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OC Register: Angels rookie Taylor Ward will head to winter ball to refine skills

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ANAHEIM — Taylor Ward will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic so he can continue his development, Manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday.

Ward has been one of the breakthrough players in the Angels farm system. Last year he was a catcher who hadn’t performed up to expectations offensively or defensively. This spring the Angels moved him to third, and he rocketed through the system and reached the majors.

Scioscia said Ward’s decision to go is proof of his determination “to get better.”

Ward has started all but one game at third since his major league debut on Aug. 14. He is hitting .189 and he’s made three errors at third, clearly showing his inexperience at times.

“The confidence in Taylor Ward is how hard he works, how athletic he is, and with experience he’s going to figure it out,” Scioscia said. “He’s made a lot of strides. There’s a ways to go, but he’s going to work hard. He’s going to work every day on it. Hopefully he’ll get closer to that goal of being a good defensive player at third base in the major leagues.”

Scioscia said he’d encourage young players to go to winter ball more often.

“I think a lot of it has been lost on some players in the last 20 years, on how small your window is,” Scioscia said. “I played winter ball for two years. It put me in a different scope as far as being a ballplayer.”


Angels (RHP Jaime Barría, 10-9, 3.53) vs. Mariners (LHP Marco Gonzales, 12-9, 4.24), 1 p.m., Sunday, Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)

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