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Project-a-Prospect 2009: Angel Villalona

There are two schools of thought when it comes to Angel Villalona. No, really. There’s the Angel Villalona Research Institute and Angel Villalona Institute of Research, and they hate each other. Their football games are just nuts. But the two different schools of thought go something like this:

Point: Angel Villalona is a monster man-child, and he hit double-digit home runs in the SAL as a 17-year-old.

Counterpoint: Angel Villalona is a hacker. Stone cold hacker. I know he’s young, but, man. He struck out 118 times last year in 464 at bats, and he only walked 18 times.

Point: But he did it at an age when most kids are still in high school. I think Kevin Goldstein once said that Villalona’s power ranks as a pure 80 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale.

Counterpoint: But he has no plate discipline.

Point: But he’s young.

Counterpoint: But he has no plate discipline

Point: But he’s young.

several hours later

Counterpoint: But he’s young.

Point: But he has no…wait a minute, you’re trying to do the duck season/rabbit season thing.

Counterpoint: Damn.

Point: That hasn’t worked since our "airholes"/"no airholes"- argument two years ago, and if that D.A. were competent, we’d probably still be in jail.

I’m a staunch age apologist when it comes to Angel Villalona. I mean, the dude was 17 for most of last season. When I was 17, I didn’t know what a thesis was. I didn’t know what passive voice was. But I still had obvious tools – wit, charm, intelligence, style, passion, class, distinction, majesty, idealism, sublimity, attention to detail, craft, attention to detail – that gave hope for my writing future. Villalona’s like that, but with power. And he probably isn’t listening to Dave Matthews at 17, so he even has a leg up on me.

When it comes to a guy I’ve never seen with my own eyes, I’m wholly reliant on the opinions of scouty types, and the overwhelming consensus is, "He should be fine. Keep an eye on the plate discipline as he moves up the ladder, but he should be fine. " I have no reason to disagree. But unless he goes Pablo Sandoval on the Cal League, he’ll stay put for the season. This isn’t the breakout year, but we’ll see signs of progress. And the dude’s still only 18.

Angel Villalona

High-A: 479 AB, .273 BA, .329 OBP, .460 SLG, 20 HR, 28 BB, 112 K

AA: n/a