Hellweg stands out in Angels showcase 

March, 28, 2012

I've been bouncing around minor league fields for the past few days but was remiss in turning those looks into actual content, so here's an omnibus post to catch you up.

The biggest day was Monday, when the Los Angeles Angels held a "prospect game" featuring two rosters comprising most of their best minor leaguers in what should become an annual tradition for the Halos. Starter John Hellweg was 95-98 with a lot of life down in the zone, more tail at 95 but just straight sink at 97-98, with the action generated by a low three-quarters arm slot. His changeup at 87-90 is more like a two-seamer with its tailing life, without which it would be just a BP fastball. The breaking ball at 83-84 was huge with tremendous tilt, although it's so big and sharp I worry about big league hitters laying off it because it's going to finish out of the zone so often. Hellweg stands 6-foot-9, and his delivery looks awkward when you're facing him, but it's cleaner when viewed from the side, featuring a very long stride to generate more arm speed and a moderate shoulder tilt as well. There's a well-above-average starter in here if the command is there -- it was just fair on Monday night -- while he might be a dominant reliever who can hit 100 mph if he can't throw enough quality strikes to start.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer