Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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By Andre Castillo - AngelsWin.com Feature Writer

You know what; it’s hard to write about the Angels when they’re not playing well. So, please excuse my absence last week. However, it is quite a bit of fun to write about them after a game like Sunday’s, a 7-4 Angels victory over the Mets.

Tyler Chatwood looked pretty good, didn’t he? Hailing from my alma mater of Redlands East Valley High School (woo woo), he gave up only 4 hits over 7 IP. He continued to struggle a bit with his control though, posting 4 walks to go with 4 strikeouts.  But overall, it was a high quality start from the young fireballer.

Which reminded me of another young Angels pitcher, Nick Adenhart, R.I.P. I’ve been thinking about Nick and his tragic loss recently and thought it would be interesting to go and look his numbers and see how they compared to Chatwood’s trajectory.

First some history. Nick Adenhart was a star prospect, at one point considered by some to be the best high school prospect back in 2004. He was Eddie Bane’s first pick as scouting director, who plucked him in the 14th round, a fall caused by his undergoing Tommy John surgery. He still came at a price – the Angels signed him for a cool $710,000.

Tyler Chatwood was never rated as high as Adenhart had once been, but he finished much better in the draft. He went in the 2nd round to the Angels, though he signed for less than Adenhart did in the 14th at $547,000

Though I never saw Adenhart pitch, reading their history seems to show that Chatwood’s pitching style is similar to Adenhart’s. Like Adenhart, Chatwood throws a fastball, curve, and change up. While Chatwood’s fastball (97 mph) is a bit harder than Adenhart’s was (93-95 mph), he hasn’t shown the same control Adenhart showed early in his career, either.

*The only piece of information missing that I should mention is their major league home run/fly ball rate. Adenhart’s was 0 and Chatwood’s is 6%.

I think the numbers are interesting. Both did well in the minors, stopping only very briefly at AAA, which neither fared well in.

Chatwood had some wild years in the minors. Look at his Rookie ball year – he posted a K/9 of 11 and a BB/9 of nearly 9! Since then he has calmed down and cut his walk rate, but his strike out rates have fallen with them, from 11.4 K/9 in Rookie ball to 8 in A+, 4.7 in AA, and 4.7 now in the majors. While his strikeout rates have fallen off greatly, his walk rates have only just kept pace, sitting at 4.6 BB/9 right now. 

Adenhart’s walk rates on the other hand moved in the opposite direction, climbing from 2.21 in Rookie ball to 4.6 in AAA (and 8.0 in 18 IP in the majors). In spite of his climbing walk rates, high hopes were placed on the young Nick Adenhart after his strong start in 2009 before he tragically lost his life. Should we have similar hopes for Chatwood going forward?

If Chatwood is like most pitchers, his long term success will be driving by his ability to strike batters out and not give up walks. In other words, his K/9 and BB/9, or K/BB for short. With a K/BB of 1/1, he’s shown the skill of a league average pitcher.

Should we expect it to improve? Unfortunately, while there is always hope, the answer is probably not. According to advanced stats, K/BB rate stabilizes relatively early in a players career. Once a pitcher has faced 500 total batters or so their K/BB rate does not change much over the course of their career, according to research.

Chatwood has faced 351 total batters so far. So, if this pace continues for another 150 batters or so, it is safe to assume that Chatwood’s career K/BB will continue to sit around 1/1.

And if his career K/BB continues to sit around 1/1? Then it is safe to assume that Chatwood will continue to be a league average pitcher, which is more or less what he’s been so far. Now, having a league average pitcher is actually quite good for the #5 slot in the rotation that Chatwood currently inhabits (most teams by rule have below average pitchers in that slot). But will he one day grow into a potential #2 or #3 starter, like we had once hoped Adenhart might, even if Nick may never have done so?

Probably not. And I’m ok with that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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Make sure to join the LIVE chat with Ric Wilson to ask him about his selections in the 2011 Amateur Draft which took place last week. Also, since we're approaching the minor league mid-season break, feel free to ask questions with relation to how the Angels' current crop of minor leaguers/prospects are doing down on the farm.

Ric Wilson is available for you tomorrow (June 15th) at 3:00 pm PST only HERE at AngelsWin.com.

Monday, June 13, 2011

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By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

Part of the treat of going to a home game this year is the opportunity to relive Angels glory as former Angels greats toss out ceremonial opening pitches. One of those greats who recently tossed out an opening pitch was an original Angel, Dean Chance. Signed by the Orioles, then drafted by the Senators, and then traded to the Angels, Chance made his first appearance late in the 1961 season.

Over the course of 6 years with the Angels, Chance posted a 74-66 record (11th most wins), a 2.83 ERA (2nd best for a starter), and 857 strikeouts (9th). Most importantly, he won the Angels’ first Cy Young award in 1964 when he went 20-9 with a 1.65 ERA. At the time, he was the youngest recipient of the award. He pitched 278.1 innings that year, striking out 207, and only allowing a 1.01 WHIP.

Named as the American League’s Right-Handed pitcher of the Decade by the Sporting News, Dean lives in Wooseter, Ohio and is the President of the International Boxing Association.


AngelsWin.com recently spoke with Dean Chance about his time with the Angels, pitching in general, the Hall of Fame, and the current team.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

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Stream our latest AngelsWin.com Podcast (Episode Five) which was LIVE on Saturday June 11th at 10:00 am with host Adam Dodge, AngelsWin.com Founder and Executive Editor Chuck Richter, Riley Breckenridge from the popular OC Band Thrice who also writes for OC Weekly and Flip Collective and special guest Andre Castillo who is the AngelsWin.com Feature Writer of "Inside the Numbers" a Sabermetric Review of Halos Baseball.

In the show we discussed Angels 2011 Amateur Draft, the current events that pertain to Angels Baseball and we talked STATS with AngelsWin.com feature writer Andre Castillo.

Listen to internet radio with AngelsWin on Blog Talk Radio

Friday, June 10, 2011

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By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

There are three things you can’t teach an athlete: power, size, and velocity. If a player isn’t born with those fundamentals, he most likely will have a tough time making it into the Majors (with all due respect to David Eckstein).

On Day One of the draft, the Angels got their power. By many accounts, they took the best power bat available in the draft at the time, if not one of the best hitters in the draft overall. C. J. Cron was a good pick, one that will hopefully pay dividends in about 3 years.

On Days Two and Three, the Angels went for size and velocity. As new Scouting Director Ric Wilson put it before the draft, the Angels went after “physical” players. Unlike previous years, it seemed that hardly any of the players taken by the Angels in the draft were less than 6’ tall.

As I pointed out in the C.J. Cron article, the Angels are far better at finding diamonds in the rough with pitchers than they are with hitters. So, it wasn’t surprising on Day Two to see the Angels delve deeply into pitchers. But, in looking at their picks, they took players who have velocity and have some track records of success but also some flaws or inconsistencies that need to be ironed out. Let’s call it the “Garrett Richards phenomena”.

Looking at the Angels Third Round pick, lefthander Nick Maronde, that’s him to a “T”. Like Richards, Maronde had an ERA over 6 in college. But, in the Cape Cod League, he had a 2.29 ERA in 19.2 IP. With Maronde’s pitches, and with the Angels’ dearth of left-handed pitchers, I won’t be surprised if they convert him back into a starter. As a hard-throwing lefty (touching 96), Maronde could move up quickly in the Angels’ organization in either capacity.

The same was true for their Fifth and Eighth Round picks, righty Austin Wood and Logan Odom. They both posted mediocre numbers at USC, but posted much better numbers in the Cape Cod League. In fact, Austin Wood was the lone representative on the 2010 All-League team from the league champion Cotuitt Kettlers as he went 3-0 with a 0.58 ERA on the season.

Pitchers weren’t the only players with strong ties to the Cape Cod League. Tenth Round draftee Drew Martinez was selected to the All- League team as an outfielder after he hit .359 with 1 homerun and 22 stolen bases. Both 22nd Round draftee Brennan Gowens (SS) and 26th Round draftee John Giannis also saw limited action in the Cape Cod League in 2010.

In the later rounds, the Angels stayed true to their family. In the 45th Round, they drafted Matt Scioscia, Mike Scioscia’s son. Yes, like his father, Matt is a catcher. And, in the 47th Round, they drafted outfield Brandon Lodge, son of the radio show host Roger Lodge.

The best of the “feel-good stories” from the draft came out of Texas this year. While they are a divisional rival, what they did for one player was truly inspirational. If you haven’t read about the Ranger’s 37th Round selection of Johnathan Taylor, you really should. You can read all about it here.

When Ric Wilson was first promoted to be the new Scouting Director for the Angels, I asked him about his drafting philosophy. He said “we are definitely concentrating on the power bats, power arms, speed and defense.”

Looking at the draft, they got the power bats. They got the power arms. They got speed. And they got defense. They definitely got more physical players to fill out their system. They did what they set out to do and I’m excited to start seeing these players’ names appear on the AngelsWin.com Hot Prospect Lists.

My only reservation with the draft is that the Angels had some opportunities to draft some players in some rounds who had fallen due to signability issues. In the past, the Angels have gambled on some players and have won. Maybe this reflects a new form of conservatism in the draft process. Or, it could be that because the Angels have had so many first round picks in the last two drafts that they were better able to take that kind of gamble.

Overall, I would grade this draft as an A-. I like the new direction that they went. They dipped heavily into the college ranks which merge in well with their high school picks from the past two years. It will create a wave of talent that will rise together and push all of its members to succeed. The Angels future looks bright.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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Make sure to tune into our AngelsWin.com Podcast LIVE for Episode Five on Saturday June 11th at 10:00 am with host Adam Dodge, AngelsWin.com Founder and Executive Editor Chuck Richter, Riley Breckenridge from the popular OC Band Thrice who also writes for OC Weekly and Flip Collective and special guest Andre Castillo who is the AngelsWin.com Feature Writer of "Inside the Numbers" a Sabermetric Review of Halos Baseball.

In Episode Five we will be discussing the Angels 2011 Amateur Draft, the current events that pertain to Angels Baseball and talking STATS with Andre Castillo.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

Like the start of the season, there’s something quite exciting about watching the amateur draft. It’s full of hope and excitement. There’s a sense that with the right calls, the Angels could make a difference not just for the year, but for the decade.

Over the years, most fans have come to realize that the best way for the Angels to improve is by drafting the best player available at the time and not by drafting to fill a need. With the years between a player’s selection in the draft and his appearance in the Majors, it’s hard to predict what the needs will be in the future. One quick injury or one free agent signing can change everything. Focusing solely on their needs will blind the team to potentially greater talent playing at a perceived source of depth.

Monday, June 6, 2011

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Sam Farber, Director of Broadcasting, Inland Empire 66ers

Adelanto, CA— Vernon Wells recorded a three run double and scored twice himself in a 12-9 win for Inland Empire (26-32) at High Desert (28-30). The win is the 66ers third in their last four games and give Inland Empire a chance at the first three game sweep of the Mavericks at High Desert in five years.

Rehabbing Halo Vernon Wells had several opportunities to test himself both defensively on a busy night in left field, and on the base paths. At the plate Wells recorded his first hit as a 66er with two outs and the bases loaded in the second and his team down two runs. The big leaguer delivered with a bases clearing double to the left field corner to give his team the lead.

The lead did not last long however, as starter Kyle Hurst struggled initially allowing six runs on five hits in the first two innings. He would settle down to put up zeroes his last four innings without allowing a hit.

Inland Empire moved back in front for good in the fourth on an error by Mavs infielder Gabriel Noriega, and extended the lead in the fifth. With Vernon Wells at second base Mike Wing hit a single to left field. Wells showed good speed beating the throw home, further proof he should be ready to rejoin the Angels as early as Tuesday. That run put Inland Empire up 9-6.

The 66ers added two more runs in the sixth on three straight doubles to open the inning by Casey Haerther , Jose Jimenez and Steven Irvine. Haerther had a marquee night going three-for-three with two walks and three runs scored. Kole Calhoun was one better with a four-for-four effort, two doubles and a run scored.

The win was still not assured in the ninth though. David Carpenter came in on a night where the two pitching staffs combined to allow 21 runs on 31 hits, and shut down the Mavs for a scoreless ninth and his eighth save of the season.

Inland Empire now has a chance to sweep the High Desert Mavericks for the first time since 2008, and the first time in Adelanto since May of 2006. Harold Williams will be on the mound for the 66ers. Fans can hear all the action beginning with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians pre-game show at 6:55 pm on AM 1050 KCAA. For information on 66ers tickets or to schedule your next fun filled group outing, contact the 66ers front office at (909)888-9922.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

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By Jeff Flinn - AngelsWin.com Contributor

Thumbs Up

*Weaver recovered from a high early game pitch count, and was able to pitch 7 innings for the win on Friday night. Santana had solid stuff, just made 2 bad pitches to Cano and Rodriguez; ditto for Piniero to Teixeira.   

*Walden looked good in the 9th inning on Friday night. Downs had a solid inning on Friday night. Thompson had 2 more solid innings on Saturday night. Bell looked solid in an inning on Sunday.

*Abreu had a great series, going 6-9 with 4 BBs and 2 SBs. He had raised his average 34 points in the past 6 games (.259 to .293). Trumbo was 4-11 with another SB (6th already), along with one K and a walk.  It's time to have him hitting higher in the order! Callaspo had a solid series, going 5-12. Bourjos went 4-10 with 2 SBs, one walk, and only one strikeout. He seems to be figuring some things out at the plate and on the bases. Izturis finally emerged from his past 16 games slumber with 2 hits on Sunday. The Halos stole 6 bases in the series, and were caught just once.

*The defense was rock solid with 0 errors. Trumbo made a heads up play Sunday, covering second base on a double by Jorge Posada which led to Posada being tagged out on a rundown. Aybar continues to play smart baseball on the throws trying to catch would be basestealers, by continuing the tag all the way through.

Thumbs Down 

*Only one pitcher truly messed up in the series. That would be Jepsen giving up a HR to .215 weak hitting Swisher, which contributed to the loss. Earth to Jepsen, you will not be pitching in the bigs much longer if you never pitch ANY batters tight!

*The RISP hitting was PUTRID, going just 5-28 and leaving the bases loaded multiple times. This wonderful offense is now hitting UNDER .200 with the bases loaded.  The 1975 team thinks that's horrible!

*Special recognition goes to two people. Kendrick has never figured out how to hit when returning from even just a 15 day DL stay. It's like he needs 2 weeks to return to form after missing a similar time. That won't get it done Howie! Finally, to you Torii Hunter, here's recognition for your 16 GIDPs already, as well as for your 0-18 stinking it up in the past 5 games to shrink your BA from .249 to .229. You may have indeed left HALF of the free world on base so far this season! Why are you still hitting cleanup? You STILL just never know what this offense is going to do from game to game. I  yearn for the day where the hitters have the pitch recognition and power that at least half of the other AL teams have.

Looking forward to:  The 2011 Amateur draft on Monday

Here's to not selecting so many hackers at the plate early on anymore. Ric Wilson alluded to looking for more physical hitting, which hopefully means more batters who can actually have pitch recognition and actually hit the ball a ways. Too many toolsy speedsters with little pitch recognition and little power have been taken in the past several drafts.
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By Andre Castillo - AngelsWin.com Feature Writer

Before going any further, I think it’s important to take note of how tight the race is right now in the AL West. A quick recap of the standings as of Sunday morning:

AL West Standings

W
L
Texas
33
26
Seattle
30
28
Angels
30
30
Oakland
27
32

Texas has a decent lead, but it’s still very tight. With everyone so competitive, what is driving these teams success, and what is holding them back? Looking through the Angels team stats, I found an interesting nugget:

MLB Fielding Rankings: AL West
MLB Rank
#1
21.8
#5
11.2
#28
-15.4
#29
-16


The Angels have been playing elite defense. According to Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), it is the best defense in the majors. You can thank Peter Bourjos and Torii Hunter for that one, who lead the Angels in UZR (see last week’s post).

But yet, look at how good the Rangers defense has been, ranked not far behind at 5th place, and how awful the A’s and Mariners have been, nearly last in the Majors. The Rangers have done a good job it seems of neutralizing this traditional Halo advantage.

Now let’s look at pitching.

MLB Rank
ERA
FIP
#2
Athletics
3.15
3.43
#4
Mariners
3.27
3.28
#7
Angels
3.39
3.65
#10
Rangers
3.56
4.4

I ordered the teams by their ERA, because those are the runs that count. But I put them next to their FIP so you can see what the advanced stats think their ERAs should be going forward.
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Angels Outfielder Rehabbing With Inland Empire

San Bernardino, CA – Angels’ outfielder Vernon Wells will begin a rehab assignment with the Inland Empire 66ers on Sunday when the team visits the High Desert Mavericks. It will be Wells’ first ever California League appearance. The game can be heard beginning with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Pregame show on the 66ers flagship station, 1050 KCAA.

Vernon Wells entered 2011 as the American League’s all-time leader in outfield fielding percentage (.993). The three-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner has 227 career home runs, 826 career RBI and over 1500 lifetime hits. He was placed on the disabled list on May 9th with a strained right groin and has not played since.

Wells joined the Angels in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in January in exchange for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. Wells had played in at least portions of the previous 12 seasons for the Blue Jays including his 2003 season where he led the American League in hits with 215 and doubles with 49. Wells was originally selected fifth overall by the Blue Jays in the 1997 draft out of Arlington Bowie High School in Texas.

Wells joins the 66ers for the series opener against the High Desert Mavericks in Adelanto on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05, and the game can be heard on 1050 KCAA or online through the 66ers team website, www.66ers.com.

Inland Empire 66ers tickets are on sale now both at the 66ers box office and online at www.66ers.com. For more information on the Inland Empire 66ers please contact Sam Farber, Director of Broadcasting, at 909-495-7632.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

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Make sure to listen to our AngelsWin.com Podcast  - Episode Four - which was LIVE on Saturday morning, June 4th at 10:00 am with host Adam Dodge, AngelsWin.com Founder and Executive Editor Chuck Richter with special guest Riley Breckenridge from the popular OC Band - Thrice who also writes for OC Weekly and Flip Collective.


Listen to internet radio with AngelsWin on Blog Talk Radio

Riley Breckenridge, the drummer of our favorite Irvine alt-rock band Thrice, is also an Angels fan and daily reader of AngelsWin.com.

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You can follow the band's twitter feed @officialthrice. Thrice has a new record that will be out on September 20th.

You can also follow Riley's personal twitter feed @rileybreck where people can get links and info on my contributions to OC Weekly & Flip Collective

For Riley's baseball-related musings, you can check out his twitter feed that he started with his good friend (and SF Giants fan) Ian @productiveouts

Friday, June 3, 2011

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By Jeff Flinn - AngelsWin.com Contributor

Thumbs Up

*Chatwood pitched a great game, going into the 8th inning with a shutout. Santana struggled early, but righted himself and shut the Royals out from the 3rd through 6th innings to keep the Halos in the game. Joel Pineiro wasn't bad at all, except for one inning.

*Rodney actually had yet another clean inning on Monday, closing the game this time.   Now if only he could ever be consistent for any stretch of time. Walden got a nice breather after a 35 pitch outing in the Sunday game for the previous series.

*Hitting wise, the Halos came back from a 6-1 deficit after two innings and 8-5 deficit after seven innings to win on Monday 10-8.   That's twice on the road trip where they were down at least 5 runs and came back to win the game. The RISP BA was at .270 for the series (9-33).  It continues to slowly improve. Aybar, Trumbo, Abreu, and Hunter all had a solid series. Trumbo had another long HR on Monday, and seems to be getting more comfortable vs. righties. Mathis had another 2 hit game on Tuesday, his 3rd two-hit game in about a week's time period. Abreu has a bunch of doubles lately. The Halos hit 4 HRs on Monday.  The Halos also stole 4 bases in the series, including Aybar's 13th and 14th, Trumbo's 5th, and Bourjos' 6th.

Thumbs Down 

*Joel Pineiro had one big hiccup inning on Tuesday night, that was mitigated by his throwing error on a potential GIDP ball.  Santana struggled for the first 2 innings on Monday, giving up six runs and having little  to no command.

*Downs finally had a poor inning, although the HR is still questionable as we speak. 

*The defense committed three errors in the series, and wasn't as reliable as they have normally been so far in 2011.
    
*The offense still has a nasty habit of leaving the bases loaded (5 for 28 in those spots so far in 2011). I thought bases loaded spots were the ones to usually benefit from....my mistake. And they were abysmal against mediocre command pitchers on Wednesday, not taking one single walk!!! Abreu K'd THREE times against righties on Wednesday.   He still only has TWO HRs. The Angels continue to make EVERY SINGLE unknown pitcher look like Cy Young! You STILL just never know what this offense is going to do from game to game.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

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Free Campaign Allows Baseball Fans to Personalize the Legendary Song with their Favorite Photos and Share their Team Spirit Online

LOS ANGELES, May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- JibJab Media Inc., the leader in personalized entertainment, and MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, have partnered on a new Starring You® campaign to offer baseball fans a fun and engaging way to immerse themselves in the game and with the teams of their choice.

The family-friendly program, which launched today on JibJab.com, MLB.com and the 30 MLB Club Web sites, is free and enables fans to choose their favorite teams and insert photos of themselves their families and friends into a humorous, animated video of the traditional seventh-inning stretch song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." After creating their videos, fans can share them via e-mail, through social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and by embedding them into their blog at no cost.

"As baseball fans we are thrilled to be in business with MLBAM," said JibJab co-founder and CEO Guy, Gregg Spiridellis. "With 30 MLB Clubs to choose from, and up to five team members to personalize, we hope this provides hours of entertainment for friends and families across the country and world."

"Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is the newest release utilizing JibJab's popular Starring You® technology platform, which also has featured campaigns from Star Wars, AMC's Mad Men, Disney's High School Musical and Justin Bieber. To date, users have created over 275 million actors using the Starring You® technology platform that have appeared in personalized videos and images that have been viewed over 750 million times.

To personalize a "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" Starring You!® video visit http://mlb.jibjab.com/, MLB.com/jibjab or the 30 MLB Club Web sites.

About JibJab

JibJab makes things that make people laugh. From offbeat Sendables® eCards to personalized Starring You!® videos and satirical viral videos, JibJab is on a mission to help more people share more laughs than any other company in the history of the world. With over 100 million visits to its websites in the past twelve months the company is well on its way to doing it.

For more information, please visit http://blog.jibjab.com/about/.

JibJab® and Starring You!® are trademarks of JibJab Media Inc. in the United States and other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
San Bernardino All-Stars take on Riverside County All-Stars, Tuesday June 7th

San Bernardino, CA – Arrowhead Credit Union Park, home of the Inland Empire 66ers, will host the best and brightest high school talent in the Inland Empire on Tuesday, June 7th, at 7 PM for the Inland Empire Coaches Association San Bernardino vs. Riverside County All-Star Game.

Admission to the event is $5, and tickets are available at both the 66ers box office and online through Ticketmaster. The game features all-stars from San Bernardino and Riverside county as selected by the local high school coaches. Fans can come early to see both teams take batting practice and run infield and outfield drills beginning at 5 PM. Team introductions will take place at 6:50 just before the 7 PM first pitch time.

Last year’s game featured several players who wound up being selected in the MLB draft just a few days later. Cesar Aguilar represented AB Miller in last year’s game and was drafted by the St.bLouis Cardinals in the 14th round. Steve Landazuri was selected to last year’s East All-Star team and was drafted in the 22nd round by the Seattle Mariners. Landazuri could one day return to Arrowhead Credit Union Park to compete against the 66ers for the Seattle affiliate in High Desert.

All-Star rosters will be released to the media after selection. Tickets are available now at the Arrowhead Credit Union Park box office. For more information contact Sam Farber at (909)495-7632, or via email at sfarber@ie66ers.com
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Make sure to tune into our AngelsWin.com Podcast LIVE for Episode Four on Saturday June 4th at 10:00 am with host Adam Dodge, AngelsWin.com Founder and Executive Editor Chuck Richter with special guest Riley Breckenridge from the popular OC Band - Thrice who also writes for OC Weekly and Flip Collective.

Riley Breckenridge, the drummer of our favorite Irvine alt-rock band Thrice, is also an Angels fan and daily reader of AngelsWin.com.

riley.jpg

You can follow the band's twitter feed @officialthrice. Thrice has a new record that will be out on September 20th.

You can also follow Riley's personal twitter feed @rileybreck where people can get links and info on my contributions to OC Weekly & Flip Collective

For Riley's baseball-related musings, you can check out his twitter feed that he started with his good friend (and SF Giants fan) Ian @productiveouts

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

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By Andre Castillo - AngelsWin.com Feature Writer

April-May,  2011

Part 1: Hitters

Fangraphs has introduced a new stat, Ultimate Base Running (UBR), to give credit to hitters who are good base runners, and to ding hitters who are poor base runners, by calculating how their base running skills contributes to runs scored. UBR takes some of the defensive measures of UZR that track how well an outfielder prevents runners from advancing and then flips those stats to credit or ding base runners. So if an outfielder fails to prevent a runner from advancing, not only is the outfielder dinged, but that runner is also given credit in UBR. The runner also gets credit if he goes from first to second on a groundball, or goes second to third on a ball hit to SS or 3B without being thrown out. Credit is awarded in terms of how many runs all of those successful (or unsuccessful) base running moves are expected to produce (or subtract). It doesn’t, however, including SB/CS, because that is already counted in wOBA, though I imagine that could change.

Why am I beginning this article by talking about UBR? Because UBR is now a part of Fangraphs’ WAR stat. Fangraphs WAR is now composed of three stats: UBR (listed as “Bsr”), UZR (listed as “Fld,” for measuring defense), and wOBA, measuring hitting, which I covered last week.

With UBR now a part of WAR, you’re going to see at least one big change in the Angels WAR rankings, so keep an eye out! (Note that stats are accumulated for all of 2011 until June 1, 2011).

WAR Leaders (min. 40 PA)

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