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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Stats all Prior to May.06th games.
The time has come for the 1sy May Power Rankings. There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.
I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during this weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.
These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.
I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams. I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
One month down in the MLB season and that means it’s time for some Power Rankings! Chuck Booth the czar of MLBreports.com joins us in studio to rank every team from worst to first. Where does your team rank? Read the rest of this entry
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By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) Follow @MatthewLafave
Avisail Garcia, 21-years-old, played in an Extended Spring Training – game and went 1 for 3, with 2 Walks, 1 Strikeout, and a Stolen Base.
He suffered a severely bruised right heel injury back on March 16th that has kept him sidelined until Saturday. His next step will be a Rehab Assignment, likely in Lakeland for a couple than up to Toledo.
The real decision is what the Tigers will do with him once he is ready for full duty.
Avisail Garcia – from Baseball Instinct:
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I believe that the Tigers are set up for a solid run as a perennial playoff contender, yet the club needs a small face change in order to get back to the dance in 2013. I honestly was stunned to see Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young and Jose Valverde all play at the type of body structure they possess during the Post Season.
If you saw these guys in a bowling alley, the words ‘World Class Athlete’ would definitely not enter a conversation amongst strangers who were trying to sum them up. Baseball is a game that your body type doesn’t hold you back, however when you have multiple heavy players on offense, it really clogs up the base paths. While watching Game #4 was about the time I started to change my opinion on the state of the game needing to be more athletic.
Fielder and Cabrera may be the best 3-4 tandem in the Major Leagues now. The Tigers can definitely weather these two guys in the lineup even though they jam the teams ability for base running. The key is to build a bunch of ‘Road Runners’ around them. I like Austin Jackson, Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks all being in the lineup to help the speed factor.
Also with Victor Martinez coming back in 2013, the team has one of the best Designated Hitters in baseball back in the fold. Then the team brought in classy veteran Torii Hunter (after inking him to a 2 YR/$26 MIL Contract. This shows how urgent it is for the organization to cash in a World Series with their roster.)
Torii Hunter Highlights – Explicit Language is used so Parental Guidance is advised:
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Thursday, February. 21/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
I would never say that a team is a lock to win their division, but I will say that the Detroit Tigers shouldn’t make any vacation plans for October of 2013. They’ve won the AL Central Division for the past 2 years, and added an AL Pennant in 2012. The Detroit Tigers franchise is one rich in history winning 4 World Series titles and having legends such as Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, and Charlie Gehringer passing through the “D” just to name a few.
This proud franchise did suffer a lull in success somewhat recently as they had a losing record every season from 1994-2005. This included a dismal 43-119 record in ’03. The Tigers came back from the abyss and turned their team back into a winning ball club since 2006. This was Jim Leyland’s 1st season managing the Tigers, and all he did was lead the team to 95 wins (a 24 win increase from the prior season) and a World Series appearance.
In 2011, the Tigers lost in the ALCS, and in 2012 they lost in the World Series, so could they improve upon the previous seasons ending once again and win the 2013 World Series? Well, their roster is certainly improved from last year, but it’s all about keeping up with the “Jones” in the MLB nowadays. Every team with money is trying to make a serious World Series run this year. While the Tigers are in the weakest division in the AL, if and when they reach the playoffs, it will be a gruesome battle to endure.
The Tigers have all the makings of a World Series contender. They have Superstars in their lineup like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. They have a true Ace leading their deep, seemingly all in and around their prime, starting rotation in Justin Verlander. They also have good depth on their 25 man roster, and even more in their Minor League system. I’ll start with their rotation. Here’s what it will most likely look like…
Detroit Tigers 2012 ALCS Highlights:
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I have nothing against sabermetrics in baseball. Yes I know they are not going away and I will probably learn them one day as someone who can comprehend Math pretty good. However, I understand the frustration of the casual fan who will not set a foot near them – although they know what Home Runs and Runs Batted In are. I have thrown the topic out for discussion on Twitter – and am extremely curious to see what percentage of fans actually follow the new numbers formats. This site totally allows our writers to convey any form of statistical analysis they want. The only thing that I request, is that if they use sabermetrics, to also add some regular stats with them.
One of the stats that can gauge any era since the beginning of baseball is Extra Base Hits. Before the fences were brought in (or even put up), Doubles and Triples could be hit at any time. Singles are great in the game too. There have been several great baseball players that are singles hitters, that also compiled a bunch of Doubles and Triples. That is why this statistic is fairest to all of the hitters in the history of the game and the most comparable. Like the old saying, (hit’em where they ain’t), players that can hit the baseball into the open areas of the outfield are special. Babe Ruth re-coined the phrase later when he said “Well they ain’t over the fence, so that’s where I hit them!” The Bambino was right. In the course of this article, we will list the top active list for this category – and some underrated hitters that may stack up nicely against historical hitters.
(Pete Rose Highlights):
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By Matthew LaFave (Tigers Correspondent): Follow @MatthewLaFave
With the Washington Nationals locking up Adam LaRoche to a new 2-year deal on Tuesday, it leaves 1B/OF Michael Morse without a starting roster spot. As many as 11 teams have been said to already be inquiring on Morse.
The 30-Year-Old, born and raised in Florida, mainly played left field for the Nationals last season. A position that the Detroit Tigers just so happen to be looking for. The Tigers are currently sitting with a starting outfield of Andy Dirks, Austin Jackson, and newly signed Torii Hunter. Many feel that Dirks is not an everyday player but is better suited as a 4th Outfielder. He is able to play all 3 positions with above average defense.
Mike Morse Highlights “The Beast”:
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Saturday, January.05, 2013
Josh Jones (Angels Correspondent): Follow @joshjones4
Look-back at last year: 2012 was a year, much like this upcoming season, with expectations as high as the sky moon. The Halos stole future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols and Texas ace C.J. Wilson from their respective 2011 World Series teams and looked to have a strong rotation headed by the trio of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Wilson. The team fought its way to a 89-73 record, missing the playoffs by a mere four games despite having more wins than the eventual AL Champion Detroit Tigers (Yes, I’m still bitter).
This year, Arte Moreno and the Angels front office decided once again to go big-fish hunting, giving outfielder Josh Hamilton a 5-Year Deal worth $125 Million. Hamilton gave the Angels quite a logjam in the outfield and Designated-Hitter, leading to the trade that sent designated-hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners in return for Jered Weaver’s college teammate and fellow innings-eater Jason Vargas. You can read a post a fellow writer here at the MLB Reports wrote about that very trade here . Angels General Manager Jerry DiPoto also poured some money into the bullpen and back-end of the rotation, signing hurlers Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett and Joe Blanton. .
Albert Pujols Highlights from 2012- Parental Guidance is Advised for watching the video:
Sunday November 4th, 2012
Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to email@example.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Jonathan Hacohen: Here we go again. We spend the whole offseason waiting and hoping for the MLB season to start. We speculate where free agents will sign, which teams will pull off trades and which teams have reason for optimism once the season. We dissect every move and weigh the dollars/years on each contract. Welcome to hot stove baby! But then the season comes and goes in a flash- then we end up right back to the offseason again. Right back to free agency talk again.
This week we have a nice mix of topics. From covering free agents, to trades, division realignment- our readers really went through the whole spectrum of baseball topics. We couldn’t possibly jump into ATR during free agency season without hearing the names Hamilton, Greinke or Upton? Of course not! So enough talking- more asking! It’s time for Ask the Reports.
Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I know that the playoffs are going on right now and that everyone is captivated by the 4 games that are being played today. Which leads to me to ask the question? Do you think any of the Dodgers and Angels fans are watching these playoffs without a horse in the race? I am here to tell you and these said fans-that I believe both of these teams will be a playoff factor in 2013 . The Angels and Dodgers spent a fortune on new players in the last 365 days. Almost a Billion Dollars was added in player contracts between the two clubs. Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Hanley Ramirez are amongst the players traded or signed.
Lets start off with the Angels. I was there in Anaheim on opening weekend in April and witnessed the struggles of the club early and most notably Albert Pujols. As I was tweeting and talking to everyone, I could see that Pujols was not himself. I predicted a slow start based on seeing him play. The same thing could be said for the team. The Angels started out of the gate 8-14 before calling up Mike Trout. Soon after they fired hitting coach Mickey Hatcher and all was not well. Albert went into the May with 0 HRs and 4 RBI and was hitting near the Mendoza Line.
The Dodgers won 8 out of their last 10 and fought injuries all year to barely miss out on the playoffs. They have most of their revamped team all coming back next year and should add a healthy Carl Crawford to the fold in early spring. I believe they will add another starting pitcher such as Zack Greinke or Shaun Marcum. To see my entire breakdown of their impending 2013 Contracts situation and Team Payroll, please click here :
Tuesday September 11th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Mike Trout has arubably been the biggest difference maker in all of baseball. When the Angels began their season, the hype was focused on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, their two big offseason acquisitions. But after enduring a miserable first month of the season, Trout was promoted, and the Angels took off. They went 18-12 in Trout’s first 30 games, and that excellent streak instantly put them back in the race. He was leading them, their 21year-old outfielder. Not Pujols, not Wilson, Trout. Most MVP voters would’ve handed him the award just after those first 30 games.
Nowadays, Trout isn’t quite as dominant. He has hit just .280/.350/.473 since August 15th. Obviously not bad, but they aren’t good under his standards. But if the season concluded today, he would still be the winner. Despite the mini rut, his numbers are still exceptional. As of Sunday, Trout leads the A.L. in batting average (.328), WOBA% (.423), stolen bases (44), and WAR (8.4). Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement. I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience. Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots. The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!
This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots. So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating. Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera? He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game. The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs? They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty. Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would be in the playoffs.
Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season? I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year. 1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%. So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet. Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006?
The Best Players over the last month were: Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez. The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas. The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.) I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record. At least you are not going into the NL West to compete with the LA Dodgers! The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well. Toronto misses their top sluggers. What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse. Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt. When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards! So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry
Thursday August 16th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Don’t be sad for Vernon Wells. Sure, he’s not getting an abundant amount of playing time with the Angels, given the sudden emergence of Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. But he is still set to make $42 million over the next two years. For the Angels, this experiment is becoming even more depressing by the day. The front office has an ample amount of money to spend. If there were any misconceptions, Jerry Dipoto clarified them in the offseason by acquiring Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. And of course, Zack Greinke is the latest of a string of hefty additions. Obviously, a contract hasn’t been posed for the right-hander, but that will be the next step of action for Dipoto and his aggressive staff.
The point is, Wells’s contract isn’t killing the Angels, but it’s killing them to see him struggle at-bat after at-bat. We’re talking about a guy who was a three-time All-Star with the Toronto Blue Jays. An MVP candidate for multiple seasons. And the fact that he has practically gone from a starter to a bench-rider has been mind-boggling for the Angels and everybody in-between. In two injury packed seasons with Los Angeles, he is hitting .220/.251/.408, backed by just 32 home runs and 84 RBIs. The worst part— he has totaled a negative WAR with them (-1.1). Yes, that is possible. In 11 years with the Jays he boasted a 26 WAR. Frankly, it just goes to show how a player can slip so quickly. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): It may only be a month into the season, but when your new, $240 million star is in the worst slump of his career, there’s a reason to panic. The Los Angeles Angels, now 9-15, are in near-crisis mode because of their struggling offense helmed by Albert Pujols. Flirting with the Mendoza Line, King Albert’s .208 average and grand total of zero home runs equaled that of Bobby Abreu, who was released by the Angels last week. The bright spot now, it seems, is 20-year-old Mike Trout, a rookie as highly touted as Bryce Harper. But can he, along with new addition C.J. Wilson and fellow ace Jered Weaver rally the team after the franchise’s third worst start in history? Jump it to find out! Read the rest of this entry
Friday April 13th, 2012
Sam Evans: When the most advanced hitter in the history of the game switched teams this past offseason, it shook up the baseball universe. Albert Pujols leaving the Cardinals weakened the N.L. Central and made the A.L. West one of the best divisions in baseball. So far Pujols hasn’t gotten off to an amazing start. Still, we’re only a week into the season, so it doesn’t really matter. Let’s take a up-close look at what Pujols has done through his first six games.
First game: In his regular season debut, Albert Pujols was 0 for 3 with a walk. Despite a crowd that was desperately waiting to go crazy after Pujols did something special, Pujols struggled against Royals starter Bruce Chen. In his first at-bat, Pujols lined into a double play. Next, Pujols popped up to Royals third basemen Mike Moustakas. Later, facing the flame throwing Aaron Crow, Pujols struck out on just three pitches.Finally, Greg Holland intentionally walked Pujols in the ninth inning. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- Well, I finally get a chance to breathe for one second. Too bad it was at the expense of the events that transpired yesterday. Contrary to popular belief, this world record streak is not a walk in the park. Traveling is a hard thing to do at the best of times. I will break down the trip synopsis game by game. I am breaking down the travel games at Parks day by day. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday April.07 /2012
Kenneth A. Lee (Guest Baseball Writer and co-author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames)- I guess the shoe is on the other foot for Chuck in this interview. I met Chuck online a mere few days before he went on his last streak. I had to admit it has been a new goal for me to go on a journey like Chuck is doing for the 3rd time in 5 Years. Over the course of a few days visiting in Marysville, Wa, we conducted a total of 7 combined interviews with each other. We also have Craig Landgren being an expert for Coors Field and submitting a chaser guide for Kauffman Stadium as well. Like I have said a lot in the last 3 years, we all must thank Craig Landgren for creating http://www.ballparkchasers.com so we could all meet and eventually corroborate on the book “The Fastest 30 Ballgames.” Onto today’s interview. Having been to Angel Stadium a lot myself, Chuck Booth and I talked at length about the park.
KL: “Chuck, tell us why you decided to start your record streak in Angels Stadium? Also, what are your impressions on seeing Albert Pujols in the red uniform?”
DB: “I noticed this particular game for day #1 as a possibility for the streak to match up with San Diego all the way back to last September. Each year I do a doubleheader master schedule for all possible parks that you could do 2 games in one day-whether it is by ground or air. I was not as happy when I saw that San Diego has changed their Saturday night games to 5:35 PM PST though. We will keep that for another time though. I liked Los Angeles to start also because of the weather factor. You can pretty much bank on the game being played. The next day I have a doubleheader attempt for Houston and Texas, so it is good weather for the first two days.”
KL: “You know where I am going next, I have had some run-ins with the Ball Park Staff in Orange County, what are your thoughts on the staff there?”
DB: “When In first went to this park in 2005, the staff wore the throwback cracker jack hats and were genuinely enthusiastic to see you walk in the doors. In the years I have been back since the staff seems to be very testy. I somehow think it has a direct result from when Artie Moreno didn’t make them wear those hats anymore.”
KL: “Angel Stadium didn’t rank very high in our book, would you care to explain why you think this is so?”
DB: “I think it is hard to rate KC and LAA’S parks because of all the other cities having brand new facilities. When you think of O.co Coliseum, Tropicana Field now, they are the worst with Miami and Minnesota opening the gates on new parks recently. At least Oakland it talking abut a new park. Toronto, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and LAA seem to be stuck with their parks. Really Angel Stadium is not that bad, it is just against some stiff competition from the rest of the league?”
KL: “The last time at Angel Stadium you parked for free? Where did you do this?”
DB: “I can’t even remember who told me about the spot, but it is right across from E. Orangewood Ave. Basically you drive on W. Chapman ave and take a long windy left after a Denny’s Restaurant, before finally encounter a Fire Hall. If there is no one parked on the street, you can park there for free. I tend to think it is a better option for day games and especially on the weekend. There are lots of offices. I will let the reader try to guess where. I want to park there for the game and get out of there ASAP to drive to Petco Park.”
KL: “What is the food like at Angel Stadium? What do you like there?
DB: “Man the selection is terrible, hotdogs or California Pizza Kitchen personal pizzas for $10 are the best options. You are better of to drive up W.Chapman Ave to eat Little Caesars Pizza before the game. There is also a Denny’s within a mile of the park. Eat before you get in is my honest advice. There is also a Burger King and McDonalds right near the yard as well.”
KL: “What is your favorite method of transportation to the game?”
DB: “Having that free parking spot makes driving all the worth while. I have spent a great deal of time taking the public buses in Orange County. This is an affordable option for sure. Los Angeles does charge a lot for weekday car rentals out of LAX. If you have kids and you are incorporating an Angels game with a visit to Disneyland, there is a Disney Shuttle Bus that runs out of LAX that offers you to and from your Orange County hotel (front curb service). This is the way to go if you are staying in this general area.”
KL: “What about seats? Where do you sit for the games?”
DB: “As you are aware Ken, for guys that like to watch most of the games at the concourse level, this park is not very conducive for that kind of fan experience. I sit in the upper levels anywhere. I will say that anywhere in the park gives you a great view including the waterfalls. At least the tickets are still affordable.”
KL: “Where do you think the Angels will finish up this year?
DB: “Signing Albert Pujols is a huge upgrade on the talent. Even with aging veterans such as: Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells, this team is poised to win the AL West with their starting pitching rotation. I think that Texas will have an off-year and that the Angels will take the division, however I think the Tigers or the Yankees will take them out in the playoffs before they reach the World Series.”
KL: “What advice wold give to a novice Angel Stadium Park Hopper?”
DB: “Whatever travel time you give yourself, double that to ensure you arrive at the game on time if you are coming from a long way away. The highways in the Los Angeles can be pulverizing on traffic, (including public transportation) at any given time.
KL: “Thank you for helping us out Chuck.”
Thanks to our Guest Writer Kenneth A. Lee. To find out more about him click here, otherwise you will be seeing a lot of him in these future expert interviews and post game write-ups by Chuck.
Follow Ken Lee on twitter- @seeall30
Follow Chuck Booth on twitter- @chuckbooth3024
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Saturday December 24th, 2011
Sam Evans: Heading into the 2012 season, the Los Angeles Angels of U.S.A. of California of Anaheim have six outfielders that will be vying for playing time in the majors. Three of their outfielders have been selected to at least two all-star games, one is the best prospect in baseball, and the forgotten one was their best player last year. Let’s go through these players and decide who will be the starters for the Angels this coming year.
Mike Trout, CF, LF, RF: Trout has been the best prospect in baseball for the last two years, and looks like a sure superstar in the making. He is a true five-tool prospect, and he has been clocked from home to first in a startling 3.75 seconds. This summer, a scout told Angels AA manager Bill Mosiello, “Maybe this is what Mickey Mantle looked like when he was 18.”
With the Halos in 2011, the 20-year-old Trout hit .220 with five home runs in forty games. He was probably rushed to the majors a little too early, but he impressed players and coaches with his physical abilities.
In 2012, Trout needs consistent playing time at the major league level. If Trout is on the roster, the Angels have no other choice but to play him. If Trout fails in the majors, then they can send him back to the minors. But he needs a fair shot first. That’s why heading into this season, the Angels should have Trout penciled in as their starting right-fielder.
Ryan Langerhans, LF, RF: The Angels signed Langerhans to a minor league contract on Friday. Langerhans has played for the Mariners, Nationals, and Braves in his career. He has never posted great numbers at the major league level and he’s always struggled against right-handed pitchers. However, Langerhans has established a reputation for being a clutch player. He has 26 go ahead hits in his career.
Langerhans should definitely start in AAA. If any of the other outfielders get injured, he is a solid option to call up to the majors temporarily. For right now, he is just simplynot talented enough to compete with the other Angels outfielders for a full-time gig.
Bobby Abreu, LF,RF,DH: Abreu is a solid, consistent player. Still, he is 37-years-old and his level of play has dropped off drastically in the last couple of seasons. In 2012 (his contract year), Abreu is set to make nine million dollars. That is a lot of coin to pay someone to sit on the bench.
Last year, Abreu hit .253 with 8 homers, 21 stolen bases, and a .353 OBP. Despite his age, Abreu can get on base and is a solid base runner. He can read the pitcher better than anyone else in baseball. Abreu started 108 games as the Angels DH last year, and he played the outfield for only 28 games.
For the upcoming season, Abreu should split time with Mark Trumbo at DH. The Angels might trade Trumbo, who has drawn interest from other clubs. Another scenario that I could see happening is the Angels trading Abreu at the trade deadline. To a team seeking a productive veteran outfielder, Abreu would be the perfect acquisition.
Peter Bourjos, CF: Last year, Bourjos was the Angels most valuable outfielder. Borjous was an above-average hitter who posted a 115 OPS+, and hit 11 triples to lead the American League. However, most of Bourjos’ value is found is his defense. Bourjos was one of the best defensive outfielder in all of baseball last year. He had a 7.5 Ultimate Zone Rating in 2011.
Bourjos should split time in center field with Trout. Even though both Bourjos and Trout are outstanding defensive center-fielders, Bourjos covers more ground and is slightly more valuable. Bourjos needs to play everyday in 2012, and I’d be shocked if Mike Scioscia didn’t have Bourjos as his opening day center fielder.
Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells, RF and LF: Torii Hunter is one of the more fun to watch players in baseball. He is also extremely respected amongst his teammates. Over his career, Hunter has hit .274 with an average of twenty-four homers a year. Hunter is signed through this year, and is set to make $18.5 million dollars.
Vernon Wells is probably the reason why former Angels GM Tony Reagins quit his position (insiders say he was set to be fired but was allowed to resign instead to save face). The Angels traded Mike Napoli for Vernon Wells and the worst contract in baseball last offseason. Vernon Wells is signed through 2014 and due $21.5 million in 2012. That’s only about four million less than Albert Pujols salary in 2012. Blown away? I certainly am.
To put it bluntly, Wells is not a very good baseball player anymore. In 2012, Wells hit .218 with 25 homers, but only a .248 OBP. Compared to Hunter’s .281 AVG with 21 homers and a .354 OBP, Wells looks pretty awful.
Hunter and Wells will probably end up seeing the field about the same number of times. That’s not because of their abilities, it’s just because of Well’s contract. Defensively, Wells actually has a slight advantage over the nine-time gold glover Torii Hunter (although most baseball people would choose Hunter).
Overall, the Angels outfield situation is a mess. The Halos have some very talented players, and a trio of overpaid veterans. The Angels outfield logjam gives the team flexibility, with backup solutions in case of injuries or poor play. I would be mildly surprised if the Angels didn’t make a trade before the season. They need to find some bullpen arms and maybe another starter for their rotation. With their plethora of outfielders, they can and should definitely make a trade. It will be more based around what they can get in return. Happy Holidays!
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter***
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