Minor League Monitor - AL West: Grant Green, ALex Liddi and more...

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Matt Shoemaker - AA / SP / 09-27-86

Outside of Garrett Richards the Angels farm system lacks high upside pitching. Trevor Reckling has pitched well in AA but will likely end up a #4 or #5 guy in the rotation. Ariel Pena is racking up the Ks in the California League but is also having trouble with control. Cam Bedrosian and Fabio Martinez have yet to pitch in 2011 due to arm issues. With so few pitching prospects in the system it leaves the door open for underdogs to sneak onto the radar. Shoemaker is having a good season that may separate him from the rest of the organization filler. In 18 starts at AA the 24 year old sports a 2.38 ERA while allowing 7.9 H/9 and 1.8 BB/9 and striking out enough batters to suggest it's not a fluke (7.7 K/9). However, all of this dominance comes after getting beat up in 4 starts at AAA. Shoemaker could be given another crack at AAA to end the season. If he performs well there he would likely be next in line should something open in the rotation.

Michael Wing - A+ / 2B / 10-25-88

Wing has played all over the infield this year but seems to be settling at second. He is hitting for very good power with a .502 SLG% and 11 home runs in 70 games. He has been an above average hit at every stop and the power appears legit. If he can't stick at second he will likely move to third where he has most of his pro experience. No matter where he ends up on the field he should hit well enough to matter in fantasy.

Seattle Mariners

Alex Liddi - AAA / 3B / 08-14-88

Liddi is the middle of his third straight season with an OPS above .800 but still has his doubters due to his ever increasing strikeout totals. He has gone down on strikes 143 times in 113 games.  Even with all those Ks he has made enough contact to hit 29 doubles and 25 home runs. All of that power is coming in the hitter-friendly PCL so you have to be cautious. He should be added to the Mariners lineup when rosters expand and he may see a few plate appearances. A strong showing in September will put him in the mix for a job in 2012. He has good power and may hit 25 home runs in his prime. The low batting average thanks to the strikeouts will keep him from being an elite 3B in fantasy but the power will be enough to make him relevant.

Texas Rangers

Cody Buckel - A / SP / 06-18-92

The Rangers have excellent pitching depth in their system and Buckel has emerged as yet another name to follow. He started the season coming out of the bullpen but has worked his way into a starter's role. In 19 appearances he has made 14 starts and has a 2.55 ERA, 7.5 H/9, 2.2 BB/9 and 10.4 K/9. These are all very good numbers for a young 19 year old in the South Atlantic League.

Oakland Athletics

A.J. Griffin - A+ / SP / 01-28-88

Griffin came out of the bullpen last season and was impressive enough to make the A's give him a chance at becoming a starter. The 13th rounder has embraced the role and has the large frame to last into the late innings. The A's have tried him at 4 different levels this season but he has struggled at AA. In 92.2 innings combined between Single-A and High-A  he has struck out 88 and walked 12. His command should move him quickly but there are pitchers ahead of him on the depth chart that also show promise so he will have to prove he can pitch against AA hitters with the same effectiveness he has shown in A and A+.

Grant Green - AA / CF / 09-27-87

Green has climbed his way out of the statistical hole he dug himself into in April with a hot August that has him hitting .433. His season AVG is up to .290 but his ISO remains low at .120. Without the power he flashed last season he will be a hard sell in fantasy at center field.

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