This is huge HUGE! Casey Kotchman, regarded as the BEST minor leaguer for the Angels, has been called up to the big club. He plays first base and will replace Erstad. Now if the Erstad injury is serious enough this could be for an extended amount of time. So anyone hurting at 1B... this could be your ticket.
Ray Winder Field, Little Rock, AR - 1B Casey Kotchman has been called up to the Anaheim Angels after Saturday night’s win over the Midland RockHounds. Kotchman becomes the first Traveler to be called directly to the Major Leagues since the affiliation began with the Angels for the 2001 season. Kotchman was called up because of a right hamstring injury suffered Saturday night by Angels 1B Darin Erstad.
Kotchman was hitting .368 with a .438OBP 3HR, 11 doubles, 18RBI's and 19 runs in 114 AB's for the Angels AA club this year. I'll try to find a better scouting report on him but this guy is supposed to be dynomite.
I have a good idea that if the club wanted to call up Kotchman he'll be playing a lot. They wouldn't just let him rot on the bench. I'll try to find more information as it comes.
Kotchman is a great pure hitter and could be a superstar. The 20-year-old batted well over .300 with 10 homers and outstanding plate discipline between two levels of Single-A last season. He is about as sure a thing as any prospect out there.
Kotchman has one of the smoothest strokes around. His swing is quick, sharp, short. He can pull the ball for power or hit to the opposite field. His home run power is not fully developed yet, but he hits lots of doubles, a sign of more homers to come. He's hit for average at every level, and scouts project that he'll continue to hit .290 or higher at the highest levels. Some compare him to Todd Helton, though with a bit less home run power. Kotchman's plate discipline is excellent, and he seldom swings at a bad pitch. With the glove, he shows good athleticism, soft hands, the ability to help the other infielders by picking bad throws, and excellent reliability. He could be a Gold Glove type down the road. Kotchman's running speed is only average, but he has good instincts, and has obviously been well-coached by his father. He also evidences a love for the game, and is emotionally mature for his age.
ANAHEIM -- The Angels placed first baseman Darin Erstad on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday due to a strained right hamstring. At the same time, the club selected the contract of first baseman Casey Kotchman from Double-A Arkansas. To make room on the 40-man roster for Kotchman, the Angels transferred Greg Jones to the 60-day disabled list (inflammation right rotator cuff). These announcements were made by club Vice President/General Manager Bill Stoneman.
Erstad, 29, injured his hamstring trying to score from second base on a single by Troy Glaus in the third inning on Saturday night against Tampa Bay at Angel Stadium. This marks the fifth time Erstad has been placed on the disabled list in his career, and the fourth time because of a hamstring injury.
Originally selected by the Angels in the first round (first pick overall) of the 1995 free agent draft, Erstad is batting .264 (34-for-129) with 19 runs scored, nine doubles and 20 RBIs in 30 games this season. He finished 0-for-2 last night, snapping a 14-game hit streak, one shy of his career-best and the longest in the American League this season.
Kotchman, 21, was batting .368 (42-for-114) with 19 runs scored, 11 doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI in 28 games with Arkansas. He ranked second in the Texas League in average and hits, third in doubles and fourth in on-base percentage (.438).
A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Kotchman was originally selected by the Angels in the first round (13th pick overall) of the 2001 free agent draft. He will be in uniform today (No. 35) when the Angels host Tampa Bay in the final game of a four-game series and seven-game homestand.