Yo-eleven. Less than 12, more than 10 days until pitchers/catchers report Halolinks:
- NBC Sports is doing a feature on each team's projected opening day 25-man rosters; here's what they have on the Halos: Running down the rosters: Los Angeles Angels - HardballTalk. "Texas still has more depth and minor league talent to play with, but the Angels have the better rotation and now arguably the game’s best hitter anchoring the lineup." I'm a little concerned with the drop-off of talent the Angels have after #5 starter Jerome Williams, but I hate to say it, I wasn't aware of how weak the the bullpen looks until reading in this post. The only new addition to last season's staff was 39 year-old LaTroy Hawkins, and unless the club signs one of the few remaining free agents (Luis Ayala), or one of their current relievers has a breakout season (I'm betting on Rich Thompson), the pen may be the Angels downfall in 2012.
- Mark Saxon's continued look at each position: Position previews: Left field - ESPN Los Angeles. There was some minor rumblings about the Vernon Wells/Mike Trout situation in left field, but Saxon gets a definitive answer, "Nothing gets Angels fans more riled up than thinking about left field; specifically, the brutal 2011 season of left fielder Vernon Wells.... Which figures to make the following comment by general manager Jerry Dipoto like nails on a chalkboard to some fans: "Vernon's our left fielder." Dipoto made that statement Wednesday, when I asked him whether there will be a measure of competition for the spot this spring." It sounds like Trout will start the season in Utah, "Guys who make their debuts as teenagers are in a selective class. He's got a huge upside and we'll make sure he gets his reps. With our current setup, there's no reason to rush him," Dipoto said.
- And speaking of teenagers, here's an interesting post from FanGraphs: High School Draftees and Elite Seasons - FanGraphs Baseball. A couple of telling stats point out the difference in drafting HS and college players, "79% of collegiate first-round draft picks reach the major leagues for at least one day. 62% of high school first-round draft picks reach the major leagues for at least one day. 32.8% (77 of 235) of elite players were drafted out of high school. Compare that to the 45.9% (108 of 235) that attended some sort of college, and we are left with the conclusion that high school players are not worth the risk. The increased reward of an increased likelihood of drafting an elite player is simply not corroborated by the numbers. Not only do collegiate players reach the big leagues at a higher rate, but collegiate players also make up the vast majority of the elite players in the MLB since the 2000 season."
- MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
Jeremy Affeldt: Master Of Irony - Hot Corner - Baseball Nation. "Affeldt's made $9 million the last two years, and will make another $5 million this year. He knows that 46 million Americans are using food stamps to get by, and complaining about the price of groceries is poor form when you're a millionaire. Unless you're being ironic."