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Taylor Ward at camp as a catcher


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Maybe they are just getting him reps to be the emergency third catcher?  We have one catcher coming off injury, and another that's just old.  Also, the more positions he can fill in at, the more valua

Could be. Or maybe since we only have Suzuki on a 1-year deal Taylor Ward spends a majority of the 2021 season in AAA exclusively as a catcher? 

Taylor Ward is a 27 year old utility player.  He's not going to be what some of you want him to be.

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7 hours ago, angelsnationtalk said:

True but him being a catcher has always been in our minds. It's not some crazy new thing for him. 

Also, having Marsh at first base gets him in the lineup but his arm/glove/athleticism would be missed in that outfield. 

Agreed, but if Marsh moving to 1B means they get to keep Jordyn Adams, then it may be worth it. Adams can truly be something special defensively. 

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Catching is a difficult position defensively. Arm strength and accuracy. Knowing pitchers and hitters strengths and weaknesses in all at bats. Being able to endure strain and pain more than elsewhere. That's why the 'tools of ignorance' referred to catchers equipment. And still having to be respectable at the plate. That's why guys like Bench, Carter, Fisk, Rodriguez, Molina and a dozen or two more stand out so much.

Rare for a position player switch at this stage of a career for those reasons. But who knows? Maybe he has a hidden talent. 

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3 hours ago, Second Base said:

Agreed, but if Marsh moving to 1B means they get to keep Jordyn Adams, then it may be worth it. Adams can truly be something special defensively. 

Very true. All depends on Walsh and the media liking to connect Freeman to the Angels because of Minasian. 

I worry a bit if the Angels want to wait that long for Adams when he's currently the odd man out and has trade value.

Two things to heavily watch this spring: 
1: Does Marsh get serious reps at 1st base. Not occasional, but a serious look.
2: Does Adams have a breakout year in the minors.

posible 2023 position lineup:
C; FA
1B: Marsh/Walsh
2B: Fletcher
SS: Baez/Jackson???
3B: Rendon
LF: Adams
CF: Trout
RF: Adams 

Does sound damn good. But the Angels need to be careful NOT to wait for that. Trout would be turning 32 that year and it's risky to wait.

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19 minutes ago, angelsnationtalk said:

Very true. All depends on Walsh and the media liking to connect Freeman to the Angels because of Minasian. 

I worry a bit if the Angels want to wait that long for Adams when he's currently the odd man out and has trade value.

Two things to heavily watch this spring: 
1: Does Marsh get serious reps at 1st base. Not occasional, but a serious look.
2: Does Adams have a breakout year in the minors.

posible 2023 position lineup:
C; FA
1B: Marsh/Walsh
2B: Fletcher
SS: Baez/Jackson???
3B: Rendon
LF: Adams
CF: Trout
RF: Adams 

Does sound damn good. But the Angels need to be careful NOT to wait for that. Trout would be turning 32 that year and it's risky to wait.

In this world Adams will literally run circles around Trout

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58 minutes ago, angelsnationtalk said:

Very true. All depends on Walsh and the media liking to connect Freeman to the Angels because of Minasian. 

I worry a bit if the Angels want to wait that long for Adams when he's currently the odd man out and has trade value.

Two things to heavily watch this spring: 
1: Does Marsh get serious reps at 1st base. Not occasional, but a serious look.
2: Does Adams have a breakout year in the minors.

posible 2023 position lineup:
C; FA
1B: Marsh/Walsh
2B: Fletcher
SS: Baez/Jackson???
3B: Rendon
LF: Adams
CF: Trout
RF: Adams 

Does sound damn good. But the Angels need to be careful NOT to wait for that. Trout would be turning 32 that year and it's risky to wait.

Marsh likely won't get a serious look at 1B. I mean why would they, particularly if Walsh is lighting the world on fire, and Thaiss' bat is so good it just needs a spot in the lineup. The 1B thing was kind of just seeing where this goes. 

Maddon does it all the time. He did it with Zobrist in TB, and he'd occasionally put Rizzo at 2B in Chicago, and Baez in the OF. He just likes to switch things up. I doubt 1B is any sort of permanent home for Marsh. Not unless Adams forces the issue and they don't want to trade him. 

Which I do believe can and will happen. I think Adams will take off, but I think the likeliest outcome is that he's eventually dealt in a package for a VERY good SP once one is available.

It'll break my heart but it's a good problem to have. 

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22 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Marsh likely won't get a serious look at 1B. I mean why would they, particularly if Walsh is lighting the world on fire, and Thaiss' bat is so good it just needs a spot in the lineup. The 1B thing was kind of just seeing where this goes. 

Maddon does it all the time. He did it with Zobrist in TB, and he'd occasionally put Rizzo at 2B in Chicago, and Baez in the OF. He just likes to switch things up. I doubt 1B is any sort of permanent home for Marsh. Not unless Adams forces the issue and they don't want to trade him. 

Which I do believe can and will happen. I think Adams will take off, but I think the likeliest outcome is that he's eventually dealt in a package for a VERY good SP once one is available.

It'll break my heart but it's a good problem to have. 

I think Thaiss has a longer way to go with his bat to be full-time. Same goes for Ward. Walsh seems very promising and I love the power he brings. Plus he takes Pujols out of the equation which is nice. 

Perfect scenario is to let them all grow, but likely scenario is they keep Marsh and Adell to become regulars and let Adams have a breakout year and grow value then flip him.

 

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1 hour ago, angelsnationtalk said:

I think Thaiss has a longer way to go with his bat to be full-time. Same goes for Ward. Walsh seems very promising and I love the power he brings. Plus he takes Pujols out of the equation which is nice. 

Perfect scenario is to let them all grow, but likely scenario is they keep Marsh and Adell to become regulars and let Adams have a breakout year and grow value then flip him.

 

I think you're underrating Thaiss. The bat is legit. He has a beautiful swing and now he's added loft to it and is more aggressive on pitches he can do something with. He's got great pitch recognition and hits hard line drivers with consistency. 

I guarantee you, if Matt Thaiss is in the lineup every day at the major league level, you're getting an OPS over .800 and pretty solid defense at either 1B or 3B. I haven't seen enough of him in the corner outfield to say one way or the other.

It's like Keith Law said, the Angels farm system leads the major leagues in guys that just need at bats at the major league level. Franklin Barreto, Luis Rengifo, Taylor Ward, Matt Thaiss, Jared Walsh, Jo Adell (technically), and on the pitching side of things, Jaime Barria, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez and Packy Naughton. 

A huge depth of guys that aren't prospects anymore, and just need to be given a chance in the major leagues. They don't carry much trade value because they lack the guarantee of current MLBers, but also lack the upside and control of prospects. Some of them might be AAAA players, and others, might actually be useful professionals. 

Thaiss is probably a low end starting 1B/3B in the major leagues. Ward is a non-infield, athletic utility player. There aren't many out there like him. Maybe Dalton Varsho, and Isaiah Kiner-Filefa. Barreto is a utility player with upside. Rengifo is probably an average starting SS/2B eventually. Walsh looks like a decent, yet flawed starting 1B. Decent in that he's a good defender and can square up some pitches, flawed in that his OBP isn't super high. Barria is a back end starter, Sandoval and Suarez have a future in the pen as lefties that throw 95. Naughton might be AAAA.

And that's the worst part of 2020, is no minor league games. Every organization was affected by it, but the Angels moreso than any team more than likely, because of all these guys in AAA. 2021 will hopefully reveal a lot of what these guys are capable of moving forward.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Second Base said:

I think you're underrating Thaiss. The bat is legit. He has a beautiful swing and now he's added loft to it and is more aggressive on pitches he can do something with. He's got great pitch recognition and hits hard line drivers with consistency. 

I guarantee you, if Matt Thaiss is in the lineup every day at the major league level, you're getting an OPS over .800 and pretty solid defense at either 1B or 3B. I haven't seen enough of him in the corner outfield to say one way or the other.

It's like Keith Law said, the Angels farm system leads the major leagues in guys that just need at bats at the major league level. Franklin Barreto, Luis Rengifo, Taylor Ward, Matt Thaiss, Jared Walsh, Jo Adell (technically), and on the pitching side of things, Jaime Barria, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez and Packy Naughton. 

A huge depth of guys that aren't prospects anymore, and just need to be given a chance in the major leagues. They don't carry much trade value because they lack the guarantee of current MLBers, but also lack the upside and control of prospects. Some of them might be AAAA players, and others, might actually be useful professionals. 

Thaiss is probably a low end starting 1B/3B in the major leagues. Ward is a non-infield, athletic utility player. There aren't many out there like him. Maybe Dalton Varsho, and Isaiah Kiner-Filefa. Barreto is a utility player with upside. Rengifo is probably an average starting SS/2B eventually. Walsh looks like a decent, yet flawed starting 1B. Decent in that he's a good defender and can square up some pitches, flawed in that his OBP isn't super high. Barria is a back end starter, Sandoval and Suarez have a future in the pen as lefties that throw 95. Naughton might be AAAA.

And that's the worst part of 2020, is no minor league games. Every organization was affected by it, but the Angels moreso than any team more than likely, because of all these guys in AAA. 2021 will hopefully reveal a lot of what these guys are capable of moving forward.

 

 

What little I saw of Thais told me he is a dead pull hitter. He was almost an automatic out in a defense shift. I'm not excited about a one dimensional hitter. 

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12 hours ago, Tank said:

A year from now, Taylor Ward will be an ex-Angel.

If he doesn’t hit immediately he could be gone much sooner than a year.  He is at an age where you don’t want him clogging a roster spot in the minors that could be used for a younger player.

I have been dead wrong many times in players so maybe I am wrong here too.  But I think this guy could be off this team before opening day.

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1 hour ago, Dtwncbad said:

If he doesn’t hit immediately he could be gone much sooner than a year.  He is at an age where you don’t want him clogging a roster spot in the minors that could be used for a younger player.

I have been dead wrong many times in players so maybe I am wrong here too.  But I think this guy could be off this team before opening day.

The determination of the Angels in trying to find a role for Taylor tells you everything you need to know about alternative options within and outside of the organization.

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As for Ward, why not? His best chance at a major league career is either as a platoon player on a crap team or a multi-positional utility player with the rare ability to play catcher.

The only way he gets significant playing time in the OF this year is if two things happen: Upton or Fowler gets hurt and Adell and Marsh suck. He has no future in the OF, and probably not at 1B either, with Walsh/Pujols, and even Thaiss all ahead of him.

Now if he can play 1B/OF/C all passably well, he's not a bad 26th man to have on the roster. But even so, there probably isn't room for him. He can't play CF or MI, so won't take a spot from Lagares or Barreto/Rengifo/Gosselin.

So my guess is that they see how he looks at C then stash him in AAA. If he can handle C duties, then he could be Stassi's backup next year. If not, I don't see him in the org a year from now. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

As for Ward, why not? His best chance at a major league career is either as a platoon player on a crap team or a multi-positional utility player with the rare ability to play catcher.

The only way he gets significant playing time in the OF this year is if two things happen: Upton or Fowler gets hurt and Adell and Marsh suck. He has no future in the OF, and probably not at 1B either, with Walsh/Pujols, and even Thaiss all ahead of him.

Now if he can play 1B/OF/C all passably well, he's not a bad 26th man to have on the roster. But even so, there probably isn't room for him. He can't play CF or MI, so won't take a spot from Lagares or Barreto/Rengifo/Gosselin.

So my guess is that they see how he looks at C then stash him in AAA. If he can handle C duties, then he could be Stassi's backup next year. If not, I don't see him in the org a year from now. 

 

I just don’t see him projecting as even replacement level offensively.  And if I am correct on that, there would be no reason whatsoever to stash this guy as your backup catcher when the hope is he is “passable” defensively at catcher.

You would stash a guy that is a decent defensive catcher.

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Just now, Dtwncbad said:

I just don’t see him projecting as even replacement level offensively.  And if I am correct on that, there would be no reason whatsoever to stash this guy as your backup catcher when the hope is he is “passable” defensively at catcher.

You would stash a guy that is a decent defensive catcher.

I still have no idea if he is a good defensive catcher or not.  I thought for sure his issues behind the plate was handling a staff and not his actual defense.  I thought he was good catcher and thrower.  But I am going off of memory of what was written about him and not anything else.  

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Just now, angelsnationtalk said:

That's why I put him where Upton plays. Could use his wheels in CF, but Trout will be there for a few more years.

Look at what you wrote, because you not only put him where Upton plays, but you also put him where Adell plays.

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15 minutes ago, Stradling said:

I still have no idea if he is a good defensive catcher or not.  I thought for sure his issues behind the plate was handling a staff and not his actual defense.  I thought he was good catcher and thrower.  But I am going off of memory of what was written about him and not anything else.  

I thought he was drafted as a “sure thing” defensively.  So I was surprised when they moved him away from catching.  I just assume the obvious.  If a guy is legitimately good defensively at catcher, they don’t take a way your catcher’s glove.

 

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