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Who SHOULD win the final bench spot for the Angels?


Who do you want to win the final bench spot for the Angels?  

55 members have voted

  1. 1. Who do you want to win the final bench spot for the Angels?



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I'm in the minority's here, but I think it needs to be Ji-Man Choi. He offers the most upside with the bat, and gives us the best opportunity to do some damage coming off the bench. He hits left handed which is a big plus and he's an excellent defensive 1B. As we saw, he's not ready to be a good LF yet, but with time he will be passable.

I really like Ortega, but he doesn't offer anything that Gentry doesn't already cover. Good defense, speed and the ability to reach base. It's a redundant skill set. Now if Gentry can't cut it early in the season then I'd absolutely replace him with Ortega.

But Choi, there's too much upside here to cut bait this soon for something we already have. Now if June of July rolls around and he isn't improving or helping the team, then I cut him loose. But right now, there's absolutely no reason to. Choi has had a rough couple days but on the whole he's been solid. He's a late inning defensive replacement and a great bat to bring up off the bench with the chance to be considerably more.

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On the whole he has a .619 OPS, the lowest of position players on the 25 man roster by a wide margin. His slg % is .295. That is not a pinch hitter bat off the bench and he isn't that good defensively.

There's a lot more to Spring Training than Spring Training games. Much of the way they evaluate players is based off what happens in the back fields.

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I think what happens is that Choi makes it because he's Rule V, and then has until Pujols gets back to prove he's worth an 8% share of the team's position player slots. As some have said, I don't think the Angels want another Featherston problem, and really shouldn't damage another young(ish) player's development time by having him ride the bench and get irregular plate appearances, while his best shot at improvement would be to get regular time in AAA.

 

So it really is an uphill battle for Choi. He's got a week or two to hit. If he doesn't hit, he's gone--or at least the Angels risk losing him to waivers. If he does hit, then they have a good problem.

 

Ortega probably waits for an injury or for Gentry to revert to form.

Edited by Angelsjunky
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I don't see us keeping a 5th OFer at this point.  Because Pujols is slow and fragile, I see them keeping a corner IFer to come in after Pujols is pinch run for.  Also, you probably need a LHed pinch hitter for either Perez or Soto.  Choi is the only one that fits the bill even though I still think Marte is better at this point.  

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Under Rule V, if we offer Choi back to the M's, can they decline to take him?  Does that mean we can then send him to the minors? 

Edit:  I think the answer is, if his original team declines to take him back for $25,000, he can be waived by the selecting team....

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/minorleagues/rule_5.jsp?mc=faq

Edited by DMVol
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Ji Man got exposed by being a starter during Spring Training and was barely able to do much more than slap some singles and take a few walks, his 2:1 K to BB is not good. They have plenty of time in the start of the season to let him ride pine but unless he shows something more I don't see another Featherston wasted roster space. Eppler seems too proactive to let even the last spot on the bench not be as productive as it can be.

 

Personally, I have watched almost every inning of every game (ok, I admit some innings were more medicated than others) and Ji Man just isn't ready. Not to say the other candidates are as well, they didn't spend most of Spring in a starting role but came in as B squad replacements against the other teams B squads. Their hitting is predicated on second tier pitching and fielding, some as bad as some of the scrubs the Angels tossed out there to eat innings. So in a way none were tested as hard as Ji Man so really it is hard to say they would perform better against better competition. 

 

I don't think Ji Man is going to be able to show us anything from the bench. They need to have confidence in him right now if they want to give him that role and there is no way they do. There just isn't enough versatility in him for me to see all that much use for him on the team. 

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I'm a Choi fan but agree that at this point he's really nothing more than Efren Navarro but 6 years younger. He will win the last spot but he's only going to have a couple weeks to turn things around, and in limited appearances.

Ortega or Marte will be up by May.

 

I would take Efren Navarro over him right now. Navarro is a slick fielder at first, and can play adequately in LF. He has no power but can give you a decent average. Choi hasn't shown much pop this spring, and that's the only area I'd expect him to out perform Efren.

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Choi's big difference over Efren is age and upside, not necessarily current skill set. This is Efren's age 30 season.

Choi's also tied for team lead in walks this spring, so he hasn't been a total black hole.

 

Efren '16 ST (42 plate appearances):

.167/.262/.361/.623

 

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Looking at the poll results, and knowing how this organization usually operates, I'm sure Cunningham will get it.

Cunningham has one big advantage in that he's out of options, so if he doesn't make the Opening Day line-up, he stands a good chance of being plucked by another organization. However, if he made it, it'd mean one of Choi or Gentry probably didn't make it, and we'd stand a good chance of losing them as well. So, it'd be all about who the org wants to risk losing between Choi, Gentry, and Cunningham.

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  • 4 years later...

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