Angels Off to a Hot Start!

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Updated: March 1, 2017

The Angels are undefeated in Spring Training! What does this mean? Nothing! Seriously, it doesn’t mean nothing but it’s close. We don’t watch Spring Training games to see who wins or loses or even stat lines, necessarily. We watch them to see how players are developing, we watch them to see how healthy players are, we watch them to see how players are approving their approach, their stance, their delivery, any aspect of their game that needs improvement. Obviously, Mike Trout is going to be great, so watching him in Spring Training is just watching a great player prepare himself for the season, which is as exciting as it sounds. There are those players, though, who are worth watching to see where they’re at.

Maybe they’re a prized prospect trying to prove they’re major league ready. Maybe they’re a struggling veteran looking to reestablish himself. Maybe they’re a player coming off of an injury, and we want to see how far along in their recovery they are. Maybe they’re two players locked in a battle for a starting job, and for better or worse the decision will be made based on Spring Training. To that end, they Angels have many player who fit those criteria, and a lot have already played. Ben Revere is one player worth keeping an eye on, and he’s looked good so far, with two more hits today. Pitchers like Yusmeiro Petit, Bud Norris, Manny Banuelos, and Nate Smith have pitched well over these four games and have raised hopes for actual pitching depth.

At the plate, the Halos have carried over their development from last year as far as a patient, contact-oriented approach to limit strikeouts, and it’s looking good. (Another quick reminder: it’s just Spring Training, and I don’t want to be the bad guy but the Angels didn’t stand a chance in this game until there were no starters left and then they came back. Resume the good news!) Most importantly, the Angels look fast and aggressive on the base paths, something they haven’t been in years. Some of the best Angels teams in recent memory had speed and aggressiveness on the base paths as their bench mark, and it looks sweet having that back as a weapon. There are worse things to be in this league than a fast team that doesn’t strike out, puts the ball in play, and plays great defense, and if the Angels can get some pitching you can finally start to realistically see a quality team. It may just be Spring Training, but there are some good things going on here!

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