Angelsjunky

Finally, a solid MOTO (and why Next Year's Lineup Could be Good)

112 posts in this topic

A full year of Ohtani, a more consistent Calhoun, and hopefully a healthy Trout and Upton, all of a sudden the Angels have a nice middle of the order, with those four averaging over 30 HR. Something like this is possible:

Trout: .310/.460/.630, 40 HR, 30 SB, 10 WAR

Ohtani: .290/.370/.580, 35 HR, 15 SB, 5-6 WAR

Upton: .270/.350/.480, 30 HR, 10 SB, 4 WAR

Calhoun: .270/.340/.470, 25 HR, 10 SB, 4 WAR

 

Simmons at around .290/.340/.430, 10 HR, 10 SB, 6 WAR makes another above average hitter. Some combination of Fletcher, Cozart, Ward, and maybe Rengifo should provide at least decent performance at 2B and 3B, maybe better. 1B remains a question mark, but hopefully with a new manager, the best player will get the most at bats. And even if the Angels don't sign Grandal, they'll get someone decent to start at C, with Briceno backing up and Arcia in AAA.

Finally, with Walsh, Fernandez, Thaiss, Hermosillo, and Rengifo, they've got some nice depth at most positions.

The point being, the Angels begin 2019 with two truly MOTO caliber bats in Trout and Ohtani; three good to very good bats in Upton, Calhoun, and Simmons; solid complementary pieces in Fletcher, Cozart and Ward; and some good depth.

If you swap in Grandal, that adds a fourth good to very good bat, making two-thirds of the lineup at least good to start caliber. If one of Cozart or Ward has a good year, that's 7 of 9 (if you're a nerd, I know what you're thinking). If one of Fernandez, Walsh or Thaiss takes a big step forward, that's 8 of 9. And the ninth slot is Fletcher, who should be decent enough.

Or to put it another way:

Stars: CF, DH

Good to very good: LF, RF, SS

Around average: 2B, 3B

Mediocre but with room for improvement: 1B, C

 

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Anyone interested in a 1 or 2 year deal with Donaldson?  That would lengthen a line up pretty well.  

As for Kole, if he needs to bat 9th so be in, but that can only really happen if Fletcher is capable of leading off and this year, in his first run we haven’t seen that yet.  

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33 minutes ago, Stradling said:

Anyone interested in a 1 or 2 year deal with Donaldson?  That would lengthen a line up pretty well.  

As for Kole, if he needs to bat 9th so be in, but that can only really happen if Fletcher is capable of leading off and this year, in his first run we haven’t seen that yet.  

Donaldson despite a down year will command at least a 3 year deal. Otherwise I'd love to have him.

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I'm a little leery on Grandal...
He'll be age 30 next year, and catchers tend to drop off pretty sharply around that age, at least offensively.

Other good hitting catchers after age 30...
Molina (age 27-29): .295/.351/.438/.789, OPS+ 116
Molina (age 30): .319/.359/.477/.836, OPS+ 129
Molina (age 31-33): .288/.335/.389/.727, OPS+ 98

Posey (age 27-29): .306/.368/.465/.833, OPS+ 130
Posey (age 30): .320/.400/.462/.861, OPS+ 126
Posey (age 31): .284/.359/.382/.741, OPS+ 103

McCann (age 27-29): .252/.329/.441/.770, OPS+ 108
McCann (age 30): .232/.286./.406/.692, OPS+ 94
McCann (age 31-33):  .238/.326/.428/.754, OPS+ 104

Wieters (age 27-29): .253/.302/.428/.731, OPS+ 98
Wieters (age 30): .243/.302/.409/.711, OPS+ 89
Wieters (age 31-32): .226/.295/.346/.641, OPS+ 65

Grandal vs. AL (81 G/297 PA): .217/.313/.411/.724 and we've seen players have difficulty switching NL to AL.
His CS% has never been much more than league average either. 

Don't get me wrong, he'd be an upgrade over the past few years, but he doesn't strike me as a slam-dunk acquisition.
Also, Eppler & Co. have done a pretty damn good job finding catchers. Maldonado worked well for us, Rivera (0.4 WAR) and Soto (0.4 WAR) were productive (just injured too often), Briceno (0.3), Arcia (0.1), Graterol (0.3) were all decent in limited action. They drafted Jack Kruger, they moved Taylor Ward off catcher. Our current 3rd string catcher, Joe Hudson, .216/.311/.313/.625 in 6 seasons before joining the Angels, .329/.387/.528/.914 since joining the Angels. The Angels also nabbed Curt Casali this past offseason and wound up releasing him, and he went on to slash .304/.372/.478/.850 for Cincinnati. 

think Eppler is going to nab another catcher who is totally under the radar in a cheap trade. 
Austin Hedges, Tucker Barnhart, James McCann, Omar Narvaez, Andrew Knapp, Victor Caratini, Kevin, Plawecki...I think he can find someone with good defense, ~.700-.750 OPS on the cheap.

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38 minutes ago, Lou said:

I'll admit I rarely watch the NL, for the same reason I don't take Valium, but isn't Grandal a .230ish hitter that throws out a below average amount of base stealers? 

What am I missing?

Switch-hitter, plate discipline, home runs, and supposedly elite pitch-framing are his pluses. He'd be a fine addition, but anything above like 3/$33m would give me pause, and I have a feeling he'll get at least that. 

Tucker Barnhart is interesting to me; also a switch-hitter, will be in his age 28 season next year, draws as many walks with dramatically fewer strikeouts than Grandal, throws out 10% more baserunners, won a Gold Glove in '17. 

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4 minutes ago, Lou said:

what is Barnhart's contract situation? 

also, I just read a prediction that Grandall will be getting somewhere around 3/$45 million 

Controlled through '21; signed a 4-yr/$16m and has a '22 team option for $7.5m.

I'd rather get someone like him than Grandal...someone who's about to enter their prime rather than leave it, especially for a catcher. They can go downhill fast, and if it's real bad, you're looking at another guy limited to 1B/DH for $10m+ annually. 

Francisco Cervelli also strikes me as an option. 2019 will be his walk year, and Eppler loves getting guys in their final year. He'd be very familiar with him from the Yankee days, and the PIrates could roll with back-up catcher Elias Diaz full-time, who has hit well this season. Or, Eppler could target him. 

Omar Narvaez is another under-the-radar type from the White Sox that may be of interest. Austin Hedges may get pushed out of SDG...

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1 hour ago, Chuckster70 said:

Donaldson despite a down year will command at least a 3 year deal. Otherwise I'd love to have him.

Donaldson will likely take a one year pillow contract to rebuild value if he’s healthy.  If he is I’m sure Eppler will check it out.

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5 hours ago, Blarg said:

I don't trust Calhoun to not slip back into his old habits of trying to pull every pitch, his batting average this month has plunged to .174. 

 

Yet his OBP is over .400

He's going to be the starting RF next year. No question. If you expect him to repeat his beginning of the year struggles from this year you're insane.

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2 hours ago, Stradling said:

Anyone interested in a 1 or 2 year deal with Donaldson?  That would lengthen a line up pretty well.  

As for Kole, if he needs to bat 9th so be in, but that can only really happen if Fletcher is capable of leading off and this year, in his first run we haven’t seen that yet.  

Seems like the future leadoff hitter could be someone like Rengifo.   But, he may start 2019 repeating AAA.

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Kole's hitting .290/.370/.552/.922 in 46 G/211 PA hitting 1st this year too. No longer a small sample size. 

Without doubt he's the leadoff hitter next season, unless we stumble onto someone light-years better in the infield, and even then, I'd just as soon hit that person #2 before Trout.

If Fletcher winds up a full-time player, I'd actually love to see him hitting 9th and get that 'second lead-off hitter' thing going. Gotta have someone putting up a high OBP hitting second though.

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Just now, totdprods said:

Kole's hitting .290/.370/.552/.922 in 46 G/211 PA hitting 1st this year too. No longer a small sample size. 

Without doubt he's the leadoff hitter next season, unless we stumble onto someone light-years better in the infield, and even then, I'd just as soon hit that person #2 before Trout.

He has 1 year left on his deal at $10.5 million ($1 mil buyout of $14 mil extension in 2020) so he has value both as our lead-off hitter next season and a potential trade chip if he repeats but we are not in it again in 2019.  A gold glove caliber RF with power at a reasonable contract an a relatively affordable extension/buy out gives you some definite options to play with. 

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I’m hoping Fletcher starts taking more walks, as right now his OBP is weak.

As far as Kole goes, since coming back from injury he’s had the best period of his career, regardless of the last 8 games. At the very least I think he’s good for .250/.330/.440, but that seems conservative. He’s going to perform well in his walk year and either be shipped at the deadline if the Angels are out of it or let go via free agency.

 

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8 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

I’m hoping Fletcher starts taking more walks, as right now his OBP is weak.

As far as Kole goes, since coming back from injury he’s had the best period of his career, regardless of the last 8 games. At the very least I think he’s good for .250/.330/.440, but that seems conservative. He’s going to perform well in his walk year and either be shipped at the deadline if the Angels are out of it or let go via free agency.

The good and bad thing with Fletcher is because his offensive profile is so contact-driven, he'll have some phenomenal stretches where no one can get him out, but he'll also run into a few rough weeks where everything he hits is right at someone. Bumping those walks some will help with that. That's why I think, ideally, he's a #9 hitter if playing full-time. 

Honestly, I have no freaking idea what to expect from Kole. I've been sounding the alarm on him for a couple seasons and his first-half(ish) was so ice cold, it's not far-fetched that he falls back into slumps, but this second half has been so dominant in ways he's never experienced, it's hard not to believe he discovered something.

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17 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

I’m hoping Fletcher starts taking more walks, as right now his OBP is weak.

As far as Kole goes, since coming back from injury he’s had the best period of his career, regardless of the last 8 games. At the very least I think he’s good for .250/.330/.440, but that seems conservative. He’s going to perform well in his walk year and either be shipped at the deadline if the Angels are out of it or let go via free agency.

 

The only would be that if Marsh isn't ready yet, come ST 2020, they could exercise the 2020 team option on Calhoun, which isn't for that much more than his 2019 salary.

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1 hour ago, GrittyVeterans said:

Kole will be the starting RF until Adell is ready to take it from him. I couldn't see a guy like Hermosillo stealing the job from a proven player like Kole next year.

I can’t 

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didn't cozart start off as our leadoff hitter this year? i don't know if the sample size was big enough or if he's done it in cincy with success, but my recollection is that he didn't do well at it here.

i'd be okay with calhoun continuing at leadoff or even trying fletcher there for the rest of the year and see what happens.

maybe i need to have (another) lunch with sosh to talk it over. man, can that guy put away some breadsticks!

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