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BTW ... On a personal level -- I want to thank all of you guys who post here and follow the team for having made what was truly the worst season of following the Angels in 20 years at least beara

I'm not saying this is applies to you but, I don't think people fully appreciate how difficult a hitting environment the Southern League is.    The league average batting line is only a .681 OPS,

Ok, first post.  I just returned from Tempe with my family.  Our first spring training experience.  Thanks to all the info on here, we had a great time.  We spent Friday at the minor league fields and

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9 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Ward could end up being a uniquely valuable utility player too. One that can fill in at 3B, 1B, LF, RF and catcher. It would take some creativity and a year or two more of development, but it's a possibility.

speaking of speed, Ward had the 5th fastest on the halos last year at 28.1 ft/sec.  0.3 behind Shohei and about 1 ish behind Young jr, Trout and Hermosillo (Herm was the fastest on the team at 29.3 ft/s and 23rd fastest in baseball) 

speaking of stand out abilities, damn if it ever actually clicks for Herm.   He does most of what he does on raw ability but he's got tremendous speed, very good raw power and surprisingly good plate discipline.  Dude really could turn into Aaron Hicks (a very underrated player in my book) with more speed.  Another ceiling comp I like for him is Tommy Pham.  He's a sleeper that is on the 40 man already with two more option years which would allow him to get another 1000 abs over the next couple years which I really think he needs.  I am sure he'll get some trips back and forth but my guess is that they'll keep him around long enough to see if he can turn that corner around age 26 or so (he's entering his age 24 season).  

I know he didn't look even remotely ready during his short time last year, but one thing he did do in a small sample was this vs. LHers .261/.370/.435 (only 27 PA).  You know that guy a team like the Cards call up at age 25/26 and it seems like he came out of nowhere and everyone it like 'how the hell do they do that crap'.  Herm can be one of those guys for us.  

 

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Here's something else that I'd like to point out that I think is very important in terms of draft strategy.  

the incredible high school athlete.  it's such an important component to capture that type of talent in your drafts.  Eddie bane was very good at that.  Your gonna have a ton of misses.  Even on very early picks, but it's not only your best chance to hit a home run, but to also get a late developing, high ceiling player.  

Dipoto oversaw 4 drafts from 2012 to 2015.    During that time they drafted and signed 14 high school players.  Of that 14 are Jam Jones, Mike Hermosillo, Joe Gatto, and Yency Almonte.  Of the remaining 126 players drafted, there are  Key Middleton (JC- 3rd round), Alan Busenitz 25th round, Sean Newcomb (a #15 pick), Jeremy Rhoades, Jake Jewell, Justin Anderson, Taylor Ward (26th overall), David Fletcher, and Jared Walsh.  There might be a couple additional relievers from the 2015 class still there.  

Eppler's team has had 3 drafts and signed 20 HS players.  

Go with the high upside guys.  Grab those extra 3 or 4 guys per draft that could really turn into something.  

 

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6 hours ago, Second Base said:

Ward could end up being a uniquely valuable utility player too. One that can fill in at 3B, 1B, LF, RF and catcher. It would take some creativity and a year or two more of development, but it's a possibility.

In my eyes, if Ward can get to a point where he replaces the role Marte served, it’s a good outcome. Corner infielder (and actual corner outfielder) with the ability to serve as emergency catcher, even if he tops out at a .750 OPS, would be a good outcome. 

It’s funny, this offseason has led to me believing more than ever in our prospects...but at the same time, I’m more comfortable than ever in our ability to deal from them if need be, and also accept a future in which many of them don’t pan out as more than bench players or just average MLBers...and I don’t mean that as a slight, either. Even if these guys just wind up being good bench players or average MLBers, we’ll have a big improvement over where we’ve been in recent years.

If Ward just winds up replacing Marte role, if Fletcher only tops out replacing Cowart’s role as a UT IF, if Hermosillo only gives us good defense and speed as a 4th OF, if Rengifo tops out as Maicer Izturis...I’d be plenty happy. It shows that we are developing talent again - and at a good success rate - and we are on track to actually having internal depth, allowing us to spend on real needs instead of worrying about the depth.

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8 hours ago, totdprods said:

In my eyes, if Ward can get to a point where he replaces the role Marte served, it’s a good outcome. Corner infielder (and actual corner outfielder) with the ability to serve as emergency catcher, even if he tops out at a .750 OPS, would be a good outcome. 

It’s funny, this offseason has led to me believing more than ever in our prospects...but at the same time, I’m more comfortable than ever in our ability to deal from them if need be, and also accept a future in which many of them don’t pan out as more than bench players or just average MLBers...and I don’t mean that as a slight, either. Even if these guys just wind up being good bench players or average MLBers, we’ll have a big improvement over where we’ve been in recent years.

If Ward just winds up replacing Marte role, if Fletcher only tops out replacing Cowart’s role as a UT IF, if Hermosillo only gives us good defense and speed as a 4th OF, if Rengifo tops out as Maicer Izturis...I’d be plenty happy. It shows that we are developing talent again - and at a good success rate - and we are on track to actually having internal depth, allowing us to spend on real needs instead of worrying about the depth.

Every team needs bench pieces.  Among the angels current prospects, the ones that don't work out as starters, would just happen to be VERY dynamic.  And believe it or not, having an excellent bench can be worth several wins throughout the season. 

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13 hours ago, Dochalo said:

speaking of speed, Ward had the 5th fastest on the halos last year at 28.1 ft/sec.  0.3 behind Shohei and about 1 ish behind Young jr, Trout and Hermosillo (Herm was the fastest on the team at 29.3 ft/s and 23rd fastest in baseball) 

speaking of stand out abilities, damn if it ever actually clicks for Herm.   He does most of what he does on raw ability but he's got tremendous speed, very good raw power and surprisingly good plate discipline.  Dude really could turn into Aaron Hicks (a very underrated player in my book) with more speed.  Another ceiling comp I like for him is Tommy Pham.  He's a sleeper that is on the 40 man already with two more option years which would allow him to get another 1000 abs over the next couple years which I really think he needs.  I am sure he'll get some trips back and forth but my guess is that they'll keep him around long enough to see if he can turn that corner around age 26 or so (he's entering his age 24 season).  

I know he didn't look even remotely ready during his short time last year, but one thing he did do in a small sample was this vs. LHers .261/.370/.435 (only 27 PA).  You know that guy a team like the Cards call up at age 25/26 and it seems like he came out of nowhere and everyone it like 'how the hell do they do that crap'.  Herm can be one of those guys for us.  

 

Finally, someone is seeing Michael Hermosillo through my eyes. 

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9 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Finally, someone is seeing Michael Hermosillo through my eyes. 

Seems like a 'shit or get off the pot " year ahead for Herm. Two springs ago, he looked really good. This past season, he seemed to be intimidated by the big leagues. If he does become the 4th of'er this year, i could see him platooning with Calhoun. Unless Kole has an about face from last year.

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12 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Every team needs bench pieces.  Among the angels current prospects, the ones that don't work out as starters, would just happen to be VERY dynamic.  And believe it or not, having an excellent bench can be worth several wins throughout the season. 

Especially because Eppler has honestly done a pretty poor job bringing in bench players. He hasn't spent much doing so thankfully, but no one has really panned out.

So even if Rengifo wound up just being a .265/.335/.400/.730 15 SB guy in part-time play, or if Ward and Thaiss wound up being Mitch Moreland-esque clones, and Fletcher was John McDonald with a .700 OPS bat...that'd still be a pretty good scenario. We'd just have to hope Adell, Jones, and Marsh wind up being Springer, Durham, and Reddick. 

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1 hour ago, greginpsca said:

Seems like a 'shit or get off the pot " year ahead for Herm. Two springs ago, he looked really good. This past season, he seemed to be intimidated by the big leagues. If he does become the 4th of'er this year, i could see him platooning with Calhoun. Unless Kole has an about face from last year.

If Ausmus is more stat oriented than Scioscia was, as has been advertised, then yeah, if things don't change then Calhoun certainly should be platooned.  

And as for Herm, the club approached him at the end of 2016 about his spray chart, and wanted him to focus solely on going up the middle and going the other way.  It would mean a dip in numbers in the short run because he's not doing what is natural for him, but over the long run, it could be the difference between starting Of and AAAA player.  Once Hermosillo was promoted though, he went straight back to being a dead-pull hitter, which makes sense.  First taste of the big leagues, he's certainly not going to be using it to "work" on different parts of his game.  He's going to try and perform and for Michael, performing up to this point has been pulling the ball. 

So in his first stint in the majors, I saw a lot of strikeouts on a slider, because he'd never seen one that good before, certainly not at altitude in AAA, and I also saw a lot of one hoppers to the third baseman. I don't think it's poop or get off the pot yet, but 2020 certainly would be that year.  But I think we'll see some progress from Hermosillo in that regard.  More pitch recognition and using the entire field. 

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3 hours ago, RBM said:

It's also an indicator that the Angels are going to take a good look at Rengifo at Spring Training. He probably starts at AAA but he will be competing for a roster spot. 

Exactly.  This just says that the Angels are planning on Thaiss, Rengifo, Canning and Ward spending some time on their roster. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 5:51 PM, RBM said:

You’re right, great point. They will all start at AAA. Even if the teams think a prospect is MLB ready to start the year they keep them at AAA for a few weeks to get an extra year of service time. The Braves did it last year with Ronald Acuna and the Cubs did it with Kris Bryant in 2015. The Blue Jays will probably do it with Vladi Jr. this year. If they start him in AAA for a few weeks they get an extra year of control. 

Not only that but will likely see 13 pitchers to start the year so there's no room.  I suppose Ward has a chance to open the season in the bigs if he beats out Fletcher.  I'm still scratching my head about the Bour signing especially so early in the off-season-  that's not going to help Ward or Thaiss get any time for MLB.

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