Thursday, June 23, 2005

State of the Angels

Shortly before the season, I had another blog for a short period. In one of my first articles, I took a look at the predictions for Angels players from the Baseball Think Factory. I stole this idea from Aaron Gleeman, who had stolen it from someone else. Now, with the first half of the season nearing its end, let's take a look at how the Angels fared so far compared to the expectations before the season. I'll start with the infield today and go on to outfield and pitchers in the next days.


1B - Darin Erstad (.298, .358, .404 in 2005)
Expected: .271, .325, .373
Erstad has finally been healthy this season (knock on wood!) and so far exceeded BTF's exceptations. Although, compared to his 2000 season or to other first basemen, his numbers still don't look too great. But we know Erstad means so much more to this club than his numbers tell (and at the latest after his tackle against Estrada, I do believe it), so overall, I guess we can be happy with his performance so far.

2B - Adam Kennedy (.336, .373, .378), Chone Figgins (.278, .334, .419)
Expected: .288, .342, .411 and .297, .357, .412
While Kennedy is hitting for good average and a decent OBP since coming of the DL, his power has been nonexistent so far (only 6 doubles, no HR). With his OBP the highest on the team after Vlad, why not putting him in the leadoff or number two spot?
After a slow start, Figgins numbers are still below expectations. However, he's playing much better lately, hitting .294, .366, .468 over the last 30 days. Let's see how he'll do at the top of the order.

3B - Dallas McPherson (.261, .299, .543)
Expected: .275, .341, .513
D-Mac also was off to a slow start and nearly headed back to AAA, but he got hot just in time and although he's still striking out way too much (56K) and doesn't walk often (11BB), his power is already there and even exceeding expectations. His isolated power (SLG-AVG) of .191 his second on the team to Vlad and higher than that of Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker and Trot Nixon (for example). I'm positive on D-Mac, patience and strike zone judgement will come given time.

SS - Orlando Cabrera (.249, .289, .360)
Expected: .285, .336, .410
Just to tease you: David Eckstein .292, .375, .375
OC's season has been a big disappointment, at least his offense. Low average, few walks (16BB - though you shouldn't expect more than 45 from him even in a good season), very few power (18XBH), that's just about in line with what he did in Montreal before he was traded to the Red Sox. He clearly lacked motivation playing in Montreal, but this doesn't seem to be the case with the Angels. So what's his problem? He makes contact (21K), but only 16.7% his balls in play are line drives, which is good for 173rd (!) place in the majors. You can get by with such a low rate and still have a good season (A-Rod 14,9%, Adam Dunn 16,4%), but you seem to need good power to do so. But OC is also quite unlucky. Only 25.9% of his balls in play are hits (187th in MLB), which is obviously pretty low, even with his low line drive rate. So one can reasonable expect OC's numbers to get better.
On the bright side, defensively, OC has been terrific. His fielding percentage of .987 is second only to Omar Vizquel and his range is decent (9th in the majors, if you believe the stats), way better than Tejada, Jeter, Renteria or Young.


At 3:03 PM, Blogger Antonio Hicks said...

I was just browsing various blogs as I was doing a search on the word poster, and I just wanted to say that I really like what you've done with your blog, even though it wasn't particularly related to what I searched for. I appreciate your postings, and your blog is a good example of how a blog should be done. I've only just recently started a Posters website - feel free to visit it when you get a chance if you wish. Much success, antonio.


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