Angels make excellent under-the-radar hire

Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

One of the very few big success stories of the 2022 Los Angeles Angels was the emergence of Taylor Ward. The outfielder hadn't shown much at the Major League level before breaking out in a big way in 2022.

Ward slashed .281/.360/.473 with 22 home runs and 65 RBI in 135 games. He was outstanding for the Angels and I expect him to be even better if he's able to have an injury-free season. A big factor in Ward's success was the work he put in during the 2021 offseason with Trent Woodward, his former college roommate and teammate at Fresno State.

Ward completely changed his swing and hitting philosophy while working with Woodward. It ended up working wonders. Thanks to Ward's success and the fact that Woodward is now working with Brett Phillips, the Angels made the decision to make him a part of their organization.

The Angels hire Trent Woodward in a consulting role

While Woodward shouldn't be the only one getting credit for Ward's breakout, he definitely played a role. Ward said that himself. For the Angels to notice that and bring him in to potentially make an impact with other hitters on the roster is a great thing.

The Angels signed Brett Phillips to a one-year deal in a move that raised a lot of questions. Phillips slashed .144/.217/.249 with five home runs and 15 RBI last season in 83 games. Getting a major league contract over some of the other fourth outfielder options was definitely questionable at best.

Phillips working with Woodward could have played a small role in that decision. The Angels could believe in Woodward's ability to turn him into at least a passable hitter. One that doesn't strike out 41.8% of the time like Phillips did in 2022. WIll this work? I have no idea, but it's easy now to see the connection.

I think this can end up being a sneaky good hire for the Angels. If one player has close to the breakout Ward had, it'd be worth it.

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