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ANGEL REPORT

Scouts Targeting Talent, Not Need

May 31, 2002|Bill Shaikin

The Angels' minor league system is stocked with pitching prospects, thin in hitting prospects and almost devoid of power-hitting prospects. However, of the six players the Angels have identified as targets for their first-round selection in Tuesday's draft, scouting director Donny Rowland said four are pitchers.

"To me, any club that drafts for need in the first round runs the risk of not taking a quality player. That can be dangerous," Rowland said. "While we would love to have a position player there ready for us, we're still going to approach it in the first round as taking the best available player. Need is something we can address after the first round."

The Angels have the 13th pick, so any or all of their targets could be taken before they make their selection. Rowland confirmed that Cypress High infielder Scott Moore is one of the players under consideration but declined to identify the others.

The Angels are believed to have worked out University of British Columbia left-hander Jeff Francis. They might also consider Rancho Bernardo High left-hander Cole Hamels, right-hander Chris Gruler of Liberty High in the San Francisco Bay Area, University of North Carolina infielder Russ Adams and two Florida high school players, right-hander Zack Greinke and third baseman-outfielder Matt Whitney.

*

The Angels' longest trip of the season could get a little longer. The most likely dates to make up the recent rainout in Detroit appear to be June 17 and Aug. 5. If the makeup date is June 17, the Angels would play 15 games on a 14-day trip, including games on three consecutive days at Dodger Stadium, at Detroit and at St. Louis. If the makeup date is Aug. 5, the Angels would play on three consecutive days in Anaheim, in Detroit and in Chicago.

The teams have discussed making up the game when the Tigers visit Anaheim Aug. 12-15, but major league officials are reluctant to allow the Angels the competitive advantage of an extra home game in a year they could contend for a playoff spot.

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Infielder Benji Gil rejoined the Angels after hitting .412 on a six-game rehabilitation assignment.

Said Gil: "I'm a better triple-A hitter than I thought."

TONIGHT

ANGELS'

JARROD

WASHBURN

(4-2, 3.47 ERA)

vs.

TWINS'

ERIC MILTON

(7-3, 4.93 ERA)

Metrodome, Minneapolis 5 PDT

TV--Channel 9.

Radio--KPLS (830), XPRS (1090).

Update--Shortstop David Eckstein, who has not played defensively since suffering a sprained left knee 12 days ago, could return to the field Saturday or Sunday. First baseman-designated hitter Shawn Wooten, whose minor league rehabilitation assignment started Tuesday, could rejoin the Angels in seven to 10 days.

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