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Wednesday Halolinks: Angels using new methods to improve

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The Angels' front office is using advanced methods in player scouting.

"OPS+?  I have no idea what you're talking about."
"OPS+? I have no idea what you're talking about."
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

That's it folks, 2014 is OVER.  Here's the last Halolinks of the year:

  • (This post from the OC Register was mentioned in yesterday's Halolinks comment section by river-z)...This is encouraging.  Even if you don't believe the study of statistics can be useful in the scouting of players, you at least have to be encouraged that the Angels are trying new things.  Number-crunching: Four 20-somethings help Angels make sense of all that data - The Orange County Register, "We view statistics on a sliding scale in importance," Horowitz said. "When you’re at the major-league level, your performance is your performance. But it becomes less so as you move down. When you’re in college, your performance can be misleading, so you have to make sure you’re looking at the right things. "More specifically, the things we’re looking for are the things we think translate the best." In short, that’s strike-zone control, for both pitchers and hitters. The Angels want hitters who walked more than they struck out in college and pitchers who hardly walked anybody."  I still think improving the nutrition and health of minor leaguers is an untapped avenue to performance improvement.  Maybe one of these young guys will put down the Taco Bell and look into it.
  • I wonder how old the author of this post is?  If he's under 30 he just might fit into the Angels new front office: KATOH: Forecasting Major League Hitting with Minor League Stats – The Hardball Times, "To get a better sense of what mattered most, I turned to the reams of minor league data available through Baseball-Reference. Using these data, I ran some probit regressions, which tell us how a variety of inputs can predict the likelihood of an event that has two possible outcomes. For example, it might give the probability of a prospect’s making it to the majors based on his age and league-adjusted strikeout percentage, walk percentage, isolated slugging, batting average on balls in play, and frequency of stolen base attempts."
  • Of all the ideas to fill the hole created by dealing Howie Kendrick, this is my favorite.  This could be the guy hitting in the #2 slot of the Angels' batting order: The Market For Ben Zobrist – MLB Trade Rumors, "Angels: The Angels dealt Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers in a one-for-one trade that netted them top young lefty Andrew Heaney, and they now project to have Grant Green or Josh Rutledge starting at second base. Zobrist’s contract wouldn’t push them over the luxury tax threshold, though they lack impact prospects to entice the Rays."
  • Of all the ideas to fill the hole created by dealing Howie Kendrick, this is the worst: How Royals’ magical roster nearly got a July shakeup - New York Post, "Drew has several teams interested in him as a primary second baseman (a position he had not played until traded last July to the Yankees) and as shortstop insurance. Clubs such as the Blue Jays, A’s, Cubs, White Sox and Angels fall into this category."
  • I believe in stats, but I also believe in chemistry.  Clubhouse vet Shields brings more than numbers - MLB.com, "Here's the thing about Shields that's difficult for those of us outside the clubhouse to completely understand. Sometimes, we probably make too much of the chemistry. On the other hand, Jack Morris, to name one prominent former player, thinks we don't make enough of it. Morris said it was a vital part of all the good teams he was part of. To me, this is one of the reasons every team should want Shields. When you ask Shields' former teammates about him, they almost never begin with the workload or the performance or any of that stuff. Instead, they'll tell you about his work ethic and the example Shields set. They'll tell you how he mentored young pitchers and helped them understand how to be a Major Leaguer."  As with any free agent signing, at the right price, James Shields would be a pretty good addition to the Angels' rotation.
  • Spoiler alert; This guy predicts only two players will be elected this year: Guest post: Bill Deane’s third annual Hall of Fame forecast - Baseball: Past and Present, "Editor's note: For the third consecutive year, I'm honored to feature Hall of Fame predictions from Bill Deane, former senior research associate at Cooperstown."