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Taylor Ward


Dochalo

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He's been in the dugout and has been playing catch. As I'm sure you're already aware, when it comes to draft picks, the Angels don't care much for playing them everyday. Most have already had a long season with their school and traveling teams.

Rookie Ball is kind of just diagnostic assessing. They're getting to know the players on and off the field and are working on a lot of small things. That's why numbers in AZ or Orem, you can typically throw out.

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I still can't decide if I want him to be really good because it helps the Angels, or if I want him to be really good to make all the arm chair GMs that ripped the Angels for drafting him look like idiots. A little bit of column A a little bit of column B. Not to mention if he's really good it will give us all a little more faith in the way they grade prospects.

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I was mildly critical of the pick not because of the player so much as the philosophy behind it that was thrown out their by Ric Wilson.  The idea of taking a catcher who's main asset was the ability to control the running game seemed 'unsexy' at the time.  And frankly, it was.  After seeing what they did with their second pick it makes some sense now.  

 

But I think Ric Wilson's public proclamation as to why they drafted Ward was a bit of prevarication or at least some slight of hand.  Whether it was purposeful or not isn't clear as of yet.  

 

There is a big difference between a players best asset and their only asset.  

 

Taylor Ward was a consensus top 70 for the draft, so he was no slouch.  They took him half a round too early maybe but it's the guy they wanted and they probably scouted him more than any other team.  Their reaction on draft day makes be believe a couple of things.  

1.  They had some intel that there was a chance he might not be available at the end of the first round.  

2.  They didn't draft him just because of his arm.  

 

So it really comes down to trust.  So far, the 2011-2012 Ric Wilson drafts haven't exactly left me overwhelmed with confidence.  That said, the addition of Scott Servais in late 2011 seems to have had an impact.  Getting his philosophy in place probably took a little while so the 2012 draft probably didn't have his entire stamp on it and our first pick was in the third round.  2013 has a little something and 2014 is looking pretty good.  

 

So this is fairly critical draft for this regime.  Not just because we need the players, but to prove that the philosophy and the method they have employed actually works.  The dangerous game here by drafting Ward where they did is the implication that they saw something in him to elevate him beyond where most others had him.  

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I'm not understanding which part of what I said is funny or quotable, but I suppose that in itself makes it all the more funny. 

 

I'm not getting too excited over Ward yet, mostly because he's a first round pick playing in the Pioneer League.  He's supposed to put up big numbers there.  I'll be impressed if Ward is in AA next year and is still hitting the ball.  For now, I think Jones would've been the better 1st round pick.  Not that I don't like Ward, I just view him as more of a 3-5 round selection.  Collegiate, intelligent and defensively gifted catchers with questions in the batter's box are a dime a dozen, though admittedly Ward is on the extreme end of intelligent and defensively gifted. 

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I'm not understanding which part of what I said is funny or quotable, but I suppose that in itself makes it all the more funny. 

 

I'm not getting too excited over Ward yet, mostly because he's a first round pick playing in the Pioneer League.  He's supposed to put up big numbers there.  I'll be impressed if Ward is in AA next year and is still hitting the ball.  For now, I think Jones would've been the better 1st round pick.  Not that I don't like Ward, I just view him as more of a 3-5 round selection.  Collegiate, intelligent and defensively gifted catchers with questions in the batter's box are a dime a dozen, though admittedly Ward is on the extreme end of intelligent and defensively gifted. 

 

that was kind of my point actually.  I think picking jones in the 2nd round actually saved them some money.  

 

I also feel like the halos see something in Ward's ability to hit that they aren't leading on.  

 

Because defensively gifted catchers are a dime a dozen, there has to be a reason why Ward was a consensus top 70ish pick.  He knows what he's doing at the plate.  I think the halos think his upside at the plate is better than he's given credit for.  Yet they don't want to proclaim this outright because they are hedging their bets.  Just a thought.  

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I think you're right, Ward was about as safe of a pick as there comes.  Worst case scenario, he's a plus defensive catcher that profiles as a backup in the majors.  Basically, a better version of Jeff Mathis.  Best case scenario, he basically turns into Buster Posey or Joe Mauer, a good defensive catcher with power and patience.  Most likely scenario, he's a good defensive catcher and does just enough right in the batters box to be a platoon player at catcher. 

 

Personally, I think Ward profiles a lot like Jett Bandy.  

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