to the first sack at the Ed. He reminds me quite a bit of Nick Johnson of the Yankees (with a touch more power potential but a touch less patience), which is why it was so bizarre to see him go down with an undiagnosed hand injury last week. I haven’t heard a report just yet, but that potential injury is the biggest question mark in Kotchman’s projection at this point. If Kotchman moves to Anaheim by 2005, which I would expect, there should still be time for an Erstad/Glaus/Kotchman-led Angels squad to challenge the A’s and Mariners.


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