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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Minor League Scorebook

The only news today: a new AFL journal entry from Howie Kendrick.
I'm a pretty aggressive hitter (Editor's note: Kendrick hasn't drawn a walk in the AFL this year) and I think that's been a benefit for me. Oh-fers are going to happen. How often they happen is what separates a good hitter from an average hitter. I think my aggressiveness works for me with that. I don't walk a lot. I look for pitches early in the count. I don't mind hitting with two strikes. I see it as a challenge. I just try to be aggressive at the plate and it's been working to my benefit. Sometimes it depends on how you're feeling. Sometimes I feel I want to go out and hit the first pitch. Sometimes I want to see a couple. What it comes down to for anyone is not missing your pitches to hit. When I'm struggling, I'm not seeing those pitches and I'm missing them. But when I'm going good, I don't miss the good pitches to hit.
I fear for the future of the Angels' organization...

To the games. A makeup doubleheader for Surprise, who probably wish they hadn't played either one...

2005-10-25: Peo Javelinas 8, Surprise 4 (Completed Early: Doubleheader) #
Kendrick: 2-4
Morales: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 K
Wood: 1-3, 1 RBI
Hubele: 1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Bourn: 0-1, 2 BB
Bass: (L, 1-1), 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 2 HR, 2.93 ERA
Brian Bass, a Royals product, blew this one, but he looks to be more filler sent to round out the AFL.
2005-10-25: Peo Javelinas 12, Surprise 2 (Completed Early: Doubleheader) #
Kendrick: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 K
Wood: 0-3, 2 K
Barzilla: (L, 2-1), 1.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 10.80 ERA
Cameron: 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 4.82 ERA
Not a very impressive day for the Angels prospects all told. Their mound opponent was the Mariners' Clint Nageotte.
2005-10-25: Grand Canyon 10, Phoenix 3 #
Pridie: 1-3, 2 BB
Abreu: 1-4
Ethier: 0-1, 1 RBI, 3 BB
Murphy: (L, 2-1), 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 7 K, 3 BB, 5.40 ERA
Basner: 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 4.66 ERA
Grand Canyon's four-run fifth sealed this one, in which only Tony Abreu was the only Dodgers participant.

Oh my God that was horrible. :(

I can't believe the Angels organization is preaching this. Then again, maybe I only feel this way because this kind of mindset will destroy otherwise talented hitters in baseball. It's precisely the opposite of what your high school and college coaches tell you what to do. Plate discipline is the principal tool that enables a hitter to leverage an advantage against a pitcher. It doesn't matter if most pitchers are now taught to throw first pitch strikes, or that the strike zone is tiny. You shouldn't swing at the first pitch unless it's down your wheelhouse. Preaching against plate discipline is so unbelievably stupid that whoever's preaching it should be fired. Really. It's horrifying.
As I've said, the Angels don't care about plate discipline much; hitting with two strikes, hitting with RISP, and especially, hitting with two outs is their bread and butter. Color me less than impressed.
Yeah, but those aspects of the strategy aren't first-stage, per se. Hitting with RISP is dependent on hitters getting on base. Most hitters shouldn't (and don't) pull on a two-strike count. And if it's Scoscia's intention on getting people to second base, then swinging aggressively isn't necessary anyway, since a single in the gaps can bring a guy in motion home.

This is common baseball knowledge, and it would be really disturbing if the Angels were telling their players to do anything but. The 2002 Angels were distinguished for their plate discipline; their love of hit-and-run was implictly linked to their ability to get on base. I'm just disturbed that, as an organization, they would move away from that formula.
The 2002 squad's collective OBP was .341, as it was last year. The 2005 squad's figure was .325, ninth in the league.

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