Mailbag: 12/24/2021

It’s a short one this week. Let’s get to it.

“Who from the homegrown Angels infielders in the minors do you think will be the first to reach the Majors and when?” – @buckybucky21

Hello, Bucky. The Angels have a fun grouping of middle infielders in the low-to-mid minors in Kyren Paris, Jeremiah Jackson, Arol Vera, Adrian Placencia, and Denzer Guzman. I placed them in that order because that is the order I believe they will make the Majors. Paris and Jackson both started the year in Low-A, with Paris getting a late season trip to High-A. I’m making assumptions here but I would believe Jackson would have also gotten a promotion if not for injuries that took most of his year. I’m the high man on Paris sticking at shortstop, but I’m also in the 50/50 split camp when it comes to that. I think both Paris and Jackson are likely two years out (2024) at earliest. I think Vera could catch up to them in terms of ETA and development progression, but that still puts him as a 2024. Placencia needs some physical development and Guzman hasn’t played stateside yet so there’s a lot of time for both of those kids.

“Angels need a shortstop. They are a good young team. How about trade for Brewers top prospect Brice Turang? His defense is insane and we could get him relatively cheap.” – @27hof

Howdy! So I will agree with one thing you noted: The Angels need a shortstop. I will probably disagree with the rest of your question/comment. I like Brice Turang and got to see him frequently as an amateur while he was in high school about an hour from my humble abode. I think he’s capable of playing shortstop, but wouldn’t use “insane” to describe him. I also don’t think he’d come relatively cheap. Just looking at the trade simulator (bleh, I know, I said it out loud), his value just doesn’t match up to what the Angels could trade away. He’s also coming off a year where he was around average in Triple-A and is an unproven hitter – which is something the Angels already have a surplus of (Luis Rengifo, Tyler Wade, Andrew Velasquez). I’m trying to find a match where the Angels could fill a hole for the Brewers that would land them a chance at acquiring Turang, but I just can’t and it’s not like Turang would be an immediate solution to shortstop. Sorry for being a bad news bear, but I just don’t see it happening.

“Is it tough that the Angels are not necessarily rebuilding due to Trout and Ohtani? If this 2022 season goes down the drain who gets flipped at the deadline?” – @p_shepherd14

Hi, Patrick. This is a loaded question with a lot of differing answers, but I’ll stick to the clear cut one. Rebuilds are a crapshoot and have a moderate level of return. You can look at the Royals and Astros and Rays and others, and say it works, but you have to find a winning formula and cede a lot of assets to go into a full rebuild. When it comes to the Angels, part of the losing assets could have been seeing Mike Trout walk in free agency. That alone is reason enough not to gamble. The other thing is it seems Arte Moreno has no desire to go into a rebuild (this is opinion based, he’s never said so outright). If ownership sees a path for winning and is willing to spend the money to do so (Arte has spent big bucks to try and build a winning team), that is the direction you have to follow as an executive and can be the downfall. Like I said, it’s a loaded question, but hopefully that gave some form of clarity. As for who could get flipped if things go awry, you immediately look at the guys in contract years and for the Angels in 2022, it’s Noah Syndergaard, Michael Lorenzen, and Max Stassi. The returns on those guys may not be overwhelming, because the Angels are looking to those guys to help in the winning and if things are awry, it didn’t work.

“Will Sam Bachman – who I went to college with – be better than Nolan Ryan or merely just as good?” – @jonbecker

Hola, Jon. So, let’s have fun with this. Let’s start with Sam Bachman pitching in the years 1966 to 1993. There were not a lot of guys throwing in the upper 90’s with an upper 80’s slider during those years, so if you lob Bachman into that frame of baseball history… yeah, he might be able to knock around some dudes and have a Hall of Fame career. However, we are in 2021 now, so that ain’t happening. Another fun little item is that Nolan Ryan had a career ERA+ of 112, with 9.5 strikeouts-per-nine. Could Sam Bachman do that over his career? Sure. I don’t see why not – especially if he’s a reliever for the majority of it. Could Sam Bachman do that for 27 years and be the all-time strikeout leader, eight-time All-Star, and throw seven no-hitters? I don’t think so. So, from long form to short form: No.

“What’s your walk up song?” – @Jared_Tims

Bonjour, Jared. I knew I could count on you for some nonsense. I think walkout songs should be loud and obnoxious and also build you up while going to the plate (usually, they are mainstream), so here are 10 walkout songs that hit those chords and do not mean I would use any of them (My walkout songs would alternate between “O Fortuna” in the style of Andre Rieu and “Trash Unreal” by Against Me!):

  1. Crazy Train – Black Sabbath
  2. Chambea – Bad Bunny
  3. The Man/The Man – The Killer/Aloe Blacc
  4. Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy – Big & Rich
  5. Ladies and Gentlemen – Saliva
  6. California Love – 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre
  7. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin
  8. Ronca – Myke Towers
  9. Danza Kuduro – Don Omar ft. Lucenzo
  10. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark – Fall Out Boy
  11. (Bonus Track(s): Anything by Jason Aldean, Imagine Dragons, or Avicii

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