The January 31st, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Keith Law's top 10 Angels prospects, wondering if the Angels add another starting pitcher and much more…
The Monkey Says: The big shocker on this list is that he has Ricardo Sanchez at #2. Clearly Law is looking heavily at players' ceilings when he makes these lists whereas other lists also take into consideration how close they are to contributing in the majors. Clearly Sanchez is a guy to watch if Law is willing to rank him this high despite him being so young.
The Monkey Says: I have to think they will. With Scott Baker and Bruce Chen coming off the board in recent days, the market is starting to be set. Perhaps some of the lesser pitchers are waiting for Jimenez, Burnett and Santana to sign to maybe raise the salary bar a bit, but at some point the desire to have a team before training camp will become a major motivator. Oddly though, despite all this waiting, the same four pitchers, Arroyo, Capuano, Hammel and Maholm, are the only ones linked to the Angels. Given there recent rash of minor league deals, you'd think they'd be circling around at least a few lesser guys with similar offers but we aren't hearing about that.
The Monkey Says: He sure is. This is the first year where he is really being given a rotation spot out of the gate. He finished strong last season, but consistency has long been an issue. If he can't make good on the opportunity, he seems likely to get banished to the bullpen for remainder of his time as an Angel.
The Monkey Says: Not sure I agree with all the conclusions here. McDonald has the veteran edge on Romine, but Andrew made some positive impressions late last season and since he is out of options, the Angels would risk losing him if they tried to send him back to the minors. As for the final spot, I remain concerned about Ibanez's ability to hit lefties. He has been fine most of his career, but was terrible against southpaws in 2011 and 2012. As the next article will show, he is becoming more pull happy and that is an approach lefties can exploit, so having a right-handed option to platoon with Ibanez and occasionally spell Hamilton or Calhoun versus tough southpaws seems like a good idea to me. Now the Angels just need to get a batter that can actually fill that role.
The Story: The pros and cons of pulling the baseball.
The Monkey Says: Really interesting stuff here in general, but the bit on how Trout has yet to learn to pull the ball to his advantage is intriguing as well because Trout is so good at making adjustments that there is little doubt he'll figure it out before long. Also, knowing that Pujols has gotten extremely pull happy the last few years certainly supports the idea that he is compensating for losing bat speed.
The Monkey Says: The big surprises here are R.J. Alvarez at number two and Shoemaker even being on the list. Alvarez is a guy I love, but at the end of the day, he is just a reliever, so his value is only ever going to be so high. Shoemaker to me is just a Quad-A guy. He's a grinder, but there just isn't a lot of talent there.