Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Vernon Wells trying to hit his way into Angels’ outfield

Commonly known in the biz as The Vernon Dent

ju

Unless Bourjos wanders off a cliff and never is heard from again, Wells probably will need a flashlight and bloodhound in order to find at-bats early in the season — even if Scioscia speaks with political correctness on March 13 with nearly three weeks before opening day.

“There’s no doubt that he’s made some adjustments in the batter’s box and I think you’re seeing that quick bat and him drive the ball, but you’re also seeing him stay on pitches and hit balls hard to right field. That’s when he’s at his best,” Scioscia said Wednesday as Wells prepared to take batting practice.

“There is playing time to be won by a lot of guys and Vernon is one of those guys. You’re talking about a guy who is just a couple of years removed from a monster season and he just hasn’t brought that to us, but it’s in there. If he can get to that level, there’s no doubt that his playing time is going to increase.”

... Even if Wells continues his hot spring, it won’t assure him of anything. What will earn him playing time is taking full advantage of his opportunities in April. Trumbo already is an established hitter, and Bourjos, entering his third full major league season, will be given every chance to succeed by the organization that drafted him in the 10th round in 2005.

“You want to evaluate where you are and there is a certain look Peter gives you in the lineup, a certain look Vernon gives you in the lineup, a certain look when Trumbo is out there playing defense,” Scioscia said. “There’s going to be a lot of different options you’re going to look at and use, but I think if we find continuity, you want to roll with it.

“How it comes is just how it evolves.”

Repoz Posted: March 14, 2013 at 05:18 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2013 at 06:11 AM (#4388109)
Dude is hitting 389/455/889 this spring.
   2. Dan Posted: March 14, 2013 at 06:44 AM (#4388117)
It's conceivable that he could outhit Trumbo and take away some DH and OF ABs, but even that is a long shot. But there's no chance in hell that he unseats any of the frontline OFers for playing time. Bourjos's glove will keep him in the lineup, even if his bat starts out slow.
   3. Bug Selig Posted: March 14, 2013 at 07:21 AM (#4388120)
"Vernon Wells trying to hit his way into Angels’ outfield"

He's gonna beat up Mike Trout?
   4. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 14, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4388130)
No one has ever made more money while being worse at his job than Vernon Wells.
   5. vivaelpujols Posted: March 14, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4388137)
#3 made me laugh. Alternatively he could get Josh Hamilton back on cocaine.
   6. John Northey Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4388159)
Lifetime he has hit fine vs LHP but sucked last year (did very well in 2011 though). If the Angels would eat, say, $20.5 million of his contract for each of the next two years (ie: all but minimum salary) I'm sure someone would take him. Maybe even the Jays so they could platoon him with Adam Lind. I'd think the GM out there would want to do that just to get rid of the questions about 'what are you doing with your $21 million 5th outfielder'.

Still cannot believe they didn't just give AA the executive of the year award for getting rid of that contract and actually getting useful parts back (Napoli and Rivera). Guess trading Napoli for a reliever didn't help, but still that is a trade that looks better every year.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4388347)
[4] Without even leaving baseball, McCourt bankrupted the Dodgers and made more profit off of them than Wells' salary.
   8. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4388348)
[4] Without even leaving baseball, McCourt bankrupted the Dodgers and made more profit off of them than Wells' salary.


What if that was his goal all along?
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4388354)
Bourjos's glove will keep him in the lineup, even if his bat starts out slow.


Out of curiosity, why didn't this happen last year? They used Trout plenty at CF even once Abreu had been jettisoned and Wells was buried on the depth chart. Was it simply the presence of Morales on the roster?
   10. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4388355)
The Bourjos thing...look, he's fine when you don't have a centerfielder. When you already have Trout to cover center, putting Bourjos in the lineup is not helping you.
   11. BDC Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4388368)
he's fine when you don't have a centerfielder. When you already have Trout to cover center, putting Bourjos in the lineup is not helping you

I'm not so sure. If you have a ton of hitters around, but are worried about your pitching staff, carrying a no-hit centerfielder who's a modest hitter is an affordable luxury: the Cesar Geronimo principle. It has to be employed judiciously (he has to hit a little, and you have to be correct about his fielding skills), but teams rarely hurt themselves by using a really superior glove man in CF. And if that moves a great outfielder to a corner, so much the better.
   12. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4388373)
I am all for the Bourjos in CF plan. Kid is a better glove than Trout and has 12-15 HR power and isn't terrified of drawing a walk. He was the odd man out last year because Trumbo hit like a superstar for 2 months and Morales was worth investigating. Now, without Morales and another year of Wells stinking up the joint, Pete deserves his spot back.
   13. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4388381)
He was the odd man out last year because Trumbo hit like a superstar for 2 months and Morales was worth investigating.

Well that, and he didn't hit a lick. He's not going to hit, the defense makes him viable but if you are already getting 90% of the defense from Trout there's no reason to burn another lineup spot on him regularly. He should be the fourth/fifth outfielder and get about the 200 PAs that he got last season.
   14. JJ1986 Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4388385)
He's not going to hit, the defense makes him viable but if you are already getting 90% of the defense from Trout there's no reason to burn another lineup spot on him regularly.


Maybe in a vacuum, but I don't think that Vernon Wells (or Kole Calhoun) is a much better hitter than Bourjos.
   15. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4388391)
Robert - he hit fine in 2011. I'm not willing to relegate him to 4th OF'er based on 200 AB's in 2012 that contradict 500+ from 2011. How can you dismiss a 116 OPS+ form a GG caliber centerfielder?
   16. zonk Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4388390)
An interesting and novel approach...

Along those same lines, Zonk will be trying to become rich, famous, powerful, and good lucking in an attempt to woo starlets.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4388394)
edit: nevermind, #15 covered it.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4388399)
Dude is hitting 389/455/889 this spring.

Don't want to block a player like that. Now is the time to trade Trout while his value is high.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4388418)
#4, two words: Celine Dion.
   20. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4388420)
How can you dismiss a 116 OPS+ form a GG caliber centerfielder?

Because it's inconsistent from the rest of his career. The Angels will spend years chasing that performance and will never see it again. That fluke '11 line combined with the cartoonish numbers everyone puts up in the PCL these days...it will take the halos a while to figure out what they really have. With Wells, as unlikely as it may be at this point, there is at least a chance he could hit.
   21. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4388426)
So the options are to have Wells start in LF with Trout in CF and Bourjos on the bench, or have Bourjos in CF, Trout in LF and Wells on the bench? Not to pile on, but Robert, how is this even close? Bourjos will likely hit as well as Wells, while being massively better in the field and on the basepaths.

Wells has an 86 OPS+ over the last two years. For him to be a better starting option than Bourjos, Bourjos would have to hit worse than he did last year, and Wells would have to put up an OPS+ of at least 90. I can't see that happening.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4388433)
Because it's inconsistent from the rest of his career.


The rest of his career amounts to much fewer PA's than that one season. You may be right about Bourjos never hitting again, but usually the flukes can be found in 190 plate appearance seasons more often than 550 plate appearance seasons.
   23. bookbook Posted: March 14, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4388446)
#4, you clearly don't know how much CEO's get paid (by boards consisting of their CEO buddies).
When they do Vernon Wells quality jobs, they routinely get paid tens of millions to go away
(See Fiorina, Carly for but one recent example.)
   24. RJ in TO Posted: March 14, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4388453)
I don't know enough about the difficulty of the assorted minor leagues, but Bourjos looks like was at least a tolerable offensive player in the minors, without being old for his levels.
   25. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4388454)
As has been argued by others already in this thread, as the Angels' roster is currently constituted, Bourjos in CF makes the most sense. I will say, if I was the Angels GM I would have been casting about for a corner outfielder this off-season. Maybe not my top priority, but I'd have had an eye out. Bourjos doesn't seem like a bad player, but he doesn't seem super useful on a team that has Mike Trout.

Say, trade Bourjos to the Phillies (he seems like he'd more attractive than Ben Revere), and sign one a Ryan Ludwick type to fill out the corner?*

But like I say, it's not like they're in a hole stuck with Bourjos.


*EDIT: Wow, Ludwick got a bigger contract than I thought.

2nd EDIT: The case against that is that you'd be selling low on Bourjos. If you have faith in him as a player (which clearly the Angels do) it can't hurt to keep him.
   26. bookbook Posted: March 14, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4388471)
Sell high on Trout
   27. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4388472)
It's hard to see how Bourjos projects worse than Gary Pettis and Pettis was a well above-average player that you give 450-500 PA a year to. He's certainly more valuable than giving a regular spot to Vernon Wells. It is a shame in a way that Trout is shifted off CF ... and Harper too as we're being denied the chance to find out if this is the second coming of Mays-Mantle.

As to Wells ... Hamilton is not exactly Mr. Durable, Trumbo's talent level is a bit of a mystery and Bourjos might hit poorly enough that you'll want an offensive boost now and then. 4th OF generally get 400 PA or so.
   28. Kurt Posted: March 14, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4388489)
As to Wells ... Hamilton is not exactly Mr. Durable, Trumbo's talent level is a bit of a mystery and Bourjos might hit poorly enough that you'll want an offensive boost now and then. 4th OF generally get 400 PA or so.

Yeah, this was my initial reaction too. Wells should clear 300 PA easily bewteen giving Trumbo, Hamilton and Bourjos each a day off once a week or so and Hamilton's eventual injury.
   29. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4388491)
Because it's inconsistent from the rest of his career.

The rest of his career amounts to much fewer PA's than that one season. You may be right about Bourjos never hitting again, but usually the flukes can be found in 190 plate appearance seasons more often than 550 plate appearance seasons.


the rest of his career also includes 2000+ minor league PAs

ignoring the low minors, he OPS'd .778 in AA (league was .732) and .861 in the PCl (league was .776)
that suggests someone who'd hit for a 90-95 OPS+ in the majors (his career MLB mark is 97)

   30. Kurt Posted: March 14, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4388496)
ignoring the low minors, he OPS'd .778 in AA (league was .732) and .861 in the PCl (league was .776)
that suggests someone who'd hit for a 90-95 OPS+ in the majors (his career MLB mark is 97)


That looks pretty good for a 25 year old who plays a great centerfield.

This "is 2011 a fluke?" discussion would be interesting if the discussion were centered around giving him $50 million+. In the context of playing him or Vernon ############# Wells though?


   31. RJ in TO Posted: March 14, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4388500)
ignoring the low minors, he OPS'd .778 in AA (league was .732) and .861 in the PCl (league was .776)
that suggests someone who'd hit for a 90-95 OPS+ in the majors (his career MLB mark is 97)


So, with those numbers and his defense, he'd basically be in the range of being a slightly worse player than Devon White (Career 98 OPS+). That's still pretty damn useful.
   32. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 14, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4388533)
This "is 2011 a fluke?" discussion would be interesting if the discussion were centered around giving him $50 million+. In the context of playing him or Vernon ############# Wells though?
Seriously. Does anyone honestly believe Wells has even a dead cat bounce left in him? He can't hit .250, he doesn't walk, can't steal bases, and is a worse defender. That people are entertaining the idea that Wells should be in the starting lineup is shocking to me. 2011 may or may not be a fluke for Bourjos, but Wells' performance level is pretty clearly established at this point. I'll take my chances with Bourjos, thank you.
   33. John Northey Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4388725)
Wells has been a dead cat bouncing for awhile...
2006, 2008, 2010 - OPS+ of 129/123/125
2007, 2009, 2011 - OPS+ of 85/86/84
Then 2012 it stopped bouncing at 91 at age 33. I think that cat has had its last real bounce, and I wouldn't be shocked by an OPS+ in the 70's this year, especially if the Angels don't limit him to facing just LHP (lifetime 292/352/484 vs LHP, 266/310/461 vs RHP) and finesse pitchers (294/332/499 vs finesse, 241/309/410 vs power)
   34. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2013 at 06:18 AM (#4388781)
baseball is a funny game. Through 33, Wells has nearly identical numbers to Torii Hunter.
   35. Bug Selig Posted: March 16, 2013 at 09:46 PM (#4389655)
It's not quite as simple as Wells vs. Bourjos, though - is it? Isn't Mike Trout, CF more valuable than Mike Trout, LF?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JE (Jason Epstein)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPoll: Does Citizens Bank Park really need metal detectors at the gates?
(4 - 9:32am, Jul 22)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogSports Reference Blog: 1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History
(6 - 9:30am, Jul 22)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(2704 - 9:26am, Jul 22)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogThree Moves The Red Sox Should Make - Tony Massarotti - Boston.com
(10 - 9:23am, Jul 22)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogMLB.COM - Toman: Lewis takes exception with Rasmus' bunt
(121 - 9:17am, Jul 22)
Last: They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot

NewsblogMisremembering Mantle's Final Season
(33 - 9:13am, Jul 22)
Last: They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2014
(7 - 9:00am, Jul 22)
Last: RMc's desperate, often sordid world

NewsblogTrading for Price would be right move for Cubs | FOX Sports
(55 - 8:58am, Jul 22)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogBraves release Dan Uggla
(37 - 8:40am, Jul 22)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(280 - 8:36am, Jul 22)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

SABR - BBTF ChapterWho's going to SABR??
(36 - 7:51am, Jul 22)
Last: MHS

NewsblogTony Oliva turns 76; Gardenhire: 'He should be in hall of fame'
(2 - 7:44am, Jul 22)
Last: Rants Mulliniks

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(804 - 6:58am, Jul 22)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

NewsblogJim Bouton Still As Opinionated As Ever
(136 - 2:05am, Jul 22)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-21
(34 - 1:44am, Jul 22)
Last: Dale Sams

Page rendered in 0.4641 seconds
52 querie(s) executed