All-Star Countdown: Inland Empire 66ers
Our All-Star preview continues today with the Angels’ High-A club. In a division where all five teams are separated by two games, the 66ers find themselves one game back of first place in the California League’s South. Here are a few Inland Empire products we may see in Winston-Salem next month.
RHP Manny Correa – The 66ers’ pitching staff is middle of the pack in the California League. The club owns a 4.23 earned run average, which is sixth in the league. However, Correa has been a consistent force within Inland Empire’s staff.
In 11 appearances, the Dominican Republic native is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA, which is second on the 66ers and eighth in the league. He began the season in the bullpen but has since shifted to the rotation. Correa’s best start came at home against High Desert, the best offense in minor league baseball. He tossed his third career complete game and blanked the Mavericks over seven innings during a doubleheader.
2B Taylor Lindsey – Inland Empire’s offense is near the bottom in batting average (.258, 6th) and runs scored (8th, 171) in the California League, but Lindsey is arguably the league’s best second baseman. He paces second basemen and all fellow 66ers with a .286 batting average.
The seventh-best prospect in the Angels’ system according to Baseball America, Lindsey has gone yard twice and driven in 16 runs, numbers that are both among the top of the second basemen heap in the CL.
LHP Nick Maronde – The 10th-best farmhand in the Angels’ system per Baseball America has held his own inside a hitter-friendly California League. He leads all 66ers and is seventh among all CL pitchers with a 2.83 earned run average. In his six starts this season, he has averaged just shy of six innings per effort.
However, Maronde has been on the disabled list for most of the month of May. His last start was May 3, so his health may be the key to his All-Star Game spot here in 2012.
Mike Lefko will be on the blog tomorrow to bring you another countdown piece. The Lake Elsinore Storm take the stage. We’ll talk to you then.