Marrying the sabermetric tendency with the exotic of true fan bitterness.
Source: #Angels new TV deal with Fox "close to being finalized." Fox offered Dodgers $3 billion deal last spring, McCourt said.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 8, 2011
A heartening article from Washington on the Angels commitment to Fleet Pete: Despite speculation around the game that Trout's arrival will squeeze out Bourjos, the Angels view Trout as more of a corner outfielder than a center fielder, according to the source. The club is strongly committed to Bourjos as its long-term answer in center field, believing he'll win multiple Gold Gloves during his career and make strides at the plate.
I love Mike Napoli. I celebrate Mike Napoli from now through the end of time. He's nobody's wingman any more -- he's the bloody-beaked griffin of baseball destiny, gobbling up Reagins' gut tripe...
Sad to say, but Scioscia-isms just ain't as cool as Maddon-isms. Check out some of the Maddon quips from this article, following the Rays' sweep of the Bawston Bloodsocks: "We did need to win these," manager Joe Maddon said. "There was no other way to look at it. Two out of three -- meatloafing right now -- didn't taste nearly as good. ... Under the circumstances, you have to do what you did. Otherwise it's pretty much impossible to recover from that moment." *** "In the beginning, [Shields was] over-boogying a little bit," Maddon said. "He was trying to do too much. He was falling off the mound. He didn't have his good alignment to the plate." *** "We've got them four more times next week," Maddon said. "In the meantime, just play with the same level of intensity and verve and want-to and all the stuff we're doing right now. ... The guys are really getting after it." "It's tangible, it's possible, it's there, it's truly not impossible," Maddon said. "Maybe the skeptics are falling off the skeptical wagon into the possible wagon right now. And maybe the storyline is going to change a bit. But none of that matters. What matters is what this group thinks every day when they go out there and how we go about our business and attack the other side." Aw, Joe. Love that guy. Miss that guy. Wish that guy all the best.
They took the series three games to one, behind two excellent outings by Matt Shoemaker and Chris Scholl, plus today's somewhat rocky start by Eddie McKiernan. Now they'll play either Frisco or San Antonio in the finals. Two interesting bits of trivia here: Last night, Cody Decker of the San Antonio Missions became the first player to hit two homeruns in a single Texas League playoff game since 1956. This afternoon, Luis "Lucho" Jimenez of the Travelers repeated the same feat in the close-out game of this series. Also, the Arkansas Travelers have a 14-28 W/L record without Trout in the lineup. But they pulled this series victory out in the end without Trout or Garrett Richards -- a testament to the mettle of the North TL scrubs.
That makes seven HRs in the past ten games. Good news, as Cron was having a pretty tough month of July, seeing his average dip under .270 at one point in the most hitter friendly environment in all the minors. The guy is a legit power threat, but time will tell how he performs in more difficult run environments like Cedars and Arkansas.
Happened yesterday, but little word around the Halosphere about this one. Hurtado: the 6'3" right-hander from the Dominican turns 19 later this month, and this is already his third season with the Angels in the DSL. Season over season, his groundball tendencies have increased, while his walk rate has decreased. He's 5-0 this season across his first nine starts with a 1.50 ERA, and .193 average against, and has two complete games. Not enough can be said about the Angels' Dominican franchise this year. The DSL Angels are 32-8, holding the best record of 33 teams in the Dominican Summer League. They have the best staff ERA (1.99 -- the nearest rival is at 2.59) and lowest WHIP of all teams. Their offense has scored more runs than any other team in the League, and has the second-highest OPS to boot. We need more DSL news, because something special is happening on the island for the cherubs this season.
I came across this Fangraphs article touting Mike Trout at the expense (somewhat) of Peter Bourjos, and I thought it was a time to take a moment to reflect on Fleet Pete. Whether you like Baseball Reference's calculation of Wins Above Replacement or Fangraph's slightly more generous accounting of WAR, Peter Bourjos has accumulated more than 4 WAR in his first 506 PAs with the Angels. By contrast, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells have only accumulated more than 4 WAR in a full season twice in each of their careers. Suffice to say, Peter Bourjos is a player that the Angels must play, and must not trade for anything short of a superstar player -- and we should hope that he and Trout can cohabit the same Angels outfield for many years to come. If, at the beginning of the season, someone predicted that Peter Bourjos would be hitting a very Erstad-like .272/.323/.397 at the All Star break, would you have been surprised? Pleased?
This one could be fun to watch. The Travs go up against the Texas Rangers' AA affiliate, the Frisco Roughriders, with each team's best pitching prospect on the mound. Martin Perez (Texas' #2 prospect overall according to John Sickels) vs Garrett Richards (#5 coming into 2011 per Sickels). Both clubs' leadoff men and centerfielders of the future are also on display. Leonys Martin, the Cuban defector the Rangers acquired last month, has been dominating AA pitching (.347/.438/.589) –– numbers even more impressive than Mike Trout's (.330/.424/.548), until you consider that Trout is three-plus years younger. (On a sidenote, Texas has been reaping a bounty on the international free agent market lately. Reagins recently suggested that the international market is where the action is, but the Angels were not among the 13+ teams to sign free agents when the market window opened this weekend. We'll see.)
Oh. Right. It's that other guy. Former Angels outfielder Juan Rivera was designated for assignment and the Toronto Blue Jays recalled Travis Snider from AAA today. Rivera –– whose career slash line...
When Kole Calhoun hit his 12th home run of the year last night in the 66ers' 13-7 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks, he extended his on-base streak to 21 games, and his hit streak to twelve. With...
Mike Trout continued his torrid June hitting with his eighth HR and 23rd stolen base tonight. He was on base three times, raising his slash line to a triumphant .330/.434/.565. He has a 1.265 OPS in June. He's doing this playing half his games in a pitcher's park. The Arkansas Travelers have won 8 of their last 10, have the best staff ERA in the Texas League, and suddenly have a functional offense. They are two games up on the divisional competition, and are on the verge of winning the first half outright. As a reminder, the average player age in the Texas League is 24. Mike Trout is still just 19 years old -- the youngest player in the league by far. In fact, there are only two active players under 21 in the whole league, and six total under 22. Put that in your prospect pipe and smoke it, George Washington.
Just a quick one to survey the current devastation in Salt Lake City. Countdown to ecstasy, where ecstasy means the man is finally released: 77 PITCHES 6 HITS, 6 RUNS 5 EARNED 4 HIT BATSMEN 3 INNINGS PITCHED 2 WALKS 1 WILD PITCH ZERO CONFIDENCE IN SCOTT KAZMIR'S RETURN TO ANAHEIM.
NO-K: Jered Weaver strikes out no one, and Jeff Mathis strikes out too much. Cleveland buries the hatchet, and that was Saturday night.
The Los Angeles Angels' two top prospects continue to impress down on the farm. Mike Trout and Jean Segura have monster Wednesday performances for their respective minor league clubs.
66ers down the Bakersfield Blaze in a 24-19 battle in the Cal League. Inland Empire had 31 hits and 40 men total on base in a nine inning seesaw contest that was actually at 19-19 entering that ninth inning. Every starting position player had at least two hits for the 66ers, and Dillon Baird was a perfect 7 for 7 (well, five hits and two walks) with two homeruns, a double and an RBI. Throw in some slapstick defense (seven of the Blaze's runs were unearned due to five 66er errors) and this one was a laugher. Forty men on base -- from one team!
I was thinking about the above-linked thread after Conger hit his second XBH of today's game. Not only does the post mention Chatwood's development, it also mentions lefty Andrew Taylor, who had a solid two hit performance in Arkansas today. But what I like is the little exchange between rghan, TheQuestforMerlin and myself regarding Conger's potential. Hank has had a very intriguing development curve in the minors. Much like Morales, he came into the organization with much-heralded offensive potential, but didn't immediately show it in the longball department. The HRs were rare, even as the plate appearances were excellent, K-rates were well-controlled, and overall metrics were very solid. Most of us forget this at this point, but Morales had only 17 HRs over 130 games at Salt Lake at age 23-24, and people were freaking out. You look at Conger last year at Salt Lake, and the trend was similar. In fact, his seasons through his age 20-22 years looked very solid, but the HRs were scarce, and he started falling off the prospect lists. Once again, I'm not saying that Hank Conger is Kendry Morales, or that he has Kendry's power ceiling, but he looks like a potential breakout player in much the same way that Kendry did, and we shouldn't be surprised if he exceeds expectations in the next year or two.
You can consider him this year's Kevin Frandsen, Paul McAnulty, or Curtis Pride –– one of the interesting career minor leaguers or woodshed whackers we pick up each season to fill a gaping hole on...
Shoulder pangs recurring. Front office falsely purring. Fanbase starts demurring. 2010... uh, well, recurring?
The bench. We really don't talk about it much, but we had a damn good bench, and I don't think we've had one quite as good since that season. Just look at these six players on that page: Orlando Palmeiro, Shawn Wooten, Benji Gil, Jose Nieves, Jose Molina, Alex Ochoa. Those guys had a really nice year, and that provided for some serious depth. It's hard to imagine a better fourth outfielder than Orlando Palmeiro: lefty, good on-base skills, high average off the bench, solid guy. How much do you think the bench in '02 accounted for our championship?
Sure, he's been projected as little more than a fourth OF for years, but I've always loved this guy's skills. Seriously never thought he'd respond this remarkably after destroying his shoulder in a head-on collision at home plate during winter ball in late 2009. Pasadena born-and-raised, college at Loyola Marymount, we have every reason to love this guy. Plays all three outfield positions, with the speed to ultimately offer plus defense at the corners. In his first call-up, he didn't wither, but went two for seven, with two runs scored. MiLB record: .313/.395/.501 -- in '07 this guy tore up A-ball with 44 doubles, 18 HRs while putting up 101 runs and 30 steals -- all in 133 games. Broke his foot in 2008 and struggled, but returned in 2009 to put up a solid .386 OBP with the trademark mix of doubles, steals and excellent run conversion at Salt Lake. He's not a true power prospect, but could be a legitimate top-of-the-order threat, given his mix of contact skills and patience. Eight Angels have more plate appearances than him this spring, but he leads the team in OBP (.474), walks (7 against 4 strikeouts), third in runs scored behind Trumbo and Fleet Pete. In fact, he and Bourjos have really been leading the attack this spring. Just dreamin' on another dubious DaVanon? Or could he be the leadoff threat that has eluded us since Figgins split? Will we ever know, with Money-Burnin' Vernon blocking him for the foreseeable future?
As the disappointments have mounted, the FanShot trade suggestions have thinned out, so here's my go at putting a cartoon chickenneck on the chopping block. Fantasy trade. To NYY: Ervin Santana, Mike Napoli, Fernando Rodney, Hank Conger To LAA: Brett Gardner, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero Our package delivered 5.6 WAR last season compared to 4.4 WAR for the Yankee's package, but Montero is a top ten national prospect. It would thin our starting pitching, and make this year more of rebuilding year for us, but the upside is significant, it solves the leadoff problem, and would give us two young players to build a core around with Trout. The Yankees get up to three years of a former All Star pitcher who has beaten them in critical situations in the past, plus two years of a mashing catcher, and a decent prospect who -- while not the sure thing that Montero is -- may still be quite good. And Rodney delivered the same value as Joba for the most part last season.
Jim Thome is a 40-year-old die hard with just about the prettiest OBP in all of baseball for a man making roughly as much as Jeff Mathis will make this season. He hasn't had a walk rate under 15%...
It's not Torii money anymore -- it's the Vlad contract. And in this market, I have no problem with that. Five years and 14-16M seems worth it for an organization this depleted of third base depth in the upper minors. UPDATE: Rosenthal tweets bidding now 5/85...
Well, this kind of nukes my next FanPost entitled "Three Free Agent Defensive Catchers" -- which was to cover Torrealba, Miguel Olivo and Rod Barajas -- the three free agent catchers on the market who are under 35, have above-average offensive metrics (for a catcher), and fall into the top 20% of catchers on defense per this analysis. Of them all, Torrealba was arguably the most solid defensively, and is quite useful in batter's box as well. The Rangers got him for a song. $6.25M for two years. His defense alone is worth that. Nice pickup.
There's a near consensus among the fanbase, Angels media, and one very vocal rightfielder that Carl Crawford is the way to go. If that's a fait accompli, it's an expensive one to be certain. By...
Let all the "Napoli & Willits for the Jesus" California dreaming formally commence. The Royals will now be faced with the decision of moving DeJesus this offseason in a rebuilding effort, or waiting for a few months and letting him build up some value by proving that he's healthy and productive. The Padres, Giants, Red Sox, and Rays all had interest prior to his injury. While he spent the majority of his time in right field this season, DeJesus is capable of playing all three outfield spots well, although UZR suggests that his left field defense is truly elite (career UZR/150 of 18.9 in nearly 2300 innings).
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