Obviously at this point we can plan on another October free of Angels baseball. While disappointing, it doesn’t mean we should tune out the team (or stop hanging out here). No, it just means we need to treat September a lot more like Spring Training but with draft implications down the line.
So, here’s what I’m looking for when I watch the games. Please feel free to add your own.
- Nolan Schanuel – first base has been a black hole of production for the Angels outside of Jared Walsh’s 2021 campaign. Will the 2023 first round pick become the Angels first baseman of the future? So far he’s a touch above league average with the bat but lacking Walsh’s range and soft hands. Let’s see how pitchers adjust to him and whether or not the glove improves.
- Luis Rengifo – pretty crazy that after all these years we are still wondering what exactly we have in Luis Rengifo. He got off to a putrid start with the bat in April and May when he was playing somewhat sporadically but has been one of the best hitters in the AL since he started playing full time in July. On the year he has a wRC+ of 110. Should he be a full time starter next year?
- Chase Silseth – legitimate starter for 2024 and beyond or future long reliever? Too bad an errant throw will take some chances away from him, but his stuff is looking good or good enough to stick.
- Griffin Canning – Griffin has pitched 104 innings this year, nearly equaling his total from 2021 and 2022 combined. Overall his stuff is solid although he is giving up a lot of hard contact. If he can end the year healthy at about 110-120 innings, that sets him up nicely to be a piece of the rotation next year. I have a feeling taking all that time off last year helped him heal up.
- Jose Soriano – Speaking of elite stuff, Soriano has one of the best fastballs in the game. Will he be able to develop into a back end reliever?
- Logan O’Hoppe – he got off to such a great start, how will he finish?
- Mickey Moniak – similar to O’Hoppe in getting off to a hot start. Mickey slumped for a while but seems to be putting better at bats together now. Still too many strikeouts.
- Reid Detmers – Can he find any consistency? His game logs are a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde affair. He’s becoming Andrew Heaney 2.0 minus the injuries.
- Trey Cabbage – Trey is just such a great guy. I love seeing him fulfill his dream. That smile on his face is so genuine it puts one on mine. Would love nothing more than to see him go on a tear.
So there we go. A solid 9 reasons to watch what is a season spiraling the drain and nearly over. If you are looking for wins and losses, you aren’t looking in the right places. In fact, losses help with draft position and given how quickly the Angels have promoted draftee lately, that is huge.
If you really want a silver lining, you can’t beat $2 tickets on StubHub.