Angels First Half Player Grades
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
With the first half of the MLB season getting ready to reach the All-Star break, we can start to realistically review this team. The Angels have been one of the bigger mysteries in the league this season. Terribly inconsistent, and near impossible to predict what team will show up each night. Its even harder to fathom the possibility that this team lacks talent considering some of the names on the roster. But for whatever reason, the Angels just either haven’t put it all together or frankly are just a middle of the road team. Anyways, on with the grades..
Mike Scioscia- Manager
It isn’t fair to put all the blame for a mediocre start on Scioscia’s shoulders, but it is fair to place a large amount of accountability on him. Currently, the team is 33-33, third place in the AL West, 5.5 games out of first. His message has clearly not been heard or translated on the field. With some of the pieces on this roster, Scioscia needs to do a better job of preparing the club to go out and compete every night.
Chris Iannetta, Carlos Perez- Catcher
The only thing saving this duo from a failing grade is the learning curve for Carlos Perez. Besides that, the Angels have gotten essentially nothing from the catching position. Combined, the backstop is hitting .217 with 5 HR and 24 RBI, while striking out on about a third of their plate appearances. Simply nothing offensively, and its been just as bad defensively with runners routinely swiping bags. Maybe the Taylor Ward selection was smart after all.
Albert Pujols- 1B
Early in the season it didn’t look good for the veteran slugger, but Pujols has since rebounded. In the past two months he has done his best to carry the offense. Losing Josh Hamilton was a blow to the lineup, and specifically for Pujols. Currently he is hitting .273 with 19 HR and 37 RBI. If the Angels could do a better job setting the table, they might see an MVP type of season from Fat Albert.
Johnny Giavotella- 2B
Nobody really expected him to be the answer at second base coming into the season, but Giavotella has done his best to solidify it. Offensively, you can’t really count on him for anything more than a single or walk, but he has had some success in clutch situations which has been a big plus.
David Freese- 3B
All things considered, Freese has had a positive season batting in the middle of the order for the Angels. With 10 HR’s and 34 RBI, he has done an admirable job in adding protection for Pujols and Trout. If he can have an even better second half, it would go a long way in the success of the club.
Erick Aybar- SS
With the Angels having to change their lineup for most of the first half of the season, Aybar has suffered. Mainly, batting in the leadoff spot, he is only hitting .246 with 1 HR. Aybar provides good defense, but his offensive production hasn’t been good enough to set the table for the middle of the order.
Matt Joyce, Colin Cowgill, Efren Navarro- LF
The left field position has been horrible all season for the Angels. Not one of these guys have gotten the job done, or proven to be an answer going forward. The three band-aids have combined for a .219 AVG 5 HR and 20 RBI through 66 games. Basically this is just another out in the lineup.
Mike Trout- CF
Its been another solid season thus far for Trout. Batting in the third or fourth spot he is hitting .297 with 18 HR and 39 RBIs. His defense, offense, and overall presence in the lineup is enough to mask some of the dismal first half production from the rest of this team. Going forward, Trout will need to throw on his superman cape to save this season.
Kole Calhoun- RF
Batting .273 with 6 HR and 32 RBI, Calhoun has tried to fill some of the void in the middle of the lineup this season. Unfortunately, he is just not that much of a difference maker. Calhoun is best suited towards the bottom of the order, but for right now, they need more out of him.
C.J. Wilson- SP
At 4-5 with a 3.60 ERA, Wilson has pitched OK for the club. He has had his share of strong outings, but just as many poor outings, displaying the inconsistency of this team as a whole. The Angels need him to be a 15 game winner, and it seems more likely that he may have that opportunity for another club after the trade deadline.
Garrett Richards- SP
Considering what the Angels were expecting out of Richards, his 7-4 record and 3.60 ERA has been too quiet. This guy has shut down, ace of the staff, type of stuff, but we’ve only seen him put it together a few times this season. He’s battled thus far to grab 7 wins, but for the most part he hasn’t looked like a dominant pitcher.
Jered Weaver- SP
Weaver hasn’t been good, and his 4-7 record is a blessing. It seems like his 82 mph changeup or fastball has finally caught up to him, surrendering 98 hits in 91 innings and 16 HRs which is just one shy of what he posted for the whole 2013 season. I don’t see him getting any better, and if there is any way to move on from him the Angels should do so quickly.
Hector Santiago- SP
The surprise of the staff this year has been Santiago. Posting a minuscule 2.77 ERA and almost a strikeout per inning has only led to a 4-4 record for the lefty. There’s no telling if he can keep up with this pace all year, but right now he has pitched like an ace.
Matt Shoemaker- SP
The righty has looked more like a batting practice pitcher than a starter at times this season. At 4-5 with an ERA just under 5.00, Shoemaker is just another guy eating innings out there. He is probably best served in some form of a bullpen role.
Huston Street- Closer
For the most part, Huston Street has been a rock out of the pen. With 20 saves, a 2-2 record, and a 2.3 ERA he has done his job when given the opportunity. Street and the Angels could really benefit from another power arm in the bullpen.