Prospect Profile: Carmen AngeliniBy
Carmen Angelini | SS
Born and raised in Lake Charles, LA, Angelini attended budding baseball powerhouse Barbe High School. Even though he’s a natural shortstop, Angelini played third base for the Buccaneers his junior year in deference to the incumbent Josh Prince. Once Prince graduated (he went on to play sparingly for Texas before transferring to Tulane) it paved the way for Angelini to take over full-time shortstop duties.
Angelini had an outstanding senior year, hitting .443-.500-.753 with 58 runs scored, 14 doubles, 8 triples (a school record), 6 homeruns, 52 RBI and 38 stolen bases (42 attempts) in only 40 games. Angelini led Barbe High (ranked 5th in the nation) to a 35-5 record and a trip to the Class 5A state tournament. As you can imagine, Angelini racked up some hardware his senior year:
- Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year
- Louisville Slugger/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Louisiana Player of the Year
- All Southwest Louisiana Big School Player of the Year
- Louisiana’s Mr. Baseball as voted on by the Louisiani Sports Writers Association (LSWA)
- LSWA’s Class 5A MVP
- LSWA All-State Baseball First Team
- Louisville Slugger First-Team All American
- EA Sports Second-Team All American
Aside from his substantial accomplishments on the field, Angelini also graduated with a 3.95 GPA. He’s also an active member in the Queen of Heaven Catholic Church Prep Group, where he volunteers his time to give anti-drug & stay-in-school speeches to local elementary school kids. Angelini also serves as a volunteer youth baseball coach and participates in various community service activities through his church. If you have a daughter, I’m guessing you’d give Carmen the okay to marry her.
Angelini had committed to perennial baseball powerhouse Rice, where he would have competed with Rick Hague (who I took in the 4th round of the Sickels’ mock draft) to fill the departed Brian Friday’s shoes as the everyday shortstop (Hague was drafted by the Brewers in the 3th round, but didn’t sign and is primed to be a top prospect for the 2010 draft). There’s conflicting reports on the intranet, but it appears that Angelini was offered a full scholarship to Rice, which is almost unheard of for a baseball player (baseball programs only get 11.7 scholarships per year in Division 1, compared to 85 for football and 12 for women’s volleyball).
Angelini’s Rice commitment scared teams away during the 2007 Draft, but the Yanks gambled and selected him in the 10th round (#334 overall). The Yanks put on the full-court press, inviting Angelini to take batting practice and work out with the big league team at Yankee Stadium in mid-June, where he was given a full uniform and a locker complete with nameplate. The gamble paid off when Angelini agreed to forego his commitment to Rice and sign with the Yankees for a $1M signing bonus, the largest ever given to a non-draft-and-follow player in the 10th round. The deal was not announced until the August 15th signing deadline to appease MLB’s bigwigs.
Because he signed late, Anglini wasn’t able to get in much game action in 2007. He spent most of his time working out in Tampa after signing, although he did appear in one regular season game for the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Yankees, striking out in his only at-bat. He did not appear in the GCL postseason, and is currently participating in fall Instructional League.
All across America you’ll find kids playing short for their high school for no other reason than because they’re the best player on their team. For Angelini, that’s not entirely the case. Yes, he was obviously the best player on his HS team, but he’s also a legitamite shortstop. He’s got very good range to both sides and backs it up with a strong arm & soft hands. He plays the game in a very smooth manner, and at times it can appear like he isn’t trying (similar to Robbie Cano). You can see his scouting video here.
Offensively, Angelini has impressive raw power and does a good job of making consistent contact. He’s can hold his own against breaking balls, an uncommon asset for prepsters. He has an advanced approach at the plate for a high schooler, and is adept at drawing walks and fouling off pitches. Once he reaches base, Angelini’s speed makes him a weapon. At 6’1″, 185 lbs, Angelini has ideal size and agility for a middle infielder, and there are no concerns that he’ll outgrow shortstop.
This is a tough section to fill, because Angelini’s a very well rounded player and has no glaring flaws in his game. Although he has very good power, he’s still learning how to use it, and it hasn’t entirely translated from BP to games yet. He can get into the occasional funk when his swing gets a little too long, and he can be somewhat prone to strikeouts. Other than that, he’s a fundamentally sound player.
Despite seeing limited action in his debut, Angelini is ready for full-season ball and should be Low-A Charleston’s everyday shortstop in 2008. With Mitch Hilligoss & Justin Snyder immediately in front of Angelini on the shortstop depth chart (not to mention Derek Jeter in the bigs), he figures to spend the entire season with the River Dogs. The Yanks have no reason to rush him.
I love Carmen Angelini, in a purely heterosexual way. I aggressively ranked him as the Yanks #5 prospect in my most recent Top 30 Prospects List because I love what he brings to the table at a premium position. Even though he cost the Yanks a million bucks, in the grand scheme of things it’s a minimal risk/super-high reward pick because it came in the 10th round and the Yanks have more money than you could ever imagine. Plus he’s a fellow Italian-American, so that automatically bumps him up a prospect grade. Now, if Cashman could only pull off a deal for Valentino Pascucci, we’d really be in business.