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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2009 ZiPS Projections - Los Angeheim Angels

One can say the Angels had a fortunate season in 2008 and still had a good team.  The hardest challenge the Angels

have this offseason is how to upgrade an offense that has entrenched mediocrity in several places rather than a few gaping

Willy Taveras-type holes.  Looking at OPS+ relative to league average for position (from B-R, of course):


Po   sOPS+
1B   109
CF   109
C   105
RF   103
DH   99
SS   92
2B   87
LF   82
3B   69

LF and 3B were clearly the biggest problems for the team this year (2B will be better next season).  Luckily for the Angels,

the division should still be rather weak, they are willing to invest in top players, and it’s a much better FA crop than the

last few offseasons, so I don’t mean to sound doom and gloom. 

 


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Mark Teixeira#        1b 29 .292 .390 .517 144 545 91 159 37 1 28 103 83 103 2 0
Vladimir Guerrero     rf 33 .305 .372 .504 143 548 81 167 33 2 24 97 54 69 6 2
AVERAGE 1B——————- 1b————————————————————————————————
Mike Napoli         c   27 .241 .351 .479 112 328 56 79 16 1 20 63 51 100 7 3
AVERAGE LF——————- lf————————————————————————————————
Torii Hunter         cf 32 .278 .337 .468 149 564 86 157 37 2 22 91 46 102 15 6
AVERAGE RF——————- rf————————————————————————————————
Howie Kendrick       2b 25 .315 .342 .433 117 441 61 139 30 2 6 57 14 78 11 4
AVERAGE 3B——————- 3b————————————————————————————————
AVERAGE CF——————- cf————————————————————————————————
Garret Anderson*      lf 37 .288 .328 .430 115 444 56 128 25 1 12 62 27 64 2 1
Gary Matthews Jr.#    rf 34 .268 .340 .409 123 455 65 122 25 3 11 61 47 87 10 3
AVERAGE 2B——————- 2b————————————————————————————————
Chone Figgins#        3b 31 .280 .359 .362 126 492 80 138 20 4 4 51 59 86 36 12
Maicer Izturis#      ss 28 .279 .344 .381 106 362 55 101 19 3 4 41 36 38 10 3
Juan Rivera         lf 30 .268 .313 .446 98 325 40 87 19 0 13 52 21 42 1 3
Kendry Morales#      1b 26 .281 .317 .433 112 406 45 114 23 0 13 59 19 60 1 3
AVERAGE SS——————- ss————————————————————————————————
AVERAGE C———————- c————————————————————————————————
Reggie Willits#      lf 28 .268 .365 .328 112 299 52 80 13 1 1 27 45 56 15 6
Freddy Sandoval#      3b 26 .267 .325 .378 127 487 59 130 28 1 8 56 40 83 13 7
Robb Quinlan         3b 32 .276 .322 .367 80 199 22 55 7 1 3 22 12 29 3 2
Christopher Petit     rf 24 .249 .305 .401 97 374 44 93 19 1 12 51 24 62 13 5
Sean Rodriguez       2b 24 .235 .305 .403 134 489 69 115 26 1 18 71 39 118 10 5
Hank Conger#        dh 21 .256 .285 .413 97 375 36 96 20 0 13 54 15 62 5 4
Terry Evans         rf 27 .248 .296 .392 96 355 40 88 19 1 10 46 21 108 14 6
Bobby Wilson         c   26 .253 .306 .362 99 348 31 88 20 0 6 39 25 57 2 2
Brandon Wood         ss 24 .229 .283 .393 145 532 62 122 22 1 21 77 38 148 9 3
Dee Brown*          lf 31 .240 .298 .362 97 359 40 86 18 1 8 41 25 71 5 2
Matthew Brown         1b 26 .241 .292 .386 16 482 52 116 30 2 12 61 31 116 6 5
Erick Aybar#        2b 25 .265 .304 .356 122 385 54 102 18 4 3 39 18 56 10 5
Bradley Coon*        cf 26 .258 .320 .311 100 411 54 106 11 1 3 38 33 64 27 15
Adam Pavkovich       rf 27 .230 .284 .351 107 365 39 84 18 1 8 42 25 83 5 4
Jeff Mathis         c   26 .214 .274 .340 114 374 48 80 21 1 8 42 29 95 2 2
Peter Bourjos         cf 22 .239 .270 .345 95 397 47 95 17 2 7 43 14 72 30 12
Ryan Budde           c   29 .200 .259 .303 61 185 16 37 10 0 3 18 12 46 2 1
Hainley Statia#      ss 23 .222 .261 .289 103 419 42 93 17 1 3 35 22 48 16 7
* - Bats Left
# = Switch-Hitter

Name           CThr 1b 2b 3b ss lf cf rf
Teixeira#          Vg            
Guerrero                       Av
Napoli         Pr                
Hunter                       Av  
Kendrick           Fr Av          
Anderson*                  Av    
Sarge Lite#                Av Fr Av
Figgins#            Av Av     Av  
Izturis#            Fr Av Av      
Rivera                     Av   Av
Morales#          Fr       Fr   Fr
Willits#                  Vg Pr Av
Sandoval#          Av   Av        
Quinlan           Av   Pr   Fr   Fr
Petit                     Fr   Fr
Rodriguez             Av   Av   Fr  
Conger#        Pr                
Evans                     Av Pr Pr
Wilson         Fr   Av            
Wood                 Av Fr      
Brown*                    Av   Av
Brown             Av Pr Fr        
Aybar#              Av Av Av      
Coon*                    Vg Fr  
Pavkovich             Av Fr   Av   Vg
Mathis         Fr                
Bourjos                   Vg Vg Vg
Budde         Vg   Av            
Statia#              Vg   Vg      

Player Spotlight - Howie Kendrick
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .342 .372 .516 131 494 81 169 42 4 12 78 19 79 16 5 132      
Mean         .315 .342 .433 117 441 61 139 30 2 6 57 14 78 11 4 104
Pessimistic (15%) .291 .315 .386 101 381 38 111 22 1 4 42 10 75 7 4   86

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Johnny Hodapp, Dave Cash

Player Spotlight - Mark Teixeira
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .323 .426 .590 152 575 113 186 43 1 36 127 97 90 2 0 164  
Mean         .292 .390 .517 144 545 91 159 37 1 28 103 83 103 2 0 137
Pessimistic (15%) .264 .353 .447 130 492 59 130 30 0 20 80 64 106 1 0 109

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Norm Siebern, Kent Hrbek

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Francisco Rodriguez     27   2.75   5   1 74   0   72.0   56   22   4   35   91
Scot Shields         33   3.47   7   3 66   0   70.0   63   27   7   28   72
John Lackey           30   3.57 13   8 29 29   194.0 187   77 20   48 162
Buzz Oliver*          38   3.57   4   2 52   0   68.0   66   27   6   18   49
Kelvim Escobar         33   3.57 10   6 21 21   141.0 136   56 11   42 124
Ervin Santana         26   3.62 10   6 23 23   154.0 142   62 15   41 136
Jason Bulger         30   3.74   3   2 48   0   53.0   45   22   4   30   64
Jose Arredondo         25   3.75   7   4 63   0   72.0   68   30   7   28   56
Jered Weaver         26   3.75 13   8 30 30   180.0 174   75 19   49 148
LEAGUE AVERAGE RELIEVER———4.11———————————————————————-
Joe Saunders*        28   4.22 12 11 31 31   192.0 201   90 21   57 120
Justin Speier         35   4.26   3   3 56   1   57.0   55   27   9   20   52
Darren O’Day         26   4.50   3   4 45   0   56.0   62   28   5   18   32
LEAGUE AVERAGE STARTER———- 4.63———————————————————————-
Jon Garland           29   4.71 10 11 30 30   191.0 223 100 20   52   91
Richard Thompson       24   4.91   2   2 27   1   44.0   45   24   6   18   35
Shane Loux           29   4.99   5   7 26 11   101.0 119   56 12   30   37
Stephen Marek         25   5.14   4   5 55   0   63.0   67   36   9   32   42
Nicholas Adenhart       22   5.16   9 12 28 28   164.0 186   94 15   82   93
Giancarlo Alvarado     31   5.17   5   6 23 20   115.0 122   66 16   59   86
Jordan Walden         21   5.17   5   6 23 20   115.0 122   66 16   59   86
Kevin Jepsen         24   5.21   3   5 48   0   57.0   60   33   5   40   38
Nick Green           24   5.26   7 10 29 29   166.0 194   97 24   47   83
Henry Bonilla         30   5.47   4   7 37 11   97.0 112   59 14   40   50
Dustin Moseley         27   5.74   8 13 28 27   149.0 179   95 25   56   94
Chris Bootcheck       30   5.79   2   3 45   1   70.0   81   45   9   36   51
Alex Serrano         28   5.86   2   3 30   0   43.0   55   28   8   9   21
Kasey Olenberger       31   5.95   4   7 28 18   121.0 143   80 22   51   60

* - Throws Left

Player Spotlight - John Lackey
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  2.37 19   6 32 32 224 196   59 15   39 215   189
Mean           3.57 13   8 29 29 194 187   77 20   48 162   126
Pessimistic (15%)  4.92   8   9 24 24 150 165   82 22   51 119   91

Top Near-Age Comps: Jack McDowell, Frank Lary

Player Spotlight - Ervin Santana
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  3.05 13   5 25 25 174 148   59 15   39 162   147
Mean           3.62 10   6 23 23 154 142   62 15   41 136   124
Pessimistic (15%)  4.54   7   7 20 20 127 131   64 16   41 106   99

Top Near-Age Comps:  Javier Vazquez, Erik Hanson

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2009. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.44 ERA and the NL having a 4.38 ERA.

ZiPS Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: September 28, 2008 at 10:10 PM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 29, 2008 at 12:29 AM (#2959406)
Brandon Wood's a lot worse than I thought he'd be.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: September 29, 2008 at 06:17 AM (#2959728)
geez Dan, the body's not even cold yet.

And already I've got a request ...any chance you could add OPS+ and ERA+ to the standard projection template?

2B will be better next season

If Kendrick can stay in the lineup.

And you're not concerned about projecting Kendrick to a 372 BABIP? That's Ty Cobb territory I believe.

And I know it's a trivial difference but I think some Angels fans around here will burn you at the stake for projecting Matthews as a better hitter than Rivera. :-)

And what's the joke I'm missing on Buzz Oliver?
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 29, 2008 at 06:24 AM (#2959734)
I had totally forgotten about Buzz Oliver. LOL
   4. Erik, Pinch-Commenter Posted: September 29, 2008 at 10:48 AM (#2959769)
Not too bad, not too bad. :-) Wood will blow that projection out of the water next season. I'll go out on a bit of a limb and call him the best shortstop in the AL next season. I was very low on him last season, but his performance in the second half is more than enough to convince me.

The Angels really are in good shape at the core. They should have above league average hitters at all the up the middle/defense first positions, C, 2B, SS, CF.

Also check out what a stud Mike Napoli is becoming. :-)
   5. Honkie Kong Posted: September 29, 2008 at 11:04 AM (#2959772)
Not a biggie, but Marek now is in the Braves system post Tex trade.
   6. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 29, 2008 at 11:09 AM (#2959773)
Not a biggie, but Marek now is in the Braves system post Tex trade.

Oops, I talked about that trade when it happened, too!
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 29, 2008 at 11:10 AM (#2959774)
And you're not concerned about projecting Kendrick to a 372 BABIP? That's Ty Cobb territory I believe.


Yeah, that surprised me too!
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 29, 2008 at 11:17 AM (#2959775)

I had totally forgotten about Buzz Oliver. LOL


Buzz has been an occasional nickname in baseball history and I figure that if a player who attracts a swarm of bees which ends up in a game being called can't be nicknamed Buzz, nobody can.
   9. AROM Posted: September 29, 2008 at 12:29 PM (#2959791)
Wood will not be the best SS in the league next year. Even if his 2nd half represents his true ability and he hits .265 with 30 homers, he will do it as a third baseman. There is a huge dropoff in range when he replaces Aybar. I would not be surprised if they move Figgins and let Wood and SeanRod compete for 3b.
   10. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 29, 2008 at 01:57 PM (#2959864)
I would not be surprised if they move Figgins and let Wood and SeanRod compete for 3b.

Move Figgins to LF/DH/UT or to another team?
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2959871)
Dan Szymborski, you're my hero.
   12. Xander Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2959873)
What was so great about Wood's second half?
   13. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:08 PM (#2959875)
Wood will blow that projection out of the water next season. I'll go out on a bit of a limb and call him the best shortstop in the AL next season. I was very low on him last season, but his performance in the second half is more than enough to convince me.

Is this a joke? I didn't see him play, but the stats don't appear very good. 700 2nd half OPS.
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:09 PM (#2959876)
re: coke.
   15. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:30 PM (#2959901)
Is this a joke? I didn't see him play, but the stats don't appear very good. 700 2nd half OPS.

Well, it is double his first-half OPS!

Wood did actually have a nice second half in the minors.

2008, zMLE, 1st Half: 215/249/380
2008, zMLE, 2nd Half: 272/345/476

ZiPS is simply going to be skeptical until Wood does it for more than 2 months.
   16. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 29, 2008 at 03:01 PM (#2959952)
Brandon Wood's a lot worse than I thought he'd be.


The strikeouts are killing him.

-- MWE
   17. Erik, Pinch-Commenter Posted: September 29, 2008 at 08:13 PM (#2960439)
Is this a joke? I didn't see him play, but the stats don't appear very good. 700 2nd half OPS.


First of all, which AL shortstops do you expect to be significantly better than that?

Second of all how hard should it be to blow a .229/ .283/ .393 line 'out of the water.'

The strikeouts are killing him.

While he hasn't really cut down on his K's, he did manage to more than double his walk rate in the second half. A lot of guys have struck out a lot in the minors and done well in the majors, the key seems to have been adding in a lot of walks.
   18. AROM Posted: September 29, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#2960457)
Wood has cut down a little on the K's. He was at 33% in 2006, in AA. 27% in AAA for 2007, 26% for this year, and 29% in the majors. It's a good sign that he's not whiffing more as he moves up in level. He strikes out less than Mark Reynolds, at least, and Reynolds was able to be somewhat productive this year.

His range is not that great at shortstop though, especially in comparison after watching Aybar.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: September 29, 2008 at 10:06 PM (#2960551)
Wood has cut down a little on the K's. He was at 33% in 2006, in AA. 27% in AAA for 2007, 26% for this year, and 29% in the majors. It's a good sign that he's not whiffing more as he moves up in level.

Steps in the right direction although my eyeballing of these guys is that they often don't see higher K rates in the majors -- counterintuitive for sure and Mike/Dan will know much better than I so feel free to contradict.

Still, if he's gonna K 30% of his ABs, he's still gotta hit about 360 on-contact to get a BA of just 250. If he can add enough walks and power (say 250/320/450 overall), that's fine for a 3B -- that is 2008 Mark Reynolds basically. Entertainingly, although he took a much different approach, it's also basically a neutral Vinny Castilla. If his defense is north of Reynolds, though almost certainly south of Castilla, that's a fine, league-averageish 3B.

But that's still a 360/640 on-contact line -- doable but probably near his upside, possibly with lower BA but higher SLG. Would you settle for Mark Bellhorn with fewer Ks and hopefully as many walks? That would be about 245/350/420 with the walks, 245/320/420 with Wood's most recent walk-rate. Serviceable at 2B/SS/3B.

And don't scoff. At 22, Bellhorn hit 328/469/564 in AAA; not so great, but not bad, at 23; hurt at 24; at 25 in AAA, 266/396/521. Reasonably Wood-esque.
   20. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 29, 2008 at 11:51 PM (#2960666)
Would you settle for Mark Bellhorn with fewer Ks and hopefully as many walks?


Bellhorn had exactly one good season in the majors.

It is extremely unusual to find a player below 1 K/4 AB in the minors who can sustain success in the majors. Ryan Howard is about the only one that I have been able to find, and Wood is no Howard.

-- MWE
   21. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 12:24 AM (#2960689)
Two, 2002 and 2004!
   22. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 30, 2008 at 01:01 AM (#2960712)
2004 wasn't a good season, in my book. It was 2 1/2 good weeks (when he came off the DL in late August) and essentially average production outside of that.

-- MWE
   23. Darren Posted: September 30, 2008 at 01:13 AM (#2960724)
Is someone really going to sign Teixiera for $150 mil?
   24. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 30, 2008 at 02:20 AM (#2960765)
Yes.
   25. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 30, 2008 at 02:45 AM (#2960782)
Isn't Teixeira more likely to get $200 mil than $150 mil? Or is that what Darren meant?
   26. Darren Posted: September 30, 2008 at 03:02 AM (#2960792)
I just meant that's a lot of dough for a 1st baseman who projects to hit .292 .390 .517.
   27. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 03:23 AM (#2960802)
Mike Emeigh: do those 2.5 good weeks not count? He was pretty comfortably the best 2B in the AL that year, was he not? He had a 107 OPS+, he was league average with the glove according to Dewan and +4 according to UZR, and he played in 138 games. No one else in the league came close to that, did they?

Darren, Tex has a ton of fielding value that has to be taken into account: Dewan had him at a huge 24 plays above average this year.
   28. Dan Posted: September 30, 2008 at 03:25 AM (#2960804)
Darren, Tex has a ton of fielding value that has to be taken into account: Dewan had him at a huge 24 plays above average this year.

And -4 last year, and +2 the year before.
   29. AROM Posted: September 30, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#2960811)
It is extremely unusual to find a player below 1 K/4 AB in the minors who can sustain success in the majors. Ryan Howard is about the only one that I have been able to find, and Wood is no Howard


Found some:

Jack Cust 33%
Mike Napoli 32
Tim Salmon 32
Darryl Strawberry 28
Derrek Lee 27
Larry Walker 27
Travis Hafner 26
Albert Belle 25
Carlos Pena 25

Tougher question: How many players under the age of 24 slug .575 or better in the PCL, and not have at least a few good years in the majors?
   30. Halofan Posted: September 30, 2008 at 03:44 AM (#2960814)
Zips should predict salary too.
   31. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 03:50 AM (#2960821)
Well, here are both Dewan (converted to runs) and UZR from 2003 onwards:

Year +/- UZR
2003 
+23   0
2004  
+3  -1
2005 
+12 +11
2006  
+4  +3
2007  
+2  -2
2008 
+18 n/


Chris Dial's Zone Rating-based RSpt, which has a very high correlation to UZR since they both draw on the STATS data set, had Tex at +12 through September 2. So if we multiply that by 1.2 and take that as a substitute for UZR in 2008, and then average the 12 numbers, we get +7 runs a year, which is just about exactly where I'd have guessed he would be on a true talent basis. And obviously, Tex's anecdotal reputation supports that notion.
   32. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 04:14 PM (#2961154)
Would the Angels be in the mix for Joe Crede, do we suppose?
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 04:27 PM (#2961173)
"It is extremely unusual to find a player below 1 K/4 AB in the minors who can sustain success in the majors. Ryan Howard is about the only one that I have been able to find, and Wood is no Howard."

Surprised you didn't think of this one, Mike, but Craig Wilson was just barely over the line. 25.9 up through 2001, at which point he established himself in the majors.

The larger point is still a good one, though.
   34. AROM Posted: September 30, 2008 at 04:42 PM (#2961186)
Would the Angels be in the mix for Joe Crede, do we suppose?


God I hope not. Joe Crede of the bad back, who will be 31, and of the lifetime .306 OBP. He's a good defender when healthy, and has some pop, but a move from Comiskey (or whtever it's called) to Angel Stadium will hurt his power totals.

Wood might not be any better, but at least he's young and might improve, and if he doesn't work out there is no money wasted. I would be OK with Figgins being replaced if the reason was to save money and resign Teixiera. I'm OK with Wood/Rodriguez (and maybe Sandoval/Brown) battling for the position because the Angels see a need to get younger. But replacing Figgins with Crede should be a non-starter.
   35. Al Kaline Trio Posted: September 30, 2008 at 04:55 PM (#2961195)
Found some:

Jack Cust 33%
Mike Napoli 32
Tim Salmon 32
Darryl Strawberry 28
Derrek Lee 27
Larry Walker 27
Travis Hafner 26
Albert Belle 25
Carlos Pena 25


With two guys on this list the Angels must be thinking when you have guys who strikeout this much it gives more time for the speedy guys to steal a base. A productive / scrappy strikeout. </Beane counter perspective>
   36. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2008 at 06:31 PM (#2961318)
Bellhorn had exactly one good season in the majors.

I'd call it two as well -- or one outstanding, one above-average -- but it's somewhat besides the point. For his career, he was a 92 OPS+ which is a bit below-average for a 2B/3B but tolerable. He played 731 games. That's basically what I'm asking -- would Angels fans be satisfied with 5 seasons of average-ish 2B/3B out of Wood?

It is extremely unusual to find a player below 1 K/4 AB in the minors who can sustain success in the majors.

Well, how are you defining "success" and "sustain"? You know better than most of us the track record of prospects. 731 games of 92 OPS+ and average defense at 2B/3B mostly is "sustained success" compared to most prospects. Is Russell Branyan a success? (he's K'd way more than 1/4 in the minors) And this sort of hitting profile is much more useful if it's a 2B or 3B (or of course C or SS). And yes, the Ks have to come with a healthy dose of walks.

(Branyan is an extreme case -- one of the greatest on-contact hitters of all-time at 382/805).

But with me you're mainly preaching to the choir. It's very hard to be average much less "successful" in the majors when K'ing 1/4 or more. I always poop on prospects like Wood, McPherson, Wily Mo Pena, etc. -- at least when folks speak of them as if they're gonna tear it up in the majors. But I do recognize that Wood/McPherson might be average-ish as long as they can play a decent 3B.

With two guys on this list the Angels

They also gave us Dallas McPherson.
   37. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 06:41 PM (#2961324)
Could part of it be perhaps that since high-K guys go against the Angels' philosophy, the team doesn't know how to develop them properly? Am I right that they haven't had a successful homegrown slugging prospect since Troy Glaus? Is that unusual, particularly for a team that's been so successful overall?
   38. Dan Posted: September 30, 2008 at 06:45 PM (#2961332)
It might be uncommon, but it's certainly not unique. Who was the last slugger that the Red Sox developed? The Yankees?
   39. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: September 30, 2008 at 06:53 PM (#2961343)
Am I right that they haven't had a successful homegrown slugging prospect since Troy Glaus?

Mike Napoli seems to be a pretty good slugger these days. His rate stats are probably higher than they should be because of his abbreviated season, but his power is legitimate.
   40. Erik, Pinch-Commenter Posted: September 30, 2008 at 07:26 PM (#2961380)
And to think that the Angels were never too high on Napoli. He's been Mathis' future backup ever since he got here. It seems that management has finally figured out who is the better long term option.

Also of note, I really hate Jeff Mathis... I don't know how any Angel fan couldn't. I'll probably hate him even more when he goes 0-4 in game 2. hah
   41. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 30, 2008 at 07:39 PM (#2961397)
Who was the last slugger that the Red Sox developed? The Yankees?


Soriano I guess, and he got some development time in Japan, too.
   42. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 07:39 PM (#2961399)
God I hope not. Joe Crede of the bad back, who will be 31, and of the lifetime .306 OBP. He's a good defender when healthy, and has some pop, but a move from Comiskey (or whtever it's called) to Angel Stadium will hurt his power totals.

You may be right, but I look at that 69 OPS+ and figure Crede is a good bet to be better than that, .306 OBA or no. On a team that's otherwise pretty good, he'd be a solid piece of the puzzle...but of course his back is the main consideration.
   43. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 07:39 PM (#2961400)
Youkilis sure slugged this year, although he didn't come up that way.
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 07:40 PM (#2961401)
"Who was the last slugger that the Red Sox developed?"

Mo Vaughn?

"The Yankees?"

That's a tough one. Is Bernie Williams a slugger?
   45. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2008 at 10:38 PM (#2961525)
Geovany Soto might be the first "slugger" the Cubs have developed since ... ummm, help me out here ... Jody Davis? Williams/Santo? (In truth, the Cubs probably deserve the lion's share of the credit for Sosa and Sandberg.)

<i>Is Bernie Williams a slugger?

Jay Buhner.

But seems to me the Angels develop these guys just fine (they do well up through AAA as many of this type do). If I find anything odd, it's that they develop this type at all when they clearly seem to ahbor K's (by the modern standard) at the MLB level. Either this speaks well of them -- they're open to production of any variety -- or it speaks ill -- they don't have enough sense to trade top prospects that they'll never play on a regular basis.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#2961529)
The Angels and Napoli are an interesting question ...

Given that projection, he's basically the poor man's Adam Dunn. The poor man's Adam Dunn at C would be nice but I'll go out on a limb and guess that he doesn't get much praise for his defense. And the Angels don't strike me as the sort of team that is fond of poor defense at C. That bat would play fine at DH or 1B ... and if they don't re-sign Teixeira, they might give him a look at 1B (a "natural" spot for failed Cs). I suppose 3B is the other "natural" spot and another place they have a hole.

Whatever they decide, the worst decision would seem to be another season as a half-time C.
   47. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: September 30, 2008 at 11:13 PM (#2961555)
Napoli had 71 starts this year wile missing 30+ games on the DL and spending about another month struggling with that same injury. Had he been healthy he probably would have started closer to 90-95 games, which does set him as only a touch more than a half-timer. However, going forward, absent an enormous improvement from Mathis offensively, I would guess that Napoli starts at least 110 games per year, particularly if they lose Tex and need an offensive boost.

Napoli's defense isn't great, but it's not bad enough to keep him off the field. He doesn't have the "tools" to be as a good a catcher as Mathis could be- check their assist numbers this year for a crude distinction. However, Mathis' poor offense, combined with his affinity for playing catch with Torii Hunter, will probably cost him a good chunk of his half of the platoon.

That said, unless the Angels get completely shut down offensively in game one of the ALCS, expect to see Mathis getting the (Santana) start in game two.
   48. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 01, 2008 at 11:59 AM (#2962188)
"Who was the last slugger that the Red Sox developed?"

Hanley
   49. AROM Posted: October 01, 2008 at 12:22 PM (#2962200)
Napoli doesn't throw well, but is OK at other aspects of catcher defense. Scioscia seems to be happy with his handling of pitchers.

I don't know why people keep saying the Angels abhor the k, as if they wanted a lineup of 9 Placido Polancos or something. The current team has a lot of whiffers on it.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: October 01, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#2962730)
I don't know why people keep saying the Angels abhor the k

They were 11th in Ks this year; 12th in 2007; 11th in 2006; 13th in 2005; 14th in 2004; 14th in 2003; 14th in 2002.

They avoid Ks.

This year's team was led by Hunter with just 108 Ks. The only "regular" with a K-rate worse than 1 per 5 was Matthews (about 1 per 4.5). Only the part-timers (Napoli, Rodriguez and Wood) had K-rates worse than 1 per 4. The Angels highest K total after 2002 is Erstad with 109 in 2005; in 2003 and 2004, they didn't have anyone K 100 times. 100 Ks is a bad month for Adam Dunn. :-)

Yes, a number of their kids (not that Napoli is a kid) have high K rates and maybe that's fine with the Angels. But, by modern standards, they avoid the K. Now if Dunn lands here (a logical spot for him unless they resign Teixeira) ...
   51. Walt Davis Posted: October 01, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#2962739)
And just to drive the point home, the AL average was 1 K per 5.3 AB; Hunter was 1 per 5.1. Basically, Matthews and the kids are the only ones with below-average K-rates. Oops, I forgot Mathis.
   52. AROM Posted: October 01, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#2962751)
A strikeout is a bad thing, so everyone is trying to avoid the K. But the Angels don't seem to be avoiding the K to their detriment, in other words avoiding playing or acquiring an otherwise productive player because he whiffs too much.

I think you can make a case that the Stoneman teams did this, but Reagins is more interested in adding power to the lineup and overall production than keeping the K totals down. The catchers combined for 160 whiffs. The best contact hitters from 2007 were Cabrera and Kotchman, and both were traded. Teixiera strikes out significantly more than Kotchman, but right now nobody's compaining about that.
   53. JPWF13 Posted: October 01, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#2962766)
Tougher question: How many players under the age of 24 slug .575 or better in the PCL, and not have at least a few good years in the majors?


In some PCL parks .575 is not all that impressive.

Wood just hit .296/.375/.595, but his team hit .285/.351/.454 (while giving up an ERA of 4.80 and going 83-60). That's a very high run context. He had teammates who hit .335/.389/.514 and .320/.373/.580 and .306/.397/.645 (ok only 248 at bats)

Compare Wood to someone like Costanzo (another fellow MWE hates due to the Ks)-
Costanzo hit .270/.368/.490 in AA at 23, but just .261/.333/.395 in Norfolk (IL) at age 24.
The IL is notably less hitter friendly to the PCL and Norfolk is a terrible hitter's park compared to other IL venues. (Wood hit .276/.355/.552 in the TL and .272/.338/.497 his first go around in the PCL)

Wood is better than Costanzo- but since he's generally played in far more hitter friendly environs, by not nearly as much as his raw numbers would suggest- he's closer to Costanzo than he is to a good MLB hitter.
   54. Walt Davis Posted: October 02, 2008 at 10:40 AM (#2964396)
But the Angels don't seem to be avoiding the K to their detriment, in other words avoiding playing or acquiring an otherwise productive player because he whiffs too much.

Well, I never said they did. But ... there is no counter-case to that hypothesis except perhaps Napoli. They have not acquired a single high-whiff player to my knowledge -- they have developed a good number and, so far, Napoli is the only one who's hit at the ML level (and I don't think they've made any of them a full-time player yet ... Napoli's been hitting for 3 years but hasn't yet had more than 325 PA). Torii Hunter is not a high-whiff player, he whiffs an average amount. For the Angels, Teixeira K'd once every 8 ABs ... that is a VERY low K-rate in today's game. For his career, he's about 1 per 5 which, again, is around average these days.

It could well be that Reagins is different; it could well be that Stoneman never really cared that much. But so far, the Angels consistently avoid the strikeout and they have acquired no players that would lead one to believe that there has been any change in philosophy. (For the record, for his career, Matthews is about 1 per 5, this was a bad year for him K-wise ... and every other way.)

And before we trot out the "everyone is trying to avoid the K", the Angels rank in BB the last several years has been 12, 9, 9, 9, 14, 9, 11. They aren't "avoiding the K" they're "putting the ball in play." The Angels are a BIP team. They have been for a long time. Unless my memory is off, Hatcher has stated this as his philosophy many times. The 2008 team has given us no reason to think this has changed. The Angels have been below average, often well below average, in both Ks and BBs for the last 8 seasons ... that's intentional, not an accident.

All of which is fine. That works for them, they find players that fit with that approach. What's odd is that they have developed several players who do not fit with that approach. Maybe that's a sign they would be fine with a productive high-K hitter; maybe it's a sign they aren't preaching BIP throughout their system; maybe it's a sign of a problem. I don't know. I do know they've yet to give one a full-time job (except maybe McPherson who got hurt at the wrong time).

But the only thing anyone can remotely point to on their ML roster as evidence that they aren't a K-averse team is that both their Cs K a lot. Of course they're both cheap. And of course they still manage to play the one who can't hit half the time. (Yes, Wood and Rodriguez but those guys only got that much playing time due to injuries to others.)
   55. NBarnes Posted: October 05, 2008 at 01:59 AM (#2968278)
It might be uncommon, but it's certainly not unique. Who was the last slugger that the Red Sox developed?


Kevin Youkilis says hello. Also, Pedroia slugged 493 out of second base this year.
   56. cfrtb Posted: October 05, 2008 at 04:14 PM (#2969089)
Also, the Red Sox and Yankees philosophies are not as concerned with the strikeout. I think comparing the Angels with another team that preaches contact/no strikeout would be better. The twins?
   57. AROM Posted: October 05, 2008 at 05:06 PM (#2969111)
And of course they still manage to play the one who can't hit half the time.


Napoli's limited playing time has nothing to do with his K rate (especially since Mathis doesn't make any more contact). The big reason is health, and the secondary reason is Scioscia trying to keep his catchers fresh, and having the catchers work exclusively with certain pitchers.
   58. scareduck Posted: October 10, 2008 at 06:38 PM (#2976109)
It is extremely unusual to find a player below 1 K/4 AB in the minors who can sustain success in the majors. Ryan Howard is about the only one that I have been able to find, and Wood is no Howard.

Don't you mean the other way? That's a .250 K/AB ratio; you want that denominator as large as possible and the numerator as small as possible.
   59. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 10, 2008 at 07:05 PM (#2976125)
Bellhorn rules! And 2004 was absolutely a good season.
   60. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: October 10, 2008 at 07:50 PM (#2976182)
For his career, he was a 92 OPS+ which is a bit below-average for a 2B/3B but tolerable. He played 731 games. That's basically what I'm asking -- would Angels fans be satisfied with 5 seasons of average-ish 2B/3B out of Wood?

I could take that at SS.

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