February 21st, 2013
Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos should combine to be one of the best defensive tandems in baseball next season.
Earlier this offseason, Buster Olney ranked the Angels’ outfield as the best in baseball, and it’s hard to disagree with that assessment.
The Angels’ outfield was already one of the best (if not the best) in 2012, but it’s possible that 2013′s threesome could be even better. The Halos’ current outfield has the mythical Mike Trout patrolling left, Peter Bourjos racing around in center, Josh Hamilton holding down right, Vernon Wells warming up the bench, Mark Trumbo rotating between first base, designated hitter, and possibly the outfield, as well as Kole Calhoun and Scott Cousins toiling around in the upper minors.
February 13th, 2013
On the most recent edition of Baseball Prospectus’ Effectively Wild podcast, Sam Miller and Ben Lindbergh talked Angels for the duration of the podcast.
In the latter portion of the show, Pete Barrett was joined by The Orange County Register’s Angels beat writer, Jeff Fletcher. A variety of topics were discussed, including the transformation of the Angels’ team makeup over the years, what to expect from Jered Weaver, and of course, Mike Trout.
January 31st, 2013
As we are now four years removed from the Angels last postseason appearance, reflecting on the Angels teams that won five division titles and a World Series Championship in the 2000s, has a very warming effect. And now is as good a time as any, as the Halos are gearing up (Hamilton, Pujols, Wilson, etc.) for a possible return to their former glory days by reaching the postseason for the first time since 2009.
In the decade beginning in 2000 and ending in 2009, the Angels were perhaps one of the most successful organizations in all of baseball. During that 10-year span, the Angels went 900-720 with a .556 winning percentage while reaching October six times, the ALCS three times, and winning the 2002 World Series. In that span, many of the greatest Angels players of all time were active and productive. Some are even still enjoying success as Angels today (Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, and Jered Weaver), while players like Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo are products of the Angels excellent drafts of the 2000s.
January 15th, 2013
Tuesday evening, reports surfaced that Jerome Williams and the Angels had agreed to a $2 million dollar deal for 2013 to avoid going to arbitration.
Williams is among five Angels eligible for arbitration this winter, along with Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas, Alberto Callaspo, and Kevin Jepsen.
Williams, a 31-year-old native of Honolulu, has spent the last two seasons with the Angels, starting 21 games while appearing in relief in another 21. He has combined to post a 10-8 record with a 4.36 ERA (87 ERA+) in 181.2 innings for the Halos.
With the additions of Hanson, Vargas, and Joe Blanton, Williams will likely be relegated to a long relief role in 2013, while also serving as the likely 6th starter if one of the current five were to go down with an injury.
January 11th, 2013
Earlier this week, over at Fangraphs, Dan Szymborski released his 2013 ZiPS projections for the Angels. Here are a few interesting notes from the article.
- ZiPS projects Mike Trout to post an 8 WAR season, including a .282/.361/.507 slash line with 29 home runs and 47 stolen bases. Here is what Szymborski had to say about Trout’s projection:
It’s impossible to ignore the very optimistic projection for 2012′s Champion of WAR, Mike Trout — so, let’s not. While an eight-win season is certainly aggressive so far as a forecast is concerned — if for no other reason than only two or three players surpass the eight-win threshold per year — it’s also the case that ZiPS is being at least somewhat conservative with regard to Trout, forecasting him to hit fewer home runs, steal fewer bases, post a considerably lower BABIP, and save fewer runs afield in 2013 than in 2012.
- ZiPS thinks Pujols will rebound slightly in 2013 to post a 5.3 win season with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs. I personally think those numbers seem a little low, but that may just be wishful thinking.
- Mark Trumbo is projected as a 2+ win player with 34 home runs and 94 RBI’s (same as Pujols), albeit with a .309 OBP.
- ZiPS is quite down on Josh Hamilton as he enters his first year as an Angel, projecting him to hit just 26 home runs with a .267/.329/.481 line, and 3.8 WAR.
- ZiPS thinks Vernon Wells will post a positive(!) wins above replacement total.
- Of the five projected starters, just one (Jered Weaver at 203) is projected to pitch 200+ innings. Weaver is projected at a very respectable ERA- of 77 and a 4.9 WAR. Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton are (not surprisingly) projected to posts ERA’s of 4.35 and 4.49 respectively. ZiPS likes Tommy Hanson, putting him at a 2.2 WAR with a 3.93 ERA and nearly 170 innings pitched.
- Although he is likely to spend most of 2013 in the minors, Nick Maronde projects to be the 2nd best relief pitcher on the team (behind Ernesto Frieri) over a full season. Meanwhile, ZiPS is quite fond of Ryan Madson, projecting him at a 70 FIP-.
- ZiPS projects the Angels starting lineup, rotation and bullpen to combine to be worth 51 WAR. Using the traditional estimate that a team filled with replacement level players would win roughly 45 games, ZiPS is essentially projecting the Angels to win ~96 games. That’s probably somewhat high, but it’s an impressive number for the generally conservative projection system.
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