Before reviewing the best prospect performances of 2012 in the Angels' system, I thought it might be interesting to look at a few guys who posted outrageous rate stats, even if their cumulative contributions did not add up to enough WAR to make the best performance list.

On the hitting side, the conversation has to begin with Angels' 2011 first round draft pick and consensus-number-three-prospect CJ Cron, who led the minor leagues with 123 RBI's in 129 games, despite contributing just 1.1 "(W)ins (A)bove (R)eplacement" relative to his peers. On average, that's one run batted in every 4.5 PA's (Miguel Cabrera, by contrast, knocked in a run only ever 5 PA's). Yeah, I know - I'm looking at "RBI's per PA" as a rate stat, and we all know that's a stat used... Well, nowhere (except maybe in Mike Scioscia's mind grapes). Snicker if you must, but my feeling is that this is a shit-ton of RBI's from a guy with a good but not great slash line, so there must be something worth looking at here.

How did a guy who was worth less than ten runs above average with the bat - that's just 31st in the California League, according to Fangraphs - on a team that scored the second fewest runs in the league knock in 123 RBI's? The answer is two-fold: first, Cron hit like a monster with men on base, mashing .359/.391/.579 with RBI opportunities. (conversely, he hit a paltry .229/.263/.455 when the bases were empty). Second, the guys hitting in front of him were on base frequently, with Travis Witherspoon (.399 OBP), Drew Heid (.384 OBP), Kaleb Cowart (.366 OBP), and Rolando Gomez (.349 OBP) providing plenty of RBI opportunities.