Now, I don't want you guys thinking I have a thing for outfielders, but Matt Angle is a guy we don't talk about much around these parts. Given the possibility of trades and other impending roster moves coupled with Angle's recent torrid offensive stretch at Norfolk, it seems likely that he could be making his major league debut in the coming weeks.
Angle was drafted out of Ohio State in the 7th Round of the 2007 draft. He bats left-handed and at 5'10" looks the part of the typical Joe Jordan collegiate outfielder draft pick. Angle is a speedy, on-base machine that also is highly regarded for his defense. Prior to the draft, Angle put up a .366/.462/.454 slash line during his 2007 season, a line which includes 37 walks in 59 games. Angle's .462 OBP was good for 5th in the Big 10. In three seasons with the Buckeyes, he stole 60 bases and was caught stealing 14 times.
Angle began his minor league career in much the same fashion notching OBPs of .421, .385 and .374 in his first three assignments at Aberdeen, Delmarva and Frederick. He also totalled 113 steals in those seasons. In a brief stay at Bowie between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, he walked 10 times in 102 plate appearances and put up a .375/.434./.443 slash line. Viewed one way, his tenure at Norfolk has been a discouraging, mixed bag. In 726 PAs, Angle has slashed .259/.333./.316. This includes 70 walks and 40 steals in 46 attempts. Angle's SLG has taken a modest rise this year to (yes, to) .333 from last year's .303. He also has 11 extra base hits this year in 70 less PAs than last year. His SLG and OBP were also in the 4s during June and he's slugging .467 in seven July games.
Angle is a 25 year old now in his second season at Norfolk and has not really rated much amongst prospect prognostocators. The question is are we at the point where he is what he is and what he is is a defensive replacement/pinch runner, or is there maybe a little room for growth like some other guys with similar backgrounds, builds and skill sets like Brett Gardner or Michael Bourn?