August 2, 2010

Put me (actually Peter Bourjos) in coach, I'm (he's) ready to play...

The word on the net today is that Peter Bourjos is being called up. Bourjos is a 23 year old outfielder last seen hitting .314 at Salt Lake City with a .861 OPS, 13 homeruns and get this – 12 triples. He’s also stolen 27 bases in 32 attempts. The kid can fly, but can he play?

Hopefully, we are about to find out. I would like to believe that Mike Scioscia has seen enough of Juan Rivera in left field and realizes that although Reggie Willits is a nice role player – someone like Bourjos has greater potential and should play right away. My hope is that Bourjos is given the opportunity to do exactly that – play. At a minimum he’s sure to make an impact defensively. How could he not?

I mean the way Rivera plays left field, the player introductions by the P.A. announcer should omit him and instead say “Playing center and left field tonight is Torii Hunter.” Yes, that’s how bad Rivera is.

That being said, Scioscia has a history of bringing guys up only to let the sit on the bench. That would be a total waste of time.

This team needs a spark. They need someone who can breathe some life into the offense. A big task for a 23 year old? Yes, most definitely – but this is what makes baseball great because Bourjos could be that kind of player. We really don’t know until he gets a shot.

Now, I don’t want to get overly excited and in turn over hype Bourjos beyond reasonable expectations. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to see if one of the prospects can shine. I’m not expecting him to be the next Ryan Braun or anything. Bourjos isn’t that kind of player.

If he can come in and give the team some much needed speed on the bases, play a solid left field and just not get embarrassed at the plate, I’ll be happy.

And since we’re on the subject of the outfield, let’s talk about 2011. I know, I know there’s plenty of baseball still to be played this year, but I have a different twist on the popular sentiment out there.

Everyone wants to see Carl Crawford in Angels red next year. You can count me in on that idea. That being said, I can’t understand why more people aren’t talking about Jayson Werth.

Every message board and every time there is a sports talk show discussing the Angels, Carl Crawford is all anyone seems to talk about. Now granted, Crawford is a good player; in fact, he’s just the kind of player that Mike Scioscia loves. He’s fast, aggressive on the bases, can field and hits well.

So, what’s my problem?

My problem is that Crawford might be a tad over-rated.

What? Stop the presses (not that this is going to press), right?

Crawford doesn’t have a lot of pop. He’s never hit 20 homeruns in his career. He has a career OPS of .779 – even though he’s in the midst of his best OPS season ever (.856) in his contract year.

Jayson Werth on the other hand has some pop. He hit 36 rockets last year and has a higher career OPS (.841) than Crawford and is also having his best OPS season (.919) in his contract year. I would venture to say that Werth is under-rated.

Wait, there’s more – Werth also happens to be the nephew of former Angels short stop Dick Schofield – giving him a nice family tie to the organization (not that this means a lot).

Werth has also been a clutch performer in the post season. In 145 plate appearances, he has 11 homeruns, and an OPS of 1.044.

So where is the love for Werth?

I know he’s two years older than Crawford, but this really shouldn’t be about comparing the two against one another. It should be about acquiring both in the off season. That’s right – I’m greedy. Crawford in left and Werth in right would be a coupe. I’m just saying.

I’m also saying that Werth could actually have the bigger offensive impact. Again, I really don’t want to debate whose better; I’d rather see them both in Anaheim in 2011. How about you?

So now you might ask - if the Angels sign both Werth and Crawford where does Bourjos play? Well, I'd be fine with seeing him back at Salt Lake City getting some more "seasoning" as he prepares to one day take over the center field duties for Torii Hunter, unless Mike Trout beats him to it. In any case, depth in the outfield is something this team has lacked and it having it is a good thing. Just saying.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Where the heck is Mark Trumbo? How is he not manning 1b by now, with those numbers and the black hole of the Angels' 1b?

  2. I don't think Trumbo's bat will play well at the major league level. He strikes out too much, IMO. I guess there's also no reason to start his clock early with Napoli doing okay there and Morales back in 2010. I'd like to see the Angels use him in a trade.

  3. You got your wish...