MLB Preview 2011: Looking at Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels on Paper

Adrian FedkiwAnalyst IIIMarch 30, 2011

MLB Preview 2011: Looking at Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels on Paper

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Pitcher Jered Weaver #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Before the start of last season, the Angels won five AL West crowns in six years. 

    But last season, Kendrys Morales went down for the season and everything went downhill from there, as Texas celebrated with the Western Division title.  At 80-82, the Angels suffered their first losing season since 2003.

    In the offseason, the Angels missed out on the Carl Crawford sweepstakes, so they went out and traded for Vernon Wells and his hefty contract.

    This is clearly a team on the decline, but do they have enough to make another run at an AL West title?  We shall see.

    Throughout this article, you will see a number between seven and ten beside each player.  These numbers break the players up into essential categories; here's a rough layout. 

    10: Best player/pitcher in baseball

    9-plus: Superstar, MVP/Cy Young Candidates

    8-plus: Consistent All-Star

    7.5: Periodical All-Star

    7.25: Solid Starter

    7: Average Player


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    ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 29:  Kendry Morales #8 of the Los Angeles Angels at bat against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on May 29, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    C Jeff Mathis: 7

    1B Kendrys Morales: 8 

    2B Howie Kendrick: 7.25

    SS Erick Aybar: 7.25 

    3B Alberto Callaspo: 7

    Jeff Mathis (28) 205 AB .195 BA 19 R 3 HR 18 RBI 3 SB 

    • Mathis doesn't have a good bat, but is very solid behind the plate.  With the trade of Mike Napoli to Texas, that frees up Hank Conger to possibly split some time with Mathis.

    Kendrys Morales (27) 193 AB .290 BA 29 R 11 HR 39 RBI 0 SB

    • Morales suffered a freak injury in May, when he broke his leg while jumping on home plate after hitting a walk-off home run.  He's a switch-hitting bopper, who has more power from the left side.  He lacks quickness and range in the field.

    Howie Kendrick (27) 616 AB .279 BA 67 R 10 HR 75 RBI 14 SB

    • Kendrick has seen his batting average dip in each of the past four seasons.  He has a short, uppercut swing and sprays the ball around the field.  He's adequate in the field and plays deep.

    Erick Aybar (27) 534 AB .253 BA 69 R 5 HR 29 RBI 22 SB

    • Aybar has a lot of movement in his swing.  He's an aggressive switch-hitter who can be beaten inside.  He's an excellent fielding shortstop.  He has very quick hands, great range and an accurate throw. 

    Alberto Callaspo (27) 562 AB .265 BA 61 R 10 HR 56 RBI 5 SB

    • Callaspo and Maicer Izturis will split duties at third.  Callaspo didn't provide the pop that the Angels hoped for after he was acquired from the Royals.  Izturis is the better defender.


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    ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 27:  Center fielder Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim jumps to take a home run away from Mike Cameron of the Boston Red Sox for the final out of the eighth inning on July 27, 2010 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Califor
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    LF Vernon Wells: 8 

    CF Peter Bourjos: 7

    RF Torii Hunter: 8

    DH Bobby Abreu: 7.25

    Vernon Wells (32) 590 AB .273 BA 79 R 31 HR 88 RBI 6 SB

    • After a few down years, Wells stayed healthy and had a very productive year.  He has quick and strong wrists and has a lot of pop in his bat.  He's making the transition from center field to left.  As a center fielder, he had good jumps on the bal, and threw accurately.

    Peter Bourjos (24) 181 AB .204 BA 19 R 6 HR 15 RBI 10 SB

    • Bourjos has outstanding speed, but he doesn't make consistent contact.  He's impatient and strikes out a lot.  He's a great center fielder and may have the most range of anyone in baseball.   

    Torii Hunter (35) 573 AB .281 BA 76 R 23 HR 90 RBI 9 SB

    • Hunter voluntarily moved to right field in August to make room for Bourjos.  Hunter has a long swing, which still generates good pop.  He likes the ball up in the zone.  He's lost a step in the field, but still remains a great fielder. 

    Bobby Abreu (37) 573 AB .255 BA 88 R 20 HR 78 RBI 24 SB

    • Abreu is a selective hitter with a smooth swing.  He goes with the pitch well and turns on fastballs on the inside-half.

Starting Pitching

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    ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 15:  Dan Haren #24 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on August 15, 2010 in Anaheim, California. The Blue Jays defeated the Angels 4-1.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Jered Weaver: 8.25

    Dan Haren: 7.75

    Ervin Santana; 7.25

    Joel Pineiro: 7.25

    Scott Kazmir: 7

    Jered Weaver (28) 224 IP 13-12 3.01 ERA 1.07 WHIP 233 K

    • Weaver led baseball in strikeouts and was the first Angel to do so since Nolan Ryan in 1977.  He has a long, across the body delivery.  He changes speeds with a low-90's fastball, which moves late in the zone.  He has a solid curveball which he varies in break and speed.  He'll also mix in a sinking changeup.  He knows how to pitch and has very good command. 

    Dan Haren (30) 235 IP 12-12 3.91 ERA 1.27 WHIP 216 K

    • The Angels acquired Haren in late July from Arizona.  Haren hesitates at the top of his delivery.  He throws a low-90's fastball and he has a cutter which he uses on lefties.  His splitter is his bread and butter and it dives late.  He also mixes in a changeup.  He throws his pitches anytime in the count. 

    Ervin Santana (28) 222 IP 17-10 3.92 ERA 1.32 WHIP 169 K

    • Santana had a career-high 17 wins last year.  Santana is a power pitcher who gets good life and late movement on his mid-90's fastball.  He also throws a hard slurve, soft curveball and changeup. 

    Joel Pineiro (32) 152 IP 10-7 3.84 ERA 1.24 WHIP 92 K

    • Pineiro is a groundball pitcher who gets good sinking action on his fastball.  He has a tight, downer curveball, a cutter-like slider and changeup.

    Scott Kazmir (27) 150 IP 9-15 5.94 ERA 1.58 WHIP 93 K

    • Kazmir had the highest ERA of any starter who threw 150 plus innings.  It's amazing to think that this was the Game One starter in the 2008 World Series.  He's lost velocity on his fastball and bite on his slider.


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    ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to a 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium on September 20, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    RP Rich Thompson: 7

    RP Scott Downs: 7

    RP Kevin Jepsen: 7

    SU Hisanori Takahashi: 7

    CP Fernando Rodney: 7 

    Kevin Jepsen, Scott Downs, Rich Thompson

    • Jepsen and Downs make up a solid pair of middle-relievers.  Jepsen is a hard thrower while Downs has a solid curveball and slider.

    Hisanori Takahashi (36) 122 IP 10-6 8 SV 3.61 ERA 1.30 WHIP 114 K

    • Takahashi did a solid job taking over the closer's role in New York, converting on all eight of his save opportunities.  He doesn't throw hard–mid to high-80's–but he has a good changeup.

     Fernando Rodney (34) 68 IP 4-3 14 SV 4.24 ERA 1.54 WHIP 53 K

    • Rodney wasn't great in the closer role when he was given the job in September.  He blew four saves in 11 tries.  He doesn't have consistent command of his mid-90's fastball because he tends to overthrow it.  He does have an outstanding changeup.

Sizing Up the Angels on Paper

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    ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Ervin Santana #54 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers on September 21, 2010 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Projected Lineup

    1. Erick Aybar: 7.25

    2. Howie Kendrick: 7.25

    3. Vernon Wells: 8

    4. Kendrys Morales: 8

    5. Torii Hunter: 8

    6. Bobby Abreu: 7.25

    7. Alberto Callaspo: 7

    8. Jeff Mathis: 7

    9. Peter Bourjos: 7

    Projected Starting Rotation 

    Jered Weaver: 8.25

    Dan Haren: 7.75

    Ervin Santana; 7.25

    Joel Pineiro: 7.25

    Scott Kazmir: 7


    RP Rich Thompson: 7

    RP Scott Downs: 7

    RP Kevin Jepsen: 7

    SU Hisanori Takahashi: 7

    CP Fernando Rodney: 7 


    Bobby Abreu, Maicer Izturis, Hank Conger, Mark Trumbo : 7.25


    Mike Sciosca: 7.5

    INF: 36.5

    OF: 23

    SP: 37.5

    RP: 7

    CP: 14

    MISC: 14.75

    Hitting: 59.5

    Pitching: 58.5

    TOTAL: 132.75


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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 3:  Manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 3, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The Angels may be getting old, but people are overlooking this team. 

    They have balance in their lineup, pitching staff and bullpen.  That's a recipe for success. 

    Prediction: 87-76 1st AL West (You'll see that I have a tie for first, but I have the Angels winning a one game playoff)